Acadia ✪ Top Rated
4.9 (13,035 reviews)
Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats.
Maine, United States - EastExplore Acadia
4.6 (67 reviews)
The southernmost national park is on three Samoan islands and protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches. The area is also home to flying foxes, brown boobies, sea turtles, and 900 species of fish.
American Samoa, United States - WestExplore American Samoa
Arches ✪ Top Rated
4.9 (19,964 reviews)
This site features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, with some of the most popular arches in the park being Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch and Double Arch. Millions of years of erosion have created these structures located in a desert climate where the arid ground has life-sustaining biological soil crusts and potholes that serve as natural water-collecting basins. Other geologic formations include stone pinnacles, fins, and balancing rocks.
Utah, United States - WestExplore Arches
Badlands ✪ Top Rated
4.9 (10,733 reviews)
The Badlands are a collection of buttes, pinnacles, spires, and mixed-grass prairies. The White River Badlands contain the largest assemblage of known late Eocene and Oligocene mammal fossils. The wildlife includes bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs.
South Dakota, United States - CentralExplore Badlands
Big Bend Great
4.8 (3,518 reviews)
Named for the prominent bend in the Rio Grande along the U.S.–Mexico border, this park encompasses a large and remote part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Its main attraction is backcountry recreation in the arid Chisos Mountains and in canyons along the river. A wide variety of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils as well as cultural artifacts of Native Americans also exist within its borders.
Texas, United States - CentralExplore Big Bend
4.8 (3,226 reviews)
The park protects a quarter of the Gunnison River, which slices sheer canyon walls from dark Precambrian-era rock. The canyon features some of the steepest cliffs and oldest rock in North America, and is a popular site for river rafting and rock climbing. The deep, narrow canyon is composed of gneiss and schist which appears black when in shadow.
Colorado, United States - WestExplore Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Bryce Canyon ✪ Top Rated
4.9 (17,319 reviews)
Bryce Canyon is a geological amphitheater on the Paunsaugunt Plateau with hundreds of tall, multicolored sandstone hoodoos formed by erosion. The region was originally settled by Native Americans and later by Mormon pioneers.
Utah, United States - WestExplore Bryce Canyon
4.8 (5,543 reviews)
This landscape was eroded into a maze of canyons, buttes, and mesas by the combined efforts of the Colorado River, Green River, and their tributaries, which divide the park into three districts. The park also contains rock pinnacles and arches, as well as artifacts from Ancient Pueblo peoples.
Utah, United States - WestExplore Canyonlands
Capitol Reef Great
4.8 (3,301 reviews)
The park's Waterpocket Fold is a 100-mile (160 km) monocline that exhibits the earth's diverse geologic layers. Other natural features include monoliths, cliffs, and sandstone domes shaped like the United States Capitol.
Utah, United States - WestExplore Capitol Reef
Channel Islands Good
4.7 (1,428 reviews)
Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, with half of the park's area underwater. The islands have a unique Mediterranean ecosystem originally settled by the Chumash people. They are home to over 2,000 species of land plants and animals, 145 endemic to them, including the island fox. Ferry services offer transportation to the islands from the mainland.
California, United States - WestExplore Channel Islands