Discover the 11 Must-Visit National Parks in the USA

The United States is home to many stunning national parks, each offering breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable experiences for visitors. These protected areas showcase the country’s diverse natural beauty, from towering mountains to vast deserts and pristine coastlines.

We’ve compiled a list of the top national parks in the United States based on research by Travel Lemming. They used a thorough method to rank these parks. Factors included crowd levels, visitor reviews, weather, affordability, job creation, accessibility, and biodiversity. Our aim is to highlight the incredible beauty and diversity found in these natural wonders across America.

Join us as we explore these remarkable destinations and the unforgettable experiences they offer.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

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The top in the list is Shenandoah National Park, which is just 75 miles away from Washington, D.C. It is a scenic paradise of nature with mountains as its crown. It is among the first of all national parks in Virginia. This place has waterfalls, preserved history, and protected wilderness that people can cherish. You can also explore the famous Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road alongside this park and its mountain ridges.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

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The next most beautiful and mesmerizing destination in the U.S. for you to cherish nature’s blessing is Joshua Tree National Park. This park has elevations from 900 to 5000 feet and is home to flat valleys, dry lakes, sand dunes, and other scenic attractions. Among the several admirable things of this park, the distinct trees make it people’s favorite. You can enjoy a magical sunrise and sunset at this park.

Olympic National Park, Washington

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Some USPs of Olympic National Park are wide-spread mountain ranges, vast landscapes, and lowland lakes.

The place hosts several recreational activities to let visitors collect some forever memories. Olympic National Park is spread across 922,651 acres of land and has three varying ecosystems. At one destination, you can witness the rain forest, glacier-capped mountains, and the wild Pacific coast.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known worldwide for its diversity in wildlife and plant life. It offers a mesmerizing view of the ancient mountains and a chance to spot some adorable black bear cubs. It is indeed the most visited park in all of America. From enjoying 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains to spotting the historic 19th-century buildings, there’s a lot that you can do at this park.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

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North Cascades National Park, also known as the ‘Sea of Peaks,’ is home to several glaciers and mountains. For a count, there are over 300 glaciers, most of which are small yet active. This place offers hundreds of miles of trails, making it ideal for backpackers, hikers, or mountain climbers. Irrespective of your favorable activity level, adequate trails are here to meet it.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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When talking about the best national parks in U.S.the, you cannot care to skip the Grand Canyon. It is one of the global geological wonders, the mystery of which draws visitors to this park.  Gazing at these sandstone walls paving the path for the Colorado River in real life is undoubtedly breathtaking. The site has hiking or walking trails to help you explore the place better. It records around 6.2 million visitors annually, making it the 6th best national park in the U.S.

Channel Islands National Park, California

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The best thing about Channel Islands National Park that makes it a rank-worthy destination is its marine sanctuary. This park protects around six nautical miles worth of water within itself. If you are a fan of seas or waters, there is a lot here for you to cherish. Whether you want to spend leisure time at the beaches or watch the underwater life closely, Channel Islands National Park has it all.

New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia

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New River Gorge is one of West Virginia’s best natural treasures. You can explore the place’s rich history alongside the scenic mountains and breathtaking sunset views. This park is also famous for its whitewater rafting activity, which gives people a heavenly escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. There are long hiking trails for adventure lovers to explore the depths of this beautiful destination.

Everglades National Park, Florida

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Everglades National Park ranks 9th in the list of best American parks,  home to 10 threatened and 13 endangered species. Beyond that, it also protects more than 120 tree species, 350 bird species, and 1000s of animals and plants. Moreover, it is also one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in the entire Western Hemisphere. The purpose of this park is to preserve the natural landscape and protect the plants, land, and animals around the site.

Redwood National Park, California

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Redwood National Park is famous around the globe for its tallest trees, with some standing at more than 350 feet in height. Beyond that, it also protects oak woodlands, vast prairies, and wild rivers. This park delivers mesmerizing views all year, but it attracts most visitors during the winter months. There are raised walkways, scenic drives, and hiking trails to add to your memorable trip.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

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Like all other national parks, Cuyahoga Valley is home to several native plants and animals. The Cuyahoga River, also known as the ‘river that burned’, paves the path into rolling hills, farmlands, and deep forests. There is a towpath trail for you to ride or walk and explore the history of the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga River. In addition to that, you also get the chance to admire the charismatic Cuyahoga waterfalls.

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