10 Most Beautiful National Parks in the USA

National parks are great places for admiring nature. That's where you'll find enjoyment, education, inspiration, and endless adventures. Unique wonders and unforgettable terrains attract millions of visitors all year long, and they don't stop to impress us.

best National Parks in the USA

Here's a list of the best National Parks in the USA that will leave you in awe.

1. Glacier National Park

Commonly referred to as the American Alps, the mountains which make up this park in Montana provides a stunning environment for a nature based road trip. It would be hard to find an area in the United States that rivals the natural beauty or environmental diversity found here. It is home to the largest number of glaciers in the lower 48 states, some of which can be accessed via short, relatively easy trail hikes.

There are also dozens of large lakes, hundreds of small lakes, rivers, streams and miles of hiking trails to enjoy. The park is large enough and remote enough that you can experience true isolated backcountry camping at it's finest. For a more civilized stay there are numerous tent and RV campgrounds within the park and the surrounding areas. There are also several lodges and inns within the park.

Glacier National park is known for its snow-capped mountains and serene lakes. The park offers a number of fun activities to adventurers in summer and winter seasons. These include hiking, skiing, swimming, camping, whitewater rafting, and other fun activities. It is a perfect place for nature lovers to praise the natural beauty of the park. The park also offers dining and lodging facilitates to visitors.

Glacier has Going-to-the-Sun road. One of the biggest attractions in the park is Going-to-the-Sun Road which is only open from around the first of July until the first snow in the fall. This 50 mile long road crosses through the heart of the park and offers many stunning views along the way. This road is considered one of the most beautiful mountain drives in North America.

It's not for the faint of heart. If you have a severe fear of heights or a strong aversion to narrow mountain roads you can leave the car behind and take a shuttle from the ranger stations at either end. There is also the Red Bus Tours which allow you to enjoy the road in old school style inside a vintage 1930's bus.

There is also a lot to do in the areas surrounding the park. The Flathead River is a great place for white water rafting and there are several outfitters in the area where you can book a trip. The nearby town of Whitefish has a great western/artsy/mountain vibe with some great restaurants, bars and stores to visit.

Glacier National Park is home to the Rocky Mountains, some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring scenery in the US. This remote location was described in the movie Forrest Gump as he recounted the experience of the beauty of the clear mountain lakes as he ran down the Going to the Sun Road.

The open road itself was built between 1921 and 1932 and traverses the park from Apgar village on the west end to St Mary's lake, where the Forrest Gump footage was shot, on the east side. Much of it is carved right out of the granite face of the mountains and it provides amazing views of the remote mountainous regions of the park. It is often referred to as the Alps of the United States.

Glacier National Park and the surrounding national forests make up a vast wilderness area that would take a lifetime to explore. In addition to traveling the Going to the Sun Road there are opportunities for boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Glacier is a more appealing park for wild, mountainous landscape purists.

The neighboring town of Whitefish, MT is a great place to visit with a clean, welcoming native American town center and plenty of dining and entertainment options to choose from. RVing here is easy. There are RV sites available on the east and west end of the parks, with the west side having the greatest selection and access to more local resources.

There are also numerous campsites available in the park with Apgar Village being the largest area. The incredible thing is this is a great jump off location for other amazing locations nearby while traveling America. You can choose to head over to the Pacific Northwest for vast stunning coastline and rainforest along the Columbia river, or you can head south to Yellowstone National Park for a look at the immense power of Old Faithful.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park

Only a half mile from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park all you have to do is park your rig and let the outdoor adventures begin! Besides having convenient perks such as a laundromat this park features a mini campers store and even a post office! Looking for some exciting activities? There are numerous trails where you can fill your day with ATV rides or a more calming horseback ride.

Take a hike through Bryce Canyon and enjoy a series of natural amphitheaters. They are a stunning array of white and orange limestone columns and walls that have been sculpted over time by erosion. Evenings can be enjoyed by the park’s pool and hot tub or in the park bar and grill.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a spectacular natural wonder and one of the best National Parks in the USA. This canyon expanded for millions of years with the help of the Colorado River. People from all over the world come here to gaze at its red and orange magnificence. Even though the place is constantly crowded with sightseers and hikers, finding a secluded spot is still possible.

