13 Best national parks in the USA in 2021 | Our Top Picks

Best national parks in the USA

/ 09:02 AM June 28, 2021

What are some of the best national parks in the USA? There are many US national parks that the National Park Service has managed for more than a hundred years, for starters. To ascertain the best national parks in the USA, an act of the US Congress should be established via the National Park Service.

They’re the ones who operate these parks. Just the scenic drives on the way to the best parks in the US will already amuse you. Could you wait until you get to the park itself?

Although to qualify as a National Park, there are certain criteria to meet. These US national parks boast millions of acres designated solely for education, enjoyment, and inspiration of our generation and the next coming.


Some of them provide a unique ecosystem, an excellent region of all-natural beauty, or one that holds several recreational activities—President Ulysses S. Grant first named Yellowstone as the first National Park in 1872.

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What state has the best national parks?

What state has the best national parks?

How many US national parks have you visited? We’ll assume you’ve been to almost half or more as there are heaps of these wondrous green ecosystems on the list of best national parks in the USA. If ever you want to add a tick to your best parks in the US list, check out the list of states below with their best national parks.

  • North Carolina/Tennessee – Great Smoky Mountains
  • Washington – Olympic National Park
  • Maine – Acadia National Park
  • California – Joshua Tree National Park
  • Arkansas – Hot Springs National Park
  • Virginia – Shenandoah National Park
  • California/Nevada – Death Valley National Park
  • Hawaii – Haleakalā National Park

Related Article: Best States in the US

What is the prettiest National Park in the US?

What is the prettiest National Park in the US?

With the plethora of landscapes in the United States, there are 63 national parks in the US. They welcome millions of visitors to their breath-taking terrains and exquisite natural wonders. Since the pandemic is on its low down, immersing yourselves in the beauty of nature is now possible. Let’s look at the USA’s prettiest and best national parks based on popularity and travel experts’ reviews.

1. Grand Canyon National Park

By far the largest canyon in existence as it covers a vast area of 1.2 million acres, this park is a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whatever images Google gives you whenever you search for the Grand Canyon won’t give justice to the truly magnificent beauty of this Arizona park.


We suggest you visit it in person and be mesmerized by its breathtaking views. This park also offers miles of hiking trails with various lengths and degrees of difficulty for adventure seekers. You can even raft through the Colorado River.

2. Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Whether you’re a park connoisseur searching for your next venture or you’re a backpacker who loves hiking and rock climbing, Arches National Park is an excellent place for you. With over 2000 national sandstone arches, this park is considered one of the most beautiful desert landscapes in the United States.

Imagine just how many gorgeous shots your cameras or mobile phone can capture while you’re on a trek or while enjoying the Arches Scenic Drive. One of the most enthralling roads in Utah, with numerous layovers to stop and take photos.

3. Glacier National Park

Sitting on the border between the United States and Canada, this amazing US national park offers many beautiful landscapes. This boasts of frozen lakes and natural lakes such as the Hidden Lake and Two Medicine Lake. With water and mountains merging, you’re sure to feast your eyes on pristine views as you take advantage of the park’s vast hiking trails.

Also, a certified UNESCO World Heritage site, this 1,000,000 acres of natural beauty offers visitors plenty of activities. Enjoy a ride along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road or at the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The park also holds stargazing events and guided hikes for beginners.

4. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

A true Californian epitome of natural beauty, this US national park has been a designated World Heritage Site since 1984. Up until now, this park is still a popular holiday destination for Americans and tourists alike. It’s a great place to visit if you love the outdoors and enjoy climbing and hiking.

This park boasts various natural attractions, from its impressive waterfalls and enchanting panoramic view of Yosemite Valley to the amazing granite rock formations. Also, the scenic lookout spot is pretty accessible for the young and adults alike.

5. Sequoia National Park

If you’re a true fan or just aiming for a trek under the shades of big trees, this forest park in the western region of America offers some of the oldest and largest trees in the world. Covering an area of 404,000 acres, you can find giant and ancient trees where there’s also an abundance of Sequoia groves.

This park also holds the General Sherman Tree – the world’s largest tree. Aside from the towering Sequoia trees, visitors can also hike through this Californian park and enjoy the views of wildlife and the meadows. While appreciating the immense trees, you can also immerse yourselves in outdoor activities like horseback riding, fishing, and rock climbing.

6. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Located in the east of Zion National Park, another best national park in the USA, and Grand Staircase Escalante, this park is in Utah. Undeniably so, Utah has several preserved areas and national parks.

Don’t get fooled with the desert-like landscape as Bryce Canyon also takes hold of fir tree forests every winter. What this park boasts of is its rocky arena that holds magnificent Hoodoo rock formations. Hoodoos are unique-shaped rock pillars that are formed from erosions. They have formed over thousands of years, and they’re spectacular. You have to check and see these extensive hoodoo collections yourself.

