There are plenty of reasons to visit the United States. It is an immensely diverse nation, often called the melting pot of the world, which is the home to immigrants from all over. You cannot picture a typical American, as they are people of different ethnicities, races, backgrounds, and religions. The country is also famous for its unique, albeit rather unhealthy, cuisine, with items such as macaroni and cheese or fried chicken being now famous internationally. Moreover, the diverse landscape of the United States is home to mountain ranges, cliffs, deserts, almost tropical beaches, snowy slopes, forests, and many more. Speaking of the scenic views the United States boasts, the best way to properly witness them is to visit a national park. From over 60 national parks sprinkled all over the country, we bring you this Top 10 National Parks in the U.S. list to help you choose the best ones!
Being probably the most famous nature reserve in the world, the Yellowstone National Park is a true paradise to anyone fascinated by nature and the outside world. The park is filled with mountainous hills and crystal-clear lakes, but the most popular attractions of Yellowstone are its active geysers and colorful hot springs. The landscape within the park is truly one of a kind and spans over more than three thousand square miles, featuring canyons and waterfalls. Be mindful of the wildlife inside of the park and always stay cautious, as the Yellowstone National Park is home to buffaloes, elk, and even fearsome grizzly bears! If you are not an experienced trail-blazer, make sure to get around with a professional guide.
Boasting a slightly different landscape than the Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park hosts what researchers believe to be the remnants of glaciers all the way back from the ice age. The park is located in the northern part of the United States, right on the border with Canada, and is the place where many rivers and streams leading to the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico begin their journey through the country. If you want to give the park a try, there is a wide variety of trails for explorers of all skill levels, so you will surely find plenty to do no matter if you are a beginner or an experienced traveler. The park is also home to a massive ecosystem of wildlife animals and features a large number of waterfalls and over 700 lakes.
If you happen to be visiting California, Yosemite National park is one of those places you just cannot skip! Not only does Yosemite perfectly showcase the beautiful landscape of the California state, but it does that in style. The park features magnificent waterfalls and some of the most gorgeous cliffsides the United States has to offer. Moreover, it is one of the few places where you can see the famous Sequoia trees in all of their beauty, some of which are more than a thousand years old! While most tourists stay within the safe premises of the 8-square-miles of the Yosemite Valley area, feel free to explore the rest of this 1,200 square miles reserve. Learn climbing or book a guided tour to get the best of what Yosemite National Park has to offer.
Located in southwestern Utah, right beside the town of Springdale, Zion National Park is full of wonders placed within its 230 square mile radius. The most notable feature of the park is probably the Zion Canyon - a 15-mile long canyon that reaches nearly 3,000 feet deep. The beginning of the canyon, called the Temple of Sinawava, is a natural amphitheater that amplifies whatever you say as if you were using a high-power microphone with massive speakers. A bonus feature of this national park in the US is its magnificent view of the night sky - thousands of stars can be viewed without obstructions during the night and there are no lights nearby to obstruct the sky. However, keep in mind that Zion National Park has lately become a very popular tourist attraction and can often attract crowds.
Even if you have not watched any of the famous spaghetti western movies, you must have heard about the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon, located in northern Arizona, is a true wonder of nature, spanning over 270 river miles in length. The canyon is officially named as a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts some of the most unforgettable views you will find not only in the United States itself, but in the whole world to be sure! The Colorado River has helped expand the massive canyon - a process that took over six million years, and now it reaches up to one mile in depth in its deepest parts. We recommend taking a tour of the Colorado River itself, as it presents some of the most gorgeous views the Grand Canyon has to offer.
If you ever wanted to see a place where calm lowlands meet rocky mountains with snow on their peaks, Grand Teton National Park is definitely a place you will enjoy visiting. The National Park is located by the Jackson Hole Valley and is famous for some of the best photo spots in the world, as Instagram models and hikers alike swarm to its picturesque mountain ranges. The park is surrounded by national forests and features one of the last remaining intact ecosystems in the northern parts of the Earth. Moreover, its tallest mountain, Grand Teton, is almost 14,000 feet high, making it the second-highest peak in the state of Wyoming, right after the Gannett Peak. Grand Teton National Park is also located conveniently close to the Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by a scenic road called John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.
If you have thought that only the continental United States has pretty national parks to boast, let us prove you wrong! The Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a hundred-years-old national park located on the island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii. The two most prominent features of the park are probably its two active volcanoes, called Kilauea, which itself is one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa. The national park is not only a tourist's dream, but it is also frequently used by scientists who still research the process of volcano creation. For visitors, on the other hand, the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park presents some of the most intense volcanic landscapes, where lava flows freely and unique flora and fauna can be found.
The Rocky Mountains themselves are a great day-trip idea, especially if you happen to be visiting the Denver area, as they are located just about 70 miles to the north, and Rocky Mountain National Park is the cherry on top of those mountains. Even though the park is not the largest national park in the country, its elevation more than makes up for its lack of area. The park rises over 12,000 feet over the sea level, providing many opportunities to look at the gorgeous Colorado landscape from up-high. If you like hiking, you will be happy to know that the park features over 350 miles of trails of all skill levels, which will take you through the forests and reflective lakes of the Rocky Mountains. As an added bonus, Rocky Mountain National Park is not a popular tourist spot, so you will probably not have to work your way through crowds when you’re there!
For some truly other-worldly sights, we fully recommend taking a trip to the Arches National Park, which is unique even among the national parks in the US. The park is very close to the Grand Canyon, located adjacent to the Colorado River, and features over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, which are famously shown in many Hollywood productions. The most recognizable of them, the Delicate Arch, is over 52 feet tall and is even depicted on the license plates of Utah, as well on some postage stamps. Moreover, in 2002 during the Winter Olympics, the Olympic torch has passed through the arch. Besides the Delicate Arch, Arches National Park features almost eight thousand acres of rocky desert, which receives less than 10 inches of rain each year and is one of the dryest places on Earth.
Spanning through both Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most frequently visited national parks in the US with over 10 million people coming each year to witness its beauty. The mountains around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have seen human history since the prehistoric era, when the Paleo Indians traveled through them, as well as the 19th-century European settlers that came to America in search of a new home. And you know what the best part about this gorgeous national park is? You can view it for free, unlike most of the parks in the country!