Once you do, sit for a while and observe the sunset and nature at its best. If you want to have a truly unforgettable view of the canyon, you can book a helicopter tour, try rafting down the Colorado River or enjoy a scenic car or train ride.

Grand Canyon is a great adventure destination for thrill-seekers. The park features an immense Grand Canyon with layered bands of red rocks. Enjoy your visit by hiking along the park’s popular rim, scenic tours on the Grand Canyon Railroads, taking a helicopter tour to view the beautiful landscape, and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is an exceptional sight which everybody must see once in their lifetime. Among the best states to visit in USA, flying over the Grand Canyon with kids during vacation with family is perhaps the best option to admire its immensity. The viewpoints that look out to it are an excellent alternative to cover one of the natural wonders of the world from a privileged position.

Nothing really prepares you for the Grand Canyon. No pictures do it justice, no descriptions can give you a real idea of it. It’s the sort of thing you really do have to see for yourself. And even when you’re there, the mind still can’t quite conceive of how big it really is. One of the most common mistakes that people make at the Grand Canyon is underestimating how wide and deep it actually is.

They think they can just do to the bottom and back on a plastic bottle of water because it doesn’t look that far away. There’s very little frame of reference for how big those buttes and layers of rock in it are, until you’re beside them and see they’re as tall as a skyscraper.

So when you go, you owe it to yourself to spend more than a day. It’s too vast, too grand, to fully appreciate in a quick day trip. Spend a few days, and at least one of those days hiking through it. Hike down the South Kaibab Trail to a point called the Tip Off, then across on the Tonto Trail to Indian Garden, and then up the Bright Angel Trail.

Hiking through the Grand Canyon takes everything from you physically and emotionally, but it is incredibly rewarding. It’s estimated that only something like 10% of people who visit the Grand Canyon actually get below the rim. Be one of the 10%. But regardless of whether or not you can, you should try to see it, even if it’s only a day trip. No matter how much of it you can see, you should try to see it.

When you go, you might as well see the regional sights. If you’re going to the South Rim, then you’re coming via Route 66 in Arizona. Three full days should be enough for the South Rim unless you are in excellent shape and plan to hike down to the bottom. The good thing is if you get tired you can take the park shuttle back to your car.

Check out Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments, Grand Canyon Caverns, Sedona, and Montezuma Castle National Park, as well as towns like Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman, Kingman, Holbrook, and Winslow.

The North rim is less developed and less crowded. It looks a lot like the South rim except you are looking from the other side. If you’re going to the North Rim, then at least see Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks too. It all depends on what you want to see, but it would be difficult to pass all that up if you’re going to the Grand Canyon. Some of the north rim is accessible only by using the free shuttle buses that the Park Service provides.

The Desert View Watch Tower is definitely worth stopping at. If you are also going to visit the north rim probably add another 2 or 3 days. Note that it is a long drive from the south rim to the north rim as there are no bridges across the canyon that you can use as a short cut. Also the north rim is not open all year so check before you go.

The very lowest layers exposed in the Grand Canyon are collectively called the Vishnu Basement Rocks. Their name comes from Vishnu Temple, a peak within the canyon that reminded early explorers of an exotic temple. The Grand Canyon is also home to rock peaks and formations known as Zoroaster Temple, Solomon Temple, Sheba Temple, Brahma Temple, Rama Shrine, Krishna Shrine, Apollo Temple, Isis Temple, Freya Castle, Wotan’s Throne, Walhalla Plateau, Jupiter Temple, Venus Temple, and Vulcan’s Throne.

Anyway, the Vishnu Basement Rocks are all either intrusive igneous rocks, which can’t contain fossils (unless they contain fossil-bearing xenoliths, but that strikes me as exceptionally unlikely), or heavily metamorphosed igneous and sedimentary rocks. Any fossils that were once in the sedimentary rocks have almost certainly been destroyed by metamorphism.

