Stunning National Parks in the Western U.S. You Have to Visit At Least Once

Cracker Lake Dawn

Photo Credit: Jack Brauer

America is home to some of the world’s most stunning national parks, including Glacier National Park in Montana, pictured above. This photo was taken at Cracker lake, renowned for its waters that have an incredible opaque turquoise hue. If you aren’t up to the 12.6-mile hike that will get you there, by taking Going-to-the-Sun Road you’ll not only enjoy a spectacular drive to what feels like the top of the world, but scenes similar to this one, including mountain peaks, turquoise pools, rushing waterfalls, along with mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Yosemite National Park

yosemite

Photo Credit: Flickr: Damian Manda

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Photo Credit: Russ Bishop

Yosemite National Park is home to famed Yosemite Falls and Half Dome, as well as numerous lesser-known but just as spectacular spots, like Tuolumne Meadows where the crystal clear Tuolmne River winds through one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Yellowstone National Park

buffalo hot springs yp

Photo Credit: travelphilosophy.com

old faithful

Photo Credit: wallpapervortex.com

Located in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, Yellowstone is home to several unique features you’ll find only within its borders or just a handful of other places on the entire planet. Old Faithful, its most famous geyser, erupts about every 91 minutes. In addition to geysers you’ll see hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles as well as all types of wildlife, including buffalo, deer, elk, fox and coyote, which are all commonly spotted. Moose, bears, wolves, cougars, mountain goats and other animals can be seen occasionally as well.

Grand Canyon National Park

grand canyon view

Photo Credit: urbanfragment

havasupai

Photo Credit: :samyroad.com

Seeing the Grand Canyon is something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. Once you’ve taken in the grandeur of the 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide canyon, consider visiting the Havasupai Native Reservation on the remote west end of the Grand Canyon where you’ll see world renowned Havasu Falls.

Grand Teton National Park

grand teton

Photo Credit: imgur.com

There are few places more breathtaking than Grand Teton National Park, where Grand Teton, the central crag of the Teton Range, scrapes the clouds nearly 7,000 feet above the Wyoming valley floor.

Mount Rainier National Park

mt rainier

Photo Credit: fineartamerica.com

On a clear day, 14,410-foot-high Mount Rainier can be seen from most of western Washington, looming above Seattle’s skyline, but the best place to experience it is up close, particularly on the south side in an area called Paradise, known for its wildflower meadows and jaw-dropping views.