Discoveries

Top 5 US National Parks as Voted By You!

From the ice fields of Alaska to the arid deserts of the Southwest to the rocky Appalachian Mountains, the American landscape is as varied as it is beautiful. With 60 designated national parks, the USA is full of so many natural wonders, it's difficult to know where to start exploring.

We reached out to our community of Discoverers to see which US National Parks are their favorites. It was a close call, but the rankings are in and below are the top 5 US National Parks chosen by our community.

Yosemite-@eluch
@withdashka
@mstahneejade
jared_scott_imagery
luistenza
@lanavanhout

1. Yosemite National Park

The clear winner of our Discoverer poll was Yosemite, and to be honest, we're not surprised. This tranquil and majestic park definitely earns its number 1 spot. Stretched in the Sierra Nevada of California, the park encompasses 1,200 square miles of glacial valleys, stunning waterfalls, mammoth sequoias, and sprawling meadows. Attracting over 4 million visitors each year, Yosemite is one of the most-visited national parks, and definitely worth a line on your bucket list.

Discoverers Say...
"Climbing over Clouds Rest is something I will remember forever. I have never been so scared standing on solid ground. But the views are amazing." -@travelsurfexplore

"Build in extra time to stop while driving in and out of Yosemite. You’ll be glad you did! You’ll want to stop often to snap photos and soak in the beauty. Also, if your schedule allows, drive out of Yosemite a different way than you drove in. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy the park from a multitude of views and have the chance for a ton of great photos!" - @KatrinaSalas.photo

"The best way to make the most of your trip is to get up early and beat the crowds. This makes the hikes easier to complete, you can take your time, and, if you are early enough, see the most incredible sunrise. I would recommend The Mist Trail (Vernal and Nevada Falls) as it is suitable for all fitness levels and extremely beautiful. It has fabulous views scattered the whole way and 2 unforgettable waterfalls." - @amycorbett

(photos: @eluch, @withdashka, @mstahneejade, @jared_scott_imagery, @luistenza, and @lanavanhout)

@abelard.o
@blo_photography
@coryschadt
GC-@onehappyysoul

2. Grand Canyon National Park

National park and one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural World, Grand Canyon National Park is definitely a showstopper. Carved over centuries by the mighty Colorado River, the Grand Canyon holds many delightful adventures for discoverers of all ages and preferences. Daredevils can embark on rigorous hikes or opt to raft down the Colorado. Nature lovers will enjoy the multitude of trails for all levels. And if you just want to contemplate how awesome Mother Nature is, you can wander the rim and let yourself be amazed.

Discoverers Say...
"The Grand Canyon is absolutely magical! Get the full experience by hiking down the trails, reading up on the history, and really enjoying the surroundings. The Bright Angel hike down the canyon is spectacular, unless you know you can’t handle over 100°F because once you’re down there the only way out is up and it’s not an easy hike back." -@sofiecolsson

"I would suggest bringing lots of water and trying to get there as early as possible (maybe before 9 if you can swing it) before the parking lots and walkways fill up. But even if you go mid-day and have to fight the crowds, the views outdo everything else." - @swlaruephotography

(photos: @abelard.o, @blo_photography, @coryschadt, and @onehappyysoul)

@anthonydenn
@outdoor_frames
Yellowstone-kellygordonphotography
Yellowstone-nickc.photography

3. Yellowstone National Park

The world's first national park has amazed visitors for decades, and our Discoverers are just as entranced. Its bubbling hot springs and geysers definitely make Yellowstone stand out, but there's something special beyond the traditional tourist stops. In the dense forests and dramatic mountain peaks you can find the true definition of "wild" and encounter a world that we've almost forgotten. A world ruled by bison and elk, and decorated with the trimmings of nature at its most beautiful.

Discoverers Say...
"I've traveled the entire park, from Paradise Valley, MT to Cody, WY, in one full day. One of the most beautiful areas in the entire park is the famous Yellowstone Falls. I've seen bull elk bash horns, bears traveling roadside, and endless amounts of bison. My favorite part about this park is the endless amount of wildlife throughout all seasons." - @LaceyShanae

"It was a crazy experience witnessing the hot springs, boiling pools, and gushing geysers as they spontaneously erupt. The terrain is like no other, and made me feel like I was on Mars. A lot of the traffic was caused by a family of buffalos crossing the road. They weren't shy at all and came up to our car window." - @jazminaphoto

"Plan to spend multiple days at Yellowstone. Even though the drive inside Yellowstone doesn't look long, there is something to stop and see every few miles. Our two favorite places are the Grand Prismatic Spring (the whole Midway Geyser Basin area is beautiful!) and Mammoth Hot Springs. Another top stop is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone." -@kellygordonphotography

(photos: @anthonydenn, @outdoor_frames, @kellygordonphotography, and @nickc.photography)

@onehappyysoul-3
dehlphiiin
@onehappyysoul-2

4. Zion National Park

There's no question that Utah is home to some of the most unique natural landscapes in the country. And its crowning jewel has to be Zion. Creamy red and pink sandstone cliffs and narrow slot canyons decorate this park with dramatic features. But its softer side is just as breathtaking, with wildflower meadows and still, starry skies that stretch towards infinity.

Discoverers Say...
"Zion is breathtaking! There are so many great hikes. Temple of Siniwava and Weeping Rock are great for the whole family. Emerald Pools is incredible and is good for older kids, teens and adults. Angels Landing isn't for the faint of heart. The whole park is truly breathtaking!" - @lularoeandrealuikart

"Out of everywhere I’ve ever been in my life, Zion is still without a doubt my personal favorite. Colors like this just don’t exist in many other places." - @dehlphiiin

"Weeping Rock, a short, family-friendly trail, leads to a breathtaking view of Zion with serene sounds of water drops falling down. Riverside Walk is easy and refreshing too. While I wish we had more time to do other famous trails such as Angels Landing, I must say – don’t be discouraged by the time constraint. There are many different ways to enjoy Zion, one of the most beautiful national parks in the US." -@onehappyysoul

(photos: @onehappyysoul and @dehlphiiin)

nickc.photography
kellygordonphotography

5. Glacier National Park

It's difficult to capture the majesty of Glacier National Park in words. Snowcapped peaks tower over glassy lakes and dense forests creating a scene so idyllic it would be better suited for an art gallery. The wild landscape offers something for everyone, and you won't be able to help stopping every few minutes to pinch yourself as you look around.

Discoverers Say...
"The summer is a stunning time to visit. Seeing the lakes in the beating sun just makes them look a bit more magical. The later summer months are slightly cooler and also quieter, which makes getting around easier. You may also find yourself alone with no one else, which is nice but hard to come by." - @nickc.photography

"The 'Going to the Sun' Road is obviously the main draw of driving through this amazing park, but oftentimes it doesn't open until late June or early July when they finally clear the snow. Take an early morning visit to Swiftcurrent Lake to watch the sunrise then hit up the Grinnell Lake or Grinnell Glacier trail early in the morning to see some amazing scenery." - @matt.champlin

(photos: @nickc.photography and @kellygordonphotography)

Honorable Mentions:

@meandertheworld
@meandertheworld-2

Rocky Mountain National Park

(photos: @meandertheworld)

@cathyshlee
Picvibes_Photography

Joshua Tree National Park

(photos: @cathyshlee and @picvibes_photography)