15 National Parks That Won’t Disappoint for Your Summer Road Trip

4 shares National parks serve as gateways to some of the most stunning natural wonders and exciting activities in the U.S. From majestic cliffs to…

Yosemite Camping

National parks serve as gateways to some of the most stunning natural wonders and exciting activities in the U.S. From majestic cliffs to mountains shrouded in mist, these parks showcase breathtaking landscapes. Here’s a look at some incredible national parks that are definitely worth adding to your travel list.

1. Yosemite National Park, California

Mother and son in Yosemite National Park MSN
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El Capitan’s massive granite cliffs dominate the landscape in Yosemite. The park also boasts unique wildlife and the giant sequoias, some of the largest trees on Earth. For a breathtaking experience, visit the roaring Yosemite Falls. Inside the park, you can take slow walks or strenuous hikes. You can also have a picnic in beautiful spots with great views.

2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

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Home to the famous Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone’s geothermal wonders are a must-see. The park is a safe place for animals like groups of bison and wolves. People visiting the park can see these animals safely. 

You can walk on paths to bright hot springs and muddy spots with ground bubbles. You can also fish in the park’s waters, just be sure to get your permit before you do.

3. Zion National Park, Utah

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Zion stuns with its towering red cliffs and rich valley floors. Visitors can walk in thin canyons or climb Angel’s Landing to see great views and have fun. The park is home to wildlife, including mule deer and golden eagles. Clear streams run through the canyons, offering spots for visitors to cool off on hot days.

4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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The Grand Canyon is breathtaking from every lookout point. Travelers can hike into the canyon’s depths or go rafting on the Colorado River. At night, the Grand Canyon reveals a sky of stars perfect for stargazing due to the low light pollution. The canyon walls show red and brown rock layers, telling stories of the Earth’s past.

5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, and North Carolina

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its biodiverse landscapes and historic structures. Wide drives or a simple walk among the fog-covered peaks reveal nature’s beauty. 

Streams, rivers, and waterfalls, which offer relaxing sounds and sights, can be found in the park. Black bears live in the park, and visitors may spot one from a safe distance.

6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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Rocky Mountain National Park showcases a high mountain environment, offering chances to see elk and bighorn sheep. The park features trails suitable for all skill levels and winter sports opportunities. In spring, the park has a diverse display of beautiful wildflowers. Families can enjoy picnic areas and peaceful spots for relaxation amid stunning landscapes.

7. Olympic National Park, Washington

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In Olympic National Park, Washington, rainforests and steep grassland meet along the uneven Pacific coastline. This diverse landscape invites exploration and adventure at every turn. You can also find hot springs to relax. Plus, it’s a great place to look at stars at night because it’s away from city lights.

8. Glacier National Park, Montana

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Glacier National Park’s stunning views include its ice fields and reflective lakes. Watch for mountain goats and grizzly bears who call this park home. You can drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road to see amazing views. There are many waterfalls and trails to explore in the park, too.

9. Acadia National Park, Maine

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Acadia National Park is a northeastern gem with rocky shores and dense woodlands. Watching the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain is an unforgettable experience. It is near the ocean, so you can enjoy many water activities like fishing and boating. The park also has many camping spots where you can stay overnight.

10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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The spiked peaks of the Tetons rise above pristine lakes, offering picturesque views in the Grand Teton National Park. You can go climbing, kayaking, or hiking here. The park also has plenty of animals, like bears and birds. In winter, people visit for snow sports, like skiing.

11. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

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Driving the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park features panoramic views of Virginia’s rolling hills. When you go on the Skyline Drive, you can see Virginia’s hills. The park’s leaves change color in fall, and paths like the Old Rag Mountain make the park look beautiful.

12. Joshua Tree National Park, California

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Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its night skies and strange landscapes. Its remarkable rocks and trees amaze visitors, and stargazing here is unparalleled. The park gets very quiet at night. When the sun sets, the sky becomes colorful, and the Joshua Trees look quiet and odd against it.

13. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

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Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii lets you see the active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You can walk through lava tubes and see lava flowing up close. 

This park also has a variety of landscapes. You can walk in rich green rainforests or see the plain yet amazing volcanic desert areas formed by old eruptions. 

14. Arches National Park, Utah

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With over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, Arches National Park’s landscape feels unearthly. Hiking trails lead to iconic formations like Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch. In the colder months, the park changes, and the trails become quiet and open. You can enjoy a peaceful walk among its large stone wonders.

15. Everglades National Park, Florida

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The warm, wild Everglades National Park has a unique mix of life, which you can see up close on airboat rides with alligators. The Everglades have many plants and animals, including manatees and American crocodiles. People can walk or canoe here to see this beautiful natural place.

The Best National Parks in the US That May Not Be on Your Radar

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Whether you’re a budding environmentalist or just looking for a new national park to add to your bucket list, there are some fantastic parks out there worth visiting.

We think these are the best national parks to add to your list when traveling through the U.S.

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