Visit the USA's National Parks
America's great national parks are a genuine highlight for many visitors to the US. The big hitters dominate in 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.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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 West thanks to numerous appearances in film and TV. Less-visited national parks are well worth a visit, too, from Colorado's Black Canyon to Alaska's snow-topped Denali and Alberta's hoodoo-dotted badlands.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
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.
Top itineraries in USA's National Parks
Discover the beauty of Yosemite National Park, austere Death Valley, the bright lights of Vegas, spectacular Grand Canyon and everything in between on this curated road trip.
This fly-drive itinerary brings you right among some of the USA's most spectacular wilderness, from the Wild-West grandeur of Monument Valley to the world-wonder beauty of the Grand Canyon.
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.
Top places to stay in USA's National Parks
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
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
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
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
Where to go in USA's National Parks
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.
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.
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.
When to go to USA's National Parks
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.
USA's National Parks articles
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.
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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