America's great national parks are a genuine highlight for many visitors to the US. as well as a host of verdant green forests and spectacular mountain scenery, America is also home to volcanic carters and arid deserts, which form some of the world's most fascinating protected areas. And don't forget the USA's indigenous wildlife; bears, bald eagles, rattlesnakes and many others thrive within these diverse habitats.
The big hitters are undoubtedly the epic Grand Canyon – one of the wonders of the natural world – and the otherworldly volcanoes of Yellowstone, regarded as the oldest national park on Earth. Millions of years of geological history are exposed within the layered bands of red rock in the Grand Canyon, the perfect place to take in a sunrise or sunset or charter a helicopter for an unrivalled aerial view. Yellowstone, sitting atop a volcanic hotspot, showcases alpine rivers and gushing hot springs against a backdrop of lush green forest, best experienced up close and on the ground.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
An Explorer's Paradise
Just north, in Yosemite, a wilderness of imposing mountains, dense forests and roaring falls pave the way for unforgettable hikes and lodge stays, while the mesas of Monument Valley that rise up from the Arizona Desert have come to symbolise the American Wild West thanks to numerous appearances in film and TV. Less-visited national parks are well worth a visit, too, from Colorado's monolithic Black Canyon to Alaska's snow-topped Denali and Alberta's hoodoo-dotted badlands.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
The Wilderness Experience
Some 34 million hectares has been preserved as National Park in 49 of the 50 USA states, most offering a full range of facilities and lodges alongside and a variety of brilliant outdoor activities to make the most of the spectacular surrounds. Our tailor-made itineraries will get you as close to true wilderness as you wish, with stays in snow lodges, canyon-side hotels and lakeside spas designed to truly immerse you in nature. From your accommodation, you'll be able to hike or take a guided tour to spot wildlife or take in some of the USA's most panoramic vistas.