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Top 5 US National Parks

There’s a national park for everybody in the USA while you’re seeking an educational experience, wild backcountry tour, or adventure in hot springs in an urban area. Out of the 62 national parks, which draw millions of visitors every year – we have written about the top 6 US National Parks to visit this year. We have included these national parks not based on the best but according to the most attended places. 

Top 5 U.S. National Parks You Should Visit

Yosemite National Park

California’s most visited park stands out for its diverse outdoor pursuits, dramatic landscapes, and soul-reaching reflection. You’ll find cultural things like Yosemite Music Festival and Sierra Art Trails. The tallest waterfall in North America, Glacier Point, will undoubtedly draw your attention. 

Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

  • Yosemite Valley – Yosemite Valley is one of the world’s wonders that stretches nearly 8 miles from east to west with Granite Walls. Nothing could be so satisfying than seeing the valley while exiting from the Wawona Tunnel. A circular one-way road covers most of the landmarks of the valley. Don’t forget to visit Cathedral beach, which is the best place to soak your feet in the water, or stare at 3593 foot El Capitan. If you’re a serious climber, you won’t want to miss the imposing cliff. 

The road will take you to Yosemite Village that is home to the park’s main visitor center. Apart from the grocery store, medical clinic, post office, gas station, etc., the village offers the Yosemite Museum of Native American Culture. 

  • Bridal Veil Fall – Upon entering Yosemite Valley, visitors stop by to admire the 620-foot waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls. 
  • Tioga Road and the High Country – Tioga is one of the most scenic highways in the nation. The road is the only drivable route between the eastern side of Sierra and the Yosemite Valley and is often closed until early or midsummer due to snowpack. You’ll get the best view of the high country from Olmsted Point. 

Tenaya lake is also the center of attraction, the largest of the park’s water bodies. It’s a great place to picnic, paddle, or swim if you can withstand the chilly temperature. 

  • Glacier Point and Wawona – Wawona Road climbs the valley wall into the park’s southwest corner. Around 7.5 miles away from the tunnel is the turnoff to Glacier Point Road, which leads to Glacier Point. 

Yellowstone National Park 

Yellowstone National Park covers 2.2 million acres and stands out for its natural attractions and diverse geography. Here you can get mesmerized by the splendors of Yellowstone’s mountains, many lakes, and its geysers and hot springs. 

Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

  • Gardiner Road Montana – The road in the northwest ducks beneath the famous Roosevelt Arch and moves along the Gardiner River to the park headquarters and Mammoth Hot Springs. You can go to the Lamar Valley from Mammoth, where the wolves were reintroduced in the park in 1995. 
  • Canyon Village – As the name suggests, Canyon Village lies on the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park. It is a multicolor trench covering 24 miles and rises to 1,200 feet up the Yellowstone River. The trail takes you to Artist’s Point on the south and Lookout Point on the north rim. 
  • Yellowstone Lake – Continuing the journey around the Grand Loop, the road takes you to Yellowstone Lake. Here you get opportunities for boating, waterfront camping, and fishing. Swimming is discouraged even during the summers because of the lake’s chilly water.
  • Grant Village – The village lies at Loop Road’s junction and the highway running between South Entrance and Grand Teton. The town offers a gas station, a boat ramp, several stores, and an amphitheater as another visitor center. 
  • Old Faithful Village – The Grand Loop cuts through the Continental Divide at two different points before joining the Old Faithful Village. The main event is the Old Faithful Geyser, which erupts 17 times a day with an average height of 130 feet. 

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is so marvelous that even your highest-quality camera won’t do justice. The site offers many hiking opportunities as well as the golden chance to raft on the Colorado River. The park is divided into two zones, and it takes a four-and-half-hour drive to reach one rim from the other. These are North and South Rim.

Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

South Rim

  • Grand Canyon Village – The village is the perfect base to explore the South Rim. You can shop for all the camping and hiking gear you need. There are many activities in the village you can indulge in, including horse riding, scenic train rides, mule trips, and of course, you can’t ignore hiking. 
  • Yavapai Geology Museum – The museum located between Yavapai Point and Grand Canyon Village was established in 1928. Here you can discover facts about how the Grand Canyon was formed. Apart from this, attend the ranger program to learn more about geology. You can visit the museum shop to buy gifts as a memory of the place. 
  • Desert View is a settlement on the South Rim situated 25 miles east of the Grand Canyon Village. Arizona Highway connects Desert View with the Grand Canyon Village. Here you get the finest views of the Colorado River and Canyon Geology.
  • Desert View Watchtower – This is a unique stone tower designed by Mary Colter. The watchtower is the official visit contact center at Desert View. For a 360-degree desert view, climb 85 steps to the observation deck, almost 70 feet high. 
  • Tusayan Ruin and Museum – Tusayan Ruins is the remains of the Puebloan village situated 3 miles west of the Desert View Watchtower. Tusayan Museum has 2,000 to 4,000-year-old artifacts with handmade crafts made by regional tribes. 

