dream destinations The Best National Parks in the USA  

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List Rules Officially protected U.S. National Parks only

List of the best national parks in the USA, ranked by travelers, hikers, campers, climbers, sightseers, and people like you. This list of the most beautiful US national parks includes federally protected lands like Yosemite National Park, Glacier National Park, Redwood National Park as well as a few monuments like Rocky Mountain National Park, and administrative units governed by the US National Park Service. From the swampland of the Everglades National Park to the dry dessert land of Death Valley National Park, this list truly shows the diverse nature of America's environment and climate. There is a U.S. national park for everyone. Those interested in camping may want to check out national parks in California, as they offer rugged coastline, waterfalls, and redwood trees. Whereas travelers interested in rock climbing can visit places like the Utah National Parks that offer red rock formations and geological features. 

The NPS maintains the unspoiled nature of US National Parks, ensuring that American holidays spent in the parks are the same for travelers now as they were fifty years ago.  Those planning USA holidays can spend a long period of time in one American national park or pick up a national park pass and visit several different campgrounds in parks. Vote for your favorite U.S. national parks here. Is it Yellowstone? Zion? Sequoia? Consider the best parks for camping and best national parks for spotting wildlife and vote for them to move them to the top of the list.
list ordered by

1
329 103
Yosemite National Park is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Yosemite National Park California, USA Home of Half Dome and El Capitan, the California park rests in the middle of the glacier-formed Yosemite Valley and boasts the tallest waterfall in North America (Yosemite Falls).

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2
294 93
Zion National Park is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Zion National Park Utah, USA Wilderness and adventure enthusiasts are drawn to Zion for its rock towers, natural arches, and high plateaus. 

3
261 82
Grand Canyon National Park is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Grand Canyon National Park Arizona, USA The name says it all: Grand Canyon National Park is home to the 277 miles long canyon.

4
196 52
Bryce Canyon National Park is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Bryce Canyon National Park Utah, USA The area in Utah, settled by American Indians and later Mormon pioneers, has a giant natural amphitheatre and hundreds of hoodoos.

5
237 60
Glacier National Park is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Glacier National Park Montana, USA The park contains 26 glaciers, 130 named lakes, and has some of the best sedimentary fossils in the world.

6
321 99
Yellowstone National Park is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Yellowstone National Park United States of America The first national park in the world, Yellowstone is best known for the Old faithful geyser as well as some 60 mammal species that live in the park including the gray wolf, bison, elk, and grizzly bears.

7
232 61
Grand Teton National Park is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Grand Teton National Park Wyoming, USA Home to the Jackson Hole valley, the park is best known for its glacial, sage-covered valley.

8
113 25
Denali National Park and Prese... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska, USA Mount McKinly, the tallest mountain in North America, can be found in Denali State Park.

9
177 51
Arches National Park is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Arches National Park Utah, USA The park is named for its most recognizable geologic formations, the great sandstone arches. 

10
129 27
Mount Rainier National Park is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Mount Rainier National Park Washington, USA Mount Rainier, an active volcano, is the big attraction of the park which is also home to the largest glacier in the US.

11
173 51
Rocky Mountain National Park is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountains Longs Peak and Bear Lake are among the popular spots to visit in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is also inhabited by cougars, black bears, and bighorn sheep.

12
142 39
Olympic National Park is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Olympic National Park Washington, USA The park has a variety of attractions like tide pools and glaciated mountains and overlooks the wettest area of the continental US.

13
115 32
Canyonlands National Park is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Canyonlands National Park Utah, USA The Colorado and Green Rivers eroded the areas of Canyonlands into buttes, mesas, and canyons.

14
92 29
Redwood National and State Par... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Redwood National and State Parks California, USA Almost half of all surviving Coastal Redwoods can be found in this park.

15
129 37
Acadia National Park is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Acadia National Park Maine, USA Encompassing many coastal islands, the park is home to the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast.

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16
146 57
Sequoia National Park is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Sequoia National Park California, USA General Sherman, the world's largest tree, can be found in the Giant Forest found at Sequoia National Park in California. The park also has 240 caves and boasts the highest point in the continental US, Mount Whitney.

17
102 30
Crater Lake National Park is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Crater Lake National Park Oregon, USA The deepest lake in the US was formed by an eruption that created a lake of deep blue color and extreme water clarity.

18
66 19
North Cascades National Park is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added North Cascades National Park Washington, USA Hiking and climbing areas are the chief attractions of this park which also contains several glaciers.

19
89 30
Badlands National Park is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Badlands National Park South Dakota, USA Rich fossil beds, pinnacles, spires, and buttes define this park.

20
86 29
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Par... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Hawaii, USA Located on the big island, the park has two of the world's most active volcanoes (Kilauea and Mauna Loa).

21
102 40
Great Smoky Mountains National... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tennessee, USA The Great Smoky Mountains Park has over 800 miles of hiking trails as well as myriad wildlife species and 80 historic structures.

22
61 19
Big Bend National Park is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Big Bend National Park Chihuahuan Desert Native American cultural artifacts and Cretaceous & Tertiary fossils can be found in the limits of this park.

