• Paul Welling

6 Must Visit USA National Parks

Yellowstone was the first designated National Park in the USA back in 1872. By 1916 The National Park Service was established to preserve and oversee these special landscapes. National Parks now exist in 25 states across the USA and cover over 80 million acres. You have probably heard of the big names such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite & Rocky Mountain but here are 6 of our lesser known favourites and why you should visit them.

At the USA Holiday Company we can tailor make an itinerary to take in your favourite national parks either on a self drive tour or an escorted tour with one of the major tour operators.

Olympic National Park

Washington State's Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic peninsula. Here you can wonder at the the 70 miles of coastline that is wild in appearance, explore the glacier capped mountains and walk through the temperate rain forest. With close to a million acres it's a truly diverse landscape.

We recommend going to Ruby Beach in the Olympic National Park which is named after the ruby like crystals that was up onto the beach. Or head up to Hurricane Ridge which is great fro skiing in Winter & hiking trails in summertime.

Shenandoah National Park

This USA National Park is home to the 105 mile Skyline Drive with its beautiful scenery. A visit to the mountains of Virginia is a must with its natural wonders, historic attractions and great hiking opportunities. One of the less visited parks we think this is well worth the trip as made famous by the song 'Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia'. It is also home to part of the 'Appalachian Trail' where you can spot many species of birds, squirrels, deer and the elusive black bear!

Arches National Park

The Arches National Park is one the USA favourites to visit. Close to 77,000 acres and more than 2000 sandstone monuments & formations its a stunning landscape and quite lunar like. The scenery is an amazing backdrop for walkers and hikers to explore. Combine the Arches National Park with the nearby Canyonlands National Park and its awe-inspiring plateaus & canyons and you will have a truly memorable USA holiday.

Grand Teton National Park

This USA National Park offers a different landscape to the above 3 in that it has 200 miles of trails that weave through prairies, lakes and the snow capped mountains of the Grand Teton mountain range. This is Jackson Hole's backcountry - a wild wonderful park to be explored and is great when combined with Yellowstone National Park which is close by. We love the camping and fishing opportunities in the Grand Teton and taking a boat out onto Lake Jenny. It makes for a wonderful relaxed holiday in the USA and great for all the family.

Zion National Park

Zion is one of the Mighty Five® parks in Utah. On a visit to this park you must hike 'Angel's Landing which takes you up a 1,500ft natural staircase as well as walk The Narrows which is a 10 mile trail through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon and the Virgin River. Its not for the fainthearted this park but you can choose to just do parts of these hikes and enjoy the scenery.

The Virgin River flows to the Emerald Pools where you will find waterfalls and hanging gardens. Zion National Park is notable for its its red cliffs.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Famous as the place for the largest collection of Hoodoos in the world. Hoodoos are pillars of rock that have been created by years of erosion. Hiking opportunities abound here as it covers almost 36,000 acres of the UTAH landscape. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon we think is September when the temperature is still warm, there are less crowds and the skies are clear and the air crisp. July is also a good month but it is main tourist season so will be busier.

The USA Holiday Company can recommend escorted tours that take you around a few of the National Parks in one trip which is a great way to get a flavour of each one in a safe environment. Guided by experts you will get to learn a lot as well. We can also tailor make a fly drive trip to America and we can plan an itinerary for you and suggest accommodation to stop in along the way.

Whatever way you decide to visit the USA National Parks we can help with the best holiday prices and expert advice.