The US is a very, very big place, with each state having its unique quirks, landmarks, and ways of life. Fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of the busy American crowds and want to channel your inner nature-lover? Well, here is a list of the states best National Parks that you need to visit when there!
1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This national park is probably the first that pops to mind when thinking about parks in the US, right? There are many reasons why it is so infamous and such a thriving tourist location. This national park is worth a visit for many reasons but, its scenic beauty is the top. The canyon is breathtakingly impressive, with visitors stating that no picture or video can quite capture this. Stretching for more than 100 miles, the Colorado River cuts through it, offering visitors mesmerizing views of its different angles and features. Home to over 447 birds, 91 species of mammals and 48 species of reptiles, visitors are in for a real treat here with lots of educational and iconic experiences. Raft down the river, take a helicopter over the top and get the ultimate bird’s eye view, or take a course learning about the geology, ecology and history of the landmark.
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2. Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Located in the heart of Alaska, you will find the snowy summits of the Denali National Park & Preserve. Stretching across 160 miles, the views of the Alaskan range are sure to take your breath away. Offering a handful of hiking routes, get your best snow boots on and take in the crisp air of the pristine parkland. Explore the lakes, rivers and alpine scenery from the minute you enter the park till you leave! Home to the only sledge dog team in the US, visitors can meet the fantastic canine rangers and learn about their history.
3. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska
Located on the Seward Peninsula in northwest Alaska, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve protects a small remnant of the 1,000-mile-wide grassland that connected Asia and North America during the last Ice Age. This national park is comprised of; tundra, mountains, lakes and seashores, so, visitors get to experience all of Alaska’s natural beauty. In addition to the vast array of landscapes and wildlife that inhabits here, the preserve is home to the ‘Serpentine Hot Springs’ that serve both both traditional and recreational purposes. So, there is much to see and explore here and is definitely worth adding to your bucket list!
4. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
If Gettysburg was on your bucket list, then you must add the National Military Park to your to-do list. Why? Well, the national park protected and interpreted the landscape of Gettysburg in the infamous battle of Gettysburg in 1863, so it holds some profound significance in American history. The national park comprises a mosaic of well-looked after landscapes, forest areas, pockets of dispersed wetland and intermittent streams. The pristine care this park receives allows guests to immerse themselves into the area's rural lifestyle. In addition to the phenomenal views of the park, visitors can observe the monuments and historical features dotted around the location, learning the story of the battle as they go. Take a bus, segway or horse-back ride around the park and enjoy a brilliant day out.
5. North Cascades National Park, Washington
Known as the ‘American Alps’, this national park is lined with glacial mountain peaks, frosty valleys and the most amazing emerald green lakes that are phenomenal to gawk at. Fun fact, this park has the US’s largest glacial system! The park is home to Elk, Moose, Black Bears and many other amazing animals, so keep an eye out! Hike the trails, go for a scenic drive, go animal spotting; the adventure is brilliant! Definitely one of the more underrated national parks in the US, but is for sure one of the most beautiful.
6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Happen to be in North Dakota and want to tap into your inner nature lover like Teddy Roosevelt once did, then head over to this phenomenal national park. This is the perfect park for nature enthusiasts with stunning vistas and fantastic wildlife. Hot weather in Summer and blizzards in winter, there's no in-between, but both elements capture the landscape in their beautiful ways. Get the kids involved and allow them to earn their ‘junior ranger badge’ when visiting the park and learning as they go round. Stay for golden hour where you will capture the ultimate views of the reserve.
7. Adirondack Park, New York
Known for its fall foliage viewing and forested mountains, with hiking trails crossing the Adirondack High Peaks near Lake Placid, this is one of the US’s first protected areas. The park covers one-fifth of the New York state, so it is relatively large! Visitors tend to travel here all year round to enjoy many recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledging, snowmobiling, ice skating, and so many more! The Adirondack is part of the largest Boreal forest globally, it so is filled with old but beautiful pines and spruces.
8. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone Park is teeming with wildlife. It is home to over 300 birds, 16 fish, five amphibians, six reptiles, and 67 mammals. So, if you’re into wildlife watching, you’re in for a real treat! The park also has over 900 miles of hiking trails, including gravel trails perfect for cycling along. Don’t fancy exploring by foot or bike? Well, the park’s lake surface area is twice the size of Washington D.C meaning that you can take a motorboat to explore as much of the park’s lake and surroundings as you can at some speed!
9. Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Over 700,000 acres of scenic mountains, there are miles and miles of trails and routes for hikers and explorers to walk around. It is known as a recreational area as, this picturesque location allows visitors to go on numerous pursuits; camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, boating and canoeing. There are 300+ high elevation alpine lakes that add to the gorgeous views here and the photography captured here is phenomenal.
10. Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Rocky headlands and sandy beaches, this national park is slightly different from the others listed. With crashing waves, 500 species of plants and animals to discover, this is a gorgeous location to explore. The coastline is protected and we can see why. Its majestic beauty is flawless. Nature lovers can go whale spotting, keep an eye out for the other inhabitants and, browse the beautiful wildflowers that cover the land.