15 Top-Rated National Park In USA: Best Time To Visit 2022
The Earth is blessed with beautiful natural landscapes. Although time passes, these spectacles of nature fill us with admiration and make us get out of the monotony and enjoy to the fullest when travelling to the United States. During the year, millions of people visit America’s best National Parks.
To protect the environment and conserve these beautiful places, many have been declared National Parks. They try to maintain biodiversity and take care of their surroundings.
I invite you to know the 15 best National Parks in the United States through this careful selection that I have made. I have considered tourist aspects, biodiversity, conservation of the natural habitat and many other interesting characteristics.
Smaller Crowds, Better Prices
This sweet spot between the high and low seasons, the so-called “mid-season”, is a favourite time for many intelligent travellers to travel and discover nature.
The best of both worlds: the crowds are easier to manage as children return to school after the summer break and before the ski season. The weather is less intense, especially in desert regions where temperatures have generally dropped and in mountain areas, where winter has not fully entered.
You might even get lucky on unusually warm and wonderfully sunny days, depending on where you’re headed. On top of that, there’s a financial factor: many destinations have low accommodation rates to attract more travellers as the crowds decrease.
1. Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone National Park occupies second place among the largest national parks in the United States, leaving the first place to Alaska. Its name, which means yellow stone in Spanish, comes from the particular colour that the rocks of the Yellowstone canyon have.
Contrary to what we can think, this colour is caused by iron’s alteration due to water and heat. It is not due to the sulfur content present in the rock.
With an area of approximately 8,983 km², Yellowstone is the oldest and largest in the world. With a large, carefully preserved natural habitat, it has become one of the few temperate-zone ecosystems still intact.
Every year it receives more or less three million visitors, a figure that makes it one of the busiest in America.
2. Yosemite National Park
It is located in California, just over 300 kilometres east of San Francisco. It covers an area of about 3,081 km² and extends along the eastern slopes belonging to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It stands out for having stunning granite compound cliffs, imposing waterfalls, beautiful crystalline rivers, breathtaking forests full of gigantic redwoods and enormous biodiversity.
It has a height that ranges from 600 to 4000 meters, with five main vegetation zones; a wooded area with oaks, a low mountain, a high mountain, a subalpine and an alpine.
Seven thousand plant species coexist in California, half of them are located in the Sierra Nevada, and almost a quarter are found in Yosemite National Park.
I recommend that you visit it if you have the opportunity. I think it will not disappoint you. It is a real treat for the eyes.
3. Acadia National Park
Acadia is one of the United States National Parks distinguished by its fantastic rocky beaches. It is located on the Atlantic coast in the vicinity of Bar Harbor in Maine.
It also has huge mountains, lush forests and an immense variety of fauna, such as American owls, moose, bald eagles, eastern coyotes, etc.
If we want to appreciate better the breathtaking views of the 192 km² of Acadia National Park, we can climb to the top of the Cadillac. This is the highest point of the Atlantic coast on the north side. It is possible to ride a bicycle along 92 kilometres of road.
One of the things that we can appreciate in all its splendour in this park is the stars. This place is ideal for taking incredible photographic captures free from light pollution.
4. Glacier National Park
Another of the best Natural Parks in the United States is the Glacier National Park. It is located in Montana, on the Canadian border bordering Columbia and Alberta.
It is made up of two mountain systems, one hundred and thirty named lakes each, hundreds of species of plants and animals. It is an ecosystem that covers 4,101 km² and is the main one of a group of areas that have been protected and that comprise 44,000 km².
The famous Going-to-the-Sun highway crosses the heart of this park. From there, you can see the Lewis and Livingston mountain ranges, thick forests, alpine tundra, beautiful waterfalls and two large lakes.
The National Park borders the Glacier Waterton Lakes, a national park of Canada. The two parks are also known as the Waterton-Glacier Pacific Park.
5. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon National Park in northwestern Arizona is gigantic. It reaches 450 kilometres in length between lakes Powell and Mead, with an average depth of between 1,300 and 2,000 meters. The width varies between 5.5 and 30 kilometres.
