“There is nothing so American as our national parks… The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Why Go

National Parks are an integral part of American culture and a source of great national pride. For over one-hundred years, millions of Americans and visitors from all over the world have explored these unspoiled landscapes, been in awe of amazing wildlife, and fascinated by stunning natural and geological features. Today’s visitors walk in the footsteps of the men and women that created the paths, trails, and roadways that lead to spectacular views, awe-inspiring landscapes, and incredible national historic treasures that have been lovingly preserved. Most importantly, by establishing a National Park System, the most beautiful places in America are made accessible to everyone.

No other country in the world has the variety of landscapes and climates like the United States of America.

Visiting a National Park not only connects us with American culture it immerses us in the natural beauty of America and gives us a deeper understanding of wildlife, biology, geology, and history, that are preserved in the park system. Exploring, experiencing the wonder of the great outdoors, and learning together is the foundation for many vacation memories that are as timeless as the National Parks themselves.

About National Parks

America’s National Park system started with the establishment of Yellowstone in 1872. This park was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, making it the world’s first national park. In the years following the founding of Yellowstone, many new parks were created from Federal lands of the West. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act that created the National Park System that oversaw 35 National Parks and monuments. Today, the park system encompasses 84 million acres in twelve regions. Within the twelve regions, there are 420 national park sites that include an elite group of 63 National Parks in 29 states and in two territories, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These parks were specifically chosen for conservation and natural recreation. 

The Unwritten Rules of America’s National Parks

Where to Go?

America’s National Parks boast incredibly diverse landscapes of untouched natural splendor. From parks with snow-capped mountains, and rugged sea cliffs to colorful coral reefs, golden deserts, and deep green forests there is something for everyone. Getting outdoors, no matter what National Park or National Site you choose - with a guided tour company or independently - is good for the soul. The following National Parks are the most famous and accessible when looking at which National Parks to visit.

National Parks Highlights

1) Acadia National Park Tours

Located in Maine, Acadia National Park has the tallest mountain on the Atlantic Coast and is the oldest park east of the Mississippi River.

A Day In Acadia National Park

As far as the eye can see on Cadillac Mountain.

Escape to Maine featuring Acadia National Park

2) Arches National Park

More than 2,000 natural arches exist in Arches. More than anywhere else in the world.

The most famous arch of all - Delicate Arch.

Utah’s National Parks from Las Vegas

3) Badlands

Derived from the Lakota language and known worldwide for the large number of fossil remains that have been found here, Badlands encompasses the largest intact mixed-grass prairie in the world.

There is not too much that is ‘bad’ about Badlands.

4) Bryce Canyon National Park

Known for its crimson-colored hoodoos which are spire-shaped rock formations, Bruce Canyon is not technically a canyon, it is a series of natural amphitheaters that have eroded.

The glowing and mischievous Hoodoos at sunset.

5) Canyonlands 

Visitors to this National Park will find some of the most significant ancient rock-art known for documenting human habitation from as long as 4,000 years ago in Horseshoe Canyon. 

Watch your step in the expanse of Canyonlands.

6) Carlsbad Caverns

More than 119 caves lie beneath the surface of the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. The “Big Room” is the fifth largest chamber in North America.

Heads-up for stalagmites.

7) Death Valley

Located in California, Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in America.

Don’t forget your water in the driest place in the USA.

8) Alaska Denali’s National Park

Home to the tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley rises to 20,320 feet.

The wildlife, mountains and serenity of Denali National Park.

The Best National Parks to Spot Wildlife

9) Everglades National Park in Florida

This 1.5 million acre wetland is home to alligators, manatees, and white ibis; as well as the elusive Florida panther and Puma.

A marshy preserve for wildlife such as the endangered leatherback turtle, Florida panther and West Indian manatee.

10) Glacier Bay

Located in Alaska, there are a plethora of glaciers that cover over 2,000 square miles of this UNESCO registered park and preserve. That is larger than the state of Connecticut!

At 25 million acres, Glacier Bay is one of the largest international preserves in the world.

11) Grand Canyon 

The Grand Canyon attracts visitors from all over the world. It is beautiful, massive and really accessible in so many ways. The central feature of this park is located in Arizona, on the gorge of the Colorado River, and is considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world.

Millions of years of geology reveal the colorful layers of rocks in the mile-deep Grand Canyon.

Utah’s National Parks from Las Vegas

12) Grand Teton National Park

This park got its name from 19th-century French-Canadian trappers. The Grand Tetons are the youngest range of the Rocky Mountains and one of the most idyllic when thinking of America’s West. An easy way to see this National Park is with a locally guided escorted tour.

Human use has been discovered in Teton going back 11,000 years.

13) Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, this is the most visited National Park in America. It is known for a large diversity of plants and animals including 30 different species of salamanders and easy to access and get around.

Smoke tells a story in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

14) Hawai’i Volcanoes 

Volcanoes park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes, sights of rare flora and fauna, and a look into traditional Hawaiian culture that connects this landscape.

Hawaii Port of Call - The Big Island

Discover the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes - Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

Cruise Hawaii 

15) Katmai 

This Alaska National Park has over 9,000 years of human history and home to the largest concentration of brown bears in the United States of America.

Katmai is home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears.

16) Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

This World Heritage Site in Colorado  protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in the Americas including the huge Cliff Palace.

Mesa Loop Road provides easy access to view the ancient pueblo dwellings and culture.

17) Petrified Forest 

Situated in Arizona, this park has petrified wood that dates back as far as 225 million years. In addition to having over 800 archeological sites, this park also has a segment of the historic Route 66 alignment.

Fallen trees from 225 million years ago.

18) Pinnacles

Home to the endangered California condor and is known for its spectacular rock formations.

Spot the California Condor amongst the unique rock formations created by volcanic eruptions.

19) Redwood National Park California

This national park in California is home to the world’s tallest tree, called Hyperion.

Explore the fairytale-like atmosphere of the largest trees on the planet.

20) Shenandoah

What really makes this park stand-out is Skyline Drive. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930s, in addition to the natural wonders, it is an engineering marvel.

Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, fields of wildflowers, and quiet wooded hollows - all within 75 miles of Washington DC.

Shenandoah Adventure

21) Yellowstone National Park

As well as being the first National Park in the world, this Wyoming National Park sits on the largest super-volcano in North America.

The colorful contrasts mixed with geology in Yellowstone National Park.

Roaming West Trails 

22) Yosemite

This California National Park is known for its’ waterfalls, towering granite monoliths, deep valleys, ancient giant sequoias and where the rock formations glow like fire at sunset.

So much abounds in Yosemite. Ancient sequoia trees, Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.

23) Zion

At the junction of Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert, the Zion Canyon is approximately 2,000 feet deep. It was carved over millions of years by the Virgin River and its name is derived from Hebrew, meaning a place of peace and relaxation.

Utah’s National Parks from Las Vegas

The Zion Canyon  - ‘place of peace and relaxation.’

Plan your adventure to USA National Park Tours today!

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