My Favorite National Parks…So Far

My Favorite National Parks…So Far

Seeing some of America's National Parks has been a highlight of traveling around the country. There are a total of 60 parks, which protect some of the most naturally beautiful places in the country. While I enjoyed all 38 that I have been to, I managed to narrow my favorites down to six. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Not actually a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters containing the largest number of geological pillars, known as hoodoos, in the world. While you can enjoy a jaw dropping view from a number of points along the rim, it is worthwhile to hike into Bryce Amphitheater to see the colorful rock formations up close.

Location of Bryce Canyon National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park was formed by the advance and then retreat of glaciers during the last ice age, resulting in stunning mountains, valleys and lakes. The Many Glacier area (pictured above) has multiple hikes to see the wildlife and some of the remaining glaciers. Also worthwhile is a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road which climbs over the continental divide to connect the west and east sides of the park.

Location of Glacier National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

At over 18 miles wide and 277 miles long the canyon is an incredible site that, while slightly anticlimactic, should still be seen at least once. Like the ocean, the Grand Canyon is a friendly reminder of how small we are.

Location of Grand Canyon

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 

Known for it's many geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park sits on top of one the largest supervolcanoes in the world. While its geysers and hot springs may be what comes to mind, the pinnacle of America's first national park is actually the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (pictured above).

Location of Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park, California

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Yosemite is characterized by its many granite rocks including the famous Half Dome (pictured above) and El Capitan. The park is also home to impressive waterfalls, clear streams, and giant sequoia groves.

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Zion National Park, Utah

Zion is defined by beautiful sandstone cliffs and some of the best trails in the country. Hikes to the top of Angels Landing and through The Narrows are musts. Weeping Rock, Court of the Patriarchs, and the Emerald Pools are among other notable points of interest.

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Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are all in close proximity to each other making it easy to visit all three on the same trip. Check out My guide to Southern Utah for more info.

Parks I Have Not Been To

Here are the parks I want to see the most that I have not yet been to:

  • Canyonlands National Park, Utah
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  • Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

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