The Grand Canyon is neither the deepest nor the most imposing gorge on earth. This place is occupied by the Copper Canyon (Chihuahua) and Hells Canyon (Idaho). What stands out about the Grand Canyon is the diversity of views that can be appreciated thanks in part to the different geological strata observed in the cliffs.
The Colorado River has been commissioned to sculpt the Grand Canyon. The flow begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows into the Gulf of California, travelling 2,333 kilometres. About a hundred rapids cross the famous canyon, and various tributaries flow into Colorado.
6. Grand Teton National Park
This national park is located west of Wyoming, south of Yellowstone Park. Its name comes from the mountains that dominate the area. It covers an area of 1,255 km², and the Grand Teton has a maximum height of 4,197 meters.
The park is home to many lakes, small glaciers and even very old rocks dating back 2.7 million years. The Park Grand Teton National is ideal for hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, and other recreational activities.
In it, you can fish the famous cutthroat trout directly from the Snake River. It has the advantage of offering hotel services, hostels, and service stations.
7. Zion National Park
With an area that covers 593.26 km² in total, Zion National Park is located in Utah. Its main attraction is the Zion canyon, a crevasse 24 kilometres long and 800 meters deep.
The Virgin River has dug this immense cleft, its northern slope. Other places that stand out in this park are the straits of the Virgin River, the Great White Throne and the Kolob arch.
The particular geography and the great variety of ecological systems make it possible for this area’s exclusive and diverse flora and fauna to coexist.
Almost 300 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, 32 reptiles, and a significant number of plants have been counted. There are four zones where biodiversity is distributed, riverbanks, deserts, coniferous forests and forests. The fauna found in the area includes puma, eagles, deer, and mountain goats.
8. Olympic national park
The Olympic National Park is located in Washington, a few hours from Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. It is one of the best National Parks in the United States. It comprises a lush, uninhabited jungle with many rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and towering mountains. Its name is taken from the Olympic Mountains.
It has an extensive network of walking trails 800 km long. Difficulty levels when making these trails vary. There are some very easy ones, for those who have little time to visit the park and others that are more complex, which require more time and expertise. In winter, the steep and very slippery trails can be difficult to walk.
In the centre of the reserve rises Mount Olympus 2,428 meters high. Only professional climbers can climb to the top of this steep mountain. If we walk along the banks of the river Hoh, we can admire beautiful mountain views.
And here is a very interesting fact: in the tropical forest that bears the same name as the river, some trees are more than five hundred years old.
9. Sequoia National Park
Located towards the south of the Sierra Nevada, the Sequoia National Park extends up to 1789 km². It was created in 1890, the third after the creation of Yellowstone Park and the extinct Mackinac Park.
The predominant feature that makes it fascinating is the Giant Sequoia Forest. In this park, you will find the largest tree globally, General Sherman, with 11 meters in diameter and 84 meters high.
You will also enjoy the highest summit in the USA, leaving aside the area of Alaska, Mount Whitney, with 4,418 meters of altitude.
Among other attractions, we can see the Crystal Gold Cave and the canyon formed by the channel of the Kern River. Grasslands cover almost the entire park, and the life of marine species is important in this place, all due to the presence of the Himalaya River.
10. Denali National Park
The Parque Nacional Denali is found in interior Alaska. It is a natural reserve with an area of 24,585 km². Here is Mount Denali, called McKinley until 2015. This amount is the highest in North America, reaching 6,194 meters above sea level.
Christopher McCandless became famous because he lived in this park for four months, surviving in complete solitude before dying.
As it is very close to the Arctic Circle, the ascent of Mount Denali presents many difficulties for those who climb it.
It presents different zones of vegetation due to its different altitudes. It consists mainly of tundra, spruce, and willow. It is home to brown bears, birds, and many mammals, such as Dall’s mouflon, caribou, grey wolves, elk, arctic squirrels, beavers, Rocky marmots, etc.
