As the third-largest country in the world, it is no wonder that many visit the United States over and over again. The reason is simple: in addition to incredible cities, the North American country has a real natural wealth everywhere, especially in its natural spaces. With 59 national parks, you are sure to wonder which one to visit. For this reason, we have decided to make a choice a little easier and tell you about the best national parks in the United States.
Read on and discover the best national parks in the United States to visit on your next adventure.
- Grand Canyon of the Colorado, Arizona
We begin with what, for many, is one of the best national parks in the United States: the Grand Canyon. Located in the state of Arizona, this is also one of the oldest parks in the country and has an area that reaches almost 5,000 square meters. It is the natural wonder shaped by the passage of the Colorado River for more than 2 billion years. The gorge reaches a maximum height of 1,500 meters, offering a spectacle of nature declared a national park and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its protection.
You can visit this park in multiple ways, and you could spend several days hallucinating with its many viewpoints. The best-known area is the South Rim, but there are also excursions from Las Vegas to the West Rim, including an exhilarating helicopter ride.
- Yosemite National Park, California
Located in California, about 200 miles from San Francisco, Yosemite is also one of the best national parks in the United States and one of the most visited by both Americans and travelers from all over the world. The impressive landscapes of the Yosemite Valley are the stars of this park, although they only represent 1% of this park area.
Yosemite offers tons of possibilities for hiking, climbing, biking and, in the summer, skiing and ice skating. The places that make it for many one of the best national parks in the United States and that we recommend you visit are Yosemite Falls (a 739-meter high waterfall), the Tunnel View lookout (which offers the best views of the Valley of Yosemite), Glacier Point (the best views of El Capitan and Half Dome) and Mariposa Grove (a gorgeous forest full of massive redwoods).
- Zion National Park, Utah
Although it is located in Utah, Zion National Park is often included in tours of the West Coast. It is expected that so many travellers want to leap over it, as it is one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States. In Zion, you can enjoy the impressive scenery that the Virgin River has sculpted over millions of years.
During peak season (April to early October), the interior of Zion is only accessible on the free buses provided by the park. Although you will find more than 240 kilometres of trails, the best known is the one that begins at the last shuttle stop: Temple of Sinawava. This is where the Riverside Walk begins, a paved path of just over a mile that then continues right through the Narrows Gorge, the park’s most popular area. The complete route (round trip) lasts 14 miles and is usually done in about 8 hours. In some parts, you will go into the river, so it is recommended that you check the weather conditions at the Visitor Center the day before the visit and bring the appropriate equipment.
- Glacier National Park, Montana
The Glacier National Park or Glacier National Park is one of the best national parks in the United States thanks to its vast mountain ranges, glaciers, forests, waterfalls and lakes. With more than 1,130 kilometres of trails, it is a true paradise for trekking enthusiasts and those who enjoy scenic roads. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of Montana’s best-known routes, covering 50 glorious miles. However, you could drive it in an hour and reserve several, since you will surely stop again and enjoy the views. Some of the exciting stops are the Logan Pass, the Many Glacier or Lake McDonald.
Enjoy the Glacier National Park calmly, since in it you will have the opportunity to contemplate flora and fauna of this area of the United States. It is one of the places with the best chance of seeing the well-known grizzly bears.
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Located between Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park is one of the most interesting in the list of the best national parks in the United States. This is so because it is located on top of the caldera of the largest volcano in America, so in it, you can find a large number of geothermal phenomena, such as geysers and fumaroles, lava and rock flows, a vast lake, forests, canyons and, of course, abundant flora and fauna.
When visiting it, we recommend you walk the Grand Loop Road, which runs through the park passing through its main points of interest. Spend at least three days visiting the Norris Geyser Basin, Canyon Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, Lower Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, and West Thum.