7. Olympic National Park

Nature was truly abundant in North America as there are wide areas of ancient forests like the Olympic National Park. It carries one of the broadest woodlands in the country. Located in the west part of Washington, this park offers a complete selection of activities ranging from trekking, camping to swimming.

This US national park has four different regions – the western part has temperate forest, the eastern part holds the drier forest, the epic Pacific coastline, and the alpine regions. There’s a wide array of activities to do when you visit this park.

8. Acadia National Park

One of Maine’s southern coast’s main highlights and tourist attractions, this National Park sits on an Island. It offers mountain terrains, woodlands, shorelines, and a glimpse into the wildlife world.

Aside from the tourist activities, Acadia National Park also has an interesting history going back to the 1920s when it first became a National Park and the history of its Wabanaki Native American inhabitants. You can immerse yourself in marine attractions and inland ones like having a chance encounter with their wildlife. You can see deers, beavers, chipmunks, and Gray seals.

What are the top 5 most visited national parks?

What are the top 5 most visited national parks?

Are you planning for a quick escape outdoors? Why not visit one or two of the best national parks in the USA and take a breather from your daily routine. Visiting the US national parks is an excellent idea as you can bask in the country’s exquisite natural allure. We’ve gathered the top 5 most visited US national parks based on a credible source to give you an idea.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Number one on the list of most visited National Parks
  • Has a vast landscape of luscious forests, mountain range, and deep valleys
  • The extensive beautiful, and dramatic landscape makes this park the number one go-to for tourists
  • Interesting historical sites is inside this park – Cades Cove, Cataloochee Valley, and Roaring Fork Stream
  • Great for hikers with the hefty amount of hiking trails

Activities to enjoy: Hiking, Trekking, Camping Immersing yourself in nature’s true beauty

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

  • With 2.2 million acres of landscape that will let you in diverse geography and distinct natural attractions
  • Its major highlight is the epic super volcano and geyser, “Old Faithful,” which erupts every 91 minutes.
  • Aside from volcanic landscapes, it also has mountains, luscious pine forests, and meadows.
  • There are also lakes, hot springs, and valleys.

Activities to do: Volcano sight-seeing, hiking, photography, and camping Tip: Avoid crowds on these months: April, May, September, and October

Zion National Park

  • Great for adventure seekers of thrill and fun-filled trip
  • It has Hike Angels Landing – a 1500 foot natural staircase
  • The Narrows is also here, the thinnest section of Zion Canyon that you can reach through a 10-mile hike and passing Virgin River
  • Not up for a strenuous activity? This park has a 60-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
  • The main attraction is the magnificent Zion Canyon – 15 miles long exquisite beauty of the Navajo Sandstone
  • There’s a tramline for transportation if ever you got tired from walking

Activities to do: Exploring the Kolob Canyons, Horse Ranch Mountain, Twin Brother peaks, and the Three Patriarchs, hiking, rock climbing, car scenic driving, and photography

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

  • It’s pretty accessible to day-trip travelers as it is just located 70miles northwest of Denver.
  • A sublime National park known for its mountain ranges and designated as UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1915
  • It has a wide variety of animal and plant life
  • This National Park has deep valleys, mountains, and a few glaciers (Andrew Glacier)
  • Its diverse wildlife boast of Bobcats, Bison, Wolverines, Elk, and Grizzly bears
  • Its 300 miles of scenic trails will show you pristine landscapes

Activities to do: Try the Emerald Lake Trail – only less than a 5-miles trek. Enjoy hiking, camping, and taking shots of the scenic views.

Grand Teton National Park

  • A major landmark in the northern parts of Wyoming
  • This National Park lies south of Yellowstone National Park and has an area of 310,000 acres
  • It has a diverse ecosystem ranging from mountain glaciers and wildlife to forest and plains
  • One of its main feature is the Jackson Hole valley- contains Jackson Lake, Snake River, and National Elk Ridge
  • It offers 200 miles of trails that go through lakes, prairies,
  • And the park’s remarkable, snow-capped peaks of Grand Teton mountain peaks

Activities to enjoy Trekking, Camping, Hiking, and Rafting. Try the Cascade Canyon Trail as it shows the park’s best gorgeous topography.

Key Takeaway

Once in a while, we need to take a breather from the hustles and bustles of everyday life. The best way to escape is to engross ourselves in the beauty of nature. A visit to one of the best national parks in the USA will not only burn your calories.

It’s also soul cleansing as you can think and meditate as you go along every trail. These US National Parks are just within your reach, waiting to be explored and discovered.

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TAGS: Best of, interesting topics, National Park Service, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
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