10 of the Best National Parks in the United States
The United States has more than 400 different national parks, each with its own unique beauty, history, and activities to offer those with a heart for the great outdoors. But which national parks in the United States are the best? Which national park should you visit first? What makes each national park different from one another? At National Charter Bus, we have answers to all those questions and more. We’ve compiled a list of our top ten national parks in the United States, and why you should visit each one.
And if you are looking for group transportation to national parks, National Charter Bus has got you covered! We have experience providing charter bus rentals to national parks for all kinds of groups, from Boy Scouts troops to corporate outings to private parties. We have access to a vast network of charter buses in cities across the United States from coast to coast. And best of all, we are available 24/7 if you have any questions or are ready to rent your bus. Give us a call at 1-844-755-0510 to learn more.
Without further ado, here is our list of the best national parks in the United States!
Yellowstone National Park
Consistently ranked as one of the top visited national parks in the United States, Yellowstone National Park draws in an average of four million visitors a year. Visitors are drawn to its more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, including hot springs, geysers, and mudpots. The springs are brought to life in vibrant colors due to the unique microorganisms living in them. Yellowstone National Park is also home to Old Faithful, a famous geyser that has been consistently erupting every 44 minutes to two hours since 1870.
Where is Yellowstone National Park?
The majority of Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, with a small part of the park to the north in Montana, and a small part of the park to the west in Idaho. Yellowstone is about a nine-hour drive from Cheyenne, a three-hour drive from Helena, and about an eight-hour bus ride from Boise.
What is there to do at Yellowstone National Park?
As mentioned before, you’re not going to want to miss Old Faithful, an iconic geyser in American culture. After your visit, you can stop by the historic Old Faithful Inn to soak in some rustic architecture and grab a bite to eat. Be sure to also visit the Thumb Geyser, a scenic geyser with bright blue water, and the Mammoth Hot Springs. Another stop on your list should be Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s the largest hot spring in the world and gets its striking rainbow colors from the minerals and microorganisms living in the springs. You can also visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center for close-up views of the native wildlife.
Glacier National Park
As its name might suggest, you can find numerous glacier-carved mountain peaks in Glacier National Park, along with alpine meadows, deep valleys, and crystal blue lakes with tumbling waterfalls. Nicknamed “The Crown of the Continent,” Glacier National Park has more than 700 miles of hiking trails and is home to six National Historic Landmarks. Glacier National Park is close to Yellowstone but offers more challenging hikes for experienced outdoor enthusiasts.
Where is Glacier National Park?
Glacier National Park is located in the northwest corner of Montana. It’s about a five-hour drive by bus from Spokane and Bozeman. It’s located on the Trans-Canada Highway and is a four-hour drive from Calgary.
What is there to do at Glacier National Park?
Glacier National Park draws many visitors a year due to its numerous outdoor recreation activities like fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and white water rafting. Be sure to check out some of the best lakes, including Lake McDonald, Avalanche Lake, and Iceberg Lake. You’ll also want to check out the picturesque Saint Mary Falls, a 35-foot tiered waterfall that cascades into the blue Saint Mary Lake.
Zion National Park
Known for being the first established national park in Utah, Zion National Park is nicknamed “a climber’s paradise.” The park has 2,000-foot-high sandstone cliffs for the most daring climbers. The Virgin River crosses through the park, leading to colorful forest trails that flow to the Emerald Pools, an oasis of glistening pools and sparkling waterfalls amidst the rugged desert.
Where is Zion National Park?
What is there to do at Zion National Park?
Be sure to hike to the Emerald Pools when you visit. There are three levels of pools, with the lower pools being the easiest to reach and the highest pools being ranked as a strenuous hike. The 25-mile Mount Carmel highway offers great views for cars if you prefer to drive instead of hike. Those interested in the human history of the park can visit the Zion Human History Museum for exhibits on the native Americans and pioneers who inhabited the park. Other noteworthy landmarks in Zion National Park include The Narrows, Angels Landing, and Checkerboard Mesa.
Yosemite National Park
A legendary landmark in California, Yosemite National Park has been wowing visitors with its waterfalls, granite monoliths, deep valleys, and giant sequoias for more than 100 years. The park is almost 1,200 square miles, and its central location makes it convenient for visitors from most areas of California.
Where is Yosemite National Park?
Yosemite National Park is located in eastern central California and makes for a great weekend getaway from several major California cities. If you take a car or a bus, it’s about six to seven hours from Los Angeles, seven hours from San Diego, and only four hours from San Francisco.
What is there to do at Yosemite National Park?
One of the most iconic sights at Yosemite is Yosemite Falls. The giant, mountainside waterfall has three drops from a height of 2,425 feet and is best viewed in the spring when the water flow is at its peak. If you get your timing just right, you can visit the “firefall” at Yosemite. From mid to late February, the setting sun hits Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall at just the right time and creates an illusion that the waterfall is on fire. Head to Glacier Point for views of Yosemite from up high, and to the El Capitan rock formation and rock climb if you are feeling brave.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is linked to nearby Yellowstone National Park but stands as a beautiful park in its own right to visit. The nearly 500-mile national park is known for its diverse landscape, which includes mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and abundant fields of wildflowers and local wildlife. It’s also home to more than 200 miles of trails and more than 300 species of birds and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Where is Grand Teton National Park?
Grand Teton Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. If you’re looking for a Colorado road trip, it’s an eight-hour charter bus drive from Aurora or Denver. But if you live in Wyoming, the closest town to this national park is Jackson, which is only 20 minutes away from the Moose Entrance in the southern part of Grand Teton.
What is there to do at Grand Teton National Park?
