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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 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.

Acadia

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

Badlands 

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

Bryce Canyon

Find otherworldly hoodoos, red cliffs and magical sunrises in Utah

Cuyahoga Valley

Find serene nature, accessible adventure and American history

Denali

Find spectacular scenery and mountain adventures in the Alaskan wilderness

Glacier

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 

Haleakalā 

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

Mount Rainier

Ice, wildflowers and ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest

Olympic

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

Rocky Mountain

A Colorado gem sparkles with the richness of wildlife and nature

Shenandoah

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 

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

Arches

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 

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​​​

Everglades 

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

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

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

Redwood

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

Saguaro

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

Theodore Roosevelt

Bison, prairie dogs, coyotes – a Dakota wildlife landscape

White Sands

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

Yosemite

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

Vacation Planning Tools

Keep in mind these useful resources when researching and booking your trip

100-Year-Old 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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