Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America, created the national park system as we know it today, providing millions of people with the opportunity to see natural beauty up close.
It was hard to choose our favourites amongst the 59 national parks in the country, but after much deliberation, here’s our top 10.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Head 80 miles south of Seattle and you’ll end up at the snow-capped mountains of the Mount Rainier National Park.
Rainier is a dormant volcano and its surrounding lava fields are covered with dense vegetation, waterfalls, ancient trees, and 25 glaciers.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon is made up of series of naturally formed amphitheatres which sit a mile high.
The park hosts an annual 4-day astronomy festival in which visitors are rewarded for their arduous journey into the desert with some of the most incredible stargazing in the world.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Arcadia – the largest tourist attraction in Maine – is arguable one of the most picturesque places in the state and is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi.
Head to the top of Cadillac Mountain to witness breath taking views of the Somes Sound, Frenchman Bay, the Porcupine Islands, and Bar Harbour.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to not one, but two active volcanoes, which includes one of the world’s most active – Kilauea.
However, it’s the most active subaerial volcano, Mauna Loa, which makes this one of the most important geological research sites in the world.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
More than 3.2 million visitors (almost as much as the number of people who enjoy betting sites) head to Grand Teton every year to view the emblematic peaks which make up the mountain range, hike the glaciers, catch trout, and see the Jackson Hole.
Visit the park’s numerous lakes or head to the 13,775-foot Grant Teton mountain.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Stretching to British Columbia and Alberta, the Glacier National Park is so spectacular that it reaches all the way from Montana to Canada, spanning over a million acres in total.
With mountains and lakes formed by glaciers, you won’t find view like this anywhere else in the world and there are still 25 active glaciers on park land.
Zion National Park, Utah
Head to the crossroads of the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Plateau, and the Great Basin, and you’ll find the 15-mile canyon of the Zion National Park in Utah. Explore red rocks alongside tropical waterfalls and expansive deserts.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon has much more to offer than just taking it all in from the Skywalk Observation Deck.
Head out on a daylong trek to either the North or South Rims, the two-day trek from the top to the bottom, or take on some of the most challenging rapids on the Colorado River.
Yosemite National Park, California
Faced with the astounding El Capitan rock face upon entering, inside the Yosemite National Park you’ll find 20 waterfalls, forests, valleys, sequoias, glaciers, and celebrated destination hikes such as the legendary Half Dome.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
The Yellowstone National Park is the USA’s oldest national park, spans three states, and is home to Old Faithful, the famed geyser which was discovered in 1870 and erupts every 35-120 minutes.
With the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, 3400 square miles of wilderness, and the chance to see buffalo and bears up close, Yellowstone is like the stuff of fables.