Imagine wandering through quiet forests, climbing tall mountains, and seeing animals in their natural homes.
There are desert scapes, glaciers, rugged terrains that stretch for endless miles, and bucket list-worthy gems waiting for you to discover them. I’m talking about America’s 63 National Parks!
In this post, we’ll dive into all 63 US National Parks and give you a taste of what to expect when you visit each one.
Throughout the post, I’ll pull from my personal experience visiting the parks. That way, you can decide which one to hit next!
Below I have a free checklist for you, too!
The parks are listed in alphabetical order. Ready to dive in? Let’s begin!
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FREE US National Park Checklist
Download my printable checklist of all 63 US National Parks! You can use the digital version to explore free park guides.
#1 Acadia National Park, Maine
Nestled on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park offers a delightful mixture of ocean, forests, and mountains.
It’s mainly known for the stunning Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the US Atlantic coast.
Enthusiasts of stargazing flock to Acadia for its dark skies, and it is home to some of the first sunrises seen in the United States.
I love Acadia for its fall colors and the beautiful hikes you can take to see the foliage from up above!
Wanderer Tip: Don’t forget to pack your America the Beautiful Pass!
#2 Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park in eastern Utah is renowned for its over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the illustrious Delicate Arch.
The park’s fascinating geological formations provide amateur and professional photographers with awe-inspiring vistas.
Arches is easily one of my favorite Utah National Parks because of its gorgeous sunrise and sunset spots AND desert landscape.
Fun Fact: The park’s landscape was a filming location for the classic Western film, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
#3 Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park greets visitors with its stark, almost alien landscape, characterized by layered rock formations, deep canyons, and towering spires.
Known for its rich fossil beds, researchers have found incredible specimens from the Oligocene epoch, offering insights into the evolution of mammalian species.
Additionally, the park provides a protected habitat for bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs amidst its striking geologic deposits.
Badlands surprised me the first time I visited because I felt like I was in Arizona or Utah but without the crowds.
#4 Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park is an expansive natural treasure along the Texas-Mexico border.
The Rio Grande River meanders through a rugged landscape of massive canyons, vast desert expanses, and majestic mountains.
This biologically diverse park serves as a sanctuary for over 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.
The park uniquely encompasses the Chisos mountain range, offering stunning vistas and a welcoming respite in the cooler high elevations.
The surreal stargazing opportunities in this designated Dark Sky Park often enchant visitors.
#5 Biscayne National Park, Florida
Embark on a water-bound journey through Biscayne National Park, a watery wonderland just off the coast of Miami.
This park uniquely protects coral reefs, mangrove forests, Biscayne Bay, offshore barrier reefs, and a glimpse of the northernmost part of the Florida Keys.
Biscayne tells a tale of dichotomy where history meets mystery, revealing stories from past shipwrecks to protecting endangered species like the manatee and American crocodile.
Snorkelers and scuba divers delight in exploring vibrant coral reefs, while boaters and kayakers glide above seagrass beds, all amidst views of a densely populated metropolis nearby.
#6 Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is where craggy cliffs plunge into a profound chasm carved by the Gunnison River.
The park’s vertiginous walls and striking black rock formations provide a dramatic landscape with some of North America’s steepest cliffs and oldest rock formations.
Whether you’re a rock climber seeking the thrill of the park’s challenging walls or simply there to gaze into its abyss, the park provides a unique and awe-inspiring visit.
#7 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is not a single canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
The park is celebrated for its unique geologic structures, called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion.
While beautiful all year round, a winter visit provides a mesmerizing contrast of the bright red rocks against a blanket of snow.
#8 Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries.
What I love most about this park is its MASSIVE views — you feel so small!
Divided into four distinct districts – Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves – each area conjures its unique adventure and solitary exploration opportunities.
Fun Fact: You can packraft through the Green River here too!
#9 Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Step into a rugged desert landscape where the enthralling Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100-mile-long wrinkle in the Earth’s crust, takes center stage.