North Rim

The North Rim village area and the North Kaibab Trail are open for dawn to dusk day use. The North Rim is around 8000 feet in elevation. During the winter season, the North Rim is closed due to snowfall. 

  • Point Imperial – It is the highest point in the North Rim at 8803 feet. Only a part of the viewpoint is accessible. 
  • Cape Royal – It provides a panorama down, up, and across the canyon. 
  • Death Valley National Park

You can know this park as the place of extremes. Death Valley is the driest place in North America from autumn to spring. 

Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

  • Zabriskie Point – Start your day with the gold-turning badlands as the sunlight first reaches Zabriskie Point. 
  • Badwater Road – Badwater Road is the main paved road in Death Valley’s southern end. Most visitors see the salt flats and pools at Badwater. This road is packed with the park’s central attractions. You will see Badwater itself, Mushroom Rock, Artist Pallete, and Devil’s Golf Course. 
  • Artist’s Drive – For the best experience, visit the Artist’s Drive in the late afternoon. It’s a one-way road that is 9 miles long and connects to the Death Valley’s sedimentary and volcanic formation. The highlight is Artist’s Palette, where the rocks are naturally painted greens, yellows, and pinks. 
  • Ubehebe Crater – As you hike along the trail that follows the rim, take a pause and gaze at the 600-foot-deep abyss of Ubehebe Crater. 
  • Mesquite Flat Dunes – These may not be the tallest dunes in Death Valley National Park but the most accessible ones. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Your Colorado visit is not complete without experiencing the extremes of Rocky Mountain National Park. On your way, visit all the Rocky Mountain towns. Interestingly, the park’s western side is lusher green, while the eastern side is arid, scrubby, and mountainous. 

Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

  • Ester Park – It is known as the base camp to the Rocky Mountains National Park. It is an authentic Colorado mountain town with everything to offer, whether you’re an enthusiast, adventurous couple, or big or small family. 
  • Trail Ridge Road – Most travelers have said that Trail Ridge Road is a must-do while visiting Rocky Mountains National Park. You can spend the whole day taking a view of the stunning nature around Trail Ridge Road and watching elk, moose, and marmots. 
  • Beaver Meadows Visitor Centre – To get an educational view of the park, you can stop by the Beaver Meadows Visitor Centre. The park rangers are extremely helpful and knowledgeable and can help you decide which trail to take according to your skills and time. 
  • Emerald Lake Trail – This is a popular round-trip hike that is 3 ½ miles long. You can have some breathtaking views of Long Peak, Flattop Mountain, and Hallett Peak. Then it reaches the Sub Alpine Emerald Lake at an elevation of some 11,000 feet. 
  • Bear Lake – The Bear Lake is encircled by a 1-mile trail that you will love for its beauty. It’s more beautiful during the fall when the aspens turn to gold, in addition to the enormous granite boulders, fir, spruce, and pine trees that surround the lake. If you hike the entire perimeter of Bear lake, you will see the astonishing view of Hallett Peak and Half Mountain. 

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is located on the border of the United States and Canada. It sits at the streams that meet the Pacific Ocean, Hudson Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

 Here is a list of the park’s famous attractions you can visit :

  • Lake McDonald – Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park and the primary hub of activities. Visitors love the crystal-clear lake and the rainbow rocks in it. The valley is home to the rustic Lake McDonald Lodge, one of the park’s famous accommodations. 
  • Trail of the Cedars – This is a stroller and wheelchair-accessible trail covering less than a mile. You can hike this trail in either direction. The visitors said this is the easiest and accessible path and stuns you with outstanding George and Avalanche Lake views. You can visit the trail early in the morning or late afternoons to avoid the crowd. 
  • Going-to-the-Sun-Road – It is a paved two-lane highway that divides the park into east and west regions. One of the most scenic drives, the road is a landmark of National History and passes across every terrain the park offers, from glacier lakes, cedar forests, and alpine peaks. 
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park – In 1932, Canada, Glacier Park, and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta came together to build the world’s first International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These parks are biosphere reserves that offer a wide variety of plants and animals. 

Final Words

With so much beauty to behold, it’s daunting to choose which national park you should visit first. We have tried to give you a helping hand. However, we haven’t included all the sites at each of the parks, only the popular ones. Besides what we have mentioned, you can find many more things to visit.