If you love to travel chances are you have a bucket list. But, do you have a USA National Park bucket list? Growing up I never gave national parks a second thought. I come from a small town in northern Minnesota and travel just wasn’t something my family did. As I got older my passion for travel grew. Yet, National Parks still weren’t something I had on my bucket list.
The first trip to a National Park basically sealed the deal. Now, I am a lover of National Parks and think everyone should visit them. Planning a family road trip to visit the National Parks is always a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature that’s literally right outside our back door.
Chances are, you have a USA National Park not far from where you live. They are located throughout a variety of states making it a possibility to take a National Parks Road trip to try to see as many as you can. Can you imagine packing up the camper and hitting the open road to tackle one National Park after another?
Read on for my USA National Park Bucket List of all the Must See Parks.
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USA National Park Bucket List – Must See Parks
Did you know that there are 63 national parks in the USA? Actually there are 423 national park sites, but of those only 63 have the “national park” in their designated name. All the others use different names like National Seashores, National Recreation Areas, National Monuments and National Historic Sites, as well as other names.
If you want to learn about all the national parks the best place to do that is NPS.gov. However, if you are here to learn about the ones I feel you need to add to your USA National Park Bucket List, continue reading.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, spanning across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is an absolute must-visit destination. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the iconic Old Faithful geyser; plan your visit accordingly and arrive early to beat the crowds, especially during the summer months when state parks attract numerous tourists seeking the captivating natural beauty. Get into the spirit and wear this cute Yellowstone National Park Tee.
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Educate your children by sharing the fact that they are standing atop a volcanic hot spot, and challenge them to spot as many animal species as possible. Yellowstone National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, but keep an eye out for wolves, bears, and elk, as spotting these magnificent creatures would be an exciting experience.
If traveling to Yellowstone and are entering on the east entrance, stop at Pahaska Tepee and learn about the history there. Maybe book a cabin or a camping spot for a night or two.
Yosemite National Park
Discover the wonders of Yosemite National Park as you journey through its magnificent woods. This stunning park not only boasts breathtaking waterfalls but is also home to towering giant sequoia trees, surpassing anything you’ve witnessed in nature before. With over 1,200 miles of pristine beauty, Yosemite offers endless opportunities for exploration. If your travels bring you to the West Coast, make sure to carve out a day or two to immerse yourself in the unparalleled experience of Yosemite National Park.
If you are looking for things to do, here are some great options.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park, stretching from Montana to the Canadian border, is a mesmerizing destination that boasts breathtaking beauty as far as the eye can see. For avid hikers and trail enthusiasts, this National Park is a true paradise, featuring an extensive network of over 700 miles of invigorating hiking trails that promise endless exploration of the great outdoors.
Along your journey, be sure to keep a keen eye out for the playful mountain goats that make their home in this majestic landscape. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not turn your visit into an unforgettable camping trip? With its abundance of natural wonders, Glacier National Park offers an unparalleled experience that is bound to leave you captivated.
Grand Canyon National Park
Discover the wonders of Grand Canyon National Park, a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and those captivated by the earth’s formation. Delve into the captivating story behind the creation of the Grand Canyon, spanning millions of years, shaping its awe-inspiring appearance today.
Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a sunset that will leave an indelible mark on your memory. Stay until that magical moment unfolds at Grand Canyon National Park, where the breathtaking views are truly out of this world.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is an amazing destination for visitors of all ages. It’s a landscape shaped by millions of years of erosion and filled with eye-catching sandstone formations, deep canyons, and lush river valleys.
The park has something to offer every type of traveler. There are plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, horseback riding, and kayaking, as well as cultural attractions like historic buildings, ancient petroglyphs, and archeological sites.
No matter what type of traveler you are, Zion National Park will provide a unique experience that’s sure to leave lasting memories. Whether you’re looking for an invigorating adventure or simply want to take in the breathtaking sights and sounds, a visit to Zion National Park will not disappoint.
The park is also home to some of the most remarkable wildlife in the United States. It’s a great opportunity for visitors to witness animals in their natural habitat such as big-horned sheep, mountain lions, red foxes, cougars, black bears, coyotes, deer and more.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning and unique natural wonder located in southern Utah. With its incredible rock formations, colorful hoodoos, and breathtaking vistas, it’s no wonder that many people travel from across the world to experience this national park for themselves.
Visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park have the opportunity to experience its beauty in a variety of ways. There are dozens of hiking trails offering breathtaking views and thrilling adventures, ranging from easy strolls along well-maintained paths to challenging treks through rugged terrain. You can also explore caves, stunning overlooks, and enjoy horseback rides with much of the park’s terrain accessible by car.
Bryce Canyon is also a great spot for stargazing. With some of the darkest skies in the country, you can find spectacular views of stars, planets and galaxies from Bryce’s awe-inspiring night sky. After dark, you can even take advantage of ranger-led astronomy programs and explore parts of the night sky that are not visible to most other places on earth.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a stunning natural landmark in Utah, located just 5 miles north of Moab. The iconic red sandstone of the park forms more than 2,000 natural arches throughout its 76,519 acres and provides visitors with breathtaking views. It’s no wonder Arches National Park boasts over 1 million visitors per year!
Although the arches are the main attraction, there is much more to explore in Arches National Park. The park also features breathtaking views of canyons, spires, and the La Sal Mountains that provide a perfect backdrop for camping, hiking, mountain biking, photography and more. With its diverse terrain and unique climate conditions ranging from hot summer days to freezing winter nights, Arches National Park is an ideal place to explore.
Visitors of the park can expect to experience a variety of wildlife and birdlife, including deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, porcupines, eagles and hawks. With over 400 species of plants and shrubs in Arches National Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Final Thoughts on This USA National Park Bucket List
What I’ve outlined above are a few of my favorites that I have actually visited, along with a few on my USA National Park Bucket List. There are so many amazing National Parks but this gives you a great start. Utah has my favorites, so far.
Planning a solo or a family trip to the National Parks isn’t really all that difficult. With so many amazing resources online to showcase the park information, you could have your entire National Park Roadtrip planned in mere moments. Be open to going to different parks and locations and immerse yourself in nature while there.
While we are so fortunate to have so many beautiful National Parks that are open and available to the public, it’s important that we visit them and help preserve their memories as well. Instead of booking a flight to leave the US for your next trip, stay in the states and travel around to a few of our National Parks. You may be amazed at just how relaxed that you feel just by spending your time outside in the great outdoors!
USA National Park Bucket List – Fun Adventures
There is an adventure to be had at every National Park, no matter your age. Do your research before you go and make a list of key points and things to see. But, most importantly, have fun.