Traveling around the United States comes with all sorts of challenges, and the first is deciding where to visit.
Exploring a national park is a timeless way to see the country in all its glory. The spread of COVID-19 has put many forms of travel on pause for the past year, but since social-distancing can be done at parks, many are still open.
When considering which United States national parks to visit, think about the types of outdoor activities you like the most. Are you an adventure-seeker who loves to hike and climb mountains? Maybe you’d rather capture photos of waterfalls and wildlife. No matter your preference, there is a popular national park that you’ll want to visit right away.
Hike Your Heart Out at Great Smokey Mountains National Park
The Southern Appalachian region’s beauty invites 12.5 million visitors each year to America’s most popular national park. Situated on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the park covers around 522,000 acres. The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is full of exciting things to do no matter what you enjoy—historical burial mounds, numerous waterfalls, and trails for all skill levels abound.
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Tour Grand Canyon National Park
Adventures to the American southwest are incomplete without a stop to see the Grand Canyon. One of the most unique, natural sites in the country welcomes around 6 million visitors each year. Attracted by views of the red rock layers, the canyons’ staggering depths, and the Colorado River, guests of the 1,902 square-mile park enjoy tours and observation points.
Enjoy a Scenic Drive Through Zion National Park
Known for its steep red cliffs, canyons, and rock-climbing trails, Zion National Park in Southwest Utah sees 4.5 million visitors annually. Hiking trails and a scenic drive offer various treasures and sites to see within this 229 square-mile park. Those who stay late enough to stargaze or camp for the night may see a whole other side of the park. While the day is rife with warblers, deer, turkeys, and lizards, the night brings porcupines, spotted toads, and mountain lions.
Discover the Waterfalls at Yosemite National Park
Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park is known for its ancient sequoia trees that grow 250 feet tall, giant waterfalls that stretch more than 2,000 feet into the sky, and grand granite rock formations. Annually, about 4.5 million people visit the 1,200 square-mile park to catch unique glimpses of nature and wildlife.
Uncover History at Yellowstone National Park
When deciding which United States national parks to visit, keep in mind that Yellowstone National Park is the United States’ first national park. Established by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, Yellowstone is full of many geological wonders. Spanning 3,500 square-miles and visited by 4 million people each year, the park is best known for its bison population, hot springs, and famous geysers, such as Old Faithful — view via live webcam!
Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. You may even get lucky enough to have one of these United States national parks all to yourself.