23
54 14
Glacier Bay National Park and ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Alaska, USA Originally completely covered in ice, the glaciers of the bay have receded 65 miles and are now home to grizzly bears, eagles, seals, and whales.

24
79 33
Kings Canyon National Park is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Kings Canyon National Park California, USA The park is home to the second largest tree in the world, a giant sequoia called the General Grant Tree, and has several giant sequoia groves.

25
40 11
Kenai Fjords National Park is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska, USA 38 glaciers and fjords (with the exception of Exit Glacier) can only be viewed by boat tours.

26
87 33
Death Valley National Park is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Death Valley National Park Western United States, USA With daytime temperatures that can top 130 degrees Fahrenheit, it's no surprise that Death valley is the hottest, driest place in the US. The park also contains salt flats, springs, sand dunes, and badlands.

27
62 18
Isle Royale National Park is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Isle Royale National Park Michigan, USA Shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails can all be found on this largest island of Lake Superior.

28
79 33
Mesa Verde National Park is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Mesa Verde National Park Colorado, USA Cliff dwellings from the 12th and 13th centure, which include over 150 rooms and 23 kivas, can be found among the park's 4,000 archaeological sites. 

29
45 13
Haleakalā National Park is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Haleakalā National Park Hawaii, USA The park, located in Maui, has the greatest number of endangered species of all the US National Parks and is also home to Hosmer's Grove of alien trees.

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30
61 29
Joshua Tree National Park is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Joshua Tree National Park California, USA Sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, and granite monoliths define this park named for a species of tree native to the area.

31
65 26
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Carlsbad Caverns National Park New Mexico, USA The park is the site of 117 caves and home to over 400,000 bats. 

32
63 19
Black Canyon of the Gunnison N... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Colorado, USA The narrow, steep Black Canyon of the park- so named for the dark shadow it casts- attracts rock climbers and river rafters from around the world.

33
70 32
Everglades National Park is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Everglades National Park Florida, USA The Florida panther, American crocodile, and West Indian manatee are among the protected species that call the Everglades National Park home. 

34
73 27
Capitol Reef National Park is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Capitol Reef National Park Utah, USA The main attraction of the park is a 100 mile monocline that shows the Earth's geologic layers.

35
65 29
Shenandoah National Park is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Shenandoah National Park Virginia, USA Over 500 miles of hiking trails overlooking the Shenandoah River, including the Appalacian Trail and Skyline Drive which run the entire length of the park.

36
38 11
Wrangell–St. Elias National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve Alaska, USA 25% of this park of volcanic peaks is covered in glaciers.

37
66 27
Mammoth Cave National Park is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky, USA There are 392 miles of passageways mapped in the world's longest cave system. Above ground, hiking trails, sinkholes, and springs are the main attractions.

38
36 16
Virgin Islands National Park is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Virgin Islands National Park United States Virgin Islands Ruins of sugar plantations from the time of Colombus can be found among the pristine beaches, coral reefs, and algal plains.

39
40 14
Gates of the Arctic National P... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve Alaska, USA The Northernmost National Park is home to no attractions and serves Alaska natives who depend on the caribou found on the land.

40
40 15
Great Basin National Park is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Great Basin National Park Nevada, USA The home of the Lehman Caves also has some of the darkest night skies in the country.

41
36 17
Guadalupe Mountains National P... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas, USA A fossilized reef and Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, are the main attractions of this park.

42
46 21
Theodore Roosevelt National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota, USA Theodore Roosevelt's cabin can be found among the scenic drives and backcountry hiking of this national park.

43
40 15
Lassen Volcanic National Park is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Lassen Volcanic National Park California, USA The largest plug dome volcano in the world, Lassen Peak, is the main attraction of the park which also has hydrothermal areas, fumaroles, and boiling pools.

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44
34 16
Voyageurs National Park is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Sesel88 added Voyageurs National Park Minnesota, USA Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are the chief attractions in this park formed by glaciers. 

45
46 21
Channel Islands National Park is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Channel Islands National Park California, USA Over 2,000 species of land plants and animals can be found in this park, half of which is underwater.

46
54 23
Great Sand Dunes National Park... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve San Luis Valley The tallest dunes in North America can be found in Great Sand Dunes National Park. 

47
53 31
Petrified Forest National Park is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Petrified Forest National Park Arizona, USA The presence of 225-million-year-old petrified wood gives the forest its name and main attraction. The park also has dinosaur fossils and is surrounded by the Painted Desert.

48
48 21
Dry Tortugas National Park is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Dry Tortugas National Park Florida, USA Accessible only by plane or boat, this park is home to coral reefs and shipwrecks and is largely underwater.

49
58 36
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio, USA The park offers a scenic train ride that highlights the park's trails and displays or early rural living.

50
42 22
Wind Cave National Park is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Pedro Cerrano added Wind Cave National Park South Dakota, USA Wind Cave is known for its boxwork calcite formations and needle-like frostwork growths. Above ground you can see black-footed ferrets, prairie dogs, and cougars.