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National Parks of the US
There are over 60 National Parks in the US, each one unique in its scenic beauty and majesty. The most popular National Parks are listed below. Click on the park name to take a virtual tour.
Great Smoky Mountains - Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape encompasses lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail. An observation tower tops Clingmans Dome, the highest peak, offering scenic views of the mist-covered mountains.
Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona - Home to much of the immense Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter's Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado River, is a popular, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Yosemite National Park - California's Sierra Nevada mountains - Famed for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. In Yosemite Village are shops, restaurants, lodging, the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery, with prints of the photographer's renowned black-and-white landscapes of the area.
Rocky Mountain National Park - Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It's known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park's tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.
Zion National Park - Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by Zion Canyon's steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging garden. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike.
Yellowstone National Park - Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.
Olympic National Park - Olympic National Park is on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. The park sprawls across several different ecosystems, from the dramatic peaks of the Olympic Mountains to old-growth forests. The summit of glacier-clad Mt. Olympus is popular with climbers, and hiking and backpacking trails cut through the park's rainforests and along its Pacific coastline.
Acadia National Park - Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre Atlantic coast recreation area primarily on Maine's Mount Desert Island. Its landscape is marked by woodland, rocky beaches and glacier-scoured granite peaks such as Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the United States East Coast. Among the wildlife are moose, bear, whales and seabirds. The bayside town of Bar Harbor, with restaurants and shops, is a popular gateway.
Grand Teton National Park - Northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres, the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. The park is only 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Along with surrounding national forests, these three protected areas constitute the almost 18,000,000-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the world's largest intact mid-latitude temperate ecosystems.
Glacier National Park - Glacier National Park is a 1,583-sq.-mi. wilderness area in Montana's Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. It's crossed by the mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Among more than 700 miles of hiking trails, it has a route to photogenic Hidden Lake. Other activities include backpacking, cycling and camping. Diverse wildlife ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears.
Joshua Tree National Park - Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in southern California. It's characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Named for the region's twisted, bristled Joshua trees, the park straddles the cactus-dotted Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, which is higher and cooler. Keys View looks out over the Coachella Valley. Hiking trails weave through the boulders of Hidden Valley.
Click Here for a full list of popular National Parks