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USA's National Parks

Visit the USA's National Parks

Introduction

America's great national parks are a genuine highlight for many visitors to the US. The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the natural world, while majestic Yellowstone is widely regarded as the oldest national park in the world. Yosemite is a wilderness of imposing mountains, forests and falls, while the mesas of Monument Valley that rise up from the Arizona Desert have come to symbolize the American West thanks to numerous appearances in film and TV.

Some 34 million hectares has been preserved as National Park in 49 of the 50 states. Most offer a full range of facilities and lodges and a variety of brilliant outdoor activities.

Special offers in USA's National Parks

California Classic - USA West Coast

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,835 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

Last minute offer – Save up to £340 pp
Book by: 30 September 2017

Discover the beauty of Yosemite National Park, austere Death Valley, bright lights of Vegas, spectacular Grand Canyon and everything in between on this definitive road trip.

Canyon Country & National Parks Self-Drive

15-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,150 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

– Save up to £430 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

The deserts of south-west USA are home to some of the most incredible landscapes anywhere on earth. A geological wonderland of giant twisted rock formations, huge arches, spires and some of the deepest canyons on earth characterise this unique and unforgiving terrain.

Rockies and Ranches Self-Drive Tour

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,610 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

– Save up to £575 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

Discover America’s unique geography all the while staying in picturesque ranches and lodges on this self-drive tour. Starting in Salt Lake City, you'll take in the natural splendours of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks before driving the Pacific West Coast to finish in Seattle.

See all offers

Top itineraries in USA's National Parks

California Classic - USA West Coast

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,835 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

Last minute offer – Save up to £340 pp
Book by: 30 September 2017

Discover the beauty of Yosemite National Park, austere Death Valley, bright lights of Vegas, spectacular Grand Canyon and everything in between on this definitive road trip.

Canyon Country & National Parks Self-Drive

15-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,150 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

– Save up to £430 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

The deserts of south-west USA are home to some of the most incredible landscapes anywhere on earth. A geological wonderland of giant twisted rock formations, huge arches, spires and some of the deepest canyons on earth characterise this unique and unforgiving terrain.

Yellowstone & Rocky Mountains Self-drive Tour

18-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,625 pp incl. flights

Free car hire

The national parks of Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain comprise the bulk of this tailor-made self-drive, which combines some of America's most spellbinding scenery with the chance to see native wildlife and explore a rich, pioneering history.

Rockies and Ranches Self-Drive Tour

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,610 pp

Special
offer

Free car hire

– Save up to £575 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

Discover America’s unique geography all the while staying in picturesque ranches and lodges on this self-drive tour. Starting in Salt Lake City, you'll take in the natural splendours of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks before driving the Pacific West Coast to finish in Seattle.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in USA's National Parks

Sun Mountain Lodge, Washington

Traditional lodge

Dubbed a 'resort for all seasons', this pleasant lodge in the foothills of the North Cascades mountain range provides activities for all times of the year; from cross country skiing to hiking, rafting, horseback riding, rock climbing and lake activities. There are award-winning dining options includ

Ranch at Ucross, Wyoming

Traditional ranch

This scenic guest ranch is a good location for an overnight stay (available May to September only) during a drive between the Black Hills of South Dakota/Devils Tower and the Yellowstone Park areas. Rate includes lodging, one horseback ride, deluxe breakfast buffet, deluxe dinner buffet, baggage, ta

Goulding's Lodge, Utah

Contemporary lodge

A convenient base from which to explore the spectacular Monument Valley, home to the famous buttes and mesas rising up from the endless desert that have become synonymous with the American West thanks to their inclusion in countless film and TV westerns. The lodge and its rooms are simple in design

The George Washington, Virginia

Historic hotel

Originally built in 1924 and having recently undergone a major refurbishment, The George Washington is located in downtown Winchester and features a Roman-style indoor swimming pool. Voted “Wyndham Hotel of the Year” in 2011, this is the perfect place from which to explore both the Shenandoah Valley

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Where to go in USA's National Parks

Moab

From twisted spires and arching rocks to mighty rivers and red-rock deserts framed by snow-capped peaks, Moab's Arches and Canyonlands national parks are Utah's adventure capital. Explore it all on activities that range from hikes and bike rides to river rafting and rock climbing.

Zion

Reshaped over millenia by wind, rain and ice, Zion Canyon lies at the very heart of its national park namesake. A six-mile scenic road will introduce you to its red-and-white cliffs framed by wild meadows and hanging gardens, while guided hikes bring you to spectacular overlooks.

Monument Valley

The famous buttes and mesas of Monument Valley rise up along scenic Highway 163. These ancient rocks, famed for their starring role in countless Hollywood Westerns, are a stunning backdrop to ancient trails, horseback routes and the home of the Navajo – America's largest tribe.

Bryce Canyon

Characterised by its cavernous amphitheatres filled with blazing red-rock spires and hoodoos, Bryce Canyon is a visual treat best seen at dawn or dusk. It's rugged beauty is best explored on an 18-mile scenic road that runs along its rim, or on guided hikes that plunge to the canyon floor.

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When to go to USA's National Parks

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Many make the canyon pilgrimage in summer, when schools are out and the sun is at its fiercest. However, with frosty winters, enjoy temperate climes from March to May and September to November when crowds start thinning out. Placed apart, check individual forecasts for each park. The domed spires of Bryce Canyon, for example, receive a wintery dusting of snow due to their high elevation.

See regional weather

USA's National Parks articles

Vintage travel posters that have stood the test of time

We take a look at the spectacularly bold travel advertisements of the 1930s and their promise of golden temples in India, lakeside retreats in Italy and deers grazing outside of Japanese temples. You'll be surprised at how much holds true to this day.

Free Entrance to US National Parks: the Centenary & Other Times to Visit

The vision of 19th century artist, George Catlin, America’s National Parks Service has grown from humble beginnings, starting with just one park. The veritable grandfather of it all – Yellowstone – was once protected from poachers and misuse by the U.S. Army, a trend that continued to the second na…

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