Finding the best national Park is impossible; you can’t rank 62 national parks in order. Maybe you can take away ten or fifteenth, but the rest of them are so beautiful, and they are so unique that they are incomparable.
In this brief article, we will talk about the best National Parks in the USA based on people’s experiences who visit these national parks, and they love these National Parks. Still, it doesn’t mean other parks not mentioned in the list are not beautiful.
- 1 Capitol Reef National Park
- 2 Rocky Mountain National Park
- 3 Big Bend National park
- 4 Redwood National Park
- 5 Sequoia National Park
- 6 Death Valley National Park
- 7 Badland National Park
- 8 Glacier National Park
- 9 Arches National Park
- 10 Acadia National Park
- 11 Yosemite National Park
- 12 Zion National Park
- 13 Grand Canyon National Park
- 14 Yellow Stone National Park
- 15 Fort Jefferson National Park
- 16 Joshua Tree National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Please somebody give this Park some love, included in Utah’s mighty five, Capitol Reef is the least appreciated of its four companions. But don’t let the popularity or the unique name keep you away.
Capitol Reef was named for its whitish Navajo sandstone cliffs that resemble the dome on the capitol building, and reef refers to a rocky barrier of land travel.
The Park has many unique hiking trails that lead to some incredible overlooks and arches. Just driving through the Park, you can observe overviews of an amazing geological formation.
I am specifically talking about a cruise down the scenic drive it is worth a trip to this Park in and of itself.
No trip to Capitol Reef would be complete without a stop to the historic town of Fruita. You will want to visit the old Gifford store for some homemade food and harvested food for yourself when it is in season.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Located about 90 miles northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park features incredible mountain vistas, pristine alpine lakes, and diverse wildlife.
Its two hundred and sixty-five thousand acres are divided into 5 diverse regions.
The continental divide also in this Park to create two distinct climate patterns. With over 355 miles of hiking trails, there is something for the beginner and experienced hikers as well.
The granddaddy of them all is reaching the summit of long’s peak, the highest elevation in the Park.
Even if you choose not to leave your car, the roads at Rocky Mountain Nation Park takes the passengers to the lowland meadows and the aspen groves.
Then you pass rivers and up through the subalpine forest to more than 12000 feet in elevation, where you can cross the delicate alpine tundra.
Just located outside the park gates is the charming town of Estes Park, which makes for fun shopping, great food, and a valuable food supply depot.
Big Bend National park
Big Bend National Park is located on the 118 miles of the scenic Rio Grande River, just across from Mexico in southern Texas. The eight hundred thousand plus acres offer activities that keep you engaged, for several days.
The terrain is harsh and rugged, but cooler in the higher elevations though it is one of the least visited National Parks. Many come to Big Bend for its fantastic hiking trails and unique splendors.
There are two unique places to explore one is Jo Lankford’s impressive bathhouse spring is contained in the foundation located on the north bank of the Rio Grande, one can still enjoy the hot springs while viewing the astonishing scenery.
The other is the Park’s port of entry that permits visitors to cross the river and enter the Mexican town of Boethius for a bite to eat, it will be an unforgettable experience for you.
Redwood National Park
This Park is gorgeous, and it takes your breath away as you observe the towering California redwood trees, stretching along 37 miles of the rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The Park in the surrounding area preserves roughly 50% of the remaining coastal redwoods that are in existence.
In this Park, there are several hikes, specifically Lady Bird Johnson Grove, and the Fern Canyon loop trail.
Also, take some time and drive through nearby Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park and some rafting at the Smith River National Recreation area.
Sequoia National Park
If you enjoy big trees, then another must-stop is the Sequoia National Park, established in 1890. The nation’s second-oldest National Park protects over four hundred thousand acres of forested and mountainous terrain in eastern California.
It is hugging the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range that runs between 5000 and 7000 above sea level.
The Sequoia tree grows thirty feet wide and more than 250 feet tall. The giant forest at Sequoia National Park has five of the ten tallest trees in the world.
Most notably, the General Sherman Tree, which is identified as the largest tree in the world. Sequoia also offers some great hikes and a beautiful campground.
Death Valley National Park
This Park is overlooked being labeled a barren wasteland in the forgotten scorching southeast corner of California.
Death Valley promises tremendous beauty and history. Visitors to Death Valley are tested to a diverse environment of trails, salt flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys canyons, and mountains.
Visit devil’s golf course, Zabriskie point, and mesquite sand, taking sunset at Dante’s view. And, by all means, visit Badwater Basin it sits at 282 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point in all of North America.
The park also celebrates its commercial borax operations that flourished in the late 1800s when it was mined and shipped down the valley pulled by the famous twenty mule team.
Badland National Park
Located in the beautiful hills of South Dakota, Badlands is one beautiful Park that you must visit. You will fall in love with the sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and the plethora of bison and prairie dogs.
The loop road winds past many stunning formations painted in shades of brown orange and yellow. But to really appreciate the Park you need to leave the car and you need to hike some trails. The hikes are in varying distances, two most favorite are Notch trail and the Castle trail.