Capitol Reef National Park is a haven for geologists and adventurers alike, with its towering monoliths, twisting canyons, and spectacular arches, all under a canopy of starlit nights.
Known for its abundant orchards managed by the National Park Service, visitors can pick fruit seasonally, a unique offering amidst the arid desert.
#10 Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is where over 100 stunning caves reveal a hidden world of stalactites and stalagmites beneath the Chihuahuan Desert.
Explore the renowned Carlsbad Cavern and its colossal limestone chamber, The Big Room, one of the world’s largest of its kind.
Above ground, enjoy the stark desert beauty and anticipate the breathtaking summer spectacle of thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats soaring from the cave’s entrance at dusk.
Carlsbad Caverns seamlessly merges the enchanting underworld with mesmerizing desert scenes, crafting a uniquely diverse visitor experience.
#11 Channel Islands National Park, California
Channel Islands National Park, comprising five rugged islands off the coast of Southern California, is a haven for wildlife and a delight for nature enthusiasts.
The park protects a rich tapestry of cultural and natural resources, including over 2,000 species of plants and animals, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world.
Fun Fact: The Channel Islands host the oldest dated human remains in North America – Arlington Springs Man, dated to 13,000 years ago.
#12 Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Enter an ancient world at Congaree National Park, where towering hardwoods create one of the tallest deciduous forests in the world.
Renowned for its rich birdlife, lush landscapes, and the synchronous fireflies display in late May and early June, the park is a testament to nature’s quiet, enduring grandeur.
With its blend of diverse ecosystems, visitors can paddle through serene waterways, hike beneath the sprawling canopy, and encounter a wealth of wildlife.
#13 Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Gaze into the pristine depths of Crater Lake National Park, home to the United States’ deepest lake, born from the collapse of Mount Mazama.
Revel in the vibrant blue waters, explore iconic landmarks like Wizard Island and Phantom Ship, and embark on the scenic Rim Drive for breathtaking vistas in summer.
Whether experiencing its tranquil isolation, exploring trailheads, or enjoying winter sports amidst the snowy tranquility, Crater Lake offers a compact yet profoundly serene encounter with natural beauty.
#14 Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Between Akron and Cleveland, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers a verdant refuge amidst the urban landscape.
With the winding Cuyahoga River at its heart, the park is renowned for the Brandywine Falls, lush floodplain forests, and rolling hills.
Offering a diverse array of activities, from cycling along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to attending a concert at Blossom Music Center, it’s a locale that elegantly marries natural beauty and cultural experiences.
In my opinion, Cuyahoga is one of the most underrated parks in the USA, especially for fall!
#15 Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada
Death Valley National Park is renowned as the hottest, driest, and lowest US National Park.
You can journey from the scorching Furnace Creek, holder of the hottest recorded temperature, to the depths of Badwater Basin, North America’s lowest point.
Encounter unexpected vitality with a vibrant super bloom of wildflowers in spring, and as a Dark Sky Park, marvel at the luminous Milky Way streaking across the night sky.
Wanderer Tip: If you have time for one thing in Death Valley, I say make it the sand dunes!
#16 Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Home to North America’s tallest peak, 20,310-foot-tall Denali, this park provides a subarctic playground for wildlife and adventurers alike.
Covering 6 million acres, the park features wild expanses of forests, glaciers, and tundra.
Interesting to note is the park’s “Green Bus,” an affordable transit option that allows visitors to explore the depths of the park, increasing accessibility while minimizing human impact on this wild place.
#17 Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Dry Tortugas National Park is a cluster of seven islands amidst the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Known for its vibrant coral reefs, rich marine life, and historic Fort Jefferson, the park offers a splendid isolation from the mainland hustle.
Accessible only by boat or seaplane, it provides unparalleled snorkeling and diving experiences amidst shipwrecks and coral gardens and a unique glimpse into US history.
#18 Everglades National Park, Florida
Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the largest tropical wilderness in the US.
It is Renowned for its extensive wildlife, including alligators, panthers, manatees, and a wide variety of bird species; it’s a bio-enthusiast’s paradise.
