Representing a wide variety of landscapes, the USA and its territories have 62 protected areas called national parks. These elegant treasures attract millions of visitors each year who want to explore the natural beauty, from the east coast to the west and everywhere in between, here are some of the most beautiful national parks in the USA. So what are you waiting for? select your park then get a few friends for a great escape from the worries of everyday life.
1-White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
If you’re looking for a more rustic experience in the Northeast, the White Mountains are your best choice. Hiking is an amazing experience in this section of the Eastern North American mountainous range. The sights here are particularly stunning in the autumn when the plants turns shades of orange, red, and yellow. The forest does have 24 drive-in campgrounds and the 8 walk-in state park campgrounds in the northern part of the state. Forest is open throughout year. Parking at a trailhead may require a permit, check signage at your chosen lot.
2. Acadia National Park, Maine
Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is the ideal destination for nature lovers of all skill levels. It’s covered in 17 million acres of forest, 6,000 lakes / ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers / streams. Basically it is a camper’s paradise. Looking for a wonderful experience? Hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain (the highest point along the East Coast) during dawn and be the first person in the U.S. to see the sun rise that morning. The park has three campgrounds Black woods, Seawall and Schoodic Woods.
3. Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
Vermont’s Long Trail is one of the Green Mountain National Forest’s biggest plus point, so try finding a camping spot close by to hike a portion of it during your stay. It follows the ridge of the Green Mountains through Vermont from the Massachusetts border to Canada. The forest offers five developed campgrounds. Having 270-plus miler long-distance trail, it is the oldest park in the U.S. Approach to the park varies by season, and sometimes require a reservation. Backcountry camping is allowed anywhere in the park unless specifically posted. The park is Open throughout the year.
4. Minnewaska State Park Preserve, New York
The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is the best choice for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Located just 94 miles north of New York City, the park is situated on the dramatic Shawangunk Ridge. At the height of 2,000 feet from sea level, it is surrounded by rugged, rocky terrain. Its home to natural rock formations, many waterfalls, three crystal clear lakes, forests, sheer mountains, and ledges opening onto breathtakingly beautiful views. Featuring 35 miles of carriage roads and 50 miles of footpaths, this park is suitable to bike, walk, hike, or simply enjoy. If you are experienced, you can try horseback riding or technical rock climbing. Try Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway for an amazing camping experience.
5. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
This stunning getaway is just 75 miles away from Washington D.C. The park contains more than 500 miles of trails, some leading to elegant viewpoints or waterfalls, and others through miles of quiet, peaceful wilderness. The toughest route in the park is the eight-mile hike to Old Rag Mountain and also one of the most popular which rewards hikers with iconic views from its peak. The park’s four campgrounds are open in spring, summer, and autumn. Some first-come-first-serve spots may be available but reservations at any site are recommended to avoid any unconvinous. Backcountry camping requires a free permit. Some portions of road are closed during bad weather and at night during deer-hunting season (mid-November through early January.
6. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
In South Mountain, the Pine Grove Furnace State Park is located at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains,south-central Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Trail, perhaps the most popular foot trail in the world, runs through the forest, which is home to the trail’s halfway point. While only 2,000 people attempt to hike the entire 2,186-mile trail each year (about a quarter actually finish), between 2 and 3 million people hike and walk a portion of it. Have some time after the hike? Check out the Appalachian Trail Museum, located near the midpoint of the AT. The forest has 70 tent and trailer sites (mostly rustic) available from late March to mid-December. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Backpacking and overnight hikes are not permitted. Electric and water facility is available at specific sites but some charges may apply.
7. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
If you love beaches and camping, this is the spot for you. Assateague is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia that’s covered in sandy beaches, salt marshes, forests, and coastal bays. There’s even a community of wild horses. Enjoy relaxing on the 37 miles of beach or hiking by day, and then erect your tent near the crashing waves for a night under the stars. Camping is allowed only on the Maryland side of the island, but due to impact from winter storms, some of the campsite locations have banned
8. Denali National Park, Alaska
Having Six million acres of open land, it keeps six established campgrounds with a combined 291 sites, unbelievable wildlife and trails to please even the most experienced hikers. The central area of the park is Denali itself, the tallest peak of North America known as Mount McKinley. Most trails start near the visitor center and are considered easy to moderate in difficulty. A few trails start deeper in the park, beyond the first three miles of the access road. This park is not for the inexperienced. The park has sites and also allows backcountry camping with a free permit. Riley Creek is the only campground reachable by car .The other two sites are reachable only by bus.
