The 10 Best U.S. National Parks

El Capitan Reflection, Yosemite National Park, California

U.S. News and World Report released their list of the 10 best national parks in the U.S. These parks should be high on your list of places to go.

Double Arch at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Here’s their top ten list:

1. Yellowstone
2. Yosemite
3. Glacier
4. Grand Canyon
5. Zion
6. Grand Teton
7. Hawai’i Volcanoes
8. Arches
9. Rocky Mountain
10. Acadia

The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon, Arizona

What do I think of the list? It is a great list. You can’t go wrong visiting the parks on this list. In addition to the list, the USNWR article has links to places to go and things to do at each of the parks.

Would I change the list? Probably. I might tweak the order a bit. I would probably add Bryce Canyon National Park, or Denali National Park, but then I would have to decided which park or parks to drop from the list to keep the list a “top 10 list”. Forced to choose, I would probably replace Zion with Bryce Canyon, or I might drop Grand Teton to add Denali. Tough choices. When you get to the very best national parks, they are all so impressive it is hard to choose.

Dawn at Sprague Lake
Dawn at Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

There are other great lists out there. David Muench is a world class photographer (and one of my all favorite landscape photographers). He has a list of his 15 favorite parks. 14 are national parks and one is a national preserve.

I have a series of over a dozen articles on the best national parks to photograph for each season of the year.

Evening, Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine

Whatever list you start with, the real fun is visiting the parks on the list. Just pick a park and go. Create some images with your camera and in your mind. Then head for the next park. You will discover, if you haven’t already, that our national parks are one of our great natural treasures.


10 Best U.S. National Parks – USNWR

David Muench Picks His Favorite National Parks

The National Park Series: Where to Go and When – An Overview

When is the Best Time of Year to Photograph Each of Our National Parks? – Arranged by season.

The Best Months to Photograph the Best National Parks  â€“  When are our best national parks at their photographic prime? This is your guide to the best months for each park. Arranged alphabetically by parks.