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National Parks

An extraordinary outdoor adventure awaits

national parks of america

Embark on an extraordinary adventure through United States' renowned National Parks. 
In the United States the marvels of nature are meticulously preserved by the devoted stewards of the National Park Service. These 63 parks, spanning 30 states, are gateways to America's rich natural heritage, inviting travellers to explore and appreciate the diverse beauty that defines its landscapes.

Whether you crave the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone, the colossal divides of the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite's majestic granite cliffs, the Western frontier captivates with geological splendour. Venture east to the mist-covered peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains and Zion's surreal sandstone cliffs. In Alaska's Denali, witness North America's highest peak, while Rocky Mountain National Park's alpine landscapes and Arches' red-rock arches showcase nature's artistry. From the unique ecosystems of the Florida Everglades to witnessing the first sunrise in Acadia, each park offers a distinctive experience

And your adventure can be as diverse as the landscapes themselves. Whether opting for an escorted tour or a self-drive adventure, camping or luxury lodges, hiking or scenic day trips, the options are as boundless as the parks' breathtaking vistas. Check out our recommended list of Top 30 National Parks, explore our featured package recommendations, or contact us to create the perfect outdoor adventure for you as we work together to unveil the beauty and personality of America's natural treasures.
Grand Canyon South Rim of stunning canyons in the USA

OUR TOP 30 NATIONAL PARKS

Browse through our recommended list of America's Top 30 National Parks. We can help create a personalised National Park experience for 
you in any of these wonderful destinations, depending on your interests, time and budget. Contact Travel USA today to start your planning.

Badlands National Park

South Dakota

One of the most unique places in America - where nature defies expectations. Mystical pinnacles rise over the largest protected mixed-grass prairie in the country, creating a dramatic landscape that challenges the conventional. Explore mysterious fossil beds, used to study the evolution of animal species, and view diverse wildlife, including the giant bison, making Badlands one of the most captivating and unconventional destinations in America's national park system.

Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming

America's first national park, established back in 1872, spans Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho and is renowned for its diverse landscapes, colourful hot springs, and iconic Old Faithful geyser. It sits atop a dormant volcano, featuring more geysers and hot springs than anywhere else on earth, and is also home to the largest bison herd in the country, grizzly bears, and wolves. Contact us today for suggestions on how best to explore one of nature’s magic wonderlands.

Zion National Park

Utah

The first and most visited of Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’ attracts families and adventurers alike with its hiking, camping, and climbing options. Averaging 600 metres deep, hikers can make the journey along the canyon floor in the 6 to 9 metre wide area known as The Narrows and the challenging area known as The Subway. Notable rock arches, including Crawford and Kolob, add to the park's spectacular features, visible from various vantage points. 

Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona

This aptly named natural wonder of the world is so massive and awe-inspiring that you simply must see it with your own eyes to truly appreciate its scale. Shaped by the Colorado River’s relentless erosion of rock and soil over millions of years, visitors can admire it from above or choose to hike along the top of the canyon cliff, in the ravine, or take an exciting rafting adventure in the river below. There are distinct experiences available at each of the three major rims - talk to Travel USA for more details.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tennessee

America’s most visited national park is an ideal getaway for hiking and camping in one of the country’s oldest mountain ranges. Comprised of ridge upon ridge of seemingly endless forest on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee it takes its name from the ever-present morning fog. Renowned for its biodiversity, ancient mountains, and Appalachian culture, it boasts historic buildings and enchanting waterfalls, offering a captivating retreat into the heart of nature.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado

Embark on a Rockies adventure to experience mountain climbing, hiking, camping, fishing, and revel in breathtaking views of jagged peaks, glaciers, and high-mountain lakes. Whether strolling around crystal-clear mountain lakes or tackling daring rock scrambles, there's an outdoor experience for everyone. From wildflower-filled summers to golden aspen autumns and snowscapes in winter, the park serves up a year-round range of adventure.

Yosemite National Park

California

One of America’s most popular national parks boasting some of the best views and hiking trails in the country - a breathtaking wilderness of cascading waterfalls, towering granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees. Explore iconic landmarks like Half Dome, El Capitan, one of the world’s premier rock-climbing destinations, and the mighty Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest in the country. Contact us today for suggestions on how best to explore this national treasure.

Denali National Park

Alaska

This remote wilderness unfolds beneath North America's tallest peak, Mt. Denali and exudes a majestic stillness over vast tundra expanses. Originally named Mt. McKinley, it was rechristened Denali in 2015 to honour the Athabaskan people and welcomes visitors to explore its many glaciers and embrace its pristine beauty through diverse wildlife viewing, mountaineering, cycling, and even dog sledding - an extraordinary adventure awaits!

