The National Park Service has been in charge of millions of acres for more than a century, entirely for the “enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” Today, the United States’ 63 national parks attract millions of tourists each year to see unique natural treasures and breathtaking landscapes. U.S. News analysed the opinions of both travel professionals and recent park visitors when determining the greatest national parks in the United States. Do you have a favourite park that you frequent? Please leave a comment below.
Great Basin, Nevada
Because of its remote position in eastern Nevada, Great Basin National Park’s main feature is only visible at night: the sky. Spending a night sleeping under the stars in one of the 27 National Parks recognised as an International Dark Sky Park can be a life-changing experience. During the day, hike the Glacier Trail, appreciating the Bristlecone pines (considered to be the world’s oldest trees) before arriving at Nevada’s solitary glacier, just below Wheeler Peak. After your hike, visit Lehman Caves, the park’s longest cave at two kilometres.
Even if Yellowstone didn’t have the extraordinary distinction of being the world’s first national park, the 2.2 million-acre park could easily stand on its own thanks to its diversified terrain and distinctive natural attractions. In addition, this massive national park spans three states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The beauty of Yellowstone’s many lakes, mountains, buffalo-filled valleys, and, of course, its unrivalled geysers and hot springs, can lull visitors. Plan your visit to the park in April, May, September, or October to escape the crowds.
Zion National Park
This Utah national park is a thrill-dream. seeker’s Trip Angels Landing, a nearly 1,500-foot natural staircase, or trek The Narrows, a 10-mile hike through Zion Canyon’s thinnest portion that compels hikers to travel upstream across the Virgin River. Get in your car and drive the approximately 60-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which takes you through several of the park’s most iconic monuments for a less rigorous exploration of the area.
Dry Tortugas, Florida
Dry Tortugas, located about 70 miles west of Key West on the Gulf of Mexico’s coast, is only accessible by boat or aircraft, making it another fantastic park for those wishing to avoid crowds.
Because of its location along a bustling maritime route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the Tortugas, which consist of seven keys, have been strategically vital to the United States for many years. Fort Jefferson, one of the park’s main attractions, began building in 1846 to secure this vital position. Visitors can explore the fort today to learn about its historical and architectural significance, despite the fact that it was never completed.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park, in eastern Utah, was established in 1929 and comprises about 77,000 acres. Every vista is dominated by oddly sculpted sandstone monuments, and the park’s formations make it a great site for trekkers, rock climbers, hikers, and photographers. There are around 2,000 arches throughout the park, with Landscape Arch, Delicate Arch, and Double Arch being the most popular. In addition, visitors should visit the visitor centre, which contains a plethora of information and displays on the park’s history, geology, and other topics.