Notably, it’s the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.
#19 Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri
Gateway Arch National Park is in downtown St. Louis.
Towering at 630 feet, the Gateway Arch isn’t just the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and a compelling icon that defines the city’s skyline.
For an unmissable experience, ascend to the top of this architectural marvel designed by Eero Saarinen, where sweeping views of the city and the Mississippi River unfold.
This park gracefully intertwines the narratives of America’s past with splendid views, offering a unique glimpse into the Nation’s history and natural beauty.
#20 Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is the wildest of the parks.
With no roads or trails and a landscape characterized by rugged mountains, wild rivers, and arctic tundra, it provides a genuinely remote and unspoiled wilderness experience.
Within its boundaries lie the stunning Brooks Range, six Wild and Scenic Rivers, and vast valleys sculpted by ancient glaciers.
#21 Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is a sprawling sanctuary of 3.3 million acres encompassing glaciers, mountains, and an abundant wildlife habitat.
For a “must-see” moment, navigate the crystalline waters to witness the monumental spectacle of glaciers calving into the bay, an awe-inducing performance of nature’s power.
Whether exploring by kayak, cruise, or trekking through lush trails, Glacier Bay offers visitors a deeply connective experience with the raw, unspoiled beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.
#22 Glacier National Park, Montana
This has to be my favorite park on the list. Often referred to as the “Crown of the Continent,” Glacier National Park mesmerizes with its pristine forests, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes.
Home to over 700 miles of trails, it’s a hiker’s paradise, offering opportunities to explore the unspoiled wilderness.
Wanderer Tip: And a MUST while you are here is Going-To-The-Sun Road. GTTSR is one of the most beautiful drives in the US and one of the prettiest places in Glacier!
#23 Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
World-renowned and awe-inspiring, the Grand Canyon‘s immense scale and its intricate and colorful landscape offer visitors spectacular, unparalleled vistas worldwide.
The park protects a rich geological and paleontological record and numerous historical buildings, landscapes, and archaeological sites.
Did you know the canyon exposes nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history?
Being an Arizona native, it’s one of my favorite places and a must!
You’d Like: Phoenix to Sedona to Grand Canyon Road Trip.
#24 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Immerse yourself in the rugged splendor of Grand Teton National Park, defined by its dramatic peaks and vibrant wildlife habitats.
Outdoor enthusiasts will relish exploring the Teton Range and the serene Jackson Hole valley.
Still, for a quintessential experience, a boat ride across the serene Jenny Lake is a must, offering unparalleled views of the towering landscapes and opportunities to spot the park’s diverse wildlife.
Grand Teton provides a breathtaking escape into the wild and fosters a profound connection between visitors and the awe-inspiring natural world.
#25 Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Experience the secluded and diverse wonders of Great Basin National Park, where Nevada’s desert surprisingly unfolds into lush forests and ancient bristlecone pines.
While Wheeler Peak and the fascinating Lehman Caves captivate visitors, one must not miss gazing at one of the darkest night skies in the United States. It offers a celestial spectacle unparalleled in brilliance and clarity.
Great Basin quietly stands as a testament to nature’s resilience, providing a serene escape that offers both adventurous exploration and tranquil solitude amidst its grandeur.
#26 Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Colorado
Discover the otherworldly panorama of Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, home to North America’s tallest dunes, which majestically rise to 750 feet.
Adventure awaits as visitors can sled and explore these remarkable sandy expanses.
Beyond the dunes, find tranquility at Medano Creek and encounter rich wildlife in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
At night, the park becomes an astronomer’s dream, with dazzling stars and meteor showers lighting up the serene landscape.
Great Sand Dunes offers a uniquely profound experience, harmoniously intertwining diverse ecosystems and adventures amidst its shifting sands.
#27 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee
America’s most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, boasts of hazy, scenic views and a rich history.
The park is world-renowned for its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture.
It’s a biodiversity hotspot, preserving what is likely the most incredible variety of life in any US national park.
And make sure you come here for fall colors! It’s amazing during autumn!
