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By Gate 1 Travel | July 1, 2015
We hear time and again from our friends and family that they’ve been so eager to visit other countries—from Europe to Asia, from Australia to Africa—that they’ve all but forgotten to see their own. Our national parks are captivated with history, dramatic scenery and breathtaking views. Can’t figure out which to visit first? We’ve narrowed down a list of the 10 best national parks in the USA.
Grand Canyon National Park
Carved over millions of years by the Colorado River and considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, this is considered one of the best national parks in the USA and is truly a momentous and unforgettable experience. Almost 280 miles long, the Grand Canyon varies in width from one to eighteen miles, with the Colorado River winding below.
Yosemite National Park
Travel into the majestic Sierra Nevada to Yosemite National Park, best known for its magnificent natural attractions. Upon entering, you’ll be welcomed to the Yosemite Valley by Bridalveil Falls, one of the park’s most prominent waterfalls that thunders in the springtime, but has a calm and swaying flow the rest of the year. View El Capitan, a favorite for experienced rock climbers, the largest monolith of granite in the world, and Half Dome, the recognizable symbol of Yosemite that rises nearly 5000 feet above the Valley floor.
Yellowstone National Park
This breathtaking natural wonderland was established in 1872 as the first national park in the United States. Yellowstone is home to countless hot springs and two-thirds of all of the geysers in the world, highlighted by its awe-inspiring rock formations and the famed geyser, “Old Faithful”. While here, be on the lookout for bison, bears, wolves, elk and eagles in this sweeping glacial valley.
Zion National Park
Guided by our list of national parks, discover the wonderland of Zion National Park, where red desert rocks splashed with vivid colors mingle with rolling rivers and lush green canyons. Its colorful sandstone canyons and dramatic peaks and cliffs are contrasted by desert oases with abundant pools and cascading waterfalls. Look to the sky, as Zion is home to golden eagles, falcons and the endangered California condor. Highlights also include the famous trio of peaks known as the Three Patriarchs.
Grand Teton National Park
Located in northwest Wyoming, Grand Teton is known for its jagged peaks, glaciers, lakes and dense forests rich with wildlife. Major peaks include the 40 mile long Teton Range, as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. And with only being 10 miles from Yellowstone, you can easily travel from one of the best national parks in the USA, to another.
Glacier National Park
This national park is located in the state of Montana, on the Canada-United States border. When here, travel on the “Going-to-the-Sun” Road (road and weather permitting) into dramatic Glacier National Park along the sparkling lake’s shore, and continue to the historic Many Glacier Hotel on crystal-clear Swiftcurrent Lake.
Travel to Utah and find Bryce Canyon, a wondrous land of pines, pinnacles and oddly sculpted formations known as hoodoos, resembling the towers of fairy-tale castles, created by wind and water erosion over eons of time. Magnificent spires tinted with many colors of pink orange and red put on a captivating show as the light changes during the day. Perhaps you’ll see some of the park’s abundant wildlife, including elk, coyotes and much more.
Denali National Park
One of our 10 best national parks in the USA is in Alaska, where you will find vast regions of unspoiled beauty. It is home to awe-inspiring Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, and while glaciers cover one-sixth of the Park, the subarctic wilderness also supports over 650 species of colorful flowering plants. It’s possible that you’ll see the Alaskan moose, the largest in the world, Dall sheep on the mountainsides, caribous anywhere above the tree line, eagles soaring above and grizzly brown bears too!
Everglades National Park
Declared a World Heritage Site, the Everglades are a network of wetlands and forests fed by a flowing river. This ecosystem is home to over 30 threatened species, such as the Florida panther, the American crocodile and the West Indian manatee, plus hundreds of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. Take and Airboat Tour that skims over the water through these unique wetlands or plan a hiking or biking tour along the parks many trails.
Kenai Fjords National Park
This magnificent Park features dramatic fjords, calving glaciers, and the massive 300 square mile Harding Ice Field. The waters of Kenai Fjords are teaming with marine wildlife like steller sea lions, harbor seals, Dall porpoises, sea otters, and humpback, killer and Minke whales. While here, take a cruise among soaring, snow-capped peaks and witness the impressive glaciers.
This is our list of the 10 best national parks in the USA, so be sure to get out and visit them!
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