There are many national parks in the U.S. that are worth going to. It’s only a matter of finding the time to go. However, it can be hard to find enough time to go to every single one, particularly if you live on the opposite side of the country. For instance, if you’re living in New England, when are you going to make it over to see the parks in the western U.S.? Probably never, and there are enough national parks in the east so you’ll never have to go. However, that would be a mistake because there are some great parks spread out all over the country that you have got to experience at least once in your life!
Yellowstone National Park
National parks should wow you as you journey through the amazing scenery that you can find within. The good news is, Yellowstone National Park will not disappoint you! The most famous attraction here is the Steamboat Geyser, which sprays water up to 300 feet in the air. This incredible feat is truly one of its kind, since no geyser anywhere else in the world can even get close to breaking this record! Before you even reach the geyser, you’ll see the bright orange streaks that run off from the water. Once you get closer, peer into the deep blue center, but be careful to move out of the way when it erupts!
Offering breathtaking vistas, Yosemite is one of the most beautiful national parks on this list. One of the most famous spots to visit when you go is the view of the high, flat topped mountains from the road beside the peaceful river! If you look closely, you can even see a tiny (from this distance, anyway) waterfall cascading down the side of one of the mountains. However, don’t stop there! If you look beyond the first mountains you’ll see that they stretch back far into the distance until they are lost to sight!
The Grand Canyon
Everyone knows this one, right? It’s definitely one of the more famous national parks in America. Although, pictures don’t really do this place justice. When you look out over the Grand Canyon, you’ll see a vast collection of terrain. Small plateaus are dotted around the inside of the canyon, while steep slopes lead down into the darkest reaches where, try as you might, you can’t see the bottom. There are even some trees growing in the canyon and, if you look just right, you can see some growing on one of the nearby slopes.
Zion National Park
When you go to Zion National Park, be sure not to fall! National parks often have one distinct feature that is on all the mainstream photos, and a view down the long and narrow crack that makes up the majority of the park is Zion’s. When you first arrive, you’ll be guided onto a narrow switchback trail that takes you down, down, down until you reach the small trail at the bottom. Be prepared to walk for long distances if you choose to go here, and remember, you’ll have to come right back up that trail at the end of the day.
Badlands National Park
Welcome to a land filled with tiny mountains! If you’re looking for national parks where you can wander around and get lost in, the Badlands should be at the top of your list! Greyish-brown rock formations stretch away into the distance with many shadowy paths lying in-between. You can explore these many paths for hours, but just make sure that you don’t get lost! This park isn’t all dead rock, though. A few bits of greenery can be spotted on the outer-edges of the Badlands. It’s only when you actually enter the park that it all disappears.
Shenandoah National Park
While visiting the Shenandoah National Park at any time of the year is guaranteed to impress you, if you head there during the Fall you’ll be stunned with it’s beauty. This seasonal change is what separates this park from other national parks. Shenandoah changes so much in the Fall that you’ll honestly have a much better time coming then than if you came during another season. The park is basically a series of giant hills that are absolutely covered in trees. If you go in the Fall, the entire landscape will shift from dark green to bright reds, yellows, and oranges.
Haleakala National Park
Picture this: you’re in Hawaii and you’ve decided to take a walk through one of the most beautiful national parks. There isn’t much around you, just tiny bits of broken stone. Eventually, a slope appears ahead of you. When you reach the top, the entire landscape changes. The cracked stones and dusty ground are replaced with a vision of absolute beauty. A gentle, sandy slope descends to an ever widening area that lies before a single mountain. Beyond the mountain you see a swelling sea of clouds, with the setting sun appearing as a bright jewel in the distance. This is Haleakala National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
As you ascend to the top of the nearest pine covered mountain, you are able to see miles and miles of low, rounded mountains which are, like you own, covered completely in pine trees. These mountains appear to rise up out of the thick blanket of mist which gives this range of mountains its name. With other national parks, there is so much to see that you don’t really have time to sit and enjoy the view. Not so with the Great Smoky Mountains! You can relax for as long as you want as you watch the mist roll gently over and around the mountains around you.
Glacier National Park
When you travel to the Glacier National Park, the first thing you will probably see is the gigantic glacier that gives the park its name. When you go for a closer look, you can stand among the few pine trees that are hardy enough to survive here as you stare up at the huge block of ice. If you look to your left, there is a relatively easy way, but roundabout, way to reach the peak: a curving ramp that climbs through the low hanging clouds are around to the back of the glacier. As you might expect, the climb is a arduous one and not recommended by those who run the park.
Olympic National Park
Enter the Olympic National Park, where you will proceed to walk through a forest covered almost entirely in hanging moss. The almost magical atmosphere will drown out all sound as you walk slowly through this new world. You won’t even want to touch anything for fear that you’ll break the spell this place is exerting on you. There is a dirt path provided for you to walk upon when you visit the park which will take you in a wonderful route under fallen trunks and between the trees which stretch and cover the sky with leaves.