#28 Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is where the four highest peaks in Texas, including the renowned Guadalupe Peak, offer hikers breathtaking views across the Chihuahuan Desert.
Adventurers can trek the challenging Guadalupe Peak Trail to reach the “Top of Texas” and explore canyons and diverse ecosystems.
Beyond its trails, the park, rich in geological wonders from an ancient reef, provides a splendid step back in time amidst its towering peaks and silent canyons, promising both physical and historical exploration for its visitors.
#29 Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
Haleakala National Park in Maui is a gem!
It beckons with its diverse landscapes, from the ethereal sunrise atop the dormant Haleakala Volcano in the Summit District to the lush, waterfall-strewn, and culturally rich Kipahulu District along the coast.
Visitors will adore the stark, otherworldly volcanic landscapes and the opportunity to delve into ancient Hawaiian culture amidst tropical splendor.
Whether witnessing the famed sunrise at the “House of the Sun” or exploring the verdant trails and waterfalls of Kipahulu, Haleakala offers a splendid union of celestial beauty and earthly wonders.
#30 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Offering a unique landscape sculpted by active volcanism, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a place to witness the primal process of creation and destruction.
It protects some of the world’s most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes.
The park provides insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and offers opportunities for study and contemplation amidst active volcanoes.
#31 Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Hot Springs National Park, uniquely intertwined with the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is famed for its 47 thermal springs and historic Bathhouse Row.
Visitors flock to indulge in therapeutic thermal baths steeped in elegant historical architecture and explore the tranquil forests and hills surrounding the area.
A blend of nurturing thermal waters and serene natural landscapes, this park offers a distinctive retreat, providing rejuvenation for both body and soul.
#32 Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana
Indiana Dunes National Park, stretching along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, boasts a dynamic ecosystem of dunes, forests, and wetlands across 15,000 acres.
Known for its remarkable dunes and rich biodiversity, including over 350 bird species, Indiana Dunes National Park entices with activities like swimming, hiking, and bird-watching.
Whether uncovering the secrets of ancient dunes or relishing the serene lakeside, Indiana Dunes provides a harmonious blend of recreational and natural exploration.
#33 Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Isolated and wild, Isle Royale National Park provides a rugged and remote island – far from the sights and sounds of civilization.
Surrounded by Lake Superior, it’s a site for solitude, wilderness, and adventure.
The park is an International Biosphere Reserve, recognized for its pristine wilderness, abundant wildlife, complex ecosystem, and research concerning predator-prey relationships, notably between wolves and moose.
#34 Joshua Tree National Park, California
A mesmerizing blend of twisted, spiky Joshua trees, boulders, and stark desert landscapes, Joshua Tree National Park captivates adventurers and artists alike.
Not only celebrated for its dark night skies, geological wonders, and unique flora, but the park also protects sacred lands to 10 Native American tribes.
The park’s surreal geological features have made it a hotspot for rock climbers from around the globe.
#35 Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Katmai National Park & Preserve is a wilderness jewel famous for Brooks Falls where brown bears fish for salmon.
Beyond bear-watching, the park’s vast terrains of volcanic landscapes, forests, and lakes host diverse wildlife like moose, wolves, and caribou, offering a rich tapestry for explorers.
Ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking genuine Alaskan wild experiences, Katmai offers unparalleled opportunities for fishing, hiking, and immersive wilderness adventures.
#36 Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Welcome to a realm where glaciers sweep down from the Harding Icefield into deeply incised valleys.
Kenai Fjords National Park is a sanctuary where you can explore wild and scenic tidewater glaciers, lush forests, and bountiful terrestrial and marine wildlife.
Interesting Note: The Harding Icefield, one of the largest in the US, feeds the park’s numerous glaciers.
#37 Kings Canyon National Park, California
Known for its gigantic trees, rugged landscape, and extensive cave system, Kings Canyon National Park offers a stunning display of nature’s magnitude and beauty.
Together with Sequoia National Park, it provides a sanctuary for one of the United States’ most striking landscapes.