There are fossils in the Proterozoic sedimentary rocks lying on top of the Vishnu Basement, in the layers that make up the Unkar Group. There are stromatolites and acritarch's in some of those layers.

4. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton in Wyoming has glittering lakes which reflect the mountains. This park offers an excellent opportunity for discovering alpine terrain and taking incredible photos. In the summer season, there’s an opportunity to hike and discover hidden waterfalls. The Snake River that runs through the park is perfect for kayaking and rafting.

This river is also attractive to fishermen and pelican-watchers. Grand Teton NP contains a range of wildlife, including black bears, antelope, and bison.

Each of the national parks have their distinct characteristics; all are worthy of exploration and appreciation. To many, Teton is only a surprise bonus to a Yellowstone visit. Because of proximity, it has climbed to become the 8th most visited of the 62 US full national parks behind Yellowstone’s number 6.

It may surprise some to learn that to many, Teton has become a destination independent of and sometimes to the exclusion of Yellowstone, it's that amazing. This could bewilder because, on the surface, viewed from a couple of turnouts on the way to or from Yellowstone, isn’t the whole attraction of Teton Park nothing more than pretty scenery of jagged mountains?

Others have probed deeper to allow there are some pleasant lakes to walk along and some amazing reflections to be photographed if you know where and when to seek them. So, maybe, half a day? The deeper, more soul-wrenching aspects of Teton aren’t for everybody nor could the greater masses appreciate them.

Teton is a complimentary counterpart to Yellowstone geologically, historically and ecologically. What happened here changed the way the world looks at preservation over conservation. It was the scene of the most contentious battle for open space in US lower 48 states history.

But here and now, how does Teton impact? To consider the Tetons only beautiful mountains is similar to watching Old Faithful and thinking, 'that was different,' or, 'hmm, disappointing, I like the yellow canyon better.' It’s reducing scenery to spectacle, to entertainment value. None of the parks can compete in a contest of earth-shaking orchestrated “wow” factor to what’s done every evening at Epcot Center or Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. Parks are more subtle; Teton is even more so than Yellowstone.

Slow down. Arrive at String Lake early, before the crowds, and walk between the Leigh Lake Trailhead snd the String Lake Trailhead. Or, go north to Leigh Lake. Or, walk 1.4 kilometres from the Colter Bay Visitor Center out on a peninsula jutting into Jackson Lake.

Hike 6.4 km total to Bradley and Taggart Lakes, right underneath the tallest Tetons. In May there's too much snow; but that works too if you’re prepared. June through September there’s too many people, hence the early start, with the sun. If you walk up a canyon or up a bit of elevation, your sense of the dimensionality of terrain increases.

With exertion, hydrating and fueling yourself of course, prepared for the unexpected, your senses open up. You feel more alive because at this point you are. Now is the time the wisps of cloud between the spires can speak to you.

Now, the scents upon the breeze, the sound of the rushing stream, the colours of various delicate flowers, the unexpected sight of watermelon snow, a marmot, pika, deer or moose, a tiny bird you wouldn’t have noticed the day before, the changing weather or lighting with the hour, and many other unbilled players in this largely unknown theatre of quiet spectacle can reach your heart and change you.

There is so much more going on here than the people out on the highway imagine. This is a very special place. It’s one which changed the world. It has the power to invigourate and revitalise you, too. But you need to slow down, get out early, breathe deeply. See deeply. Feel magnificence. It’s all about you, here.

Yellowstone and the Grand Teton are among the most beautiful places in the world! Drive off to Grand Teton National Park, home to some of the youngest mountains! Grand Teton National Park is a great place for summer vacations. You can enjoy outdoor activities like boating, fishing and horseback riding here.

5. Zion National Park

Utah has the third most national parks of any state in the US. Welcome to Zion National Park, a treasure of the West! Make your way to the Narrows, explore the Outback and end in Bryce Canyon, famed for its multi-colored rock pinnacles called 'hoodoo'.

If you like visiting National parks, consider Zion. This is a popular place that you must visit at least once in your life. Simply gorgeous, Zion offers you the chance to go kayaking or to explore the canyons. At this site you have easy access to Zion National Park, Quail Creek State Park, Red Cliffs State Park, and Sand Hollow State Park.

