Top 5 Must-Visit National Parks in the United States
With over 60 US national parks to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down where to start. To help you out, here’s a roundup of our top 5 must-visit national parks in the US.
1. Redwood National Park, California
Redwood National Park, located in Northern California, is famous for its truly magnificent trees – the largest and tallest in the world. Founded back in 1968, the park is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The Hardy Redwoods
These redwood trees can live for thousands of years, with the tallest one named Hyperion, reaching almost 380 feet in height and is still potentially growing. A visit to this awe-inspiring park is every nature lover’s dream.
2. Zion National Park, Utah
Nestled in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is home to a diverse range of ecosystems across its many ranges. This park, easily recognized by the stunning red rock canyons, has been a protected area as far back as 1909.
Hiking and Backpacking Paradise
Zion National Park is an excellent place for hikers and backpackers to tackle a variety of trails. Millions of people visit this park each year, and it continues to become an increasingly popular tourist stop in the US Southwest.
3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The world-renowned Grand Canyon attracts visitors from all over the globe. Mostly carved out of the Arizona desert by the Colorado River over possibly five to six million years, the massive canyon stretches for up to 277 miles, and is approximately 18 miles wide in some parts.
Experiencing the Scale
Pictures can never do justice to the scale of the Grand Canyon. Tourists have been known to have panic attacks while standing on the edge, where the depths below can be as far as a mile beneath.
4. Yosemite National Park, California
California’s second entry on this list, Yosemite National Park has been part of American legend since the California Gold Rush of the 1840s. The park attracted over five million visitors annually, and has even inspired the well-known Looney Tunes character, Yosemite Sam.
Despite the large number of visitors, Yosemite National Park remains protected and has been designated as a preserved place since 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant.
5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
Topping our list at number one is Yellowstone National Park, which is so vast that it resides in three states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Remarkably, it was designated as the first official national park by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 and is often regarded as the world’s first national park.
Protecting Endangered Species
Yellowstone is home to many rare and endangered species of plants and animals, and all remain protected by the National Park Service. The park’s most famous attractions are the geothermal pools and waterfalls, including the Grand Prismatic Spring and the iconic geyser, Old Faithful.
Discover More National Parks
With so many incredible national parks throughout the United States, it’s impossible to include them all on this list. However, this top 5 serves as a great starting point for you to begin your exploration of the great outdoors.
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