Summer is meant to be spent outside in the great outdoors, experiencing all that mother nature has to offer. It’s the perfect time for the ultimate escape to some of the most beautiful and geologically breathtaking places in the states. Whether it’s hiking, camping or just good ol’ fashioned sightseeing, a visit to a national park has it all and more.
But with so many national parks to choose from in the U.S., what are the best ones to plan your summer visits around? Let’s check out a few of the nation’s top destinations.
(If you’re smart, you’ll plan your summer park tour around August 25th – National Park Service’s birthday – when park entrance fees are waived all day).
Zion National Park
Utah is home to some breathtaking landscapes and none is more scenic than The Narrows of Zion National Park. It’s a strenuous hike wading through the trekkers walk route as you carefully navigate the slippery rocks that line the river, but nothing worth experiencing should come easy, right?
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
This combined park makes a huge impact on visitors because it’s home to some of the largest trees on the planet. The giant sequoias can stand over 250 feet tall and there are some on the premise that have been hollowed out so that you can literally walk through them. Oh, and thanks to the lush sequoia groves, temperatures in the park rarely exceed 90 degrees, perfect hiking weather.
Crater Lake National Park
There’s just something magical about the pacific northwest. Blending coastal views, lush forests and sprawling cliffs, Crater Lake National Park has every sight worth seeing all in one location. It also just so happens to be one of the cleanest national parks in the country with some of the purest air, thanks Oregon. With more than 100 miles of world-class trails, Crater Lake is more than enough to keep hikers occupied.
Yellowstone National Park
Probably the most renown national park in the United States, Yellowstone is a sprawling 3,500-sq. mile wilderness atop a volcanic hot spot. Does it get cooler than that? Stretching from Wyoming and into Montana, Yellowstone National Park is full of gorgeous scenery, amazing wildlife, hiking trails, dynamic canyons, beautiful rivers, hot springs, exploding geysers (the infamous, Old Faithful) and more. If you haven't been to Yellowstone, make it a point to remedy that because it’s well worth the price of admission.
Acadia National Park
National Parks don’t discriminate based on location. From Pacific coast sanctuaries to midwest havens and north eastern paradises, like Acadia National Park, America’s parks are spread evenly across the country. And while Acadia may be one of the smaller national parks, the diverse landscape doesn’t fall short or disappoint. Littered with sandy beaches, rocky peaks and hardwood forests, the park and it’s rugged coastline have become an absolute must visit for Atlantic coast dwellers and travelers.
When it all boils down, the best part about a summer national park tour is that you really can’t go wrong with wherever you choose to go. After all, being one with nature, wandering in the wonders of the great outdoors – there’s no better way to spend a summer.