America’s national parks are a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts. They’re packed with awe-inspiring landscapes, diverse wildlife, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, an avid bird watcher, or simply a nature lover, there’s a park that’s perfect for you.

From the towering redwoods in California’s Sequoia National Park to the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon, these parks offer a unique blend of beauty and thrill. They’re not just places to visit, they’re destinations to experience. So, let’s explore some of the must-visit national parks in America.

Least Rainy National Parks in America

In the spirit of exploration, outdoor enthusiasts should take special note of America’s least rainy national parks. These landscapes offer a different perspective and are hospitable in seasons when more rain-prone parks might not be. To enhance the adventure, here are two must-visit arid parks that have made their mark in the outdoors world with their unique landscapes. And if these places tick your boxes, you can find out more on Travel Tweaks.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park, nestled in California’s Mojave Desert, is the driest national park in the US, with a yearly rainfall of less than 2.4 inches. It’s a wild expanse of desert scape that outdoor lovers find enthralling. The park is famous for its unique features like the afternoon dazzling salt flats and the stunning early morning vistas from Zabriskie Point.

Outdoor enthusiasts might find the extreme heat of the summer tough to bear, but the relatively mild winter weather makes it the perfect time to visit. Highlights include the aptly-named Furnace Creek, Badwater Basin’s salt flats, and the enchanting beauty of the sand dunes. The vibrant geology here tells a story of Earth’s history that is second-to-none, providing an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

White Sands National Park

In New Mexico, the sublime White Sands National Park beckons outdoor enthusiasts for a surreal adventure. As one of the least rainy national parks, it sees an average annual rainfall of just 9.5 inches. It’s home to more than 275 square miles of moonlike dunes, making it the largest gypsum dunefield in the world.

Visitors to White Sands can hike or sled on the dunes, explore the park’s driving routes, and even take in a sunset or sunrise that redefines what beauty means. Aside from its visually mesmerizing attributes, the park offers an outlet for people to engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife sightseeing, becoming a treasure chest of shared experiences for family and friends.

Less Crowded National Parks in America

These lesser-known parks provide a tranquil retreat away from the crowds and offer a more personal experience with nature.

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, located in Nevada, is an absolute gem for those seeking solitude along with stunning views. Its unique location in one of the country’s most remote areas, coupled with its relatively low visitor numbers — around 120,000 annually — means you’ll likely have the trails and campsites largely to yourself.

Great Basin is renowned for its wide diversity in elevation — from 5,000 to 13,063 feet — produces an astonishing variety of distinct plant and animal communities. From desert shrubs to dense forests, and from clear streams to alpine lakes, its landscape will leave you spellbound. Not to mention, it’s one of the best spots in the country for stargazing owing to the minimal light pollution.

Congaree National Park

Further afield, in the depths of South Carolina, is Congaree National Park. It’s home to one of the tallest and oldest hardwood forests in America. Despite this unique draw, the park sees less than 150,000 visitors each year, making it a fantastic escape from the bustle of city life.

At Congaree, visitors can explore the floodplain forest on boardwalks or paddle down Cedar Creek. And keep a lookout for its impressive biodiversity. More than 75% of the park is designated wilderness area, potentially offering sightings of bobcats, river otters, and over 170 bird species. Its untouched beauty truly provides a unique experience.

National Parks with the Best Hiking Trails

To truly appreciate the grandeur and diversity of America’s national parks, there’s no better way than trekking through the best hiking trails these parks have to offer. From challenging tracks to leisurely walks, each trail presents a unique outdoor experience that’s unparalleled.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is a mecca for hikers across the globe. Known for its Amazing Rim-to-Rim hikes, the park offers trails that plunge down to the Colorado River, traversing a vast range of ecological zones. Along the way, hikers witness the canyon’s stunning geological history unfolding into millions of years of strata layers. For those seeking less strenuous adventures,the Rim Trail provides spectacular views of the canyon, without any serious drop-offs, making it perfectly suited for novice hikers or families.

Zion National Park

Utah’s Zion National Park is another hiker’s paradise offering an array of trails varying in difficulty levels. The Angel’s Landing is a trail that stands out, famous for its steep precipitous pathways leading to awe-inspiring vistas. It’s not for the faint-hearted though, given the razor-thin ridge with thousand-foot drop-offs on both sides. For those who are not vertigo-prone, it’s a trek that’s worth every nerve-racking step. On the other hand, the Riverside Walk is a far tamer option but with no compromise on the views. It takes hikers alongside the Virgin River, into the heart of the Zion Narrows with towering cliffs, hanging gardens and small waterfalls to experience.