11. Everglades National Park
Towards the southeast of the USA, we find the Everglades National Park in Florida. It is responsible for protecting the entire southern area of the swamps or Everglades. It has a total area of 6,104 km².
Its humid lands host a unique ecosystem worldwide.
Fertile soil offers fresh and striking vegetation, such as oaks, cucumbers, Wild Palm, mangroves and many wildflowers, such as orchids.
The most representative species of the country is the American alligator. Birds such as the American flamingo, the short-tailed buzzard, herons, the osprey, the pelicans, etc., also stand out.
There are terns, waders, and stingrays in the Florida Inlet.
In the channel, we will find Caribbean manatees, otters and crocodiles. This is the only place on the planet where the alligator and the crocodile coexist naturally. We will also find a great variety of turtle species.
12. Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado, northwest of Boulder, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and is crossed by the Colorado River. It extends a little more than 1000 km² and is divided by the eastern and western mountain ranges.
Both halves are different. The eastern zone is always drier, with glacial cirques and glacier-covered peaks. The western side is more humid, with a landscape dominated by deep forest. Of the entire extension of the park, a quarter is located above the forested limit. The highest point is 4,346 m and Longs Peak.
In the low places are meadows and forests. Pinus Ponderosa dominates up to high areas, replaced by Douglas fir. After 2,700 meters, the subalpine forest finds alpine fir and Engelmann spruce. Beyond the forested limit, above 3,500 meters, the trees are replaced by the alpine meadow.
13. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park occupies the mountain range called the Great Smoky Mountains, belonging to the Blue Mountains. The park has become the most visited in the USA.
The different elevations, abundant rainfall and the primary forests provide this park with unusual biological richness. There are approximately ten thousand species of animals and plants.
After hiking, fly fishing is the most popular activity in the park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park waters are known for their brook trout, native to these waters. We can go horseback riding and cycling by renting the equipment and necessary.
14. Kenai Fjords National Park
The Kenai Fjords National Park is located in Alaska, south coast. Protects glaciers on the eastern seaboard on the Kenai Peninsula. The Harding Icefield is located in this park and is the largest in the USA.
The park’s name is due to the large number of fjords that glaciers carve when descending through the mountains. It consists of about 38 glaciers, the largest of which is the Bear Glacier.
15. Mammoth Cave National Park
The last of the best Natural Parks in the United States of this selection is the Mammoth Cave National Park, a park located in Kentucky. It encompasses part of the Colossal Mammoth Cave, the most extensive cave system worldwide.
This is a limestone cavern with galleries extending for 484 km and five different height levels. It has currents below the earth that form the Verde River.
At the deepest level, the waters of the Eco River pass below 110 meters. It is the habitat of aquatic and terrestrial animals such as arthropods, molluscs, crabs, and blind fish.
What did you think of this walk through the best National Parks in the United States?
Frequently Asked Questions: Top-Rated National Park In USA
What is the number one national park in America? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee. Coming in at the top spot with a whopping 12.1 million visits, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country’s most-visited national park.
Which state has best national parks? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
That state with the most national parks is California, with nine of the nation’s 61 national parks within its borders. The total acreage of these nine national parks in California is more than 6.3 million acres.
What 5 states have no national parks? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
What is this? The list of states with no U.S. national park are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachuesetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
What is the biggest national park in the US? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
Wrangell-St.Elias National Park & Preserve may be the largest national park in the U.S., but some of its neighbors aren’t too far behind. In fact, seven of the 10 biggest national parks can be found in Alaska.
Which is better Yellowstone or Zion? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
Based on the facts at hand, it seems like Yellowstone is a more family-friendly National Park to visit than Zion, offering up a greater variety of activities and for a range of skillsets. However, if you’ve got what it takes to explore Zion then there’s not doubt that it’s the better park for the thrill-seekers.
Which is better Zion or Yosemite? – Top-Rated National Park In USA
In 2018, Zion ranked fourth among America’s most visited national parks, ahead of Yellowstone (fifth) and Yosemite (sixth). Only Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain parks were more popular.
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Top-Rated National Park In USA