Nothing quite beats the beauty of National Parks. These parks have been around for hundreds of years, and the acres hold educational purposes and enjoyment for many. Currently, 62 National Parks are spread throughout the United States, and each year they draw over 300 million visitors. These fascinated terrains each have their unique qualities about them, and you might be considering spending some time in them. However, while all are spectacular in their own right, here are our picks for the top National Parks to visit.
Yosemite is hands down one of the best National Parks around. The park is located in California and is one of the most visited National Parks. The park boasts impressive waterfalls and unique granite rocks that have turned into stunning formations. Yosemite is home to the famous Half Dome and El Capitan as well. If you’re a first-time hiker or advanced, Yosemite has a little bit of something for everyone. Make sure to stop at the Tunnel View Outlook to get a breathtaking panoramic view of the Yosemite Valley.
Zion National Park
Zion is located in Utah and is perfect for anyone who likes a little thrill. Angel’s Landing is a popular hike that will take you 1,500 feet up through a natural staircase, or you can head through The Narrows, which is 10-miles through the thinnest areas of the Zion Canyon. If you don’t want a super intense hike, you can drive 57-miles through the Zion Canyon on their scenic route. The best part is the drive will take you past most of their popular landmarks.
Grand Canyon – Top National Parks to Visit in the U.S.
Everyone knows about the Grand Canyon and understands it is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. There are endless hiking opportunities through the Grand Canyon, and you can even raft around the Colorado River if you want. If you’re going to beat the crowd, check out the North Rim instead since there are less tourist in that area.
Arches National Park
Utah is home to the Arches National Park, which was established in 1929 and covered over 77,000 acres in Eastern Utah. This park is perfect for backpackers and rock climbers, plus the sandstone monuments are everywhere around you. Over 2,000 arches in the park and the most popular are the Landscape Arch, Delicate Arch, and Double Arch. Don’t forget your camera when you visit this National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Seventy miles north of Denver is the Rocky Mountain National Park. There are over 355 miles of scenic trails through this park, with 147 lakes and 118 peaks over 10,000 feet elevation. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Emerald Lake Trail that is less than 5 miles both ways and gives you a beautiful view of the alpines.
Haleakala National Park – Top National Parks to Visit in the U.S.
Hawaii is known to be home to beautiful things, and that includes the Haleakala Nation Park. Located in Maui, this park hosts the best sunrise you will ever see. It is even named after “house of the sun”. You can watch the sunrise from more than 10,000 feet above sea level, but that park is also home to incredible waterfalls and a crater you can hike inside.
Of course, Yellowstone was going to make this list. The park is over 2.2 billion acres and has such diverse geography, and your mind will be blown. Yellowstone is filled with lakes, mountains, valleys, and geysers that you won’t know which way to go. Make sure you check the park out in April, May, September, or October to avoid the crowds that come.
Glacier National Park
Who would have thought Montana was home to a gorgeous National Park? If water and mountains are your things, make sure to visit Glacier National Park that has over 700 lakes throughout it and two massive mountain ranges. The hiking trails are excellent, but you can also take a ride along the scenic route called Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Great Smoky Mountains – Top National Parks to Visit in the U.S.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unique since it crosses both North Carolina and Tennessee. This popular park has stunning wildlife, waterfalls, and mountains that get covered by fog and give a beautiful appearance. The scenic views are breathtaking, and the hiking trails are great for everyone. Make sure to head out during autumn since the trees are at their most vibrant.
Grand Teton National Park
Filled with jagged peaks, the Teton Range is a stunning area in Wyoming. The mountains, lakes, and valleys are beautiful to hang around, and there is a load of activities to do, including rock climbing, hiking, boating, and fishing. The park is also filled with bison, elk, beavers, moose, and more.
Visiting National Parks is truly a wonder and will leave you feeling inspired and in awe. These parks are just a few of the many that you can see and hike around, and you can spend an entire summer exploring if you want.
This article was originally published on Flyost.com.