7 of the Most Visited Natural Parks in the US
January 5, 2017
There are about 59 natural parks and reserves in the US. They are all breathtakingly beautiful and worth seeing at least once in a lifetime. Every trip is worth the time and the money put into it. However, since both time and money are limited resources, we have prepared for you a list of the most visited parks just to give you an idea of what the other people prefer. The list has been drafted according to the number of visitors, best reviews and recommendations. Some of them may be your top of mind options too, but we just want to make sure you have all your top choices in one place.
I. Yosemite, California
The Yosemite National Park in California is visited by about 4 million people every year. It spreads across 747,956 acres and it is internationally recognized for its waterfalls, cliffs, clear streams, sequoia trees, lakes and for the biodiversity. While the park as a whole is so vast, most of the visitors spend their time in the Yosemite Valley, which is an area of around seven square miles. There are about 7,000 species of plants in the park, of which 160 are rare.
II. Acadia, Maine
The beauty and the biodiversity of the Acadia Maine National Park are things of awe for all of its visitors. This is the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi River. Over 40 species of mammals can be observed living in the park, squirrels, chipmunks, hares, white-tailed deer, beavers, porcupines, minks and others among them. Bird watchers can see various species of eagles, including the bald eagle, hawks and a protected species of peregrine falcons.
III. Yellowstone, Wyoming
The Yellowstone National Park is spread across three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. A visit to this park brings you the most chances to see a moose, an elk, a bison or even a bear with your own eyes. This is a park that truly lets you experience nature in all its glory. Want more excitement? Here you can visit the Old Faithful Geyser you have heard so much about, like how it is the first geyser in the park to be named and it is known as the most predictable, erupting once every 44 to 125 minutes.
IV. Grand Canyon, Arizona
It goes without saying that if you love to be in awe with nature’s beauty, you simply cannot skip on a visit to the Grand Canyon. It has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and its central feature is a gorge of the Colorado River considered by some one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Most people go there especially to see a sunset from the Lipan Point. One small heads-up, though: do not expect to be alone and have a movie-like moment at the most popular locations. There will the others around, so it is best to know this rather than to be disillusioned.
V. Olympic, Washington
If you want a real rainforest experience, this is the wettest of them! There is an average rainfall of up to 170in. You will feel like in the Lord of the Rings books with the luxurious greenery of mosses, lichens and ferns. What is more, this dense foliage stops the light from going too deep, creating lighting similar to the perpetual low light of dusk. There are three distinct ecosystems in this park: sub-alpine forest, wildflower meadow and temperate forest and Pacific Shore. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1981.
VI. Glacier, Montana
The Glacier National Park in Montana is situated at the border of the United States with Canada. The great thing about this park is that you can still see here most of the original native plants and animals. Among the large mammals one can encounter there are grizzly bears, moose, mountain goats and wolverines. Of course, we start from the premise that you are aware of what visiting a national park means and that the experience of natural encounters is not similar to that at the zoo. For example, meeting the grizzly bear is nothing to be recommended and in natural parks, it is your job to steer clear of the animal’s path. After all, these places are among the last they have to call home and where they can roam unhindered.
VII. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Rocky Mountain National Park is located within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains mountain chain and in 2015 alone it was visited by over 4 million people. In 1976, UNESCO designated it as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves. The park has 5 main regions, the third one being recognized as being best suited for wilderness escapes.
If you are the kind of person who loves to spend time in the great outdoors, then you will have no more excuses not to check these 7 natural parks off the list of places you have been to in this lifetime. We also encourage you to start your own list. You can do so by visiting these places or some of them at least, and continue with parks that offer similar experiences to the ones you enjoyed from our list. You might develop a taste for a specific type of holiday. Who knows?
No nature lover can go without ever visiting at least one of the most popular 7 national parks in the United States of America. Check out this list and don’t delay in making travel plans.