In this article, I will narrow down the list of national parks in US. Most blogs, journals, and videos guide you to select the best hiking boots, pants, backpacks, and other hiking essentials. If you are a hiker and finding for a great outdoors hiking trip keep up following the reading.
One of the best things about America is the great outdoors, and the best places to get outside are the National Parks.
The National Parks have been dubbed America’s best idea because they took huge swaths of the American wilderness, protected it from development, and kept it open to the public for their enjoyment.
Last year the National Parks turned 100 years old, and there’s no better time to get out there and experience all 59 parks, but which are the best?
In this reading, I narrow down 17 best national parks in the US out of 59. Some of them are the most beautiful and diverse national parks in the USA.
So grab your compass, strap up your hiking boots, and get ready to get outdoors.
Wait do they have wifi? Probably not
Top 17 list of national parks in us
Yellowstone in Wyoming
Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the first natural park in the entire world and certainly one of the greatest national parks in the United States. Located mostly in Wyoming, Yellowstone spans the Rocky Mountains into neighboring Idaho and Montana, combining alpine lakes and rivers with wildlife such as bears, bison and wolves. It also sits on top of the geothermal hot spot, making it the world’s largest concentration of geysers. Geyser as we say in the US, including Old Faithful.
Not long after Yellowstone, California’s Yosemite Valley became a National Park, thanks to the efforts of the legendary naturalist John Muir. You might recognize Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome from the wallpaper of your Macintosh, but it’s actually a mecca for rock climbers who believe that the 3,000 foot base of El Capitan is one of the most technical and challenging rock climbs in the world. To learn more about the early days of rock climbing in Yosemite, watch Valley Uprising on Netflix.
But even if you don’t climb, you can still hike to the top of El Capitan. You just have to apply for a permit. Yosemite is beautiful, but it does get crowded, so let’s talk about some of the other National Parks in California that don’t get the crowds. Just three hours from Los Angeles and located in the southern section of the
Sierra Nevada Mountains
Sequoia National Park is a gem in the list of national parks in US. It is famous for its extremely large, sequoia trees, including General Sherman, over two thousand years old, 275 feet and four million pounds of hardwood. It is the largest tree on earth.
Redwood National Park
In the far northwestern corner of the state of California, you have redwoods national park. It is super cool coastal temperate rain forest. It has the tallest tree on earth, which was only recently discovered in 2006.
There really is something magical about the redwoods about 379 feet tall. That may be some of the reasons George Lucas chose it as the location for The Return of the Jedi ,the forest moon of Endor.
A beautiful stretch of desert just east of Los Angeles, named after its indigenous tree, the Joshua tree. Joshua Tree is an easy 2-hour drive from Los Angeles. It is super popular for camping, for rock climbing, for photography or for going on a vision quest.
A lot of people come here right after or before Coachella because that takes place just down the road.
But it’s a lot better in the winter when it’s not that crowded or in springtime when the Joshua tree is blooming. Just make sure you avoid it in the summertime because it’s just going to be way too hot.
Channel Islands National Park, California
For unspoiled California coast, head to the Channel Islands National Park, five wild and remote islands off the coast of Santa Barbara that only recently became a National Park. These Islands are the ancestral home of the Chumash people and they are best explored by either hiking or kayaking. But to get there, you’re going to need to take a ferry, which leaves from Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This is the most popular park in the United States because it’s really easily accessible by car and a gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. In US national parks 95% forests, which means there are tons of places to camp, to hike.
If you really want to get after it, you can actually hike sections of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 2,000 miles from Georgia in the South all the way up north to Maine.
Acadia National Park
Maine’s only National Park is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi and is supposedly one of the best on the East Coast. It is home to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard, but it’s famous for its trail system, which is the oldest trail system in any national park and has recently restored historic carriageways that are now great for hiking and walking. While you’re out there, you’re going to have to eat a lobster.
In the Midwest region, Isle Royale is one of the least visited national parks because of the super isolated Island in the middle of Lake Superior. You have to ride about three to five hours from Upper Peninsula, Michigan great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are super beautiful and if you want some unplugged time, it seems to us like the perfect option.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes is awesome national park where else can you get a tan in the morning and photograph molten lava at night. There are two Kilauea volcanoes in the park.
Glacier Bay National Park
It is on the Alaska coast and about spread over 3.3 million acres of unspoiled glaciers, mountains, temperate rain forests, and deep fjords. Part of Alaska’s inside passage is one of the last places where you can actually see a tidewater glacier
If you are planning on visiting Glacier Bay National Park, check out the nearby town of Gustavus. It is a beautiful little fishing town with tons of great bed and breakfast, not to mention some of the best halibut and salmon fishing in Alaska.
Glacier National Park, Montana
It is the only national park that spans two countries. It is connected to the Waterton Lakes National Park on the other side in Canada. These two parks were joined together to create the International Peace Park founded in honor of the International Peace Building.
The creation of the parks is actually kind of funny because it was actually built by this railroad magnate. He built a hotel in the National Park, connected the railroad and then petition for the park to become a national park.
There is actually a ferry that goes to Canada because, in the days of Prohibition, you couldn’t drink in the U.S. But you could drink in Canada, Waterton National Park. It is said that only 25 glaciers remain out of 150 so you don’t have to wait to visit because it will completely vanish near 2030.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Perhaps, It is the most geographically distinct park on this list. These 1.5 million-acre wetlands are made up of mangroves, and it basically consists of the entire bottom tip of the Florida Peninsula.
There are tons of wildlife from manatees to turtles and alligators. Which means you probably shouldn’t go swimming? It is perfect for an airboat tour, and supposedly the fishing’s not bad either.
Olympic National Park
If you’re looking for geographical diversity try to visit the Pacific Coast. You will have got everything to dare to desire. You will see big beaches, full of driftwood, snow caps, alpine peaks, and even a temperate rain forest. In fact, it’s a limitless experience of some of the backcountry backpacking within one pack in the pure undeveloped wilderness of mountains.
Big Bend National Park
If you’re going down Mexico way in Texas, check out, big bend national park which has some of the best-preserved deserts in the United States. It’s right up against the border with Mexico.
It goes right along the Rio Grande River. It contains natural hot springs, ancient pictographs; now been taken over by wildlife. Also in the Chihuahua Desert in nearby New Mexico are the Carlsbad Caverns Over a hundred caves full of incredible limestone stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Mammoth Caves National Park
If you’re closer to Kentucky, you could check out with over 400 miles of caves to explore. You will grasp pretty mammoth, actually the world’s largest cave system in the southwest of the United States. With regards to symmetry, you will be going to find some of the most beautiful scenery around the Four Corners area between Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Arches National park, Utah
Arches have the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches. over 2,000 of them, resulting from the salt leftover from a 300 million-year-old sea. This is where a Devinsupertramp film That Crazy Rope Swing video. It’s just north of Moab, Utah, which is the birthplace of slick rock mountain biking and close to another great part called Canyonlands.
Canyonlands is all about dramatic colorful landscapes carved by the Colorado River. It’s possible to drive, canoe, bike or hike some seriously remote wilderness.
National Park, Zion
Famous for its canyon is pinkish-red sandstone that makes it one of the most picturesque National Parks in the Southwest. Of course, we can’t forget the granddaddy of National Parks: Grand Canyon, which is over a mile deep. It is so wide that at no point can you see its entirety. The views are incredible; especially from Horseshoe Bend where you’ve got take that obligatory Selfie.
But if you really want a full experience, get up close by hiking down. You could stay at Phantom Ranch at the bottom. If you are really doing some cool, you could canoe or raft the Colorado River, which would be excellent.