USA NATIONAL PARKS
We’re a family that loves nature activities like hiking, biking, wildlife spotting and camping, and there is no better place for that then the incredible national parks in the USA.
It's what makes this country so unique and mezmerizing and is a great way to unplug, to reconnect to what is important: quality time with those you love in nature.
Expect to be constantly amazed as you walk upon sites like a canyon that’s 2 million years old, a 1400 foot waterfall, a bear playing with her cubs, or a 300 foot tall giant Redwood tree - the tallest living thing on our planet.
For those with families, the Junior Ranger programs are a must.
When you arrive at each parks visitor center, you can get a Junior Ranger program book which has suggested activities and ranger talks for different kids ages, and once they complete them they get a Junior Ranger badge.
It's a fun and engaging way for kids to learn about the flora and fauna of the parks. And to be honest, many adults do it too. We haven't yet been to all of the national parks in America but are making a great effort to.
Keep browsing below to find the content on those we have visited and join our email community through the form below as we continue to update.
TOP NATIONAL PARKS
It's so hard to choose your favorite national parks in the US. They are too numerous to count and what makes a wonderful memory for us might be different to you.
Here are the national parks we think are unmissable. Many of them are mentioned in this post on best scenic drives in the USA and best road trips in the USA.
HOW MANY NATIONAL PARKS ARE THERE IN THE USA?
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is known to be the first designated national park in the world. President Ulysses S. Grant signed its protection of it in 1872.
But the U.S. National Park Service was not founded in 1916. Since then, 63 national parks from Alaska to Key West and the Hawaiian Islands have been granted federal protection.
But wait there's more. There are 423 protected federal lands in all. The other sites are labelled as National Historic Sites, National Monuments, National Seashores, National Recreation Areas, and others.
Here are the 63 national parks in alphabetical order. Click on the links to go to the posts we have on each park.
We aim to visit every national park in the USA.
- Acadia National Park, ME
- American Samoa
- Arches National Park, UT
- Badlands National Park, SD
- Big Bend National Park, TX
- Biscayne National Park, FL
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO
- Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
- Canyonlands National Park, UT
- Capitol Reef National Park, UT
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
- Channel Islands National Park, CA
- Congaree National Park, SC
- Crater Lake National Park, OR
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
- Death Valley National Park, CA
- Denali National Park, AK
- Dry Tortugas National Park, FL
- Everglades National Park, FL
- Gates of the Arctic National Park, AK
- Gateway Arch National Park, MO
- Glacier Bay National Park, AK
- Glacier National Park, MT
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
- Grand Teton National Park, WY
- Great Basin National Park, NV
- Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX
- Haleakala National Park, HI
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, HI
- Hot Springs National Park, AR
- Indiana Dunes National Park, IN
- Isle Royale National Park, MI
- Joshua Tree National Park, CA
- Katmai National Park, AK
- Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
- Kings Canyon National Park, CA
- Kobuk Valley National Park, AK
- Lake Clark National Park, AK
- Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA
- Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
- Mesa Verde National Park, CO
- Mount Rainier National Park, WA
- New River Gorge National Park, WV
- North Cascades National Park, Washington
- Olympic National Park, WA
- Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
- Pinnacles National Park, CA
- Redwood National Park, CA
- Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
- Saguaro National Park, AZ
- Sequoia National Park, CA
- Shenandoah National Park, VA
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
- Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands
- Voyageurs National Park, MN
- White Sands National Park, NM
- Wind Cave National Park, SD
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
- Yellowstone National Park, WY
- Yosemite National Park, CA
- Zion National Park, UT
US NATIONAL PARK SUGGESTIONS
The national parks in the USA represent a wide range of superlatives. There is something so unqiue and special about each one. With each footstep you make a pact to do all you can to help preserve and protect places of such exquisite natural beauty.
Here are round up suggestions for some of the best and most underrated.
SOUTHWEST ITINERARY GUIDES
Our favorite region for exploring national parks in the American Southwest. Think vast canyons, stunning vistas, giant arches and mesas, Native American culture, and the spectacular Colorado River helping to shape the land.
This colorful, rocky, desert landscape is perfect for adventurous activities and camping under starry skies.
The following itinerary guides for Southwest USA include many national parks and monuments, including Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which is owned and managed by the Navajo people and is unmissable.
I relied heavily on your Arches NP blog post when we were there two weeks ago - by far the best post I found on hiking in the park with kids..
NATIONAL PARKS PASS
Excellent value if visiting more than 3 parks in a year. For $80 per vehicle you get unlimited entry to all federal lands for 12 months.
Range from Free (Great Smoky) to $35 per vehicle for a 7-day pass. Reduce trip costs by camping and taking your own food. National Park trips can be inexpensive.
Be smart and aware. National Parks have many dangers including remote wilderness, wild animals, steep drop offs, high temperatures and freezing conditions.
National parks in the USA are popular. Try to visit in off-peak times, and reserve months in advance for any accommodation needs. Plan to UNPLUG. Service and Wi-Fi will be limited.
The best place to start exploring. Get maps, Junior Ranger books and lots of helpful information on current weather, conditions, and best trails, views, and things to do for your interests.
- Arrive Early
- Parking is limited
- Bring binoculars, insect repellant, sun protection
- Wear layers
NATIONAL MONUMENTS + FEDERAL LANDS
Here are a few federally protected lands worth visiting. They are comprised of National Historic Sites, National Monuments, National Seashores, National Recreation Areas, and others.
FEATURED VIDEO: DEATH VALLEY
Check out the incredible vistas in Death Valley National Park. A wow experience for sure.
UNIQUELY USA - TRAVEL IDEAS AND HIGHLIGHTS
No matter your interests, you can find USA attractions and experiences to match your style. Click the image below to find experiences and attractions that suit what you're looking for! Almost all of our content and tips are based upon personal experience!
FOLLOW OUR CURRENT ADVENTURES
Travel has been the focus of our life since 1997 - intentionally.
We don't plan on stopping that. We now have a base in Raleigh, NC - after being granted a Green Card for our extraordinary ability in the art of travel blogging.
We will continue to explore more of the US but also intend on traveling further abroad - Europe, South East Asia and Central and South America.
We can't wait to share more of our favorites as we experience them.
Be sure to join our free VIP email community - form below for loads of free US travel planning resources.
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ALL USA NATIONAL PARK ARTICLES
Browse through all our articles on national parks in the USA.