The USA boasts some of the most spectacular and iconic national parks in the world. Here’s your guide to getting the most out of them.
From Yosemite and Yellowstone through to the Arches in Utah and Badlands in South Dakota, the United States' impressive network of national parks offer stunning landscapes that you would never find elsewhere. And with an America the Beautiful –The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, it’s more affordable than you think.
The staggering variety of landscapes offered by the national parks in the US can be overwhelming. From the eerie monuments carved by nature out of the desert rock in the southwest, to the towering redwoods of northern California, this is nature on a grand scale.
Andrew Lucero has spent most of his adult life touring the National Parks of America and has put together a handy guide to each of the major parks and why you should visit them. He has also written an article on the national parks in the Four Corners, where the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. If classic movie western scenery is your thing, it’s worth a read.
For something a bit different, pop over to John Vishides’ article on the Redwood National Park. It can get a little cold and damp, he says, but looking upon a tree with a trunk 18-metres in circumference tends to put things into perspective.
National Parks in Western USA – Andrew Lucero
US States and their national parks – Andrew Lucero
South West USA – Greg Ward
Utah’s best national parks – The Wanderlust Team
A cut above the rest: The Grand Canyon – Andrew Thomas
Redwood National Park – John Vishides
How does tracking wolves sound? Geoffrey Roy joined a team researching these magnificent creatures in Yellowstone National Park and reveals how you can too.
If you’d rather spot stars, Hannah Uttley lists the national parks that offer the best natural light shows on the planet.
Track wolves in Yellowstone National Park – Geoffrey Roy
Top 13 stargazing sites around the world – Hannah Uttley
Explore the USA’s Boundary Waters by canoe – Piers Pickard
Kayak through Florida’s Everglades – Will Gray
With much of the land in America’s southwest owned by it’s native people, Chris Corden’s piece on meeting the Navajo offers a unique insight into their culture and traditions and as such, into the land itself.
Lisa Sykes offers an intimate account of a destination we all think we know – the Grand Canyon.
And Paul Morrison reports on Big Bend National Park in Texas where big cats are returning and taking back what was theirs.
Meet the Navajo – Chris Corden
Rock and roam around the Grand Canyon – Lisa Sykes
Camping in Big Bend National Park, Texas – Paul Morrison
Everything is bigger in America, especially its National Parks, and capturing that vastness on film can be quite a challenge. Luckily, our photography guru, Steve Davey, has written this guide to shooting open spaces that will help you shoot the epic landscapes before you. Should those landscapes be desert ones, you should probably read his guide to shooting sand as well, even if just to protect your camera from the harsh elements it will face.
You may also find inspiration in the excellent photos posted by our readers.
Shooting sand – Steve Davey
Shooting open spaces – Steve Davey
If you have a particular question, pop over to the myWanderlust forum where our knowledgeable community is ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions people have already asked about the US and its national parks. The answer to yours might already be there.
USA Travel Guide – The Wanderlust Team
USA Essential Info – The Wanderlust Team
Well, you are really spoilt for choice. Our travel partners offer an incredible selection of tours to the United States. From Yosemite photo tours to family cowboy and canyon adventures, there’s something for every taste and budget. You’ll find the full list of tours available here. What are you waiting for?