10 Best National Parks To Visit In The USA!

10 Best National Parks To Visit In The USA!

The United States National Parks are a group of mountain ranges, lakes, and rivers that can be hard to rate. They all have characteristics that make them unique in their own ways and many have once in a lifetime views. From hiking to rafting there are a multitude of adventures to partake in at each and every one. With that being said, here I am going to list of 10 of the most stunning National Parks around and some of the features that make them the parks they have become today. 

#1. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite was our nations third National Park and initially sparked the idea that has now morphed into the National Park system. There are over 400 species of wildlife to enjoy at the park and you are sure to see some through your trek. The granite rock formations glow like fire at sunset and produce unbelievable views. This park is also home to one of the tallest waterfalls in the world clocking in at just around 2,425 feet. I tend to have some bias when it comes to Yosemite as I spent a couple weeks hiking throughout and ended my journey with a summit of Half Dome. If you ever have the chance to visit this park, the Half Dome climb, while challenging, is a must see. 

#2. Mount Rainer National Park

Home to a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1894 Mount Rainer features over 250 miles of hiking trails with local flora and fauna at each step. There is sure to be a trail for you and your family and friends that you can successfully complete at your skill level. Included in this 250 miles is the 93 mile long Wonderland Trail which features breathtaking views and circumnavigates Mount Rainer. The mountain was named by explorer George Vancouver after his friend Admiral Peter Rainer while on expedition. With 25 glaciers and over 65 animal species you are sure to see some unique wildlife while visiting this park. 

#3. Sequoia National Park

Sequoia is the first park that was created in order to protect living organism, the Sequoia Tree. Sequoia is home to the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states named Mount Whitney with an elevation of 14,494. If this mountain is too big of a task you are in luck as there are 800 miles of trails including the John Muir Trail stretching 221 miles from Yosemite Valley. There are plenty of adventures to take part in within the park. My favorite fact about Sequoia is the two dedicated endangered species recovery programs. They are very dedicated to preserving this park which is something I greatly admire. 

#4. Glacier National Park

Part of the worlds first international peace park, Glacier straddles the continental divide creating a dramatic clash of weather, views, and activity. The largest Glacier in the park is 0.7 square miles and this is one of twenty six present glaciers. There are over 700 miles of trails to discover throughout the parks entirety. If hiking is not your thing, the Amtrak train will take you directly to the park entrance and you are sure to catch some beautiful views along the ride. The park is full with a beautiful array of colors and while the picture are breathtaking the view is unbeatable in person. 

#5. Rocky Mountain National Park

With the 30 mile continental divide running through the middle of the parks 355 miles of hiking trails, the Rocky Mountains are one of the most well known and popular National Parks. The park features 156 lakes and there are still some small glaciers sneaking about. This park contains four categories of ecosystem including montane, subalpine, alpine, and glaciers so visitors are sure to get a variety of weather throughout the park. There are ample things to do within the park including but not limited too: wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, fishing, scenic drives, horseback riding, bird watching, climbing, snowshoeing, and skiing. Whatever adventure you are looking for, Rocky Mountain National Park is sure to fulfill that need. 

#6. Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains are the most popular park in the United States with over 14 million visitors per year.  As a bonus, there are no fees to enter so save that money for your next excursion. Here there are more than 800 miles of hiking trails which include parts of the Appalachian Trail and its beauty. If you are a wildlife enthusiast this park is teeming with it! There are more than 4,000 plant species, 140 tree species, 65 mammal species, 200 bird varieties, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. If hiking is not your thing, the park offers 12 popular waterfalls for viewing and approximately 550 miles of the trails are open to horses. 

#7. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is a beautiful area of land that starts by spreading over 50 miles of coastline. A great element of this park is the variety of entrances and different ways to do so. The park is not too far from Seattle so if driving is your thing it is a beautiful drive to do. If you and your group enjoy driving there is also the Olympic Peninsula Loop which is 329 miles, totaling in an 8 hour all season drive. If you love the water, the ferry will also take you from the Seattle port to the doorstep of the park in 90 minutes. 

#8. Grand Teton National Park

Only 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park, if you are on a park tour, The Tetons could be your next adventure. The park was named by French speaking trappers “Les Troins Tetons which stands for the three teats. Grand Teton has a pristine ecosystem which features the same species of flair and fauna as prehistoric times. If you prefer your travel by airbus you are in luck as Grand Teton National Park is the only park in the US with an airport inside of it. This wonderful park hosts around 4 million visitors each year and offers plenty of lodging selections. 

#9. Redwood National Park

The first Redwood trees first appeared over 240 million years ago. Temperatures here remain mostly consistent during the year. Through the summer there is a low precipitation percentage and constant moisture brought in from the coastline. This park feels like a movie set or something like you have really never seen before. The trees surround you as you walk through and there are even some with hallowed out holes you can enter. Walking under the large trees visitors are sure to be mesmerized by their stature. Speaking of height, there are 50 Redwood trees over 350 feet tall, the largest being Hyperion at 379.9 feet. This is nearly 60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. 

#10. Grand Canyon National Park

Last but not least is the beautiful Grand Canyon. The canyon itself is bigger than the state of Rhode Island at a mile deep, 277 miles long, and 18 miles wide. You can get an aerial view of the canyon without leaving the ground by the skywalk but the trails are also available for descent. Many parts of the park are undiscovered. There are an estimated 1,000 caves with only 355 recorded and one open to the public. Visitors can partake in hiking, mule riding, train riding, scenic drives, rafting trips, helicopter tours, biking, and desert jeep tours. The air at The Grand Canyon is considered to be amongst the cleanest air in the United States.

So, take a deep breath and experience these National Parks! There is sure to be an adventure for you within one of these beautiful pieces of land. Whether it is swimming, biking, running, hiking, or horseback riding most of these parks allow for a multitude of activities. Maybe 2023 will be your year of the parks!

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