Top 9 American National Parks not to miss

Top 9 American National Parks not to miss

The US is home to a magnificent and diverse range of national parks popular with tourists and locals alike. Whether you enjoy hiking or a scenic drive, you will be greeted by some of the world’s most spectacular scenery along the way.
To help decide which national parks are best to visit, here are our top 9 American National Parks to include on your next holiday.

1. Glacier National Park

First established in 1910, Glacier National Park is situated in north western Montana and is home to some of America’s most spectacular mountain scenery, glacial carved valleys and more than 700 lakes. For those who love walking, take your pick from over 1,100 kilometres of hiking trails, including Fishercap Lake – Redrock Falls, Hidden Lake Overlook and Highline Trail. Admire the rugged mountain landscape, spectacular turquoise coloured lakes and pretty alpine meadows whilst looking out for local wildlife such as grizzly bears and golden eagles.
Glacier National Park

2. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, became the world’s first national park in 1872 and is one of the most stunning places on earth to visit. Take the time to explore Yellowstone National Park and its incredible wonders such as Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, named for its predictable and frequent eruptions, with approximately 20 eruptions a day. At Midway and Lower Geyser Basins, walk along the boardwalk to see the mesmerising Grand Prismatic Spring, one of the world’s largest and deepest hot springs. Observe the local wildlife in Hayden Valley, which attracts bison, wolves, elk, grizzly bears, coyotes, moose and bald eagles.
Yellowstone National Park

3. Grand Teton National Park

Located south of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park is one of Wyoming’s most spectacular destinations, and remains virtually unchanged since prehistoric times. Perfect for all lovers of nature and the outdoors, here you can admire the rugged rising peaks of the Teton Range, alongside alpine lakes and pretty mountain meadows. One of the most beautiful times of the year to visit is in the Fall, when the leaves start to change colour to vibrant orange and crimson hues. It’s also a great time to spot wildlife, go fly-fishing or enjoy one of the 370 kilometres of hiking trails. Be sure to visit Moulton Barns and Mormon Row, two of the most iconic and photographed locations in the park.
Grand Teton

4. Arches National Park

Arches National Park, situated just 8 kilometres north of Moab is home to the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches as well as some incredible geological formations. Admire soaring pinnacles, huge balanced boulders, colossal sandstone fins and more than 2,000 arches. Some of the must-see highlights include Delicate Arch – the largest free-standing arch in the park, measuring 14 metres high and 10 metres wide, Balanced Rock – featuring a massive balanced rock rising 55 feet above its base, Landscape Arch – the longest natural rock span in the world which could fit a nine story building and Double Arch, which you might recognise from the blockbuster film, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
Arches National Park

5. Canyonlands National Park

Covering 1,366 square kilometres, Canyonlands National Park is the largest national park in Utah, set in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert. Here you can marvel at the colourful canyons, tablelands, buttes, arches and spires carved by the mighty Colorado River. Enjoy a hike to Mesa Arch or Green River Overlook and be rewarded by the spectacular views up close, or venture by four-wheel-drive along the park’s 32 kilometres of paved roads. For the best views, arrive at sunrise or stay for sunset for incredible panoramic views, capturing the fading last light of the day.
Canyonlands National Park

6. Bryce Canyon National Park

A visit to Bryce Canyon National Park will lead you to encounter the world’s largest concentration of incredible and irregular rock formations known as ‘hoodoos’. Hoodoos are created by rainwater seeping into the cracks in the rocks, and freezing during the cold nights, before expanding and fracturing the rock. Bryce Amphitheater is one of the best examples to view these incredible hoodoos from the four viewpoints: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point and Sunrise Point. Admire the dazzling colours and spectacular geological formations which also include natural bridges and narrow fins. With fantastic air quality and no light pollution, Bryce Canyon also offers world-class stargazing.
Bryce Canyon

7. Monument Valley

Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park, situated on the Utah-Arizona border, is home to some of the USA’s most iconic landscapes. Although not officially a National Park, it is equivalent to a national park in the Navajo Nation. Admire the colossal sandstone masterpieces, rising to heights of up to 300 metres, alongside gigantic mesas, buttes and pinnacles of rock, set against spectacular colouring of the sand. One of the best ways to experience Monument Valley is on an exciting jeep safari as part of Scenic Enrich, where your guide will tell stories of the creation of these mythical formations.
Monument Vallet

8. Zion National Park

Utah’s first national park, Zion National Park is located just outside of Springdale and is one of the most visited parks in the United States. Zion is a hiker’s paradise, attracting hikers of all abilities from around the world. Some of the best hikes include Emerald Pools Trails with fantastic views of the canyon and waterfalls and Canyon Overlook Trail which provides commanding views of the lower reaches of Zion Canyon from above the Great Arch. For a more challenging and thrilling hike, try Angels Landing, which includes plenty of chains to hang onto and carved steps with big steep drop-offs on both sides of the trail.
Zion National Park

9. Grand Canyon National Park

Carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon stretches 446 kilometres long and 29 kilometres wide. Pay a visit to the South Rim, one of the most visited rims of Grand Canyon National Park, whilst the North Rim is more remote and attracts visitors wanting to hike the Grand Canyon and white-water raft the Colorado River. One of the best ways to experience the sheer size and beauty of the Grand Canyon is by helicopter. As part of your exclusive Scenic Enrich experience, you can also view the spectacular phenomenon as you dine on the rim.
Grand Canyon National Park
Experience these spectacular destinations during our 22 day ‘The Best of America’s National Parks’ tour.

Featured Itinerary

22 Day The Best of America’s National Parks

From Calgary to Vegas, travel through five North American states plus Canada in search of your favourite National Park on this 22 day The Best of America’s National Parks tour. Discover the cliffs, waterfalls and forest trails that make these locations truly remarkable.

Highlights include dining on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a visit to Yellowstone National Park, where you can witness its hot springs and most famous geyser, Old Faithful, and an exciting jeep safari through Monument Valley.

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