The national parks in North America are some of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful destinations in the world. They’re home to every conceivable landscape, from epic mountain ranges and ancient rock formations, to dense forests and idyllic coastlines.
A staggering 300 million visitors make the journey to experience America’s national parks every year. From the iconic natural wonders of Grand Canyon National Park to the oldest, tallest trees in the world in Redwood National Park, there is something for everyone. There are also incredible wildlife encounters to be experienced in each of the parks, with moose, bears, birds and more.
Many of the parks are driving distance from major cities and are the perfect addition to any luxury USA holiday itinerary. With so much choice, you might need a little help finding the perfect national park for you.
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite is one of the most famous national parks in North America. It’s known for its towering ancient sequoia trees, the cascading Bridalveil Fall and the awesome granite rock formation of Half Dome. A hike to the top of iconic El Capitan affords some incredible views and, when you’re hungry from the walk, there are some delightful shops and restaurants to explore in Yosemite Village.
Arcadia National Park, Maine near Boston
Found primarily on Maine’s windswept and rugged Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park covers 47,000-acres of nature and wildlife. Moose and bear roam the forests and seabirds soar the granite cliffs and mountain peaks, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast. With whales patrolling the glistening waters surrounding the island, this is one of the best national parks in the USA for nature lovers.
Olympic National Park, Washington
This immense North American national park is home to an extraordinary number of different landscapes and ecosystems to explore. Here, you’ll discover Hoh Rainforest, full of towering ancient trees and enchanting nature trails, as well as Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains, a series of epic, snow-capped mountain peaks. There’re also the stunning waters of Lake Crescent, Ruby Beach, Sol Duc River and many more stunning waterfronts.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The main draw to this national park speaks for itself. The clue is in the name. The stunning striped, red rock formations are home to the immense Grand Canyon, often hailed as the best national park in the USA. Alongside this natural wonder of the world, you’ll find amazing views of the canyon and nearby Colorado River from the Yavapai Observation Station and the stunning Desert View Watchtower.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
The legendary Joshua Tree National Park is named for the twisted Joshua Trees that populate the desert landscape. The sunrises and sunsets over the magical rock formations and prickly cacti are second to none. There are so many incredible viewing points throughout the park, with Key View and its lookouts over the Coachella Valley being the most popular.
Zion National Park, Utah near Las Vegas
The towering red-sandstone cliffs that line the verdant valley floor are iconic in the state of Utah. There’re so many ways to explore this stunning landscape of canyons, rivers, waterfalls, and hidden hanging gardens. The breathtaking Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through much of the park and leads to Emerald Pools, an enchanting nook of cascading falls and lush greenery.
Red Wood National Park, California
Redwood National Park is famous for the towering Redwoods that give it its name. These are the world’s tallest trees, and the grandest specimens stand five stories taller than the Statue of Liberty! A World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, the park protects almost half of the world’s ancient growth of redwoods, as well as vibrant wildlife like elk, whales, and seals.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
ellowstone is arguably the most famous of the national parks in USA, or North America. The park has so much to explore and is home to epic canyons, rushing rivers, and a range of hot springs including Old Faithful, the best-known geyser in the USA. There are also stunning wildlife encounters with bears, bison, wolves, elk, and more calling Yellowstone home.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to staggering misty mountain ranges. But there is much more to it than that. This prettiest national park has more different species of wildflower than any other in North America, with over 1,500 kinds of flower that bloom year-round. There’s also an abundance of waterfalls, rivers, and streams along a section of the world-famous Appalachian Trail.