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The US National Park Service maintains and operates 423 park sites that cover more than 84 million acres. So it’s fair to say that Americans that love the outdoors are spoiled for choice when deciding where to go for their next adventure. But with so many national parks to choose from, how can they pick the one that they’ll remember for a lifetime? To make the decision easy, here are the four best national parks to visit right now.

  1. Yellowstone

There’s no better place to begin a list of the best national parks to visit than with the original – Yellowstone. It encompasses 2.2 million acres and reaches into three separate states. It’s got waterfalls, lakes, and wildlife that make it worth a visit. But that’s not all. Yellowstone is home to the world-famous Old Faithful geyser, which should be on every outdoor lover’s bucket list of wonders to behold.

  1. Grand Canyon

In a national park system filled with well-known natural attractions, the Grand Canyon national park stands above all others. It’s one of 13 national parks that house a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it an international tourist destination that’s not to be missed. It’s perfect for hiking, rafting, and sightseeing. Visitors can even take a chartered helicopter tour of the majestic canyon and its surroundings.

  1. Great Smoky Mountains

Although it’s not as well-known as the first two entries on the list, the Great Smoky Mountains national park has the distinction of being the most-visited national park in the system – with 12.1 million visitors in 2020 alone. Visitors can hike around the picturesque park year-round, and they’ll find stunning views in all directions. But it’s best enjoyed in the fall when the park’s trees put on a vibrant, colorful display that’s beyond compare.

  1. Yosemite

Another of the most well-known and oldest national parks that are among the best to visit is Yosemite. It draws more visitors than any other national park facility in California, and it’s easy to see why. Visitors often come to view the natural granite formations of El Capitan and Half Dome or to check out the world-famous great sequoia groves. It’s a perfect place to go camping and enjoy the many spectacular views the park has to offer.

It’s Hard to Choose Wrong

Because all of the national parks on this list offer unique experiences, it’s impossible to choose the wrong one. They’re all worth visiting and will provide a lifetime of irreplaceable memories. And there’s no reason not to visit them all. They’re a part of the natural heritage of all Americans – and would all make a worthwhile vacation destination.