Particularly captivating is the General Grant Tree, known as the Nation’s Christmas Tree, celebrated annually with a special ceremony.
#38 Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska
Kobuk Valley National Park in Alaska’s arctic wilderness contrasts with the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes set against the tundra.
Accessible only by air, it promises visitors a serene and remote adventure.
A must-experience spectacle is the migration of half a million caribou across the dunes, while a peaceful float down the Kobuk River reveals the area’s quiet majesty.
Perfect for those seeking solitude and an untouched natural world, Kobuk Valley combines stark beauty and the raw, mesmerizing Arctic landscape.
#39 Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Discover Alaska’s wild heart at Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, a secluded oasis of natural beauty with turquoise waters, towering mountains, and lush forests.
Reachable only by boat or plane, it’s a peaceful escape offering stunning vistas and activities like kayaking and fishing.
From the vibrant coastline rainforests to rugged inland tundra, the park, teeming with wildlife such as bears and wolves, promises a tranquil and intimately wild Alaskan experience.
#40 Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a geothermal wonderland with boiling springs, fumaroles, and mud pots scattered throughout the park.
Lassen Peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range.
Visitors can witness each of the four volcano types—shield, composite, cinder cone, and plug dome—all in one park.
#41 Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Plunge into the extensive underground labyrinth of Mammoth Cave National Park, which protects the world’s longest-known cave system.
With over 400 miles explored, the caves boast incredible formations, vast chambers, and complex labyrinths.
The park is also a biodiversity hotspot, with more than 70 threatened or endangered species finding refuge in its varied habitats.
#42 Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Step back in time and explore the incredibly well-preserved dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people at Mesa Verde National Park.
With over 5,000 archaeological sites, it’s a window into the culture and life of people who lived in the area for 700 years.
Cliff Palace and Long House offer enchanting views and insight into ancient residential life.
#43 Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Visit Mount Rainier National Park to explore a mesmerizing landscape surrounding an iconic, glaciated stratovolcano.
Hikers adore the Skyline Trail, a favorite for its sweeping views of wildflower meadows, up-close encounters with the mighty Rainier, and chances to spot diverse wildlife.
With its active, half-a-million-year-old volcano, emerald valleys, and stunning waterfalls, the park captivates millions with its breathtaking and adventurous offerings, ensuring a memorable escapade into the wild Washington terrain.
I personally like going to Mount Rainier to hike to Fremont Lookout! If you’re lucky, you’ll get a cloud inversion here.
#44 National Park of American Samoa
Explore the lush and lively National Park of American Samoa, spread across three volcanic islands and home to vibrant coral reefs in the Pacific.
Traverse through rainforests, explore rugged cliffs with stunning ocean views, and dive into an underwater world of colorful marine life.
Additionally, discover the rich culture of the Samoan people, who have woven a 3,000-year-old tapestry of harmony with nature, ensuring a visit that is a blend of natural and cultural exploration.
#45 New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, West Virginia
New River Gorge National Park & Preserve is a haven of cliffs, canyons, and forests shaped by the ancient New River.
This park offers top-notch whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and over 50 miles of hiking trails through natural beauty and historical sites, including abandoned coal mines.
Whether marveling at the famed New River Gorge Bridge or exploring vibrant ecosystems, visitors will enjoy a dynamic blend of adventure and history.
#46 North Cascades National Park, Washington
North Cascades National Park is often dubbed the “American Alps,” with its over 300 glaciers and biodiverse habitats home to grizzly bears, wolves, and various bird species.
Visitors must witness the spellbinding beauty of Diablo Lake, known for its crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding mesmerizing vistas.
Whether you seek rugged hiking adventures or tranquil paddles across pristine lakes, North Cascades offers a captivating escape into wilderness and wonder.
And in the fall, if you time it right, you can hike here to see larches change orange!
#47 Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park is a Washington MUST.
The park features one of the world’s select temperate rainforests, a fascinating spectacle for scientists, and a lush playground for explorers and visitors.
As you traverse its enchanting environs, consider wandering through the Hall of Mosses Trail.