Coastal National Parks in America

For those who fancy the tranquil beauty of the coast, America’s national parks also offer a stunning choice. Several coastal national parks feature everything from challenging hikes to relaxing picnic spots. Here are two coastal national parks that are definitely worth your time if you’re an outdoor enthusiast.

Acadia National Park

Kicking off our coastal journey is none other than Acadia National Park. Nestled on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, it’s a haven for outdoor lovers. This park’s allure is the mesmerizing blend of mountains, woodland, lakes, and ocean landscapes.

For unforgettable sunrise views, the park’s Cadillac Mountain should be on your itinerary. It’s reputed to be the first place in the U.S. to catch the morning sun’s rays. The park’s well-developed network of trails isn’t to be overlooked. Hikers will appreciate the rugged Precipice Trail or, for a more leisurely pace, the Jordan Pond Path.

Equally appealing is the scenic Park Loop Road. It’s particularly suitable for those who prefer to experience panoramic views of the park without breaking a sweat. Wildlife enthusiasts will savor the chance to spot migratory birds at the Sieur de Monts Spring, while thrill-seekers can take on rock climbing opportunities at the Otter Cliffs.

Olympic National Park

Sitting at the northwestern tip of Washington State is the vast expanse of Olympic National Park. Its diverse ecosystem, ranging from glacier-capped mountains to rainforests and over 70 miles of wild coastline, divines an unforgettable experience for its visitors.

There’s a plethora of outdoor activities tailor-made for every type of adventurer. The iconic Hoh Rain Forest offers a fantastic hiking experience with trails like the Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature Trail. Mountain climbers will find the challenging ascent to Mount Olympus equally rewarding.

Perhaps what sets this park apart is its untouched coastline. The rugged, sandy beach strewn with driftwood at Rialto Beach provides the perfect backdrop for watching the Pacific Ocean’s powerful waves. The tide pools at Ruby Beach offer an intimate peek into sea creatures’ life. The Kalaloch Lodge is a must-visit for fantastic seaside camping opportunities.

National Parks with Unique Wildlife

For wildlife enthusiasts, the encounters with animal species in their natural habitat make for unforgettable experiences. This exploration elucidates the diverse and unique wildlife inhabiting two extraordinary national parks.

Everglades National Park

As America’s largest subtropical wilderness, Everglades National Park is home to an array of unique wildlife species. Nestled in southern Florida, this park stands as a sublime testament to the harmonious cohabitation of myriad creatures. It’s famous for its diverse foray of habitats encasing within it the ecosystems of mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and pine flatwoods.

In this verdant haven, one will invariably stumble upon the formidable American alligator in its natural habitat, luxuriating in the marshes of the Everglades. The park is also a refuge for endangered species such as the manatee and the elusive Florida panther. Avifauna enthusiasts will be awestruck by the array of birds like the Roseate Spoonbill, White Pelican, and Herons. The Everglades offers an assortment of outdoor activities for visitors, such as airboat tours, wildlife watching, and ranger programs, that illustrate what makes this park an exceptional refuge.

Joshua Tree National Park

Towards the west coast lies another dwelling of natural splendor, the Joshua Tree National Park. Positioned in Southern California, this park, famous for its namesake Joshua Trees and sculpted rock formations, is host to a plethora of wildlife that have acclimatized themselves to the desert environment.

In the midst of its distinct, moonlike landscape, Joshua Tree harbors life as diverse as the Bighorn Sheep, a glimpse of which from afar can be an utterly spellbinding experience. Creatures like Black-tailed jackrabbits, kangaroo rats and the desert tortoise, emblematic of the park’s ecosystem, can often be spotted in the dusk or dawn hours.

Bird watchers can set their sights on spotting species such as the Greater Roadrunner and Cactus Wren. More elusive nocturnal denizens like the coyote, bobcat, and several species of bats, find solace within this exquisite expanse. Despite the challenges posed by the park’s dry desert environment, a visit to Joshua Tree transforms from intriguing to unforgettable upon witnessing its resilient wildlife.

America’s national parks are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. So grab your hiking boots, pack your binoculars, and set off on an adventure in America’s national parks. You won’t be disappointed.