How many national parks are there in the U.S.? In this article, you will get to know about all the different national parks in the U.S.
You will find everything over here. From beautiful landscapes to mountains and deserts, the U.S. has everything to attract tourism.
The following article will provide you with a list of U.S. National Parks by state. Currently, the U.S. National Parks have grown in number to around 63. But not all states have one, and some larger states have more than one national park. There are more national parks in California as well as in Alaska than in any other state.
The U.S. National Park Service was founded in the year 1916. The country’s first national park predates it: “Yellowstone National Park” was established in 1872 when President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law.
There are currently 63 designated U.S. National Parks within the National Park System. Overall there are 423 National Park Properties in the U.S.
The other park sites fall into different National Park System categories like National Historic Sites, National Monuments, National Seashores, National Recreation Areas, etc.
List of US National Parks To Visit
1. List of US National Parks: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennesse
Great smoky mountains national park is located on the east coast. Rich wildlife, secluded campsites, various plants, and more than 800 miles of trails for hiking attract visitors to the smoky mountains.
Fall is the best time to visit the great smoky mountains national park. It is the most visited national park. Clingman’s Dome is the highest point where you can climb and watch the best and highest view of the great smoky mountains national park.
2. List of US National Parks: Denali National Park
Denali National Park has a land of about 4.7 million acres larger than the whole state of New Jersey.
In Denali National Park, you will find ice-caked mountains and wandering grizzly bears. You can also watch the glacial Toklat River and the Stony Hill Overlook in Denali National Park.
3. List of US National Parks: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This national park is a known UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has the best view to offer the visitors, and you will surely love this place. Winter is the best time to pay a visit here. If you want to have some adventurous activities, you must try 277-mile long Colorado River and hike on Bright Angel Trail.
4. List of US National Parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountain national park is gaining popularity day by day and is becoming a great visitor center. Due to the increase in popularity, you will have to face more crowds in the national park with overly crowded roads, compact parking, and never-ending queues.
There is no best season for visiting rocky mountain national park. You can visit Rocky Mountain National Park early in the day to have a great visit and avoid the crowd. To get a great view of rocky mountain national park, do drive through Trail Ridge Road.
5. List of US National Parks: Zion National Park, Utah
In Zion, there’s a lot to explore. You can explore the canyons, go hiking, or climb the astounding red rocks. Zion national park offers a lot to visitors.
Here you will have so many things to enjoy, from a hanging garden to various waterfalls. Also, do watch the sunset in this national park. Winter is the best time to pay a visit here, but you will have to encounter snow.
6. List of US National Parks: Yosemite National Park, California
This national park will offer you a great scenery view. Here you can try different activities like hiking, rock climbing, and scenic drives.
Some of the must-visit points and sights of Yosemite National Park are tunnel View, Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, and Hetch-Hetchy.
7. List of US National Parks: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Winter is the best time to pay a visit to Yellowstone National Park. It was developed in the year 1872 and it is the world’s first national park. Interesting, right?
This place offers a great surprise to the visitors. The hot springs are a major attraction here. Also, don’t forget to pay a visit to Old Faithful geyser.
8. List of US National Parks: Acadia National Park, Maine
The mountain tops, seascapes, and beautiful forests give this national park a beautiful view.
It would be best if you visit Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut districts, and Cadillac Mountain for a lovely sunrise. September to October is the best time to pay a visit to Acadia National Park.
9. List of US National Parks: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
This national park is the best place for hikers. Paintbrush Canyon, Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes, Grand View Point, Jenny Lake Loop, Garnet Canyon, and Taggart Lake are some of the best trails in Grand Teton National Park.
September and October is the best time to pay a visit to this national park.
10. List of US National Parks: Olympic National Park, Washington
The best time to pay a visit here is in the summer season. Please visit Hoh Rainforest in this national park and try hiking on any of the many trails in the park.
Some of the beautiful trails are Spruce Nature Trail, Hurricane Hill, Sol Duc Falls, and Mink Lake.
