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America’s Top National Parks

What you need to know about visiting these popular spots

Man exploring idyllic forest waterfall in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Sam Spicer/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.

Badlands

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

Crater Lake

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

Everglades

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

Great Smoky Mountains

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

Mammoth Cave

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

Olympic

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

Shenandoah

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

Yellowstone

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

Zion

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

Covid-19’s Impact on Parks

Parks balance allowing outdoor fun and keeping people safe in the Covid-19 era

Big Bend

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

Denali

Find spectacular scenery and mountain adventures in the Alaskan wilderness

Grand Canyon

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

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

Rocky Mountain

A Colorado gem sparkles with the richness of wildlife and nature

Theodore Roosevelt

Bison, prairie dogs, coyotes – a Dakota wildlife landscape

Yosemite

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

7 Ways to 'Leave no Trace'

Responsible visitors can help preserve America's treasures, threatened by overcrowding

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