From awe-inspiring mountains to the roar of rushing rivers and the paw prints of bears, you’d be forgiven for falling for the lure of national parks in the USA.

Whether you want to escape the tourists or to follow the footsteps of many along iconic hiking trails, these are the five national parks in the USA that you absolutely have to visit (and the things you can’t afford to miss!).

1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Many of us have already explored Yellowstone National Park from the comfort of our own homes via the many documentaries on this super-volcano and national park. With an impossibly huge caldera, countless habitats and dramatic geysers, whether you want to look for wildlife, hike in peace or have a guided tour of geographical features, this is one of the best national parks in the USA to do it in!

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA

2. Yosemite National Park, California

If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite National Park, take your camera (and these other travel essentials, while you’re at it!). From free-flowing waterfalls to stunning peaks and wildflower meadows, the varied and vast landscapes of Yosemite are as sublime as they are beautiful. The National Park Service website has detailed information on the best times to see each of the most iconic falls. Their general rule? Seek them out in spring.

Drive out to Hetch Hetchy for postcard views like you’ve never seen before. The glassy lake waters, imposing rock faces and valley views are guaranteed to leave you feeling inspired.

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA

3. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is one of the national parks in the USA that pops up most often on my Instagram feed. A hotspot for hikers, grab a backpack and check out this red rocky landscape for yourself! Full of rugged rock faces, sweeping canyons and gaping gorges, you’ll quite literally be walking through layers of history here.

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA

4. Sequoia National Park, California

It won’t come as much of a surprise that this national park is filled with towering sequoia trees. Set amid the Sierra Nevada mountains, even your journey to Sequoia National Park feels special. Once inside the national park, keep your eyes peeled for everything from tiny chipmunks to deer and black bears. There’s a wealth of wildlife to spot and you can stay in several camps or lodges if you’d like more time to explore.

The best part? Thanks to Sequoia National Park’s convenient California location, it’s never been easier to combine natural wonders with city sights. Hire a car, hit the road and take in everything from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to Malibu, Los Angeles and even the wine country in Napa.

Not sure how to map out a USA road trip? Check out how I did it in three stages: part one, from New Hampshire to Nevada, part two cruising through California and part three, through the Grand Canyon!

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA

5. Glacier National Park, Montana

Spanning the border between the USA and Canada, Glacier National Park is among the most beautiful in all of North America. You’ll already be familiar with the Rocky Mountains range in which Glacier National Park is located. These mountains welcome visitors for everything from winter sports to hiking every year!

Expect to marvel at iconic Montana landscapes. You’ll love the lake views, framed by forests of spruce and fir trees against a backdrop of snow-capped mountain peaks. There are few places more epic or more romantic than this.

Of course, no traveller can explore national parks in the USA on an empty stomach! Get the lowdown on eating out in the USA here to fuel up for your adventure.

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA

Which national parks in the USA are top of your wish list?

5 Stunning National Parks in the USA


  1. Sad to say I have not been to any of these parks yet, but they are all on my Arches, Acadia, Big Bend, and probably a whole lot more. There is just never enough time.

  2. Same boat as Anisa – never been to any of these 🙁 I live on the east coast where there is a lot of natural beauty – but nothing like these parks! Every time I see pictures or hear other travelers recommend I feel so much more motivated to make it happen!

  3. Ahhh Yellowstone is so high up on the list of places I want to go to! Super interesting fact: Yellowstone is home to one of the only super volcanoes in the world!

  4. Can my answer to that question be every single one?! Haha!! Glacier and Zion are really high up there for me though! I feel like I have to say the Everglades too, as I have lived in Florida my whole life and sadly never been. Planning to change that in March or April.

  5. Stunning pictures!! They’re all on my list to visit! I really enjoyed the Adirondacks and while I think it’s a state park, it’s size and beauty make it one of the most incredible parks in the country (or world)! Highly recommend it 🙂 I’m excited to check these out someday after reading your article!

  6. I was just looking through a Nat Geo book about the national parks in US. Your photos look the same beautiful. In every location, I go I try getting out to nature, and in US it is so much to choose from. I don’t even know where to go. Recommendations? 🙂

  7. they are actually all on my wish list. I have been to Yosemite and Yellowstone when I was 6 and 7 years ago. Ages ago it feels like, though I still have some memories of these trips with family, camping and exploring. Sequoia was also a destination we have seen a few times and I spent a few days in the Sequoia State Park this summer. Now I’m far removed in Europe, so I’ll have to plan for those trips sometime in the future. Great PHOTOS!!!

  8. Each national park is unique in their own respect, I’d love to visit them all! I’ve always wanted to visit Zion, Glacier, Denali, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, so those would be part of my wishlist!

  9. I just want to say, your website is beautifully crafted and put together. Yosemite has been on top of my list for a long time now but I haven’t been able to see it. Hopefully, I can see it soon. My top 5 personal favorites that I’ve visited this year would be:

    1) Yellowstone
    2) Zion
    3) Glacier
    4) Arches
    5) Crater Lake

  10. This is a great list of amazing places! I love your photographs! I still need to make it out to Yosemite. Thanks for the tip about a beautiful location to take photos. I will remember that when I (hopefully) see Yosemite someday!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here