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota
The Badlands have one of the most complete fossil accumulations in North America, providing a slight look into the area’s ancient ecosystems. The park is also perfect for Astrology and even hosts an astronomy festival in early August. It’s a tough climate to experience hiking, but the natural landscape is absolutely beautiful. Tall and short grass pasture lie between a varieties of rock formations. There are two campgrounds in the park, Cedar Pass and Sage Creek. Permits are not required for backcountry camping, but you do check in before entering. Park and campgrounds are open year-round.
10. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park is mostly water, the bay itself serves as the passageway to the inner section of the park. After spending the night under the stars, try cruising the bay on a tour. There are no marked trails in the park, so backpacking is the only choice. Rafting one of the park’s two rivers is a great another option that allows visitors to easily tow supplies, but make sure you’re with someone who knows what they’re doing. Park rangers also lead a variety of tours and talks daily during the summer. The park has only one campground in Bartlett Cove, which has outhouses, food storage and safe shelter. Permits are free but required for campgrounds and backcountry May 1 to September 30. It is Open throughout year but accessibility and services are very limited in winter. The visitor center is open late May to early September.
11. Yosemite National Park, California
Nearly 95 percent of this wonderful park is designated wilderness, meaning no cars, no structures, no roads, and no electricity. After a night spent under the stars, hike up to Glacier Point, which overlooks the park’s famous Yosemite Valley, Half Dome (a rock structure revered among climbers), and the High Sierra peaks. The Four-Mile Trail route takes about three to four hours each way. Looking for even more of a challenge? The Panorama Trail is about twice as long. There are 13 popular campgrounds scattered throughout the park, and reservations are strongly recommended.
12.Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California
Like the sky kissing trees that grow only in this part of the world, Sequoia’s scale is old and splendid. Exploring this park as well as Kings is likely to expand your perspective on life. Waking up surrounded by beautiful natural landscape will make you feel like you’re in a world of make believe. You’ll enjoy day hiking through the forest and setting up camp in charming solitude. There are 14 main campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Most campgrounds are first come, first served, but you can make reservations up to six months in advance. If you’re looking for a more peaceful area, most people try car camping, so pack your gear on your back and take one of the narrow paths to a private piece of grove. Or pitch your tent along the Kings River. Its accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, but July and August are the peak months to visit.
13.Joshua Tree National Park, California
The 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park is located at the intersection of two very different ecosystems: To the east is the low-lying Colorado Desert; to the west lies the slightly higher, cooler, wetter Mojave Desert (home to the park’s namesake, the Joshua tree). The park also has 10 mountain peaks higher than 5,000 feet in elevation, making it a perfect rock-climbing destination. It will be amazing while hiking if you live at sea level. The park keeps nine established campgrounds
14. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California
So naturally, this coastal California hotspot has been inspiring writers and artists for decades. Located along scenic Highway, on approximately 140 miles south of San Francisco, this popular park sits along the western slope of the Santa Lucia Mountains. You’re just a short drive or hike away from Pfeiffer Beach once you get your campsite settled.Pfeiffer. Beach is not a California State Park, so there’s a separate entrance fee. Pitch your tent along the Big Sur River, which winds its way through the state park, for the best views. There are more than 175 RV and tent sites situated, including two group tent sites and a hike/bike site, both of which are free of RVs. Since this spot is so famous, sites fill up rapidly. So, reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to seven months in advance.
15. Olympic National Park, Washington
You will experience three different ecosystems at one site. Head to the Quinault Rain Forest (one of only three in the Western Hemisphere) to see the largest Sitka spruce tree in the world. There’s a 30-mile road that passes through the rain forest, but we think hiking is a better option. End your trip at Ruby Beach, where you can see mountains, glaciers, and rain forests right from the shore, or at La Push, the northernmost beach in Washington, where you can observe whales during migration season. The park has 16 National Park Service-operated campgrounds with a total of 910 sites. Backcountry camping is allowed, but paid permits are required.
16. Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
The main feature of the park is the 10,023-foot dormant volcano, the summit of which has amazing views of the landscape and is an ideal spot for stargazing. And don’t miss the Kīpahulu District with its postcard-perfect scenery. Just check the weather first. Kīpahulu has a drive-up campground however the Summit Area offers both drive-up and wilderness camping. The Wilderness Area allows tent camping and cabin rentals .When It’s Open: Year-round, though some parts of the park close during severe weather.
17. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Take a morning dip in Crater Lake to realize the fact that you’re swimming in the U.S.’s deepest lake at 1,943 feet. It’s also one of the cleanest and clearest bodies of water in America. Choose between Mazama and Lost Creek. Mazama is seven miles south of Rim Village and has a few electric hookups for RVs. Lost Creek is tent camping only but has many of the same faccilities. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but campers must get a permit from the Park Headquarters, visitor center, or ranger station.
18. Gunnison National Forest, Colorado
Gunnison National Forest keeps 3,000 miles of trails, 1.6 million acres of public land, many fishing spots, and some of the best views of the Rocky Mountains. Don’t leave without experiencing Black Canyon. It’s an incredibly steep, beautiful gorge that has a perfect view of the Painted Wall, Colorado’s highest cliff. There 30 campsites with a variety of landscapes, open meadows, evergreen forests, mountains, and lakes. If you want to get off the grid, Gunnison also allows dispersed camping.
19. Zion National Park, Utah
With heavy sandstone mountains, brilliant blue skies, and a plenty of plants and animals, this park is a national treasure. After spending a night in the forests, hike the Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of the park. The five- and 14-mile trails make perfect trips. The longer trail leads you to Kolob Arch, one of the largest natural arches in the world. In summer explore The Subway, a unique tunnel structure carved by a creek. The park has three campgrounds, which are full every night during summer. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips and can be reserved up to three months in advance.
20. Glacier National Park, Montana
Featuring more than 700 miles of trails through forests, meadows, and mountains, this park is a paradise for hikers. You may have heard of Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile stretch that winds through the mountains, but that’s only fun if you’re in a car. To experience the majestic beauty on foot, head to Logan Pass and Many Glacier. There are many trails, some of which offer panoramic views of alpine lakes. There are 13 developed campgrounds with 1,009 established sites. Most operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but a permit is required and you may camp only in designated campgrounds.
21.Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Located just north of Jackson Hole, Grand Teton is home to a number of impressive Rocky Mountain peaks, majestic lakes, and amazing wildlife. National Elk Refuge is nestled in the valley where, depending on the time of year, you can get up close and personal to hundreds of elk and other rare animals. There are enough hiking trails ranging from easy to very tough, so get excited to choose your own adventure. Stay at one of the six campgrounds in the park.
22. Arches National Park, Utah
With more than 2,000 natural stone arches and a variety of a red-rock wonderlands, this is the most popular spot. The Delicate Arch Trail, leads you to the spectacular arch, or take a ranger-guided hike through the Fiery Furnace, an area of sandstone canyons with no marked trailheads. The park has one developed campground: The Devils Garden, which has 50 campsites. But there are also campgrounds located outside the park in the Moab area. The park is small, there’s little land for backpacking. To do so, you need a free permit. The park is open Year-round. Visitor center is open daily except Christmas.
23. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
. The Waterpocket Fold is a nearly 100-mile-long warp in the Earth’s crust that formed between 50 and 70 million years ago, and Capitol Reef is located in the most scenic portion of the fold. The Fruita campground holds 71 sites and is the only developed campground at Capitol Reef. If you’re into roughing it, Cathedral Valley and Cedar Mesa are in more remote parts of the park and have pit toilets but no water. For backcountry lovers, a permit is required for camping.
24. Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
We like to think of this spot as one of America’s best-kept secrets. The Smoky Mountains (part of the Rocky Mountains) are so steep and majestic, they look like a vista straight out of Europe especially in the summertime when the wildflowers increase beauty. There are many campgrounds but the Sawtooth National Recreation area is most recommended, specifically at Redfish Lake. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is open year-round with peak time during the summer months.