Most articles ranking America’s National Parks are based on other people’s impressions and not necessarily from the experience of the author. That’s because it’s quite the feat traveling to all 59 National Parks, let alone in one consecutive trip, AND manage to document ones impressions along the way. That’s where we come in!
In 2017, my husband and I road tripped to all 59 U.S. National Parks. It took us 7 months, 25,000+ miles of driving, 26 flights, and countless trails hiked. Along the way we passed through 39 U.S. States, 2 U.S. Territories, and drove some of the most beautiful roads in the country.
So if you’re looking for first hand details then you’ve come to the right place! We ranked the 59 National Parks on numerous factors, including their beauty, trails, accessibility, transport, crowds, facilities, how photogenic they were etc.
- Facilities – proximity to lodging, variety of lodging types and affordability, food availability, bathrooms, visitor centers, showers, etc.
- Trails – the actual park trails, as well as other opportunities for adventure such as snorkeling, rafting, diving, boating etc.
- Scenery – overall beauty of the park, including landscapes, wildlife, and buildings.
- Photogenic – how easy the park was to photograph and how well it translated into images
- Crowds/Transport – how busy the park was and overall how easy it was to get there and transport yourself around (e.g. ability to self drive versus having to take park buses etc.)
Note – some of the park’s had the same score so in those situations we ordered them alphabetically.
Remember, this is an overall ranking, with some parks scoring lower due to things like the extreme methods visitors must take to access them, or often due to large crowds dampening the overall experience of a beautiful park.
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