America's most popular National Parks

By Katia Hetter

Published June 21, 2019


10. Glacier National Park, Montana

The park was home to more than 100 glaciers when it was established in 1910, according to the park. Only 35 glaciers remained by 1966 and only 26 by 2015. They are melting and may all be gone by 2030.


9. Olympic National Park, Washington

This national park includes old-growth temperate rain forests, glacier-capped mountains and more than 70 miles of untamed coastline.


8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The 13,770-foot-tall Grand Teton is the highest peak in the Teton Range, but there are eight peaks more than 12,000 feet in elevation at this national park.


7. Acadia National Park, Maine

The first national park east of the Mississippi, Acadia is also the first US National Park to welcome the sunrise each day. Bass Harbor Head Light, which is operated by the US Coast Guard, is the only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island. (It's not open to the public, but visitors can hike nearby.)

Courtesy National Park Service

6. Yosemite National Park, California

When President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation in 1864 protecting a portion of what is now Yosemite National Park, it was the first time that the US government acted to set aside a portion of wilderness for preservation and public use.


5. Yellowstone National Park Idaho/Montana/Wyoming

Known as the world's first national park, Yellowstone has more than 300 geysers, a volcano and many waterfalls. One of its most distinctive features is the Morning Glory hot spring in the park's Upper Geyser Basin.

Mark Ralsronia/AFP/Getty Images

4. Zion National Park, Utah

The most popular of Utah's "Mighty Five" national parks, Zion is in good company with Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capital Reef. Visitors explore The Narrows along the Virgin River in this picture.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

3. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

This 415-square-mile park, which straddles the Continental Divide, is home to 77 peaks above 12,000 feet. The park's elevations range from 7,600 feet to 14,259 feet.


2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon, which celebrates its centennial year in 2019, is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide in parts, and a mile deep.


1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee

The most popular of the National Park Service's 61 headliner national parks in 2018, Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee border.