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America’s Top National Parks

What you need to know about visiting these popular spots

kayaks at Lake Crescent

YinYang/Getty Images

En español | The Great Outdoors is calling to Americans who miss travel, crave recreation and desire safe spaces where they can wander alone or explore with family and friends. The 63 wondrous national parks — “America’s best idea,” as documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has called them — offer all of that, and more.

Whether you are spotting wildlife from an overlook, walking an easy trail, hiking a majestic peak, camping in the back country or settling into a comfy cabin, you may find our national lands are a way to connect to America’s history viscerally and physically.


Spectacular ocean views and cool forest trails along the rocky coast of Maine


Amber walls and prairie grass make for impressive landscapes in S.D.


Find stunning coral reefs and other unique marine life in this wild Florida sanctuary

Carlsbad Caverns

Travel more than 700 feet below the Earth’s surface to walk among rock ​formations 

Cuyahoga Valley

Find serene nature, accessible adventure and American history


Find spectacular scenery and mountain adventures in the Alaskan wilderness


Find wildlife, turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks in Montana

Grand Teton

Stunning snow-capped mountains, wildlife galore and more in this serene haven

Great Sand Dunes

Choose your own adventure among the tallest sand dunes in North America 


Easy nature walks and views from ‘the Top of Texas’ are a few of the highlights

Hawaii Volcanoes

A nature lover's paradise of lava fields and lush rain forests on the Big Island

Indiana Dunes

Everything you need to know about visiting this lakeside treasure near Chicago

Lassen Volcanic

Explore the otherworldly landscape and see hot springs in this northern California park

Mesa Verde 

A thrilling collection of ancient canyon-carved cliff dwellings welcomes visitors in Colorado

New River Gorge

America's 63rd National Park offers big views, hiking, biking and a mighty river


Spot North America’s largest bird in California’s smallest park

Rocky Mountain

A Colorado gem sparkles with the richness of wildlife and nature


Spend a lot of time looking up — way up — at these giant trees 

Theodore Roosevelt

Bison, prairie dogs, coyotes – a Dakota wildlife landscape

White Sands

The dramatic dunes become your personal sandbox here in southern New Mexico


Giant sequoias, huge waterfalls, El Capitan call to naturalists and artists


View jaw-dropping sandstone archways in a red-rock wonderland

Big Bend

A ruggedly beautiful, remote desert landscape along the Rio Grande in West Texas 

Bryce Canyon

Find otherworldly hoodoos, red cliffs and magical sunrises in Utah

Crater Lake 

Enjoy gorgeous hikes, drives, water views and adventure in Oregon

Death Valley

​The California oasis is huge, dry, often brutally hot — and absolutely worth a visit​​​


Alligators, crocodiles, birds and bear beckon a million visitors a year

Grand Canyon

Experience the majesty of the natural wonder — gorges and rocks resembling castles

Great Basin

Solitude, mountain beauty and the world’s oldest trees in a remote oasis

Great Smoky Mountains

Avoid the crowds at the country's most popular park by finding quiet walks


A legendary sunrise highlight this volcanic playground on Maui

Hot Springs

Soak your cares away at this historic mountain retreat in Arkansas

Joshua Tree

The California haven offers a ruggedly beautiful landscape

Mammoth Cave

Explore the natural world above and below ground at this Kentucky treasure

Mount Rainier

Ice, wildflowers and ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest


Emerald wilderness, ancient trees, eagles, orcas and limited Wi-Fi


Find solace and many accessible options among the tallest trees on Earth


Winter is the perfect time to visit this camera-ready desert treasure


Cruise scenic Skyline Drive, explore miles of mountain trails and find serenity 

Virgin Islands

No passport needed for Americans visiting this gorgeous Caribbean haven on St. John 


Exploding geysers, prismatic pools, a Grand Canyon and more make for a magical visit


Cathedral-like canyons and majestic sandstone cliffs create a wondrous landscape

Park Ranger Shares Her WWII History

America’s oldest park ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, shares her experiences on the home front

AARP Travel Center

Call: 1.800.675.4318

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