10 U.S. National Parks You Need to Visit
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
August 7, 2023
The National Park System encompasses 425 park sites, but only 63 have "National Park" in their names. In honor of National Park Service Founders Day on August 25, here are ten of the most magnificent ones across the country.
Arches National Park
Most recognizable for its unique sandstone arches, Arches National Park covers approximately 76,500 acres of land across Moab, Utah, and was established as a National Park in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. It contains more than 2,000 remarkable arches that visitors can explore and is home to desert animals, such as coyotes, lizards, hawks, and eagles. The park can exceed temperatures past 100ºF in the summer and dip below 0ºF in the winter, making fall and spring the preferred seasons for tourists to explore this extraordinary landscape.
Bryce Canyon National Park
In its 100th year as a National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park is another stunning landmark. Located in Utah, the park is the home to the world's largest collection of hoodoos — distinctive tall and narrow rock formations. Covering an area of 35,835 acres, Bryce Canyon offers an exceptional experience for anyone seeking a little adventure. Open 24 hours a day, the park is also the perfect place to go stargazing, even allowing a partial view of the Milky Way year-round.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park, one of the most recognizable U.S. National Parks, could be between 5 million and 70 million years old. Stretching 1,218,375 acres and reaching depths of more than a mile, its rock formations reveal nearly two billion years of geological history, providing a fascinating window into Earth's past. The Grand Canyon is known to many as the heart of the Colorado River, which flows through the canyon and offers spectacular views and opportunities for whitewater rafting adventures.
Grand Teton National Park
Home to the Teton Range, also known as Mountains of the Imagination, Grand Teton National Park covers approximately 310,000 acres of breathtaking terrain in Wyoming and has a peak elevation of 12,000 feet. The Tetons, which reside in the Rocky Mountains, are considered the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountain chain but are made up of rocks that may be up to 2.5 billion years old. Along with its magnificent mountain views and numerous hiking trails, trout fishing is another favored activity visitors can participate in at many of the various rivers and lakes in the park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina and Tennessee
Named the most visited National Park in America, with more than 14 million visits recorded in 2021, Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans 522,427 acres and is divided between two states. Visitors can explore a second iconic landmark while exploring the park, as the famed Appalachian Trail cuts through it. While some parks are deemed unpleasant to visit in the more extreme seasons, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is temperate year-round, making any time a good time to visit.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sometimes referred to as a Land of Extremes, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most elevated National Parks in the U.S. According to the National Park Service, elevations range from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet. In the park, visitors can find scenic overlooks that allow for clear views deep into its canyons and mountain ranges in the distance. Rocky Mountain National Park is best to visit during the summer, as its various trails can quickly freeze over in colder weather.
Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
Yellowstone became the first National Park in the United States back in 1872. Spanning three states and a total of 3,472 square miles, Yellowstone is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. While Yellowstone is home to nearly 500 geysers, the most recognizable, the iconic Old Faithful Geyser, has regular eruptions that can reach a height of over 180 feet. Yellowstone is also home to close to 70 different mammals, including coyotes, moose, goats, and bison.