In addition to more than 200 hiking trails, Grand Teton National Park is also popular in the summer months for camping, fishing, birdwatching, biking, and wildlife watching. Be sure to check the Jackson lake Overlook at sunrise for amazing views. You can also find bison at select areas around the park like Antelope Flats Road and Elk Ranch Flats Turnout. And for a more immersive experience, float along the Snake River in a raft to take in the beauty of the park up close.
The Grand Canyon
Perhaps the most famous park in the country, we had to include The Grand Canyon in our list of the best national parks in the United States. Within the canyon’s walls is a portrait of two billion years of the planet’s history, and six million visitors a year are wowed by the iconic canyon and its unforgettable landscape. In its entirety, the Grand Canyon is just short of 2,000 miles and is one of the most recognized landmarks in the world.
Where is The Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is located in northern Arizona, between Lake Powell and Lake Mead. It’s close to the borders of Utah and Nevada and is about three and a half to four hours by bus from Chandler, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, depending on which parts of the canyon you want to explore.
What is there to do at The Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon has four main rims: the North, East, South, and West. The West Rim is less traveled than others, and has the Skywalk Bridge, which allows visitors to walk across a clear bridge and see right over to the bottom of the canyon. The South Rim is much more popular and developed, and is best for first-time visitors, as it contains many of the most memorable sights. The East Rim begins with the popular Horseshoe Bend, a section of the Colorado River that meanders around a curve to create a rare formation called an entrenched meander. The North Rim offers some of the most incredible views, and is not open during the winter months.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for having the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. Hoodoos are distinctive rock formations that are tall, thin, and formed by erosion. It’s also home to horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters that dip in rise in swirled colors of earthy brown, orange, and red. Head here for scenic vista views and truly remarkable views of the night sky against the hoodoos.
Where is Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in south-central Utah. It’s about a four-hour drive from Las Vegas and Henderson and is also only about an hour and a half drive from Zion National Park. The closest town to Bryce Canyon is Panguitch, which is about half an hour away from the entrance.
What is there to do at Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon has the aptly named Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, which are perfect for viewing the sun at each respective time. If you want to hike, there are a few you will want to explore depending on your fitness level. The Rim Trail Hike, between Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, and the Mossy Cave Trail are both relatively easy, with both offering great views and Mossy Cave Trail even containing a waterfall. You can also take a guided scenic night hike, take a horse-guided tour, or visit their Annual Astronomy Festival, depending on the time of year that you visit.
Arches National Park
With a name like Arches National Park, it’s no surprise that this park is known for its many sandstone arches. There are more than 2,000 arches to see across this desert landscape, more than anywhere else in the entire world. These marbled arches and other rock formations tell the colorful history of our planet’s underground, and the park offers sunrise and sunset views across the desert landscape that are worthy of a Hollywood movie.
Where is Arches National Park?
Arches National Park is in southeast Utah, just ten minutes north of Moab. It’s a perfect weekend getaway from Denver or Albuquerque at about a six-hour drive.
What is there to do at Arches National Park?
While there are more than 2,000 arches at Arches National Park, there are a few you won’t want to miss. These include Balanced Rock, the Windows and Turret Arch, Double Arch, and Delicate Arch. Other rock formations worth seeing are the Fiery Furnace, with rocks known for glowing red like fire coals at sunset, and the Garden of Eden rock formations. The park is an excellent choice for bikers, with plenty of drivable roads and stunning scenery to keep you motivated, and campers will enjoy the beautiful views from the campground at Devils Garden.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park covers more than 400 miles of placid lakes, rugged mountain ranges, and alpine-esque scenery that gives you the feeling of being in another world. It’s known for being one of the highest national parks in the nation and has more than 60 different mountain peaks to admire. It offers many trails of varying difficulty level for those who want to experience its beauty and majesty on the deepest level.
Where is Rocky Mountain National Park?
What is there to do at Rocky Mountain National Park?
Rocky Mountain National Park is very friendly to drivers, with the highest paved roads in any national park in the country. Trail Ridge Road hits at just over 12,000 feet above sea level, offers beautiful mountain views, and is closed from October to May due to potential hazards. If you feel nervous about driving, consider renting a private charter bus to safely navigate this area. Other highlights at Rocky Mountain National Park include Bear Lake, Forest Canyon Overlook, and Alberta Falls, a 30-foot waterfall.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains is known for its diverse landscape, sweeping views, and the largest trees in the world: giant sequoias. These towering trees reach an average of 250 to 300 feet tall. Giant sequoia trees are naturally occurring only in California along this specific, 60-mile stretch of mountain range. Besides the trees, you can experience mountain views, deep canyons, diverse wildlife, and an assortment of flora and fauna.
Where is Sequoia National Park?
You can find Sequoia National Park in east central California, on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
What is there to do at Sequoia National Park?
Be sure to visit some of the highlights of Sequoia National Park while you are there. These include spots like the General Sherman Tree, famed for being the largest living tree on Earth, Moro Rock, and the Tunnel Log. You can easily visit these top highlights in one day. Sequoia National Park is less than a two-hour drive from Bakersfield and Fresno, so consider heading over for some farm-fresh meals or live country music.
Book Your Group Bus Transportation to National Parks
With so many beautiful and drivable national parks in the United States, it’s a great chance to hop on a charter bus with your favorite people and go on a scenic tour. Let the professional drivers at National Charter Bus take the wheel while you enjoy the view. Our experienced charter bus reservation specialists can help set you up with the perfect national park charter bus rental. Give us a call today at 1-844-755-0510 when you’re ready to book a bus. We are available 24/7 and can’t wait to assist you!