Some of the Most Incredible National Parks in the US
Nothing brings a family together quite like a road trip through some of the most precious natural spots across the US. Then again, avid nature lovers swear by solo camping trips to see many sunsets in silence, enjoy a hike through the woods, while newlyweds increasingly opt for in-nature escapades instead of the traditional cocktails at the beach for their honeymoons.
Some, if not all of the national parks found on this list are likely already on your own bucket list, but in case you’re looking for new must-see destinations this expansive country has to offer, look no further than our little collection. Most are ideal for the classics such as hiking, camping, and kayaking, while others are also home to unique adventures such as whale-spotting and scenic aerial excursions. Without further ado, let’s delve into the beauty and wilderness of some of the most mesmerizing national parks the US has to offer.
Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska
Proving that size doesn’t matter and that even the smallest park in the state of Alaska can pack quite an adventure punch, Kenai Fjords National Park is a glacial fairytale brimming with activities and wildlife. Its fearless headlands meet the Gulf of Alaska in all of its untamed glory, while the elongated fjords and serene coves provide refuge to many a wild creature. This is a true personification of paradise for those who love the relentless frost of winter and summers teeming with life all crammed into such a small, yet vibrant package. Enjoy a gentle boat ride among the seals in one of the park’s lagoons, snap some photos of glaciers, and camp on the shores with a view of the waves.
Grand Canyon in Arizona
Cradled in the timeless deserts of Arizona, this stoic giant of a park spans across 446km in length, offering some of the most picturesque, breathtaking vistas imaginable and unimaginable alike. The incalculable shades of copper, scarlet, and orange command the views as far as the eye can see, while the hidden emerald and azure alcoves take a little more effort to discover. For starters, choose one of many adventurous Grand Canyon helicopter tours to scout numerous areas and all of their majestic palettes of fiery red.
That is one of the most memorable trips to give you a unique vantage point of this beast of a national park. Then, look for a tranquil little cocoon on foot such as the Havasu Falls for a dip in fresh water far away from the crowds. Wherever you look, there’s another photo-perfect spot waiting for your keen eye. No matter how you put it, Grand Canyon has it all.
Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
While this one may not top many lists in a popularity contest, this secret jewel of Colorado definitely provides ample opportunities to explore, have fun, and simply be in pure awe of its ever-changing beauty. This strange slice of sandy land hidden amidst wetlands and tundra in North America can provide you with one of the most challenging hikes to the top of one of the tallest dunes in the park. Then again, if you’re up for rekindling some childhood memories with a sandy twist, try sand sledding – yes, it’s a thing! If you spend the night, you’ll have the privilege of seeing the Milky Way unobstructed by city lights, and enjoying a unique fiery sunrise in the morning.
Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska
We’ll never grow weary of talking about Alaska’s many natural treasures, and adding one more national park precisely from this state to the list is a perfect homage to its beauty. This particular wildlife sanctuary is also a safe harbor for 9000 years of human history, a living, breathing proof of how we can and should preserve the harmony of natural wealth and all of its inhabitants. Fun fact: did you know that there are more bears than people in the state of Alaska? Katmai National Park is the finest example of this environmental balance, as this is one of those few places in the world where people flock for a very peculiar and extraordinary activity: bear watching.
Thriving in their natural habitat, surrounded by plenty of food sources, and mostly undisturbed, these bears welcome you to enjoy their pace of life. Of course, all of the viewing is done under ranger supervision and with their guidance.
Zion National Park in Utah
Thrill-seeking spirits among you will love the idea of hiking in Zion Canyon, especially in its most famous nook, known by the name of The Narrows. As the name suggests, this challenging stretch of the canyon provides a truly up-close experience of exploring Mother Nature’s most marvelous spots. You’ll take the upstream rout of the Virgin River and pass through exceptionally narrow gorges that will take your breath away. The walls surrounding you on this arduous journey can get over 300 meters high, so brace yourself for some views to completely overwhelm your senses. Add to that, you’ll be able to take a scenic ride through the park, and enjoy many lighter hikes through equally stunning trails.
With so many national parks to choose from, there can be no such thing as a poor choice when you need to settle for a single park as your road trip destination. Make sure to add some of these to your vacation itinerary, and you will be inspired to spend even more time away from the cities and explore the natural heritage of this beautiful country.