With friendly staff, large sites, and beautiful shade trees, you can easily slip into vacation mode. The park also features a shower house, laundry facility, a clubhouse with a library and a large pavilion and picnic area. There are fantastic ATV trails just minutes away, and where the park is situated there is less wind and cooler temperatures, so relaxation is at its finest.

Zion National Park is a jewel of Utah with a fantastic colorful canyon that attracts millions of visitors each year. Here, you'll have the opportunity to admire breathtaking views and massive sandstone formations of cream, pink, and red color. You'll also be able to explore twisty caves or experience one of the best camping spots in Utah and enjoy many outdoor adventures. Zion National Park is home to a unique array of plants and animals, as well.

6. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Park in Ohio is one of the best National Parks in the USA, according to many. Gorgeous waterfalls, caves, lush forests, and interesting rock formations are just some of the things you can expect to see here. The park offers numerous hiking, biking, horseback riding trails, and a golf course. Adventurous visitors will be happy to learn the Cuyahoga River is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

On the other hand, the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad is excellent for enjoying a scenic ride. You can easily spot eagles, deer, beavers, and otters passing by.

7. Kings Canyon National Park

Hike through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California. Rae Lakes Loop is one of the most popular hikes when it comes to Sierras. With lakes, greens and mountains all around, this place is as serene as a place can be. About 8 miles into hiking through the dense forest around the Lake, you will come across a camping site where you can stay and rest for the night.

According to an article, you can either camp at the Upper Paradise valley, Middle Paradise valley or the Lower Paradise Valley. Going ahead in your trail, you can also camp at the area surrounding the Lake. When it comes to food, you can either eat instant snacks or fast foods that need minimal cooking with the help of a bonfire.

8. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is a place of magical beauty. Hiking trails surrounded by pine and spruce trees are the highlight of this park. What makes this place truly spectacular is the combined beauty of snowcapped peaks, picturesque meadows, serene valleys, and meandering rivers. You can breathe in the refreshing mountain air, enjoy lakes, and see beautifully colored wildflowers.

The lucky ones may even spot some wild animals, such as bighorn sheep. If you’re a nature lover planning to settle in another State, you should consider Colorado. This state has an unparalleled natural beauty all around – in addition to the National Park territories.

9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spread over North Carolina, and Tennessee is among the most-visited national parks in the U.S. The park offers a diverse range of sights. There's everything from impressive rivers, waterfalls, spruce-fir forests, and blooming wildflowers to a population of black bears. If you visit the Clingman’s Dome observation tower, you can enjoy incredible panoramic views of the whole mountain range.

You simply cannot travel to Tennessee without spending some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. The most popular national park in the United States is not only the place to see prehistoric trees. There are impressive and romantic mountains and a whole host of stunning wildlife.

It is also the place to get active in the great outdoors with horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, cycling and camping activities all available within its bounds.

If you are longing for a trip in timeless natural splendor resting in the cabins, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the place for you. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in USA. The immense forest between North Carolina and Tennessee exceeds almost twice as many visits to the second in the top ten, the Grand Canyon of Colorado.

Another attraction is the presence of around 1,500 black bears that roam freely in these mountains. The best time to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina is from April to October. The park service charges a camping fee, but the rates are minimal.

10. Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, located in New Hampshire, is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. This park encompasses and preserves the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - the famous American sculptor. This is where he spent time producing some of his best work. Therefore, the whole area feels pretty inspirational.

There are two hiking trails for exploring and exciting exhibits for art lovers to check. No matter if you're local or a tourist - you should visit this wonderful gem. Furthermore, the team from mybrooksmoving.com says that this park is very highly rated by newcomers in the area.

Conclusion

The USA has many incredible places all over the country. You can spend a whole lifetime exploring them while traveling through different climates and landscapes. When it comes to the best National Parks in the USA, they are all very different and varied. So, you won’t regret it if you put more of them on your bucket list.

And, the best of all - no matter where you live or which state you’re visiting, there’s at least one national park close by, waiting to be discovered.

Kalyan Panja