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The Best National Parks Of The USA: Explore Nature

The Top 10 US National Parks

The National Park Service turned 102 in 2018, which is certainly worth celebrating. Take advantage of a long weekend or some national holidays, and visit one of the dozens of parks across the country. Having trouble choosing? Take a look at our list below, and get inspired! Traveling in the USA couldn't become any better!

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1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee & North Carolina)

The most-visited national park in the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountains saw around 11.3 million recreational visitors last year, thanks to eclipse viewers. Unlike other parks, admission is always free, which makes it easy to enjoy 850 miles of hiking trails (including a section of the Appalachian trail).

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2. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

The bucket-list topping Grand Canyon is one of the largest canyons on earth, and the second-most visited national park with 6.2 million visitors last year. It runs a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide, and offers hiking trails, rafting, and other adventures. Here you can read more about vacations in Arizona.

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3. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

Grand Teton is located only 10 miles from Yellowstone, but it is a wholly unique park. Of the almost 5 million visitors in 2017, many gravitated towards its fantastic climbing peaks and backcountry campsites.

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4. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

With 150 lakes, 450 miles of streams, and a huge variety of wildlife and ecosystems, it's no surprise that this park is a top destination for tourists—with almost 4.5 million visitors last year—seeking the ultimate Colorado wilderness experience.

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5. Zion National Park (Utah)

Distinguished by its steep red cliffs, Zion attracted about 4.4 million visitors last year. Sometimes overshadowed by the Grand Canyon, this park offers fantastic hiking and some of the country's most unique and majestic rock formations.

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6. Yosemite National Park (California)

Cascading waterfalls, deep valleys, and giant sequoias are just a handful of the reasons to visit this historic park, which saw about 4.3 million visitors last year! Many visitors love the stunning Yosemite Valley, an eight mile-long canyon bordered by famous peaks like Half Dome and El Capitan. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your vacations in California!

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7. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, & Idaho)

Want to visit the country's very first national park? Yellowstone welcomes over 4 million visitors each year. It covers 2.2 million acres across three states and is home to two-thirds of the world's geysers.

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8. Acadia National Park (Maine)

Acadia is famous for its rocky shoreline and fantastic camping, which draw in a record 3.5 million visitors last year. Most of the park can be found on Mount Desert Island, a patchwork of parkland, private property, and picturesque seaside villages.

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9. Olympic National Park (Washington)

This jewel of the Pacific Northwest saw 3.4 million visitors last year, even though there are no roads that cross the park. It contains a unique blend of ecosystems ranging from boulder-strewn beaches to snow-capped mountains.

 

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10. Glacier National Park (Montana)

Known as the "Crown of the Continent," Glacier had over 3 million visitors in 2017. Filled with towering mountains and mirror-like lakes, it is home to Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most spectacular drives in the United States.

by Alanna Smith

The ​5 best US National Parks to visit in the Winter

Escape the crowds, warm up a bit, and gain a new perspective. Visit our National Parks in the off-season to enjoy a completely different side of them. Here are our National Park top picks for vacation in the USA

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1. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park is home to more than 60 peaks above 12,000 ft. In winter it is perfect for ice climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and mountaineering. Watch out for avalanches!     

 

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2. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

If you really need to escape the cold, this is the park you want. It features not only tropical weather, but also two of the world’s most active volcanoes. Call ahead though, sometimes volcanic activity closes the access road. Here you can get all infos and cheap deals for vacations in Hawaii.

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3. Death Valley National Park, California

Though Death Valley is the hottest place in the world during the summer, the winter season offers regular 70-degree temperatures. This photogenic park is the largest in the lower 48, giving you plenty of room to explore. Get our cheap deals for vacations in California here.

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4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah 

Winter offers a reprieve from Bruce Canyon’s more than 1 million annual visitors. This canyon offers uniquerockformations, specifically hoodoos. Also, because it is in the desert, daytime temperatures usually stay above freezing.    

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5. Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim), Arizona

Winter is the time to visit the Grand Canyon if you want to avoid the 5 million annual visitors. The winter also offers a unique, underappreciated view of this outstanding canyon. Here you can get more information about vacations in Arizona.