A splendid country to explore, America is home to myriad natural wonders. Here’s a look at some of the best national parks, all of which offer astounding scenery.
When it comes to breathtaking landscapes, America the beautiful doesn’t fail to deliver: from gorgeous mountains, glittering lakes, stupendous rock formations, and other natural wonders. So, it’s to no surprise that the 63 national parks found in America showcase an array of habitats and landscapes; each more magnificent than the last.
To help you explore all the wonderful nature that America has to offer, here are ten of the most spectacular national parks in America for you to enjoy!
1. Arches National Park
One of Utah’s “Mighty Five”, Arches National Park in Moab is renowned for its sandstone arches. With more than two thousand for your viewing pleasure, it is home to some of the world’s most famous arches. Delicate Arch is arguably the park’s most iconic landmark, while Landscape Arch, North America’s longest arch, spans over a whopping 290 feet in length. Exploring the park’s arid and desolate yet breathtakingly striking landscapes on foot or via mountain bike is unforgettable. Temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees during the summer months so plan your visit accordingly!
2. Bryce Canyon National Park
Over the millennia, the elements and natural erosion have combined to create a multitude of fascinating limestone rock formations at Bryce Canyon National Park, also located in Utah. The red, orange, and white colors will astonish its visitors. While many people come to see the natural amphitheaters and these “hoodoos”, as they are called, the park is also known for its wildlife: mountain lions, black bears, and elk. Gaze into the horizon on a clear day and you can see over 100 miles into the distance.
3. Everglades National Park
Located on the southern tip of Florida close to Miami, Everglades National Park is a labyrinth of swamps, mangroves and murky waterways best explored by boat. One of the largest national parks in America, the Everglades covers over a tremendous 1.5 million acres. Take a hike along the Anhinga Trail and cross paths with turtles, birds, and even alligators. Home to not only alligators, manatees and thousands of plant species, the rare Florida panther can also be found roaming the park grounds.
4. Grand Canyon National Park
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon is one America’s most popular attractions. Welcoming 6 million visitors annually, the Grand Canyon has been recognized as a national park for over a century. Astounding views from both the south and north rim display this national treasure’s millions of years of geological history. The best way to admire the canyon is via a hike or an exhilarating helicopter ride from which you can look down into the mile-deep gorge and see the Colorado River flowing through the canyon.
5. Grand Teton National Park
A subrange of the Rocky Mountains, it should come as no surprise that Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to mind-boggling mountain vistas. Outdoor enthusiasts will love all that the mountains have to offer from skiing to hiking to rock climbing. Animal lovers can admire the diverse wildlife including moose, swans, and sheep that prance the park grounds. In addition, this picture-perfect nook of Wyoming with its shimmering alpine lakes and reflective rivers provides the perfect backdrop for some Instagram-worthy snaps.
6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
One of the most visited in America, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, is almost entirely coated in thick forest. The undergrowth conceals a host of woodland critters as well as a biodiverse collection of fauna and flora. With over 800 miles of trails throughout the park, hikers won’t be left disappointed. Explore the scenic Appalachian Trail, but keep your eyes peeled for black bears-thousands of them live in the mountains.
7. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Big Island feels like an otherworldly experience as the earth trembles below as the steam vents erupt. Five volcanoes make up the island, three of which are active so you may see recent signs of eruptions in the shape of lava flows or scorched earth. One of the best ways to appreciate the park’s diversity is a cruise along Crater Rim Drive which takes you through arid desert and lush rainforest landscapes as well as around a smoking caldera.
8. Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first. Stretching across three different states, Yellowstone is renowned for its geothermal activity: especially geysers, hot springs, and steam vents. Keep an eye out for the Old Faithful Geyser that erupts every 90 minutes, or the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the states, that flaunts its majestic colors. With over 60 species of mammals and some great viewing spots, wildlife lovers are in for a real treat.
9. Yosemite National Park
Home to a network of lakes and rivers, towering granite cliffs, and forests blanketed with giant sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park is an absolute must when in California. Don’t miss Yosemite Falls, just one of the many highlights in this spectacular national park. Half Dome and El Capitan, the park’s two iconic rock formations, stand tall as hikers trek up to the top. With seemingly endless hiking trails that weave through the stunning landscapes, the park is magical.
10. Zion National Park
Another one of Utah’s “Mighty Five”, Zion National Park’s ruddy canyons and incredible rock formations offer Mars-like landscapes. Founded in 1919, the park is frequented by adventurists who love canyoneering, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Experienced hikers can trek up to Angels Landing, a 2.5-mile hike that will leave you with jaw dropping views of Zion Canyon. Peaks, plateaus, canyons, rivers, and waterfalls characterize the stunningly wild and dramatic desert scenery.