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The Best National Parks in the USA 

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Updated April 3, 2020 16.5k votes 2.6k voters 170.3k views 62 items

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
Yellowstone National Par... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
United States of America

Area (km sq.): 8983.0

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.

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What Will Happen If The Supervolcano In Yellowstone National Park Erupts? There's A Section Of Yellowstone Park Where (Theoretically) No American Law Applies #9 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park

2
Yosemite National Park ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
California, USA

Area (km sq.): 3081.0

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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#22 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #105 of 115 The Top Travel Destinations in the World #2 of 30 The Most Beautiful Places In America

3
Glacier National Park is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Montana, USA
The park contains 26 glaciers, 130 named lakes, and has some of the best sedimentary fossils in the world.

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#18 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #1 of 30 The Most Beautiful Places In America #85 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

4
Zion National Park is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Utah, USA
Wilderness and adventure enthusiasts are drawn to Zion for its rock towers, natural arches, and high plateaus. 

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#1 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #18 of 39 The Most Stunningly Gorgeous Places on Earth #96 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

5
Grand Canyon National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Arizona, USA

Area (km sq.): 4926.0

The name says it all: Grand Canyon National Park is home to the 277 miles long canyon.

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#10 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #37 of 43 The Best Honeymoon Destinations in the US #4 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

6
Grand Teton National Par... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Wyoming, USA
Home to the Jackson Hole valley, the park is best known for its glacial, sage-covered valley.

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#14 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #5 of 30 The Most Beautiful Places In America #159 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

7
Bryce Canyon National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Utah, USA
The area in Utah, settled by American Indians and later Mormon pioneers, has a giant natural amphitheatre and hundreds of hoodoos.

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#6 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #100 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #18 of 57 America's Best Family Getaways

8
Arches National Park is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Utah, USA
The park is named for its most recognizable geologic formations, the great sandstone arches. 

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#3 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #88 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #9 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

9
Rocky Mountain National ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
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.

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#40 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #156 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #4 of 57 America's Best Family Getaways

10
Mount Rainier National P... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Washington, USA

Area (km sq.): 5.51

Mount Rainier, an active volcano, is the big attraction of the park which is also home to the largest glacier in the US.
11
Olympic National Park is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Washington, USA

Area (km sq.): 3734.0

The park has a variety of attractions like tide pools and glaciated mountains and overlooks the wettest area of the continental US.

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#24 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #10 of 30 The Most Beautiful Places In America #161 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

12
Acadia National Park is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Maine, USA
Encompassing many coastal islands, the park is home to the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast.

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#20 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #128 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #23 of 57 America's Best Family Getaways

13
Denali National Park and... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Alaska, USA
Mount McKinly, the tallest mountain in North America, can be found in Denali State Park.

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#16 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #141 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #14 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

14
Crater Lake National Par... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Oregon, USA

Area (km sq.): 741.48

The deepest lake in the US was formed by an eruption that created a lake of deep blue color and extreme water clarity.

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#34 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #120 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #1 of 16 The Best Camping Spots In Oregon

15
Sequoia National Park is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
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.

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#30 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #12 of 39 The Most Stunningly Gorgeous Places on Earth #121 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

16
Badlands National Park ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
South Dakota, USA
Rich fossil beds, pinnacles, spires, and buttes define this park.

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#21 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #17 of 57 America's Best Family Getaways #17 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

17
Canyonlands National Par... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Aaron Hager added Utah, USA
The Colorado and Green Rivers eroded the areas of Canyonlands into buttes, mesas, and canyons.
18
Redwood National and Sta... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Aaron Hager added California, USA
Almost half of all surviving Coastal Redwoods can be found in this park.
19
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Nation... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Hawaii, USA
Located on the big island, the park has two of the world's most active volcanoes (Kilauea and Mauna Loa).
20
Death Valley National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Western United States, USA

Area (km sq.): 13518.16

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.

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#61 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #14 of 38 America's Coolest Ghost Towns #114 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World

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

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#15 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #7 of 25 The Best Of The Most Visited Tourist Destinations in America #13 of 57 America's Best Family Getaways

22
North Cascades National ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Aaron Hager added Washington, USA
Hiking and climbing areas are the chief attractions of this park which also contains several glaciers.
23
Capitol Reef National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
Utah, USA

Area (km sq.): 978.95

The main attraction of the park is a 100 mile monocline that shows the Earth's geologic layers.

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#38 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #163 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #18 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

24
Kings Canyon National Pa... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
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.

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#42 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #6 of 20 The Best Camping Spots in Southern California #28 of 50 The Best U.S. Parks for Camping

25
Joshua Tree National Par... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best National Parks in the USA
California, USA

Area (km sq.): 3196.0

Sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, and granite monoliths define this park named for a species of tree native to the area.

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#37 of 62 The Best Picture Of Each US National Park #136 of 171 The Most Beautiful Natural Wonders In The World #2 of 20 The Best Camping Spots in Southern California