Out of 59 America the Beautiful's National Parks, I have visited 24. Here's my 5 favorite NPs.
1. Yellostone, WY, ID & MT
It is a wonderland!
The park is located at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, from which it takes its historical name.
|Yellostone's famous Old Faithful Geyser|
With a mountain wild land, hot springs and geysers, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.
Yellowstone has something for everyone. Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike or prefer to sit quietly and watch the sunset, the park offers a great diversity of activities for you to enjoy. Yellowstone lake is breathtaking. With so many adventures to choose from, you’ll have some tough decisions to make.
2. Yosemite, CANot just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.
First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
As revealed by archeological finds, the Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
|Yosemite Half Dome|
I have visited Yosemite many times, as it's only 3.5 hour drive from my place, yet I have never hiked there.
3. Grand Canyon, AZ
A powerful and inspiring landscape, Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Nearly five million people see the 1 mile deep (1.6 km) Grand Canyon each year.
|Grand Canyon South Rim|
Most of them (90%) see it from the park's free shuttle buses or from their car at overlooks along the South Rim. The South Rim includes: historic Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road, and Desert View Drive. The South Rim is open all year. The South Rim is the most accessible part of the park.
Elevations average 7000 feet (2134 m) above sea level.
I visited Grand Canyon for the first time in summer 2010, and went back there in 2013 during holiday season to see winter sceneries.
4. Grand Teton, WY
Rising above a wealthy behind fabulous wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination.Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming; north of the town of Jackson, Wyoming and south of Yellowstone National Park. You must stop here on your way to Yellowstone.
5. Rocky Mountain, CO
Rocky Mountain is my favorite National Park so far.
Words cannot fully describe my experience at Rocky Mountains. You need to go see the Rockies by yourself! Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments.
In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!
Rocky Mountain National Park covers 415 square miles in north central Colorado.
The town of Estes Park serves as the eastern gateway into the park. Grand Lake serves as the western gateway.