11. List of US National Parks: Glacier National Park, Montana
This national park is spread over 600 miles of trails for you to hike. So this park gives you the chance to explore it all. Cracker Lake, Apgar Lookout, Avalanche Lake, Grinnell Glacier, Hidden Meadow, Hidden Lake, and Highline are must-visit trails.
The best time to visit Glacier National Park is during spring and fall time. But there is a possibility that you will face limited services.
12. List of US National Parks: Joshua Tree National Park, California
This national park is called out for rock climbing activities. In Joshua Tree National Park, Mohave Deserts and Colorado come together to build a great landscape. Over here, Joshua Tree points towards the sky.
Joshua Tree National Park also has old gold mines and archaeological sites. Lost Horse Mine and Lost Palms Oasis are the best trails of this national park. The best time to pay a visit to Joshua Tree National park is during the spring season.
13. List of US National Parks: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
This national park will give you a landscape experience that will make you feel out of this world. Mossy Cave, Rim Trail, Navajo Loop, and Fairyland Loop are some of the great trails.
Visit Bryce Canyon National Park during the winter season to experience the best of everything it has to offer. But in this season, there is a possibility that the trails will be closed due to snowfall. Canyon national park has tall rock spires and hoodoos.
14. List of US National Parks: Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri
Gateway Arch National Park came into existence in the year 2018 and thus has joined the list of U.S. national parks. It is home to two fascinating museums.
One of the museums is located in the old courthouse, on the other side of the street, while the other museum can be found at the Gateway Arch complex. There is no specific best time to pay a visit here. You can enjoy it at any time of the year.
15. List of US National Parks: Death Valley National Park, California
In Death Valley National Park, you will be amazed at what you find. The hottest, driest, and strangest spots of California can be found here. Unlike its name, Death Valley National Park is full of life.
Natural Bridge, Mesquite Salt Flat Sand Dunes, Mosaic Canyon, and Telescope Peak Death Valley National Park are great Death Valley National Park trails. Spring and winter are the best times to visit this national park.
16. List of US National Parks: Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park has over 2,000 arches inside them. Spring and fall are the best time to pay a visit here. Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, The Windows, Skyline Arch, Devils Garden, and Park Avenue are great trails. Spring and fall are great times to pay a visit.
17. List of US. National Parks: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
It is a great place for Mountaineers and hikers. The Grove of the Patriarchs, Glacier Basin, and Naches Peak Loop are great trails in mount rainier national park. Summer is the best time to pay a visit to this national park.
18. List of US National Parks: Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Hot springs national park is the smallest among all the 63 national parks. Hot Springs national park is also known for its hiking trails. So, hiking is a must-do activity. Sunset, Mountaintop, and Hot Springs Mountain are great trails of Hot springs national park. Always try to avoid July month to pay a visit here.
19. List of US National Parks: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Skyline Drive is the most famous in Shenandoah National Park. Old Rag, Snead Farm, Little Devils Stairs, Mary’s Rock, Stony Man, Hawksbill Gap, Dark Hollow Falls, and Chimney Rock are great trails in Shenandoah National Park. Autumn is a great time to pay a visit here.
20. List of US National Parks: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes are also known as the Big Island and it is the only one that is still volcanically active in Hawaii. Pu’u Loa, Crater Rim, Kīlauea Iki, and Thurston Lava Tube are great national park trails. Winter is the best time to visit here.
21. List of US National Parks: Sequoia National Park, California
The huge Sequoias present in Sequoia National Park are among the oldest, tallest, and largest, in the whole world. Big Trees, Tokopah Falls, and Middle Fork are the best trails of this national park. Fall month is the best time to pay a visit here.
22. List of US National Parks: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
From this national park, you can pick your fruits. Capitol Gorge, Golden Throne, Sunset Point, Hickman Bridge, and Cassidy Arch are great trails of Capitol Reef National Park. June to October is a great time to pay a visit. Spring is also great for pleasant temperatures.
23. List of US National Parks: New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, West Virginia
This national park protects 70,000 acres of land. Long Point, Grandview Rim, Endless Wall, Sandstone Falls, and Glade Creek are great trails. Fall or April to October is the best time to pay a visit here.
