The USA & its territories house over 60 breath-taking national parks. These parks offer extremely diversified landscapes, which attract thousands of visitors every year looking to drench themselves in the lap of natural beauty.
National parks are one of the natural treasures of the US. White plain sand beaches to snow glaciers, the wilderness, depth & diversity of these national parks is a delight to behold.
The curiosity of exploring America’s national parks is positively overwhelming! National parks of America promises an amazing travelling experience in your backpack journey. You can either spend a night, a week, or more in the backcountry.
From the Eastern Coast to the West & everywhere that lies in between, we have rounded up the most attractive backpacking national parks in the US.
Most attractive National Parks for Backpacking in the US
The idea of a “best” or most “attractive” national park largely depends on what kind of experience you want to have & what your backpacking goals are. —exploring wildlife, isolation, natural scenery views, etc.
1. The Wild Olympic Coast:
Backpacking at the 17.5-mile southern stretch line of Olympic National Park lies a 73-mile-long wilderness coastline that allows you to walk underneath the shadows of sea scores, stacks rising beyond 150 feet of the ocean & gigantic trees growing wirelessly in one of the largest virgin temperate rainforests.
Additionally, a mesmerizing site of tide pools & boulders teeming along with sea stars, sea anemones & mussels while hiking the beach, surprisingly rugged & muddy thick overland trails, & scale rope ladders hanging downwards eroding headlands.
You may get to see spot seals, whales & sea otters. It’s an amazing fun destination for beginners, family, and calming friendly trips. On the other hand, a good thing about this national park is it’s less crowded and also it has an easier permit to obtain.
2. Arches National Park, Utah:
Arches National Park is located in southeastern Utah, Features comprising 73,000 acres of the splendid landscape of colorful desert with more than 2,000 red rock natural arches. For a rock to qualify as it must have an opening minimum of 3-feet. Arches National park was officially added to the lists of national parks in 1971. This natural treasure of Utah entices everyone to explore its raw beauty by hiking, climbing, biking, off-roading, and camping.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the US, for all the right reasons! It is located at extremely accessible spots from various airports, has no admission fee, diverse wildlife, natural scenic views, and is a few hour’s drive from different major cities.
Black bears, otters, elk, or salamanders are the animal’s visitors look forward to getting to see. Therefore, make sure you do not miss hiking up to the Clingman’s Dome for seeing mesmerizing waterfalls of that area.
There are many large and small waterfalls that you can visit in the great smokies. Driving through the Cades Cove loop there are the historic rusty cabins for spotting wildlife. More than 150 hiking trails are present in smokies, you chose any of them for enjoying nature, more closely.
Spring season brings a bonus of wildflowers, hot months come with lush greenery & roaring rushing waterfalls, fall adds up beautiful foliage’s & rutting elk while colder months come with frozen creeks & snowy mountain peaks. You can visit this park at any time of year and will get nature’s bounty of that time.
4. Grand Canyon:
“Grand” does not begin to bring canyon justice. Housing 277 miles of rivers in length, more than 15 miles in width & almost a mile in-depth, this massive chasm of northern Arizona is indeed one of the natural wonders. For around 6 million years, the Grand Canyon expanded constantly with the help of the monotonous Colorado River, & for centuries, visitors from all over the world traveled for gazing over the red & orange grandeur it has.
The great canyon is looked after by the National Park Service & officially affiliated to UNESCO as a World Heritage location. This site leaves more than a million tourists awestruck every year.
If you’re seeking the secluded escape of Mother Nature, get prepared: The Grand Canyon should be crowded.
The Southern Rim – home of the Grand Canyon Village & a well worn Bright Angel Track, is famous among sightseers & hikers. Located on the southern side of crayon full of amenities. It’s a destination for backwoods camping & hardcore hiking. & for the unforgettable view canyon, consider signing for the helicopter tour.
It is one of the formidable landscapes found in nature, Yosemite National Park comprises 1,200 square miles of sheer awe: waterfalls, the millennia sequoia trees, striking, daunting cliff-faces & some of the unique rock found in the US. Despite their enormous sizes, this visitor’s activity happens within an 8-square-mile area of the Yosemite Valley.
Here you will find the park’s famous and fantastic landmarks – Half Dome & El Capitan – these fabulous hiking trails that go through natural monuments. Every inexperienced hiker enjoys Yosemite: These guided tours & climbing lessons are available for the local adventure outfitters.
Just do not expect to experience it by yourself. Like many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacle to enjoying Yosemite vacation – around four million people go there each year. But if you visit this place at the right time & start the day earlier, Mother Nature will reveal itself in a miraculous & serene way.
6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado:
If you are looking at the high-alpine adventure, do not look beyond the Rocky Mountains of National Park. Featuring stunning mountain scenes from the rich pine forests to Continental Divide, there is the reason for RMNP being the most visited national parks of the US.
Start it with exploring the best hiking trails of Rocky Mountain National Park. For the beginners & experts, they are the same endless miles, the gorgeous hiking trails & world-famous mountains for climbing. The longest Peak of alpinists’ bucket lists, Gem Lake, Dream Lake, & Sky Pond is the list of hikes.
The signature activity of the Rocky is driving the scenic Trail of Ridge Road. The enormous pullouts & endless wildlife can make you easily spend the day traveling on this beautiful road. Speaking of the wildlife, during hotter months it is common to have a sight of marmot, chipmunks, pike, moose, elk, coyote, ram & maybe even the black bear.
Moreover, bring the camera, at the nice distance between you & the wildlife. Different activities include visits to scenic vistas, rock climbing, & backpacking. Make sure you get yourself a good backpack.
