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The Ultimate USA National Parks Bucket List

The Ultimate USA National Parks Bucket List

This is the Ultimate USA National Parks Bucket List. The national parks on this list are totally amazing and if you visit them you will have a vacation you won’t forget!

There are over 400 different national park sites in the United States alone, which span across more than 80 million acres in each state down to the Virgin Islands. There are so many different national parks, but some of them are just better than the rest! If you’re looking to visit a few national parks, here are the ones that you absolutely must put on your bucket list!

usa national parks bucket list

Acadia National Park

Take in all of Maine’s greatest features from Mount Desert Island to the Sand Beach at Acadia National Park. There are 130 miles of hiking trails and breathtaking views of lakes and coastlines that you have to see to believe.

Acadia National Park

Denali National Park and Preserve

Did you know that there is only a single road splitting up the park in Denali National Park? This national park is truly a wilderness wonderland with over 6 million acres of Alaska wildlife and nature. You’ll find a beautiful view of the northern lights, snow-kissed peaks, and ice walls so tall you can’t see where they end.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors but hate loads of people, check out our list of the Best National Parks to Avoid Crowds

Everglades National Park

Head down into the southernmost edge of Florida, and you’ll find Everglades National Park. It has over 1.5 million acres of wetland, marshes, and coastal mangroves. You can see some incredible creatures along the boat tours, and explore the pinelands hike the trails to see how swampland flourishes in the South.

everglades national park

kenai fjords national park

This remote park in Alaska is accessible via boat tours that leave daily from Seward. Why would you want to visit Kenai Fjords? One word: Glaciers. This is an iconic spot where the glacier crash into the ocean. You can get surprisingly close to the ice sheet and if you are lucky, see a huge chunk break off. While in the area it is quite likely you will also get to see sharks, whales, puffins, and all sorts of other marine wildlife!

kenai fjords

HAwai’i volcanoes national park

A far cry from sunning yourself on the beach, a trip to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a trip you will not forget. You can actually walk on volcanic lava (that has cooled), see the steam from the active volcano throughout the park and watch as the lava pours into the ocean. If you take a helicopter tour you can actually fly right over the spots where the lava is actively flowing. 

volcanoes national park

Great Smoky Mountains

This charming national park extends from Tennessee to North Carolina. Here you’ll find hiking trails that take you through part of the Appalachian Trail and see the highest peak from the observation tour to see a view of misty mountains and greenery all around you.

smokey mountain national park

Glacier national park

One of the crown jewels of the National Park system. This park is only fully accessible a few month a year but when it is open it is a super popular destination for summer travelers. The Going to the Sun Road runs through the park and gives visitors access to sweeping vistas, valleys carved out by glaciers, gorgeous mountain lakes, and more!

glacier national park

Olympic national park

The Olympic National Park in Washington State is really three or four parks in one. Visitors can drive up the side of a mountain to see Hurricane Ridge, skip stones in the pristine waters of Lake Crescent, hike to the utterly breathtaking Sol Duc Falls, walk among the moss-covered trees of the Hoh Rainforest, or go tidepooling at Ruby Beach. There is so much to see and do at Olympic National Park.

Ruby Beach

arches national park

You’ve likely seen these sandstone arches in books, but just wait until you see their grandeur in person. These rock formations just outside of Moab, Utah are otherworldly, and some of the most iconic National Parks views in the United States are at this park. 


grand canyon national park

Words cannot express just how breathtaking the Grand Canyon is. Whether you stay at the rim and just gaze at the canyon from above, or take a trek down to the canyon floor, the sheer magnitude of the canyon will stun you with its beauty. 

grand canyon

yosemite national park

America’s first National Park and the inspiration behind much of Ansel Adams’ photography, a trip to Yosemite National Park is lifechanging. From Half Dome to El Capitan you will be in awe of the beauty everywhere you look. There are so many waterfalls that are spectacular like Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and Vernal Falls. And you can even visit a grove of ancient Sequoia trees.

yosemite national park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is one of the best places to visit if you love all things nature! The Yellowstone Grand Canyon, Grand Prismatic Spring, and Old Faithful geyser are just two reasons to visit here, but the animals are really what make this park so unique. Get up super early to catch the bears, moose, and bison (so many bison) in Lamar Valley.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors but hate loads of people, check out our list of the Best National Parks to Avoid Crowds

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the oldest national park and has scenery that is just jaw-dropping. You’ll find red rocks and an area lush with vegetation that looks like it could have been from a book. If you have nerves of steel, make time to hike Angel’s Landing. 

zion national park

There are so many national parks all across the United States, but these are the ones that I recommend you put at the top of your bucket list!

Do you love this USA national parks bucket list? Check Out These Tips For Visiting National Parks Too!

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