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25 Most Visited U.S. National Parks

Most Visited U.S. National Parks

The most popular U.S. National Parks to visit include stunning landscapes ranging from majestic canyons to tumbling waterfalls and lush tropical forests. These are the 25 most visited U.S. National Parks according to users of the Visited travel app. Visited creates a personalized travel map to showcase where you’ve been and where you want to travel. You can browse and save bucket list destinations using the Visited app and optimize your travel plans. 

To get a travel guide of all US national parks, check out Lonely Planet’s.

These are the most visited U.S. National Parks in the world according to the Visited travel app:

1. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is the top U.S. National Park destination. The park is located in Arizona and includes breathtaking vistas with layered rock formations that date back millions of years. The park includes 447 kilometers (278 miles) of the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon was created by a gorge in the river. The sweeping canyon is considered one of the Wonders of the World

2. Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is a stone pillar that honors the first U.S. President, George Washington. The obelisk is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The tall, tapering monument stands at 169 meters (555 feet). Visitors must reserve free tickets to enter the monument, which has an elevator to the top for sweeping city views of the nation’s capital. There is also an exhibition level below the observatory, which offers more information about the monument. 

3. President’s Park (White House)

President’s Park is the third most visited U.S. National Park, according to the Visited app. The park includes the White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, home to the U.S. President in Washington, D.C. The White House is a symbol of democracy around the world. Visitors can book tours of select areas of the White House through their local Congressperson. The White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue includes interactive exhibits and artifacts from the White House’s storied history. 

4. National Mall

The National Mall and Memorial Parks include iconic U.S. monuments like the Lincoln Monument and Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. The green space of the National Mall is centrally located between the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and the Smithsonian Museums. Travelers can walk around the paths at the mall and learn about the nation’s history by visiting the many monuments in the park. There are also bus tours available at the park. 

5. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes 82,116 acres of land that has been deemed ecologically and historically significant. The picturesque park includes indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and American history. The park is located in the San Francisco Bay area and is one of the largest urban parks in the world. Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes iconic landmarks like Alcatraz, Muir Woods National Monument, and the Presidio of San Francisco.

Related Post: Top 10 Wonders of the World in the U.S.A.

6. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park offers endless natural beauty, with rugged mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and giant ancient sequoia trees. The park is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in east-central California. The park offers 747,956 acres of scenic wilderness to hike, camp, and enjoy sweeping natural views. Inside the park is Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which includes over 500 giant sequoia trees, which are the largest trees in the world. 

7. Zion National Park

Zion National Park features enchanting scenery, with steep red cliffs, rivers, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. The park attracts visitors to the spectacular natural rock arches, an expansive canyon, and the Virgin River. Zion National Park is located in southwest Utah and includes hiking trails, campgrounds, and a visitor center. 

8. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park spans across 2.2 million acres in the western states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The sprawling wilderness area includes hundreds of animal species, with bears, bison, wolves, elk, antelope, and more. Yellowstone is a nature lovers’ paradise, with towering canyons, wild forests, rivers, hot springs, and geysers. 

9. Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park is located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The park commemorates the Western Expansion movement and is near the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Arch, known as the Gateway to the West, stands 192 meters (630 feet) tall and offers tram rides to the top to see sweeping views of the Mississippi River. There is also a museum below the Arch with exhibits on Westward Expansion and the construction of the Arch. 

10. Bryce Canyon National Park

Unique red rock formations line Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. The park is peppered with hoodoos, which are spire-shaped, red rock formations. The park’s pink canyon cliffs entice visitors with remarkable views and epic hiking opportunities. Visitors can enjoy wilderness adventures with hiking, camping, and ranger activities.

11. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park includes the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. The lush park preserves the southern part of the Everglades in Florida. Located just an hour’s drive from Miami, Everglades National Park includes 1.5 million acres of wetlands and forest. The park has a wide range of unique wildlife, with river otters, American alligators, American crocodiles, a variety of geckos, snakes, birds, and marine life. 

12. Boston National Historical Park

Boston National Historic Site in Massachusetts highlights sites that show Boston’s role in the American Revolution. The Freedom Trail connects seven of the eight spots that are part of the designated historic park. Bunker Hill Monument, Bunker Hill Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Dorchester Heights, and Faneuil Hill are some of the iconic sites in the park. 

13. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park lies in the desert along the border of California and Nevada. The park includes mesmerizing landscapes sculpted by millions of years of volcanic activity, erosion, and shifting tectonic plates. Adventurous travelers can hike through rugged canyons like Golden Canyon and Zabriskie Point and see the surreal salt flats of Badwater Basin. The area includes a varied history, ranging from the settlements of the Timbisha Shoshone people to the remnants of gold mining booms and ghost towns. 

14. Presidio of San Francisco

Presidio of San Francisco is part of the Golden Gate Recreational Area in San Francisco. The historic park was a U.S. Army post along the San Francisco Peninsula. The post was first an army fort for Spain, then was given to Mexico, and finally to the U.S. In 1994, the post became a part of the U.S. National Parks Service. The park includes a scenic coastline with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. There are also scenic hiking trails, forests, and hills. 

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15. Arches National Park

Utah is home to Arches National Park, which includes an otherworldly collection of over 2,000 natural stone arches, giant red rock formations, and large-scale balanced rock formations. The park offers wide-open blue skies and stunning rocks, making it an ideal place to hike and explore. 

16. Redwood National and State Parks

Along the coast of northern California is a string of parks that have towering redwoods, the tallest trees on Earth. Redwood National and State Parks stretch for about 97 kilometers (60 miles) along the coast of California, close to the Oregon border. The parks include majestic giant redwood trees, beaches, ferns, prairies, and more. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking hiking views and vistas and experience the awe of standing under some of the world’s oldest and tallest trees. 

17. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado covers 265,807 acres of rugged mountain habitat. The park in the Rocky Mountains offers adventurous hikes, mountain climbs, and sweeping vistas with alpine lakes, mountain peaks, meadows, and tundra. The park is home to moose, elk, cougars, black bears, bighorn sheep, and coyotes. 

18. Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a U.S. military park located in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. The park commemorates the battle of the Creek War that took place on March 27, 1814. In the battle, the Tennessee militia and allies defeated the Upper Creek Red Stick Nation, breaking the power of the Creek Nation. The U.S. gained 23 million acres of land in Alabama and Georgia, which the Creeks ceded after the battle. 

19. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks include iconic old-growth redwood trees, cascading waterfalls, rugged canyons, mountain peaks, and vast caverns. The varied landscapes of the California parks offer something for everyone to enjoy, with breathtaking views, beautiful hiking trails, and over 200 species of birds. The combined parks cover an area of 3,500 square kilometers (1,353 square miles).

20. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park in southern California spans two desert ecosystems, the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. The unique desert landscapes of the park include cacti, rock formations, and the park’s namesake, Joshua trees. A type of Yucca plant, Joshua trees are distinct desert trees with twisted branches and spiky spines. Visitors can hike, camp, rock climb, star gaze, bike, and horseback ride at Joshua Tree National Park.

21. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Between North Carolina and Tennessee lies Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The expansive park includes lush forests, ancient mountains, rivers, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The park includes a variety of wildlife, including black bears, elk, deer, raccoons, turkeys, and more. Great Smoky Mountains National Park includes hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and historic sites to explore. 

22. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park offers a beautiful slice of the American West. Located in northwestern Wyoming, the park covers 310,000 acres and includes mountain peaks, valleys, lakes, rivers, and over 322 kilometers (200 miles) of pristine hiking trails. Visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, floating, biking, fishing, climbing, camping, and watching wildlife in the park. Animals at Grand Teton National Park range include big mammals like moose, bison, elk, grizzly bears, and black bears. 

23. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and includes two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The park is a designated International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site with distinct geological features and cultural significance. Travelers can embark on day hikes or backcountry hikes in the park’s wilderness areas or go on driving tours of Crater Rim Drive and down the slopes of Kīlauea to the coast.

24. Independence National Historical Park

Located in Philadelphia, Independence National Historical Park contains major landmarks from American history like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Benjamin Franklin Museum. The historic district preserves sites from the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States. 

25. Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves the land where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in 1863 during the American Civil War. The park is located in Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania, and includes the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Visitors can learn about the pivotal battle that was a turning point for the Union forces and inspired President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address speech.

Optimize Your Travel Plans

Have you been to any of the most visited U.S. National Parks? Use the Visited app to find more top travel destinations to add to your bucket list. You can bookmark and save places you want to go and plan your next dream trip using the Visited app.

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