8 Incredible National Parks You Need to Explore in the USA
It's not surprising that the vast expanse of the United States is home to some of the world's most incredible landscape, ranging from jagged peaks and ancient forests to the dramatic canyons and unique rock formations. If you're looking for some places to get escape the city and explore great outdoors while visiting the US, then look no further than the following national parks.
8 Incredible National Parks You Need to Explore in the USA:table of contents
The Grand Canyon might be considerably more famous than this similar park in Utah, however Bryce Canyon has its fair share of incredibly unique scenery, some sites even more impressive than its popular neighbor. Bryce is known for its odd spire-shaped rock formations known as hoodoos, that cover the area. Just a few hours drive from the canyons in Arizona, it's easily doable as a side trip for anyone visiting the park.
Great Smoky Mountains
Running along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeast of the country, the 'Smokies' as they're often called are a mountain range designated as a World Heritage Site for their incredible diversity of wildlife and ancient forests. Covered in greenery almost the whole area of the park, its particularly beautiful during the fall season when the autumn colors turn to red, orange and yellows. The name comes from clouds of natural fog that often coat the canopies of the forests, appearing like plumes of smoke.
Alaska Denali National Park
Those that don't mind braving the cold will be rewarded with some of the most incredible scenery on the continent in the US' far northern region of Alaska. America's wild north is perfect for those who are looking for a little adventure. This national park is home to the highest peak on the continent, Mount Denali, towering 6190 meters above the park, it creates a fascinating landscape seen for miles around.
Probably the most famous of all the parks in the US, Yellowstone is said to be the first national park ever created in the world. Apart from the beautiful mountain and forest scenery found here, the park is also famous for its geysers and hot springs dotted around the area. Spots such as the Grand Prismatic Spring are notable for the incredibly striking array of colors caused by the mineral content there with almost all colors of the rainbow present.
On the east border of California, Death Valley is known to be one of the hottest places on earth, often reaching temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius. The valley is also known for a natural phenomenon where rocks as heavy as 300 kilograms are discovered to have moved as far as half a kilometer with trails on the ground behind them showing their path. The strange occurrence baffled scientists for years until researchers finally found the source of their unique movement.
The pride of California, Yosemite is the ultimate weekend getaway for anyone visiting the state's famous coastal cities like as LA or San Francisco. One of the most incredible sights here is the 'Firefall' a cliff section that occasionally looks like a waterfall of lava as the sun shines off it for those lucky enough to witness it. Driving down the 120 Highway which cuts through the center of the park offers the perfect road trip as you drive by the incredible scenery of the park.
Glacier National Park
Spanning the border with Canada in the state of Montana, Glacier National Park features some incredible scenery with steep valleys and picturesque lakes shaped by glacier movement over millions of years. The park was once home to around 150 glaciers in the mid-19th century, although now only just over 20 of them remain. Make sure to check out Saint Mary Lake, one of the most beautiful places in the park.
Arches National Park
Another of Utah's incredible national parks, Arches is another example of the stunning rocky scenery found around this area of the US. True to its name, this national park is famous for the unique rock formations shaped over millions of years that look like huge stone arches. The most famous of them is known as 'Delicate Arch' for its precariously shaped formation, the view through the arch with the distant mountains in the background is simply out of this world.
With some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, it's hard to compete with the huge stretches of incredible landscape found in the national parks of North America. Best explored slowly, these parks make for some amazing hikes and camping areas as you spend time among an extraordinary expanse of nature.