17 Apr Top 5 Most Beautiful US National Parks
America has the most diverse landscapes of any continent on the planet so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that it happens to be home to some of the world’s most breathtaking national parks. From snowcapped peaks through to arid deserts, America is sure to have something that will leave you breathless. Here are our Top 5 Most Beautiful US National Parks.
We kick off our list with one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Yes, that’s right. The world famous Grand Canyon, which Theodore Roosevelt famously proclaimed as “the one great sight which every American should see”. Wait, you’re not American? Don’t worry, you should still see it.
When visiting the Grand Canyon, first decide whether to explore the South or North Rim – or both.
Open year round, the South Rim is the busier of the two and has a much better range of accommodation and services. If, however, you’re trying to avoid the crowds then the North Rim is the place for you. Don’t be discouraged by the fewer facilities and cooler temperatures – you won’t notice them when taking in the incredible views.
Theodore Roosevelt: Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, and for all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American...should see.
Just making the list at number 5 is no slight on the wonder that is the Grand Canyon. It does however shine light on the fact that there are some other beautiful US National Parks.
Many of Yellowstone’s attractions are conveniently located just a few metres from the side of the road with most involving an easy to navigate boardwalk. This may make you feel you are in the world’s largest museum. However, whatever you do, do not step off the boardwalk! With scalding geysers erupting every few paces and boiling hot springs covered by only a thin crust of soil, one wrong step could result in a very hot dip in what is known as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. With steam rising and geysers erupting all over the place you may feel like you have been transported to an incredibly beautiful alien-planet. Fortunately for us Yellowstone National Park is located mostly in Wyoming and is no.4 of our Most Beautiful US National Parks.
Incredibly there are 5 US National Parks in Southern Utah. All of which can stake a claim as a contender for the best National Park in the country. Unfortunately for Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon not all of Utah’s finest can make this list. Arches contains some truly magical landscapes and natural monuments for this reason makes our list. The main event in Arches has to be Delicate Arch. A short 30 minute walk from the Delicate Arch car park will bring you to a natural amphitheatre and one of the most incredible settings for a sunset. Make sure you bring a headlamp for the return journey as it will be dark by the time you arrive back at the car. This part of the world is a must see and offers all sorts of outdoor adventures from hiking, camping, and rock climbing to biking, off-road 4×4 and water sports on the Colorado River.
Raw beauty and towering cliffs help elevate Zion to no.2 on our list of Most Beautiful US National Parks. A great shuttle system, stunning drives and out-of-this-world trails all contribute to the marvel that is Zion. Zion is fortunate enough to be home to not one, but two of the most incredible hikes in the USA.
First is Angel’s Landing, for those adrenaline junkies out there. Just 2.7 miles long, Angel’s Landing begins with a switchback trail called Walter’s Wiggles which is followed by a nerve racking traverse across a narrow trail with 1,000 ft drops on either side. Chains are setup to act as a handrail for those who need it and trust us when we say that you will need it!
Number 2 is The Narrows and requires getting your feet wet as you wade up the Virgin River. Massive cliffs on either side and only one exit means this hike is not ideal for anyone with claustrophobia. The Narrows is a unique hike and one you are sure to remember for the rest of your life.
#1 Most Beautiful US National Parks…
1. Yosemite National Park, California
Easily one of the Most Beautiful US National Parks, and our personal favourite, is Yosemite National Park in California. Terrific hikes, wonderful waterfalls and stunning vistas are just some of the things to enjoy in Yosemite. The valley floor is where most of the action is located and the ideal place to begin your Yosemite adventure. Hike to the top of the tallest waterfall in America, Yosemite Falls, or visit Bridal Veil falls for a more relaxed experience.
There are many options and destinations to enjoy once you arrive on the valley floor. Yosemite’s main attraction is a 30+km return hike to the top of Half Dome which will leave you feeling on top of the world. This is without doubt one of the most incredible adventures you can experience in the USA. The hike is limited to 100 people per day so you be sure to book in your permit through the NPS. A full day on your feet and lots of elevation ensures this hike requires quite a good level of fitness. All of the effort involved makes this hike even more worth while and definitely the highlight of Yosemite National Park.