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America’s Top National Parks

What you need to know about visiting these popular spots

Two men hiking at Grand Canyon National Park

M.G. Family Photography/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 62 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

Big Bend

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

Cuyahoga Valley

Find serene nature, accessible adventure and American history


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

Hawaii Volcanoes

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

Mammoth Cave

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

New River Gorge

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

Rocky Mountain

A Colorado gem sparkles with the richness of wildlife and nature

Theodore Roosevelt

Bison, prairie dogs, coyotes – a Dakota wildlife landscape


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


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

Crater Lake

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


Find spectacular scenery and mountain adventures in the Alaskan wilderness


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

Great Smoky Mountains

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

Hot Springs

Soak your cares away at this historic mountain retreat in Arkansas

Muir Woods

Old-growth redwoods and a break from the modern world — just north of San Francisco


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


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


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

7 Ways to Avoid Crowds in the National Parks

Guidebook authors' tips on finding quieter havens and hidden gems

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