America is filled with beautiful wonders of the natural world and this is perhaps no more self-evident than during a visit to a National Park. From purple mountains majesty to amber waves of grain—or in South Florida’s case, from rivers of grass to the crystal clear Gulf of Mexico—there are many diverse ecosystems, geological wonders and stunning vistas to take in around the country. Here are a few of the country’s National Parks with the best views.
Florida National Parks
Dry Tortugas National Park
Seventy miles west of Key West, past uninhabited keys and accessible by high-speed ferry, Dry Tortugas National Park is a watery wonderland of aquamarine sea. The Yankee Freedom Ferry escorts visitors on the ultimate day trip experience. Here, you’ll tour Fort Jefferson, snorkel amidst sea turtles and learn about the site’s unique history. For the most sought-after views at this National Park, choose an overnight camping adventure. You'll be one of the few to witness gorgeous sunrises and sunsets while experiencing everything this eco-treasure has to offer.
Everglades National Park
Located just west of Miami, The Everglades make for an exciting adventure through the “river of grass.” Whether it’s an airboat tour or a hike through Shark Valley, keep your eyes peeled for the famous alligators and unique photo opportunities with thousands of different tropical wildlife species.
Biscayne National Park
On the way to Key West before you reach the Overseas Highway, Biscayne National Park also offers an aquatic National Park experience as 95 percent of this preserve is underwater. A haven for boaters and nature enthusiasts, Biscayne National Park is a great place for snorkeling, kayaking, and everlasting views of the ocean.
Denali National Park
America is home to diverse natural wonders and Alaska’s Denali National Park is one of the most exquisite. At 20,310 feet high, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and absolutely breathtaking to behold. Enveloping the entire Alaska Range, the mountains are crawling with slow-moving glaciers and wildlife, like grizzly bears, moose and gray wolves.
Glacier Bay National Park
Also in Alaska located west of Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park is a snowy spectacle of tidal glaciers, mountains, fjords and a temperate rainforest. The best way to experience Glacier Bay is by boat where you can spot humpback and Orca whales, as well as brown bears and moose on the shore.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous and frequently visited National Parks. Plunging to depths of up to one mile deep and carved by the mighty Colorado River, the Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles across Arizona. In 2014, nearly 5 million visitors came to take in the views from either the north or south rim, and it’s also possible to journey into the basin.
Joshua Tree National Park
Covering nearly 800,000 acres of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts in California, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert full of contrasts, featuring bleached sand dunes, dry lakes, craggy mountains and clusters of monzogranite monoliths. Of course, it’s also known for its eponymous Joshua trees, a cactus-like plant that is part of the yucca genus.
Channel Islands National Park
Just offshore Southern California’s Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands are a chain of protected islands with a unique Mediterranean ecosystem in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are home to 145 endemic species, including the island fox. While half of the park is underwater, the islands are accessible by ferry and are also a popular place for kayaking excursions.
Crater Lake National Park
Oregon’s Crater Lake was formed by an ancient volcanic caldera plunging 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the country. The lake is famous for its Caribbean blue water, filled completely by precipitation. It offers stunning views year round, whether its mountains are covered in snow or the greenery of springtime. The park offers an abundance of hiking trails to drink in the beauty.