10 Must See National Parks to Cross Off Your Bucket List

Many reasons come to mind when thinking about visiting a national park including experiencing nature first-hand, convenience, health and most of all, affordability. Every park has a personality and if the fresh air isn’t enticing you yet, this list just might get you in the traveling mood!

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Zion, Utah

1. Zion National Park – Utah

Surround yourself with massive cream, pink and red sandstone cliffs that soar into the sky. With beauty too stunning for mere mortals, Zion’s unique variety of plants and wildlife enchants visitors as they absorb the rich history of the past while enjoying exhilarating present day adventures.

2. Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming

The world’s very first national park has been marveling visitors for more than 100 years. Colorful hot springs, waterfalls and geysers unfold the drama of the natural world at Yellowstone. With more than two million acres of protected wildlife and flourishing plant life, there is something for everyone to enjoy from hiking to roadside picnics.

3. Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona

Whether you are visiting the north, south or west rim, the Grand Canyon’s immense size, geological colors and erosional forms are sure to overwhelm your senses.  The 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide and one-mile-deep canyon offers awe-inspiring views along with seemingly endless outdoor recreational opportunities.

4. Shenandoah National Park – Virginia

Cascading waterfalls, incredible views, quiet wooded hollows and 200,000 protected acres full of wildlife add to the beauty of the Shenandoah valley. Just 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of big city living in Washington D.C., this national park offers the perfect escape. Plan your visit and take a hike, meander along the skyline drive or have picnic with your family today.

5. Yosemite National Park – California

Known for its breathtaking waterfalls, giant sequoias and the remarkable El Capitan and Half Dome granite cliffs, Yosemite offers tranquility like no other. With 1,200 square miles of deep valleys, grand meadows, a vast wilderness and much more, this icon of America’s natural beauty attracts more than a million visitors and nature enthusiasts each year.

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Glacier, Montana

6. Glacier National Park – Montana    

Discover solitude and more with Glacier’s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains and spectacular lakes. Hikers and adventurous visitors can enjoy more than 700 miles of trails through the wilderness along with historic chalets and rustic lodges.

7. Acadia National Park – Maine

This 49,000-acre slice of Maine was the first eastern national park. The rugged coast and awe-inspiring beauty has drawn people to the area for years. Acadia offers nature and adventure enthusiasts hiking and exploring opportunities surrounded by beautiful scenery along with diverse plant and animal life.

8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – North Carolina, Tennessee

With more than 9 million visitors per year, the Great Smoky Mountains is America’s most visited national park. Known for its 4,000 species of plants and diverse variety of mammals, birds and other wildlife, the forest maintains the natural beauty of its ancient mountains and Southern Appalachian culture.

9. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – Hawai’i

This park displays the results of more than 70 million years of primordial forces that are ever changing our planet. Visit Hawai’i’s volcanoes to witness the power of an eruption and experience the heartbeat of a volcano.

10. Olympic National Park – Washington

With more than 70 miles of coastline, this park encompasses about a million acres of protected wilderness, wildlife, plant life and a variety of ecosystems. Come explore the glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests or the wild coast of the Olympic Peninsula.