An easy, must-visit walk, it promises a memorable encounter with nature as you witness trees gracefully draped in hanging moss, forming a serene and mystical spectacle.
#48 Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Celebrated for its fascinating fossilized trees, Petrified Forest National Park offers a vibrant display of colors within its landscapes and famous petrified wood.
The park also protects significant paleontological resources, with fossils aiding scientists in understanding the Late Triassic Period, when dinosaurs first appeared.
Additionally, the park hosts hundreds of ancient petroglyphs, providing insight into early peoples’ experiences and beliefs.
#49 Pinnacles National Park, California
Visit Pinnacles National Park in California for a real adventure!
Explore the fantastic high rocky peaks and secret caves formed from ancient volcanoes. It’s an awesome place for hiking and rock climbing.
Plus, bird lovers might spot the rare California condor flying overhead.
Whether exploring dark caves or enjoying a sunset on a peak, Pinnacles has something exciting for everyone.
#50 Redwood National and State Parks, California
Immerse yourself amidst towering giants in the Redwood National and State Parks, where the tallest trees ascend to dizzying heights.
These parks also safeguard vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river-ways, and nearly 40 miles of rugged coastline.
I’ve been to this park a handful of times. There are so many things to do in Redwood National Park, but scenic drives and camping are my favorite!
Read More: Planning your visit? Check out my perfect 2-day Redwood National Park itinerary for useful tips.
#51 Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Explore the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park with its towering peaks and vibrant alpine meadows.
A haven for nature lovers and adventurers, it offers over 300 miles of trails through diverse landscapes, from tranquil lakes to rugged tundra.
For an unforgettable experience, hike on the scenic Trail Ridge Road, offering stunning panoramic views across the park.
With activities like hiking, snowshoeing, and wildlife spotting, the park promises a blend of tranquility and wild beauty year-round.
Make sure you make time to head to Dream Lake too!
#52 Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Spanning two districts around Tucson, Saguaro Nationa Park showcases the captivating beauty and resilience of the Sonoran Desert.
Visitors can wander through trails dotted with ancient petroglyphs and be awed by vibrant sunsets illuminating the iconic, towering cacti.
Saguaro stands out for its serene desert landscapes, offering a peaceful escape where life blossoms amidst the aridity.
#53 Sequoia National Park, California
Gaze up in awe at the immense Sequoia trees, including General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth, in Sequoia National Park.
Neighboring Kings Canyon National Park, it’s a land of giants with cavernous marble caves, lofty peaks, and gigantic trees.
Not only known for its eponymous trees, the park also preserves mountainous landscapes, including Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.
Sequoia is great to visit in the summer, but I love it in the winter too!
#54 Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is a haven for deer, songbirds, and black bears.
Renowned for the Skyline Drive that runs its length, this park offers over 200,000 acres of protected lands bursting with various wildlife, cascading waterfalls, and spectacular vistas.
In fall, it becomes a popular destination for leaf-peeping, with its dazzling display of autumn colors.
#55 Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Dedicated to the “father” of the National Park Service, this park embodies the vibrant spirit of Theodore Roosevelt and his vision for our country’s wild places.
Spanning a sprawling badlands landscape, it harbors a rich diversity of Great Plains wildlife, from bison and prairie dogs to wild horses.
The park is a testament to Roosevelt’s enduring conservation legacy and an adventurer’s playground, showcasing a ruggedly beautiful terrain.
#56 Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands
A tropical jewel in the Caribbean, Virgin Islands National Park encompasses lush hills, pristine beaches, and coral reefs.
This park isn’t only rich in natural beauty but shelters tales of ancient civilizations, colonial sugarcane plantations, and pirate legends.
The submerged part of the park protects a dazzling array of coral gardens, showcasing a vibrant underwater world that beckons divers and snorkelers alike.
#57 Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Voyageurs National Park, a mesmerizing tapestry of interconnected waterways and forested terrains, is mainly accessible only by water.
Named after the French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to traverse the area, the park encapsulates a rich natural and cultural history blend.
