Most Popular National Parks in the United States

Yosemite National Park - California
Yosemite is home to nearly 2,000 varieties of plants and animals, including giant sequoias. Yosemite's geology is world renowned for its tall waterfalls and granitic rocks. American Indians also have called Yosemite home for perhaps 8,000 years, and along with early pioneers and guardians, have left behind a rich history.



Glacier National Park, Montana 
Come and experience Glacier's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, transportation, and stories of Native Americans. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you.


Acadia National Park - Maine
Acadia National Park was the First National Park East of the Mississippi River. People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.



Zion National Park - Utah
In 1909, U.S. President  Taft named the area a National monument  under the name of Mukuntuweap National Monument. However, in 1918, the changed the park's name to Zion. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the Virgin River. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, this unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.


Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming. 
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park preserves a spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife. The abrupt vertical rise of the jagged Teton Range contrasts with the horizontal sage-covered valley and glacial lakes at their base, creating world-renowned scenery that attracts nearly four million visitors per year.

Denali National Park & Preserve features North America's highest mountain, 20,320-foot tall, Denali(as Alaskans call it) or Mount Mckinley. The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers. Denali's more than 6 million acres also encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose.



Arches National Park - Utah
Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history. The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world. 


Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, a World Heritage Site, encompasses 1,218,375 acres and lies on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. The land is semi-arid and consists of raised plateaus and structural basins typical of the southwest. Drainage systems have cut deeply through the rock, forming numerous steep-walled canyons. Forests are found at higher elevations while the lower elevations are comprised of a series of desert basins.
Grand Canyon Lodging


Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming 

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.



Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado
This park is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. The elevations range from 8,000' in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259' at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak. This provides visitors with opportunities for breathtaking adventures.The park is split by the Continental Divide, which gives the eastern and western portions of the park a different character. The east side of the park tends to be drier, with heavily glaciated peaks and cirques. The west side of the park is wetter and more lush.


Honorable Mention

Carlsbad Caverns - New Mexico

As you pass through the Chihuahuan Desert and Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas—filled with prickly pear, chollas, sotols and agaves—you might never guess there are more than 300 known caves beneath the surface. The park contains 113 of these caves, formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone, creating some of the largest caves in North America. 


Mount Rushmore National Monument - South Dakota
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is host to almost three million visitors a year from across the country and around the world. They come to marvel at the majestic beauty of the Black Hills and to learn about the ideals of democracy and freedom represented by the granite portraits of Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Over the decades, Mount Rushmore has grown in fame as a symbol of America-a symbol of freedom and democracy and a hope for people from all cultures and backgrounds.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Tennessee & North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves a rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history. The mountains have had a long human history spanning thousands of years—from the prehistoric Paleo Indians to early European settlement in the 1800s to loggers and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in the 20th century. This park strives to protect the historic structures, landscapes, and artifacts that tell the varied stories of people who once called these mountains home.
Great Smoky Mountain Park Lodging
Complete Listing of National Parks, Battlefields, Seashores, Preserves,  and Historical Sites



 Our Kid Magazine's Top 10 National Parks
     Glacier National Park, Montana 
     Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico 
     Yellowstone, Wyoming 
     Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, California 
     Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 
     Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 
     Everglades National Park, Florida 
     Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 
     Olympic National Park, Washington 
     Mesa Verde, Colorado


GORP's top 10 Biking National Parks
     Acadia, ME 
     Shenandoah, VA
     Big Bend, TX
     Rocky Mountain, CO
     Grand Teton, WY
     Canyonlands, UT
     Death Valley, CA
     Redwood, CA
     Crater Lake, OR
     Olympic, WA