National Parks ~ Summer Ideas

National Parks ~ Summer Ideas

In 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park, sparking a national park movement that has spread to over 100 countries. Since then, the US has created 63 national parks, offering adventures through some of the world's most diverse and stunning landscapes.

Whether you're a seasoned explorer or a national parks newbie, there's a stunning destination for every traveler. Here's a guide to the best national parks in the USA and what makes each unique.

1) Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Wyoming, & Montana

Yellowstone, the world's first national park, attracts millions with its unique hydrothermal features and abundant wildlife, including bears, bison, elk, and wolves. Visitors can watch geysers erupt, raft down rivers, or hike the 1,300 miles of trails. Even a lifetime of exploration would barely scratch the surface of this iconic park. 

2) Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite, established in 1890, boasts North America's tallest waterfalls, the granite giants El Capitan and Half Dome, ancient sequoias, and diverse wildlife, including black bears and Sierra Nevada longhorn sheep. With 95% of the park designated as wilderness, it's an ideal destination for backcountry camping.

3) Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Known for its iconic Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park features natural amphitheaters and interconnecting trails that climb over 4,000 feet, reaching altitudes over 9,000 feet. The popular Queen’s Garden and Navajo loop offers stunning views of these rock formations. Look out for Thor’s Hammer, a beloved Hoodoo rising 150 feet into the sky.

4) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Landing at Jackson Hole Airport, the only commercial airport within a national park, you'll be awed by the craggy Grand Tetons. This dramatic mountain range sets the tone for a visit filled with tranquil lakes, scenic trails, raft-worthy rivers, and wildlife like moose, grizzly bears, elk, and gray wolves. Don't miss the 'Big Red' tram to Rendezvous Peak for a hike back down.

5) Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands

Scuba divers will love Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, covering two-thirds of the island. Explore coral reefs, marine life, ancient petroglyphs, and white-sand beaches. For a chance to see sea turtles, dive into the turquoise waters at Maho Bay.

6) Zion National Park, Utah

Zion, Utah’s first national park, features sandstone cliffs in sunset hues of red and pink. Known for the daring Angels Landing hike, which climbs 1,500 feet to a 5,790-foot summit, the park offers spectacular canyon views. If you can't get a permit, explore other stunning trails like The Narrows, where you hike in the Virgin River between 1,000-foot-tall walls.

7) Denali National Park, Alaska

Named after North America's highest peak, this Alaskan national park spans over six million acres. It was the first park created specifically to protect wildlife, including grizzlies, Dall sheep, and moose. The diverse landscapes feature tundra, taiga, alpine, and glaciers. Visitors can explore via hiking, mountaineering, or bus tours, as private vehicle access is limited.

8) Haleakala National Park, Hawai'i

Spirituality fills this Maui park, home to Haleakalā, the world's largest dormant volcano, and the lush Kīpahulu Valley with bamboo rainforests and waterfall trails. Named 'house of the sun,' Haleakalā is linked to the legend of the demigod Maui lassoing the sun to lengthen the day.

Let's chat, please share your summer plans! Maybe you'll visit one of our suggestions...




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