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah

A masterpiece of nature's amphitheatre featuring red, white, and orange pillars standing against the bluest of skies. Home to the world's largest collection of hoodoos – the distinctive rock formations found at Bryce, it showcases horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres, scenic views, and a celestial, dark night sky. Explore its enchanting canyons, where hiking, camping, and endless outdoor activities await or for the perfect adventure combine it with some of Utah’s other ‘Mighty 5’ gems.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii

Enter the sacred cauldron where the goddess Pele, in her fiery dance, shapes and burns the earth. Marvel at Mauna Loa, Earth's largest volcano, and experience the raw power of Kilauea, one of the world's most active. Witness lava flows, explore unique formations, and traverse diverse ecosystems, from lush rainforests to barren lava fields – an awe-inspiring encounter with the forces of creation. 

Olympic National Park

Washington

The Pacific Northwest unveils its splendours at this park which spans nearly one million acres of wilderness. Encounter glaciated mountains, rugged coastlines, and lush rainforests, each fostering unique flora and fauna. With over 95% designated wilderness, visitors are invited to explore pristine nature, from rocky headlands and sandy beaches to ancient forests, offering a rare glimpse of sea otters, whales, bears, golden eagles, and endemic species found nowhere else in the world.

Death Valley National Park

California / Nevada

Despite its ominous name this desert valley, that straddles the border of California and Nevada, provides a fascinating journey into nature's extremes. Whilst one of the hottest places on Earth, it promises both challenge and awe - from the eerie beauty of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes through to the lowest point in America; Badwater Basin and Dante's View overlook. Spring is a good time to travel with the chance to witness California’s wildflowers carpeting the desert floor.

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon

An awe-inspiring spectacle where the country's deepest lake lies within a dormant volcano. This mesmerising blue masterpiece was created by the collapse of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago, and because it is mostly filled by rain and snowfall is one of the world's clearest. The surrounding park is made up of mountains, evergreen forests, and diverse habitats for an array of wildlife creating an enchanting outdoor sanctuary amidst the remnants of Earth's fiery past.

Sequoia National Park

California

Home to the world's largest trees- the towering and ancient sequoias – the park features a diverse landscape, from rugged mountain peaks to deep canyons offering a sanctuary for wildlife like black bears and mule deer. Witness the awe-inspiring resilience and grandeur of these ancient Giants of the Sierras and look to combine it with a visit to nearby Kings Canyon, known for its multiple canyons, valleys, waterfalls, and peaks. 

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana

Nestled along Lake Michigan's southern shore, one of America’s youngest national parks beckons with its diverse ecosystems and stunning scenery. A haven for nature lovers, it boasts towering sand dunes, pristine beaches, and lush woodlands and showcases diverse flora and fauna, including rare plants and migrating birds. The 5.5 km West Beach Trail is a popular hike, featuring a delightful mix of lake swimming, bird watching, wildflowers and views of Lake Michigan and Long Lake.

Arches National Park

Utah

Another of Utah’s famed ‘Mighty 5’ - a natural masterpiece of giant archways and delicate rock formations shaped by time. Hikers can take advantage of this aptly named playground for adventurers with a wide variety of trails and over 2,000 arches to explore. If you prefer to drive, take one of the many scenic routes to view some of the park’s largest arches, including one of the most iconic rock formations in the world, the Delicate Arch Viewpoint. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado

Relive your childhood as you explore the giant sand dunes at one of Colorado’s most unique and best-kept secrets - home of the tallest sand dunes in the country, set against the stunning backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. These majestic dunes, reaching heights of over 200 metres, create a surreal landscape against the mountain backdrop where visitors can sandboard or sled down the peaks, hike along the ridges and stargaze into the tranquil night sky. 

Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming

A place where age-old granite cathedrals pierce the sky, creating an awe-inspiring backdrop against Wyoming's grasslands. Just 16 km from Yellowstone, this park protects the majestic Grand Teton mountain range and its surrounding valleys featuring serene lakes, ancient rocks, and dense forests. Navigating the 42-mile scenic loop drive is a popular option for visitors to see the park, with stunning views, historical sites and hopefully some wildlife encounters along the way! 

Joshua Tree National Park

California

Step into the dreamy landscapes, located in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, where the peculiar and whimsical Joshua Trees reign supreme. Spanning 800,000 acres, this park is a testament to nature's enduring artistry shaped by rain, wind, and extreme temperatures. Contrary to appearances, the terrain teems with life, from herds of desert bighorn sheep to black-tailed jackrabbits and migrating birds.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio

Located close to Cleveland, where the winding Cuyahoga River carves its crooked path, creating a refuge of deep forests and rolling hills. This living testament to the country's rich history, with remnants of the Ohio & Erie Canal and a sustainable farming legacy offers year-round exploration and recreation with something for everyone - from hiking, golfing, historic train rides, and kayaking to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah

Featuring diverse habitats from pinyon-juniper to perennial streams harbouring a rich tapestry of plant and animal life. The park's signature feature, the Waterpocket Fold, spans almost 160 km, a captivating monument to Earth's ancient upheavals. This ‘wrinkle in the earth’ was created millions of years ago when an ancient, buried fault moved forming a monocline – a step up in the rock layers where one side of this geological landform is 2,000 metres higher than the other!

Acadia National Park

Maine

Where the wild sea meets rugged shores, crafting a spectacle of diverse landscape of granite-domed mountains, pristine lakes, and ancient woodlands. Explore over 200 kms of hiking trails and 70 kms of historic carriage roads by foot or bike, capturing the essence of a bygone era. Acadia is known as one of the best places on the east coast to view the Milky Way and in the summer months visitors travel to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to grab the countries first glimpse of sunrise.

Glacier National Park

Montana

A hiker’s paradise, this home to 25 active glaciers provides a wonderful backcountry experience, where visitors can immerse themselves in reflections of jagged peaks mirrored in crystal-clear mountain lakes. Features the iconic "Going-to-the-Sun Road", an 80 km journey through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in North America. You can drive, take a shuttle, or join a tour to enjoy breathtaking views of glacier-carved peaks, emerald-blue alpine lakes, and lush forests. 

Voyageurs National Park

Minnesota

Journey into this watery wonderland - a combination of interconnected lakes, dense forests, and rocky shores creating an idyllic setting for exploration. Best known for its pristine waterways, the park also provides visitors with the chance to witness the dance of the Northern Lights in the dark skies and encounter an array of wildlife. As a water-based national park the true magic unfolds only when you leave the roads behind and embrace the lakes, islands, and shores by boat.

Redwood National Park

California

Marvel at nature's skyscrapers - the awe-inspiring California Coast redwoods. Towering over 90 meters high, these ancient giants create a unique forest canopy. In a diverse tapestry of ecosystems, from mighty rivers to coastal stretches, these towering trees, alongside spruce and ferns, form a living mosaic, beckoning awe and reverence from those who venture into their sanctuary. 

New River Gorge National Park

West Virginia

America’s newest national park offers a captivating blend of natural wonders and human engineering marvels as it showcases the oldest river in the country along with the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere - the New River Gorge Bridge. Over 70,000 acres of lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildflowers provide a haven for outdoor enthusiasts offering thrilling activities like rock climbing and whitewater rafting along with a range of difficulty hiking options.

Mount Rainier National Park

Washington

Gaze at the regal presence of Mount Rainier, an active volcano that towers over western Washington, providing a majestic backdrop to the lively city below and inviting seekers of challenge, solace, and nature's escape. With nearly two million annual visitors, the park offers diverse activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, and backpacking. Its allure lies not only in the challenge of ascent but also in the solitude of the woods, providing an escape from urban life. 

Canyonlands National Park

Utah

Go off the grid to uncover the natural beauty and human history of the backcountry. showcasing colourful canyons, mesas, arches, and buttes carved out by the Colorado River. Divided into four distinct districts - Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves - the park invites exploration with hiking, stargazing under pristine night skies, camping, and technical rock climbing. Be sure to include its most iconic sites, Mesa Arch and Dead Horse Point in your plans.

Shenandoah National Park

Virginia

Within 90 minutes of Washington, D.C. lies a land bursting with cascading waterfalls and spectacular views, with over 200,000 acres of protected lands providing haven to deer, songbirds, and the elusive black bear. The best way to explore the park and try your luck at wildlife spotting is to travel along Skyline Drive, ranked one of the best national park roads in the country, a 170 km stretch of road that runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Everglades National Park

Florida

Just an hour from the vibrant heart of Miami lies the wetlands of the Everglades, preserving the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. This unique ecosystem is home to diverse wildlife, from alligators to manatees. Traverse the watery expanse on a thrilling airboat ride or hike through hammocks and cypress domes, witnessing the vibrant birdlife soaring above. 

California_Yosemite National Park with sun shining on El Capitan

Interested in finding out more?

Contact us today for expert travel advice and personalised trip planning assistance.
Wyoming_Yellowstone West Thumb Geyser Basin

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Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.
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