Top 10 US National Parks to Visit

Yosemite National Park

Summertime is here! There’s nothing better than bringing in the summer with some outdoor fun and frolic. What better place to go than spend time at a park? Beautiful and majestic, here are the top 10 National Parks to visit in the US.

Yosemite National Park

California’s famous 1,200 square mile Yosemite National Park, with an annual visit from almost 4 million people, is an outdoor paradise. Boasting views of majestic waterfalls like the Vernal Fall and Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park is a gem when it comes to national parks. You can also see spectacular granite rock formations such as the Half Dome and El Capitan at this national treasure. If you enjoy hiking and camping, be sure to tour the Yosemite Valley area where you can take guided tours, rock climbing and hiking lessons.


Yellowstone National Park

The world’s first national park, the Yellowstone National Park has giant mountains, canyons, crystal clear lakes, deep forests, powerful geysers, hot springs, and scenic views of beautiful meadows. Its 2.2 million acres touches 3 states: Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. When there, remember to stop by the Old Faithful, a geyser that spurts 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water almost 130 feet high, every 30 to 110 minutes!


Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has more than 700 lakes, many waterfalls, and two massive mountain ranges that cover more than a million acres of woods. It also covers a scenic 50 mile drive called the Going-to-the-Sun Road which is a National Historic Landmark offering beautiful views and hiking trails. These trails include the Trail of the Cedars, an easy trail, and Grinnell Glacier, a more advanced trail. Named after the ice age glaciers, the Glacier National Park straddles Canada and the state of Montana and makes a fun spot to visit on your next vacation.


Grand Teton National Park

Standing next to the Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming offers breathtaking views and beautiful waterfalls. Important sights at this park include the 13,770 foot Grand Teton and lakes Jenny and Jackson. Activities at this park include: kayaking, rafting and other fun filled water sports on the Snake River. For the history buffs, Menors Ferry and Mormon Row provide a take on the nineteenth century Wild West.


Grand Canyon National Park

With an average of 6 million visitors arriving each year, the Grand Canyon is grand indeed. Almost 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 1 mile deep, the Grand Canyon is located in Arizona. It took 6 million years and some help from the Colorado River for the Grand Canyon to reach these proportions. Bright Angel Trail and the Grand Canyon Village are popular hiking sites but you can also find some seclusion around the quiet North Rim.


Zion National Park

Set between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, Utah, Zion National Park receives approximately 4 million visitors each year. The Zion Canyon, Virgin River, and Angels Landing all offer amazing views. But the best view are those of a million stars in the brilliant night sky.


Sequoia National Park

Located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Sequoia National Park is famous for its giant sequoia trees. Perhaps the greatest example of these is the General Sherman Tree which at 275 feet tall is considered the largest tree on Earth. Of the ten largest trees in the world, five of them are standing in the Giant Forest which is part of the Sequoia National Park’s 202,430 acre woods. Visitors can hike, walk, and take amazing photographs of this wonderland of trees.


Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park offers a 350 mile hiking trail which runs through deep forests made up of pine and spruce trees, beautiful lakes, and a splattering of wildflowers and wildlife. The mountain air at its highest point, Longs Peak, is thin, crisp and refreshing. Although not as large as some of the other national parks, Rocky Mountain National Park definitely is worthy of a visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a sight to behold. With over 10 million visitors coming each year, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers visitors a free pass to enjoy scenic drives through Cades Cove and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing are all available. Find a quiet spot to picnic and enjoy the Abrams and Rainbow Falls. History lovers can visit and enjoy the historic gristmill and Cable Mill at the visitor center.


Shenandoah National Park

Located an hour west from Washington D.C. in Virginia sits the 200,000 acre Shenandoah National Park. Come to watch the wildlife and view the scenic Skyline Drive which runs alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors can enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, and biking.


With beautiful scenic views, hiking, trailing, biking, kayaking, rock climbing and more, summer is the perfect time to visit these national parks. Whether you are looking to test your strength climbing a mountain, your stamina hiking the trails or find peace in the beauty of nature, the national parks can afford you the opportunity of a lifetime to fulfill your next goal in your bucket list.

Bibliography

“10 Best U. S. National Parks.” U.S. News. 2022. https://travel.usnews.com/rankings/best-national-parks-in-the-usa/.

NPS.gov. 2022. https://www.nps.gov/index.htm.

 

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