Spending some quality time at any of the national parks in the United States is a wonderful way to experience some of the country’s most wondrous attractions. With 60 official National Parks locations, it may take some time to narrow down your choice. If you’ve given some thought to traveling to one of these destinations, here are the best national parks to visit in the country.
1. Arches National Park
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast with an affinity for hiking, rock climbing, and bike riding, or merely someone who appreciates the beauty of natural sandstone arches, you’ll be mesmerized as soon as you approach Arches National Park in Utah. The beautiful grounds are a celebration of dynamic colors and striking land formations marked by rich textures. Delicate Arch is the park’s most renowned attraction — it measures a whopping 46 feet high! You can also visit Wolfe Ranch, which was crafted by John Wesley Wolfe in the early 20th century. For a serious challenge, hike the Devils Garden trail system. There are periods of flat terrain — approximately two miles worth — but as you progress to the Landscape and Double O arches, you’ll find that your journey becomes significantly more difficult. Come prepared with water — and your camera, of course.
2. Crater Lake National Park
It’s no exaggeration to state that Crater Lake National Park is jaw-dropping in its appeal. There’s a certain majesty about this Oregon park, whose 1943-foot deep lake formed some 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed. There’s more here to see, but the sight of the astonishingly clear lake alone makes this one of the best national parks to visit in the nation. With over 183,000 acres of forests, mountains, and water, the grounds provide countless activities to enjoy whenever you plan to visit. Often, the hiking trails are packed with snow, but you can explore them at your leisure if you rent a pair of snowshoes at the on-site shop. During summer, you can even enjoy a guided boat or trolley tour to delve deeper into the area’s fascinating history and surroundings.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019, and that’s more than enough reason to visit this Arizona landmark. The park is beloved for its rich kaleidoscope of autumnal hues, which is only part of the immense charm of this 1.2-million acre park. Those with an adventurous side may be tempted to hike over six miles to the floor of the canyon to observe their surroundings from an entirely different, almost intimidating — and most certainly humbling — vantage point. If you’re visiting during summer, you might consider heading to the North Rim. It’s a little cooler there, and it’s one of the area’s less traveled landmarks — a mere 10 percent of visitors make the journey to this part of the Grand Canyon. No matter where you choose to explore, you can reach there by hiking, on a mule, or via a river flat.
4. Great Basin National Park
Some parks in the system don’t receive nearly the celebratory adulation that they should, and Great Basin National Park is one of them. Located in Nevada, this park isn’t typically crowded, which means visitors have ample opportunity to explore its alpine lakes, crisp mountain streams, bristlecone pine trees, and 40 beautiful limestone caves at their leisure. Among the most noteworthy is the Lehman Hill cave system, which is packed with stalactites, stalagmites, and other eye-catching formations. Drive through the park and you’ll eventually approach Mount Wheeler in all its majestic glory. The 200,000-square-mile Great Basin itself plays host to hundreds of plant species and many mammals. Keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep, porcupines, mountain lions, and woodpeckers!
5. Olympic National Park
One of the country’s most impressionable areas to learn, explore, and sit in peace, Olympic National Park is easily among the best national parks to visit in the country. The Washington park contains a triad of ecosystems — mountain, forest, and coastal — which provide visitors with opportunities to fish, hike, comb beaches, or simply gaze at crystal clear lake waters. A highlight is Hurricane Ridge, known for its spectacularly clear views. It’s also worth a trek to Staircase Loop Trail, which brings you to more remote areas of the park. You’ll see the aggressive waters of the Skokomish River, a dramatic rock with a tree jutting out like something out of a fairytale, and a bridge providing fantastic views of the river rapids.
Book Your Bus Trip
If you’re ready to explore some of the country’s most impressive national parks, don’t hesitate to plan an unforgettable summer trip. Now is a wonderful time to enjoy many of the most scenic spots in the United States! Visit BusTickets.com to get started on your great park adventure.