10 Must See National Parks for Nature Lovers

There are many beautiful sites in the United States just waiting to be explored by nature lovers and the budget-conscious alike. Touring a national park offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to see sensational scenery and the wildlife and plants that still thrive in these protected portions of the United States.

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Covering parts of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails throughout the Appalachian Mountains. More than 9.4 million visitors per year tour the Smokey Mountains to experience the countless streams, rivers, and waterfalls located in this beautiful area. The park is open year-round. All sites are accessible throughout the year, making this an excellent park to visit for wildflowers in the spring and summer, changing leaves in the fall, and a true winter wonderland in the colder months.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is the second most commonly visited park in the United States, with more than 4.4 million visitors. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon reveals millions of years of our world’s history through the exposed layers of rocks as the Colorado River runs along the deep canyon’s bottom. Hiking, sight-seeing, and white-water rafting are all popular pastimes in the Grand Canyon National Park.

Yosemite National Park

An ideal location for rock climbers and hikers, families, are also welcome at Yosemite National Park. Located in the center of California, the 1,200 square miles of the park makes it almost as large as the state of Rhode Island. Explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains or take a drive and short hike through the giant sequoia trees that grow in the damp northern rain forests. From wildlife and towering waterfalls to extreme sports, there’s something for everyone in this national park. Visit Southwest Airlines Reservations and get the best offers on flight fares with vacation packages to the National Parks

Yellowstone National Park

One of the best spots for wildlife spotting, Yellowstone National Park, is home to free-roaming bison and grizzly bears, and many smaller animals call this rugged land home. Yellowstone National Park is home to Old Faithful, perhaps the most famous geyser globally, and the geysers are so popular the roads can become backed up – especially during the peak visiting seasons in the summer months. Larger than Delaware and Rhode Island together, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.

Olympic National Park

Just west of Seattle in Washington, Olympic National Park is a refuge of rain forests, glaciers, and rocky Pacific beaches. The roads through Olympic National Park skirt around the park’s edges, leaving the center regions untouched by cars – an ideal location for nature enthusiasts to hike and explore while surrounded by immense trees and rich colors and sensory experiences. Open year-round, some parts of Olympic National Park are closed in the winter, but there is still much to see regardless of the season.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Located in the impressive Rocky Mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park allows visitors to wander through the soaring peaks and take in the fantastic vistas these monoliths provide. 2.9 million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park every year in search of alpine wildflowers and impressive wildlife. Hikes up and through the mountains reveal waterfalls, clear mountain lakes, and countless streams. Visitors will also find the start of the Colorado River and the Continental Divide within the park’s 416 square miles.

Zion National Park

Red cliffs and impressive wildlife mark Zion National Park. The Zion Canyon creates impressive cliffs in a creamy red stone and a half-mile gash into the earth. The park is frequently visited by hikers and bikers and those seeking to photograph some of the 271 bird species that call the park home. Zion National Park is open year-round, making it popular with those who enjoy the wildflowers in the spring and the changing leaves in the fall and the winter sports enthusiasts who can explore the park in the chill of winter as well.

Grand Teton National Park

Also located in the Rockies, the Grand Teton National Park is situated around nine stunning peaks of the mountains called The Grand Tetons. Located in Wyoming, near Yellowstone and just north of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park is rugged, dramatic, and a favorite location for hikers and nature lovers who enjoy walking through the foothills or climbing to towering heights along the mountain peaks. There is plenty of room to get lost in nature here, with 484 square miles of rugged, untouched beauty.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A young national park by comparison to others on the list, Cuyahoga Valley National Park was designated in 2000. Brandywine Falls and a stretch of the Erie Canal make this a popular park to visit in the center of Ohio. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the area within the park’s boundaries that houses an old car junkyard. The junkyard has become home to many beavers making it an exciting addition to an intriguing national park.

Acadia National Park

Located in Maine, Acadia National Park has more than 30,000 acres of forest and rocky coast. One of the oldest national parks, Acadia, is a favorite among hikers, bikers and those who enjoy exploring the woods and beaches on horseback. Chilly most of the year, Acadia National Park includes impressive beach views and the rich forests of this region, and easily accessible roads to walk or hike along. 2.2 million people visit Acadia National Park every year.

Rich sensory experiences abound in the National Parks. By traveling through the parks, nature lovers can experience many affairs in the different corners of the United States. From northern, misty rainforests to the deep canyons of the desert, there is much to explore and even more to enjoy as we work to preserve some of the most beautiful sites of North America.

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