National Parks in the USA: Top Destinations
National Parks in the USA: Top Accommodations
Best National Parks for Hiking
US National Parks are loaded with a wide range of trails that offer impressive climbs and epic views.
1. Grand Canyon National Park
The most popular National Park in the US covers around 1,217,262 acres and the incredible Grand Canyon (a gorge along the Colorado River) is its central feature. The 277-mi.-long UNESCO World Heritage Site provides endless hiking opportunities and a chance to go rafting on the Colorado River. Many park visitors choose to hike the variety of trails such as the Uncle Jim's, Widforss, North Kaibab, and Transept Trails.
2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park's sprawling landscape boasts an abundance of natural wonders. There are 850-miles of trails in the park for hiking that include the 70-mi. Appalachian Trail. The 6,593 ft.-tall Mount Le Conte is one of the most popular summits in the park, while the Alum Cave Trail provides unique natural scenery such as the Arch Rock and Alum Cave Bluffs. In addition to hiking, the park also offers opportunities for camping and backpacking.
3. Zion National Park
- A haven for thrill-seekers, Zion National Park's most prominent feature is the 15-mi.-long and half-a-mile-deep Zion Canyon. A favorite vacation destination for families and adventurers, the park also offers camping, hiking, climbing, backpacking, and more. Zion National Park provides a wide range of hiking choices including Canyon Overlook, Weeping Rock, Angels Landing, Taylor Creek, and Kolob Arch.
Best Places to Stay for National Parks in the USA
Best National Parks for Kids
Apart from boasting endless natural wonders, US National Parks also offer plenty of recreational choices for those visiting with kids.
Yosemite National Park is famous for its iconic landmarks such as Clouds Rest, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, and the High Sierra. The park is also internationally renowned for its waterfalls, clear streams, granite cliffs, lakes, mountains, glaciers, meadows, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Yosemite offers numerous family-friendly activities including nature walks, art classes, photography, stargazing programs, rafting, mule or horseback rides, rock climbing classes and bike rentals.
2. Acadia National Park
This 47,000-acre National Park features rocky beaches, scenic woodland, and granite peaks like Cadillac Mountain, the East Coast's highest point. The park is home to over 40 different species of wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, white-tailed deer, snowshoe hares and many more that kids will love observing in the wild. Acadia National Park boasts two gorgeous beaches including Sand Beach and Echo Lake Beach offering freshwater swimming experiences.
3. Bryce Canyon
Located in southern Utah, this park is famed for its crimson-colored hoodoos (spire-shaped rock formations), which are formed by stream erosion and frost weathering. Bryce Canyon National Park offers diverse recreational opportunities for the whole family that include camping, ranger-led kids programs, horseback riding, astronomy programs, ATV tours, the Bryce Museum, and much more.
Recommended Accommodations for National Parks in the USA
Best National Parks for Adventure Sports
These national parks offer some of the most exciting terrains and outdoor adventures to feed your inner adrenaline rush.
1. Denali National Park
Nestled in south-central Alaska, Denali National Park encompasses over 5-million acres of unspoiled wilderness including majestic peaks, braided glacial rivers, and alpine tundra. The highlight of the park is the 20,310-ft.-tall Denali or Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain. Popular recreational activities include hiking, camping, rafting, backcountry travel, wildlife viewing, fishing, and flightseeing. Favorite winter activities include cross-country skiing, dog-sledding, and snow machining.
2. Glacier National Park
This park covers over 1-million acres of area and features two mountain ranges, more than 120 lakes, over 1,000 species of plants, and 100 species of animals. The park boasts 700 miles of trails with the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail crossing north to south, and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail extending from east to west. Other recreational opportunities include cycling, backpacking, climbing, fishing, and camping.
3. Arches National Park
In the north of Moab, Utah, Arches National Park has over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, which include the world-famous Delicate Arch and a variety of scenic geological resources. The park contains a wide variety of hikes, ranging from short 10-minute walks to 4-hour hikes to some of the park's remote locations. Other outdoor activities include backpacking, biking, auto touring, and camping. Ranger programs and guided commercial tours are also available.