Visitors to Badlands can also combine the trip to nearby Minuteman missiles and king of all tourist traps the Town of Wall Drug of South Dakota.
Because of its unique experience, Badland National Park is in the list of top ten.
Glacier National Park
No fan of the National Parks can keep the Glacier National Park out of the top ten typically for most it will rank a lot higher. Glacier National Park is the nation’s most spectacular National Park.
The one east-west road that goes to the Park is aptly named going to the sun road, and it spans the entire Park from St. Mary Lake to Lake McDonald.
There are 131 named lakes, and currently, only 25 active remaining glaciers remaining in the Park. Glacier National Park offers over 700 miles of scenic hiking trails.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is famous for being the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches over 2000 to be exact, but the Park also displays hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive bends, and giant balanced rocks.
A Few days are not enough to hike most of the famous trails, Balanced Rock, the Windows, Sand Dune Arts. Landscape Art, which is the longest one in the Park, and Double O Arch and the all-time favorite delicate Arch, the iconic formation.
Just 5 miles away from Arches, there is a beautiful town of Moab, complete with great shopping and restaurants. Also, Canyonlands National Park is literally across the street.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park other than one I am going to mention very soon. It is clearly my favorite National Park, east of the Mississippi. It naturally holds a lovely atmosphere. Therefore I suggest you remember that several National Parks can be seen within the Span of one day.
However, you could spend a week at Acadia and still find exceptional, unique, and diverse activities to enjoy.
Acadia is located about two-thirds up the state of Maine on its picturesque rock, coastline, lighthouses, lobster fishermen the cold Atlantic Ocean, woodlands and the granite peaks make this Park stand out from all the others.
At Acadia, you must check the Sand beach drive the loopy park challenge yourself to hiking the mountain using the famous irons rungs. Then you can eat properly at the Jordan Fogg house and ride through the carriage tails to catch the sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain.
Then enjoy a very good meal in the town of Bar Harbor. Acadia National park is guaranteed not to disappoint.
Yosemite National Park
It’s nearly impossible for any fan of the National Parks to leave Yosemite in California out of the top five. Yosemite roughly is three-quarter of the million acres where towering granite monoliths, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and vast biological diversity.
The centerpiece in the Yosemite Valley is a famous rock formation called Half Dome towering 5000 feet above the ground level.
The hike to the height of the Half Dome will be probably the most memorable, especially when the final 400 feet ascended only by the cables though of course.
The beauty of this is often through the eyes of the beholder I’m sure many concur that Yosemite is the most beautiful National Park.
Zion National Park
As you can see I’m a bit partial to the National Parks in southern Utah. Still, of all the parks above that, I mentioned. Zion is simply my favorite. With its massive sandstone cliffs of cream red and pink soar into a brilliant blue sky with the pristine Virgin River down below.
There are many activities to do in Zion National Park. Still, I always recommend these two adventurous activities hiking, both the narrows and Angel’s landing.
Other great hikes and viewpoints, great white throne, weeping rock, emeralds pools, in the court of patriarchs. Zion National Park is stunning with jaw-dropping activities to keep you busy for the day.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is simply is immense. It’s up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It’s impossible to look at the Canyon and not wander memorized by the beauty of the massive expanse.
Ninety-nine percentage of the park visitors only experience the Canyon from the rim trail.
I believe one day that it will not be enough to enjoy this Park. But if you venture off into the inner Canyon even only for the short distance, you’ll experience the magic that this place has to offer.
Going into the Canyon is the only reason this Park ranks so high for me, of all the national parks no park draws me, no park calls me back like the Grand Canyon.
Yellow Stone National Park
I struggle to place Yellowstone above the Grand Canyon as a personal favorite. But Yellowstone is simply too good to not make the top three on the list. Yellowstone was the first National Park in the United States with 3500 squares miles wilderness in Northwest.
You can visit the dramatic canyons Alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and half of the world’s geysers, and one of the most famous Old Faithful Geyser.
Yellowstone is also home to a tremendous display of wildlife that makes itself known even to the most casual visitors.
You could spend the week at the Yellowstone and not run of the great activities. The Yellowstone National Park is unique, unlike any other place on the planet.
Fort Jefferson National Park
Though it’s one of our smallest National parks. It is definitely one of my favorites and perhaps the most unique of our 62 Nationals parks.
Dry Tortugas National Park includes seven small tropical islands. It is located is almost 70 miles west of Key West Florida in the Gulf of Mexico guards.
It is the primary islands for the visitors, there you are treated with spectacular snorkel and tours of the historical 19th century.
Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas is the clearly most challenging part to reach, as it is accessible only by seaplane or boats.
If you want a special treat, reserve one night of the few campsites and spend the nights having paradise basically to yourself.
On top of that bring a kayak and paddle the three-miles trip to the desert island of loggerhead key for an experience of a lifetime.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is perfectly located for exploring, it’s only a short drive from Los angles, making it one of the most accessible Park. The Park takes its name from its unique looking trees, that are scattered throughout the region.
The giant rocks and landscape make a surreal experience, that is why it is drawing more and more visitors every year. It only became an official national park in 1994, but it is exceptional.