comScore
U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best National Parks in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

For more than 100 years, the National Park Service has managed millions of acres solely for the "enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations." Today, 60 national parks in the United States draw more than 200 million visitors a year to unique natural wonders and unforgettable terrains. To determine the best, U.S. News took into account the opinions of both travel experts and recent park visitors. Got a favorite park? Cast your vote below and take a photo tour of the Best National Parks in the USA. Take a photo tour of America's top national parks »

Change Ranking

Explore More Rankings


#1 Yellowstone

#1 in Best National Parks in the USA

Even if Yellowstone didn't hold the incredible distinction of the world's first national park, the 2.2 million-acre park could easily stand on its own for its unique natural attractions and diverse geography. Here, travelers can get lost in the splendor of Yellowstone's many lakes, mountains, buffalo-filled valleys and, of course, its unmatched geysers and hot springs. Read More »

Inspiration Point View 32 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#2 Yosemite

#2 in Best National Parks in the USA

California's most-visited national park stands out for its bevy of impressive waterfalls, such as Vernal Fall and Bridalveil Fall, as well as unique granite rock formations like the Half Dome and El Capitan. Whatever your itinerary may be, make sure to stop by the breathtaking Tunnel View Outlook. Read More »

Glacier Point View 29 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#3 Glacier National Park

#3 in Best National Parks in the USA

Water and mountains define this park, which spans three mountain ranges and includes more than 700 lakes across Montana. Take advantage of the park's expansive hiking trails and be sure to hit traveler favorites like the Trail of the Cedars and Iceberg Lake Trail. Other scenic spots to explore include the Apgar Nature Center and the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Read More »

Glacier National Park View 23 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#4 Grand Canyon

#4 in Best National Parks in the USA

The Grand Canyon is so magnificent that even the highest quality photos don't do the park's beauty justice – you have to see it in person. The 18-by-277-mile UNESCO World Heritage site offers endless hiking opportunities as well as the chance to raft the Colorado River. The turquoise waters of the Havasu Falls are also a must-see attraction. Read More »

Grand Canyon at sunset View 35 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#5 Grand Teton National Park

#5 in Best National Parks in the USA

Jackson Hole's backcountry is a wild wonderland begging to be explored. Once home to ranchers, farmers and fur trappers, the park now offers more than 200 miles of trails that weave through breathtaking prairies, lakes and the park's most remarkable attribute, the jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Grand Teton mountain range. The 11-mile Cascade Canyon Trail shows off the best of the park's stunning topography.  Read More »

View 16 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#6 Zion National Park

#6 in Best National Parks in the USA

This Utah national park is a paradise for thrill-seekers. Hike Angel's Landing, which brings travelers up through a nearly 1,500-foot natural staircase, or trek The Narrows, a 10-mile hike through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, which requires hikers to travel upstream through the Virgin River. Read More »

Autumn at Watchman Trail View 17 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#7 Arches National Park

#7 in Best National Parks in the USA

Established in 1929, the original Arches National Park didn't even include its most famous 65-foot "Delicate Arch." The park continued to expand over time though, and Arches National Park now covers nearly 77,000 acres. Precarious looking sandstone monuments riddle every view and the formations make the park an excellent place for backpackers, rock climbers and hikers to explore. Read More »

View 25 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#8 Rocky Mountain National Park

#8 in Best National Parks in the USA

The Rockies earn lots of points for their convenience. Sitting just 70 miles north of Denver, the area makes for an easy daytrip. But you could spend days exploring this park. The Rockies' magnificent landscape is one for the books, featuring 355 miles of scenic trails, around 150 lakes and 77 mountains taller than 12,000 feet. Read More »

Loch Vale View 16 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#9 Bryce Canyon National Park

#9 in Best National Parks in the USA

Hoodoos are odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from forces of erosion, and Bryce Canyon is home to the most extensive collection of hoodoos in the world. Located in southern Utah, the roughly 35,835-acre park offers an array of hiking opportunities. While the Bryce Canyon is most popular in the summer, previous visitors say the park's snow-covered landscape is an unforgettable sight. Read More »

View 23 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#10 Olympic National Park

#10 in Best National Parks in the USA

Washington State's Olympic National Park, located on the Olympic Peninsula, offers something for every kind of nature lover, from hikers to stargazers to boaters to photographers. Among its nearly 1 million acres, visitors can explore glacier-capped mountains, trek through old-growth temperate rainforests and marvel at more than 70 miles of wild coastline. Read More »

Olympic National Park View 24 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

Vote to Add

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Belongs on List? Yes No

Acadia National Park

Beehive Trail Overlooking 'The Bowl'

Acadia National Park

Belongs on List? Yes No

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Belongs on List? Yes No

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Belongs on List? Yes No

Recommended Articles

Best Airfares