The best time for visiting the park lies between July-September. Therefore, make sure you get your backpacks early in the morning or else you will have to wait in the long lines. In addition, Winter & Spring are excellent times for visiting.
7. Pinnacles National Park, California:
Pinnacles National Park is California’s youngest park, & most lesser-visited destination park. Hence, tourists that decide to explore Pinnacles National Park are rewarded with a mesmerizing wilderness experience. Hiking is the quietest, unequivocally, and popular reason for visiting Pinnacles. There’s no track which runs by the park, & for exploring, you’ve to hike.
If you’re up for doing it, take the lower tracks up-to-the Highest Peaks Trails, where you can take the views of the highest elevations of pinnacles. There you have to see for roosting the California condors!
The park lies among places where you can have the sight of endangered wildlife with the enormous wingspans. Furthermore, Pinnacle is a popular destination for the talus caves. Talus cave lets you explore each of your park’s entrances.
Trails that lead to these caves are easy & family-friendly. In addition to this, on the east side of this park, you can visit Bear Gulch Cave and Bear Gulch Reservoir, its scenic place for relaxation spots.
The best time of visiting Pinnacles goes by fall through the early spring as the temperatures of the park get pleasant. It gets very hot during the reason & best avoided.
8. Glacier’s Northern Loop:
Few places of the continental US harbors the breadth of the megafauna in the Glacier. You see the mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep, & moose—& possibly black & grizzly bears. Neck-craning cliffs slash in Montana’s high sky, & glaciers pour down the mountainsides.
It’s a 65-mile Northern stretched Loop is the arguably amazing multi-day hiking in the glacier, comprising Highline Trail, Glacier areas, Piegan Pass & rocky Indian Pass, Ptarmigan Wall & Ptarmigan Tunnel, & park’s finest lakes & remote wilderness.
Have the sensation of urgency regarding this trip: The national park’s glaciers are the fastest track for extinction. Make sure you get the expert e-guides of the backpacking Glacier.
9. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:
It’s the country on the top national park, established in 1872, Yellowstone’s National Park widely stretched beyond 3 states: Montana, Idaho & Wyoming. It’s the home of the biggest group of geysers in the world. In addition, take a backpack full of equipment and refreshments with you. It’s an old Faithful site you must see, it must contain more than two million acres of the amazing landscape, including waterfalls, alpine lakes, forests, canyons, & mountains.
With the diverse scene comes the incredible array of wildlife, grizzly bears & wolves of the bison & elk, plus the various flora. With the different parks destination, Yellowstone provides the superfluity of the outdoor activities, from trekking to boating & everything that comes in between.
10. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon:
Oregon is the only United States national park, Crater Lake has the high expectations of filling the Oregon road-trip destination, though it is not big of the park. As per the name, Crater Lake National Park is a gigantic crater with plenty of water.
This lake was made after the eruption of an ancient volcano known as Mt. Manama, is a sacred place to the indigenous Makala natives, & it’s the cleanest freshwater lake in the country.
As Oregon is the only United States national park, this Crater Lake comes with the high expectations that must be with the Oregon road trip destination, though it is not too big to be a park. As it suggests, this National Park is gigantic with plenty of water. This lake emerged after the eruption of the ancient volcano of Mt. Manama, & it is the second cleanest freshwater in the country.
11. Acadia National Park, Maine:
This national park is located on Maine’s stony Atlantic coastline, Acadia National Park. More than 2 million tourists visit this natural treasure every year. Hikers, campers, and tourists can explore this great park in the parked car too.
On 27 miles of ancient motor roads and by foot on the hiking tracks of 158 miles. Make sure to get your backpack full of useful accessories. Most of the part of this national park is sited on Mount Desert Island, where tourists find scenic Park Loop Road & picturesque tracks perfect for watching the birds from the short distance at charming bar harbor town.
12. Olympic National Park, Washington:
Olympic National Park annually draws more than 2.5 million visitors every year in the Pacific Northwest. It’s an incredibly attractive camping destination for tourists around the globe. It comprises more than a million acres of parklands, campers find this land attractive for its large number of unique landscapes, & ecosystems.
Moreover, you get different aspects of nature to explore, by staying there for a day or more. It has rainy forests, a stony Pacific coastline, & High Mountain peaks, including Mount Olympus.
13. Joshua Tree National Park, California:
This national park is popularly known for the amazing desert landscapes & namesake Joshua trees, This National Park entertains more than nearly 2 million tourists each year. Visitors hike, bike and camp on these unique landscapes, go by rocks climbing and horseback riding. Additionally, they stay at night for a mesmerizing view of the night sky
14. Sequoia National Park, California:
This national park is centrally located in California. It’s the gem you should visit! Seeing sequoia trees is one of the reasons you must visit this park, it’s the widest tree in the world!
There are a unique variety of forested trails, alpine lakes, towering peaks, meadows & waterfalls. Trails of different difficulty levels are present there, from beginners to advanced backpackers every entertaining thing is there for backpacking trips. No matter which time of the year visiting this park in each season of the year brings a unique experience. This park is no less than a wonderland.
15. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska:
Kenai Fjords National Park was designated as the national park in 1980. It’s a natural gem that features forests and more than 40 glaciers flowing out of an incredible Harding Icefield.
This amazing landscape park covers more than 600,000 acres of the land portion, more than half of it is densely covered with ice. It features diverse vegetation & wildlife, nature flocks come here for a major reason of catching glimpses of the land animals that include bears, lynx, wolves, & marine life like killer whales, harbor seals, humpback whales & birds of more than 191 species. It’s a popular destination for adventure seekers.