With its clear, starlit nights, it’s also a stunning locale for witnessing the Northern Lights, offering an ethereal experience.
#58 White Sands National Park, New Mexico
White Sands National Park is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field, stretching across 275 square miles of the New Mexico desert.
Visitors adore the mesmerizing white dunes for hiking, sledding, and enchanting moonlit walks, with the sand reflecting a mystical silver light.
Explore a landscape where unique flora and fauna, like the bleached earless lizard and soaptree yucca, have uniquely adapted and experience breathtaking sunsets that gently illuminate the sweeping sands.
White Sands offers a timeless escape into a brilliantly sculpted, serene world.
#59 Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
Known for its complex and intricate cave system, Wind Cave National Park harbors one of the world’s longest and most intricate caves.
The park is renowned for its outstanding display of box work and an unusual cave formation.
It also conserves 28,295 acres of wildlife habitat on the surface, playing host to bison, elk, and other native wildlife. It was the first cave in the world to be designated a national park.
#60 Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Explore the vast, wild beauty of Wrangell-St. Elias — the largest US national park, spanning 13.2 million acres of Alaskan wilderness.
Here, massive mountain ranges, including the Wrangell, St. Elias, and Chugach, meet expansive glaciers in a rugged landscape home to caribou, bald eagles, and brown bears.
Visitors, from casual tourists to avid explorers, encounter varied terrains from coastal rainforests to mountainous challenges and can marvel at the towering Mount St. Elias while traversing through striking, untamed natural spectacles.
Wrangell-St. Elias is a monumental sanctuary of adventure and solitude where Alaska’s wild spirit prevails.
#61 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho
America’s first national park, Yellowstone, is a geothermal wonderland, hosting over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including its renowned geysers and hot springs.
Its vast and varied ecosystems make it one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.
It is a haven for geologists and ecologists, and it’s also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, and elk.
I loved exploring this park for its unique geological features. They made for some amazing photo spots!
Read Next: 4 days in Yellowstone National Park.
#62 Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite, synonymous with its mighty waterfalls, towering cliffs, sequoia trees, and diverse animal and plant species, has inspired artists, poets, and adventurers alike.
The Yosemite Valley represents only one percent of the park area, but this is where most visitors arrive and stay.
From the tranquility of the High Sierra meadows to the magnificent giant sequoias, Yosemite is a testament to the awe-inspiring grandeur of the wild.
#63 Zion National Park, Utah
Characterized by towering sandstone cliffs and serene emerald pools, Zion National Park entices explorers with its surreal landscapes and challenging terrains.
The park’s stunning geography includes a myriad of mesas, buttes, and canyons that offer diverse habitats for its plants and animals.
The 15-mile-long Zion Canyon is arguably the park’s main attraction, providing awe-inspiring views and numerous hiking opportunities.
You may also like: How to spend 2 days in Zion National Park.
List of America’s 63 US National Parks
- Acadia National Park
- Arches National Park
- Badlands National Park
- Big Bend National Park
- Biscayne National Park
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Channel Islands National Park
- Congaree National Park
- Crater Lake National Park
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- Death Valley National Park
- Denali National Park & Preserve
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- Everglades National Park
- Gateway Arch National Park
- Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve
- Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
- Glacier National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Great Basin National Park
- Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Haleakala National Park
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Hot Springs National Park
- Indiana Dunes National Park
- Isle Royale National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Katmai National Park & Preserve
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Kings Canyon National Park
- Kobuk Valley National Park
- Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
- Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Mount Rainier National Park
- National Park of American Samoa
- New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
- North Cascades National Park
- Olympic National Park
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Pinnacles National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Saguaro National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Shenandoah National Park
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Virgin Islands National Park
- Voyageurs National Park
- White Sands National Park
- Wind Cave National Park
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
- Yellowstone National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Zion National Park
Each national park in the US is unique, and it’s a bucket list-worthy adventure to visit them all!
Which one will you visit next? Let me know!
While you’re on my site, make sure you read my other national park guides.