24. List of US National Parks: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns National park protects 119 caves. Interesting right! These caves are so beautiful and amazing that you won’t get bored here. All of them are unique in their way in Carlsbad Caverns National park.
Big Room and Natural Entrance are great trails of Carlsbad Caverns National park. April to October is the best time to pay a visit to Carlsbad Caverns National park. Reach the natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns National park just before sunset to see the great view.
25. List of US National Parks: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Gunnison national park is deeper than Grand canyon. This national park is quite narrow. Hiking can be difficult in Gunnison national park. You will get a great view of the night sky in Gunnison national park.
Oak Flat Loop, North Vista, Chasm View, and S.O.B. Draw are great trails of Gunnison national park. From April to November, you can pay a visit to Gunnison national park.
26. List of US National Parks: Channel Islands National Park, California
Channel Islands National Park is a great place to explore different creatures and plants. California’s Galapagos is the nickname of Channel Islands National Park. Channel Islands National Park has 5 different islands inside them.
Cavern Point, Inspiration Point, and Cherry Canyon are some of the famous trails of Channel Islands National Park. The Channel Islands National Park can be visited in any season.
If you are interested in watching wildflowers here, spring is the best season to visit. Also, if you are interested in watching wildlife, you must visit Channel Islands National Park in the winter season.
27. List of US National Parks: Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park has marine life, glaciers and forests view. You can take a boat trip to Kenai Fjords National Park, or you can also take a walk. Some of the best trails of Kenai Fjords National Park are Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield.
The best time to pay a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park is during summers, and you can expect cold and rainy weather throughout the year.
28. List of US National Parks: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
You may have thought that Guadalupe mountains national park has just mountains and parks. What’s special about this? But wait! There is much more to see in Guadalupe mountains national park.
In Guadalupe mountains national park, you will find four of Texas’ tallest mountains, the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef, canyons, desert, stellar night skies, and many more. Unfortunately, Guadalupe mountains national park is the least visited national park.
Devil’s Hall, Smith Spring, Guadalupe Peak, and Permian Reef Geology are some of the best trails of Guadalupe mountains national park. The best time to pay a visit to Guadalupe mountains national park is in October and November.
29. List of US National Parks: Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Located in South Carolina, Congaree National Park is the place that preserves the largest area of old-growth hardwood forest that remains in the U.S. as of now. Boardwalk Loop, River Trail, Fork Swamp, Kingsnake Trail are some of the best trails of Congaree National Park.
You can visit Congaree National Park in any month of the year. Also, try to avoid weekends and holidays if you are not comfortable with crowds to pay a visit to Congaree National Park. You can see Congaree National Park via canoe, and viewing this way, you can see swamp turtles, fish, birds, and much more.
30. List of US National Parks: Katmai National Park, Alaska
Katmai national park is very famous because of its bears. Before the bears go for hibernation, Katmai National park celebrates “Fat Bear Week.” The Volcanic eruptions that happened 100 years ago have left this area as it looks today, and the beautiful sight of Katmai national park will blow you away.
Brooks Falls Trail and Dumpling Mountain are some of the best trials of Katmai national park. The best months to visit Katmai National park are July and September. But, they are also the most crowded months to pay a visit there.
31. List of US National Parks: Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska
Gates of the Arctic National Park was once the least visited amongst the 63 national parks of the U.S. The Arctic national park can be reached by foot, plane, or boat. Reaching the Arctic national park is a little challenging but worth the effort.
The best season to visit Arctic National Park is the summer season. You should take an experience of hiking through the park’s vast Wilderness and also paddle one of the many Wild & Scenic Rivers of Arctic national park.
So, this was the list of U.S. national parks that you can visit this holiday season. There are more national parks in the U.S., not just limited to the ones we mentioned.
With abundant wildlife, forests, and national parks, the U.S. is the best place to spend holidays.
Before you leave, here are a few suggested reads to keep you entertained: