The Great American Outdoors: Exploring 10 Breathtaking National Parks in the Country

Bryce Canyon National Park

The USA was the world’s first country to cede vast areas of land for public use. The nation took its first step with Yellowstone National Park, which was soon flying the flag for the great outdoors.

An online forum recently discussed the country’s best parks, and these are the people’s choices for the most picturesque national parks in America.

1. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

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An advocate brings a colorful analogy, comparing the Grand Canyon to eating steak. “You need other food in your diet, for sure,” says the commenter, “but the steak is what you’re probably going to remember the most.”

For an alternative visit, several professional companies in the region can bring your dreams to reality, though the prices are just as grand as the canyon.

2. Zion National Park, Utah

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Utah boasts some of America’s most incredible natural beauty, starting with the postcard-perfect Zion National Park.

People come for the wild geological structures: rock turrets like deep red minarets reaching up toward deep, blue skies. Others love the wind-polished, narrow canyons flanked by golden cottonwoods and waterfalls. And some come to canyoneer in the backcountry.

3. Yosemite National Park, California

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Everyone must see Yosemite; however, it is busy most of the year because everybody must see it. “The tourists around the valley and along the river become a nuisance,” warns a regular visitor. “Hike past where the concrete path ends.”

I want to visit Yosemite in the snow and do snowshoe hiking; I will leave the rock climbing to Alex Honnold.

4. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park Highline Trail

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A Montana enthusiast believes Glacier National Park is worth the journey to the border. Though it’s only open a few months a year, the “majestic beauty” is unparalleled.

They favor the east side near East Glacier Park and advise you “bring your passport so you can visit the Canadian part of the park and (also) Waterton.”

5. Sequoia National Park, California

Famous Sequoia park and giant sequoia tree at sunset.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Few people realize California is home to the tallest peak in the lower 48, but Mount Whitney is a staggering 14,505 feet tall, sitting atop Sequoia National Park.

Most famous in the park are the ancient red Sequoias, with the tallest tree in the world, named General Sherman. Furthermore, the park contains some of the oldest trees on the planet, with many predating the Romans.

6. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park

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Arches National Park is staggering, peppered with 2,000 incredible rust-colored rock arches. The reason for these bizarre sandstone gateways is the topography.

Being on the edge of the sweeping, high Utah plains meant years of furious winds, snow, and rain to erode the tight rock crevices. The results are awe-inspiring.

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

Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs

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“I love to visit in the off-season, says a seasoned Yellowstone pilgrim, “you can experience these special places in semi-solitude and, of course, capture some awesome images.”

Yellowstone’s hydrothermal topography and mesmerizing wildlife make for a mythical national park adventure, so no surprise this location is a popular one. Being the world’s grandmaster of national parks is fitting for this wonder.

8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Tetons

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Just a few miles from Yellowstone is the majestic Grand Teton National Park. A region with too many mountains to choose from, many favor the Jackson Hole Valley for its summer hiking and biking adventures.

In summer, the Teton Mountain Range is glorious, vast, and full of bears. In the winter, Jackson Hole becomes a playground for ski season addicts and professional snow sport daredevils. Jackson Hole is one of the most famous small towns in America.

9. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park

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Joshua trees are named after the Biblical character, Joshua. Legend states that Mormon pioneers saw the trees’ outstretched boughs and thought they were bidding them west.

Joshua’s role in leading the Israelites to the Promised Land aside, the park is full of excellent hiking trails and professional-level climbing routes.

10. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park

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Another of Utah’s Nirvana-like landscapes sits in the misnomer Bryce Canyon National Park. The vistas here are almost brutal in their visual impact.

The name is misleading, as Bryce Canyon is, in reality, a series of amphitheaters; the totemic rock spires are called “hoodoos,” explains our final commenter.

Have you been to any of these incredible national parks in the USA? Which is your favorite? What would you add?

This thread inspired this post.

Featured Image Credit: Maridav/

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This article was produced and syndicated by The Happiness Function.

Ben Rice


  1. Uncle Burt on May 8, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Happy traveling. Ashlee & Pablo…

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