SKIP THE CONCRETE JUNGLE AND HEAD INTO THE GREAT OUTDOORS TO BASK IN SOME OF UNCLE SAM’S BEST WORK. THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE U.S.A’S AND CANADA’S NATIONAL PARKS WILL LEAVE YOU AWE-INSPIRED AND SERVE UP SOME SERIOUS INSTAGRAM-ENVY FROM YOUR TRAVELS.
From towering peaks to cascading waterfalls; earth defying canyons to pristine glaciers, discover the top 10 must-visit National Parks with Topdeck Travel
1. Zion National Park, Utah U.S.A
Described as superlative in every way, a visit to Zion National Park is full of fresh air and the spray of fresh-water falls to cool you down in the summer. Packed with huge canyons, tumbling waterfalls and crystal clear waters, spend your time hiking one of the hundreds of trails or put your skills to the test at the Zion Ponderosa’s climbing wall.
2. Glacier National Park – British Columbia, Canada
Beautiful all year long, Glacier National Park is the gateway to the Rockies and is filled with photo-worthy alpine scenery. Take to the trees and see the towering cedars or follow the trails to explore the moss-covered meadows as you make your way through Rogers Pass. Feeling courageous? The white-water rapids in nearby Kicking Horse River are infamous for pulse-raising rafting as the canyon narrows. Or simply relax in the hot springs dotted through the area and take in the breath taking views.
3. Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, U.S.A
Hey, Yogi Bear are you there? Home to not only the world’s friendliest bear, Yellowstone National Park boasts hundreds of animal species including wolves, elk and antelope. Featuring huge canyons, forests and alpine rivers, Yellowstone National Park was made famous by a geyser named Old Faithful. The awe-inspiring geyser erupts every 44 – 125 minutes, shooting around 32,000 litres of boiling water 44 meters into the sky.
4. Arches National Park – Utah, U.S.A
No surprises here, but Arches National Park is famous for a vast landscape of contrasting colours, textures and over 2000 natural stone arches. This wonderland of giant balanced rocks and natural stone formations is home to kangaroo rats, mule deer and mountain lions aplenty. One of the most popular activities at the park is canyoneering so get your friends together and try it out.
5. Wrangell-St Elias National Park – Alaska, U.S.A
If you’re in the U.S.A but it feels like it should be Canada, there’s no doubt you’ve found yourself in Alaska. The largest state in the U.S.A is home to breath-taking Wrangell-St Elias National Park. Don’t get lost in the 13.2 million acres of this beautiful landscape, teaming with porcupines, moose, grizzly bears and much more! Wrangell-St Elias National Park rises from the ocean, up Mount St Elias, meaning that the edge of the park is inhabited by sea lions, otters and even whales. Make sure to pack your hiking boots as Topdeck offer some awesome optional experiences like glacier trekking or climbing – seriously cool.
6. Yosemite National Park, California/Nevada U.S.A
World famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs and giant sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park borders on both California and Nevada. Spanning over 3000km², the park is home to an array of wildlife including black bears, bighorn sheep, foxes and mountain lions. You won’t be lost for something to do, with a range of activities available no matter what season you choose to visit. In the cooler months, have a go at cross-country skiing or rock-climbing, and as the temperatures rise try rafting and hiking. The views alone are worth a trip to Yosemite, with huge cascading waterfalls towering over half a mile.
7. Banff National Park – Alberta, Canada
Picturesque is an understatement for this stunning park situated in Alberta, Canada. Nestled into the Canadian Rockies, Banff is Canada’s oldest national park, home to moose, elk and bighorn sheep. If you find yourself in Banff during summer, jump on board for some white-water rafting with Topdeck or if you’re headed to the Rockies during winter, pack your extra thick socks for ice skating on Lake Louise, horse drawn sleigh rides and snowmobiling.
8. Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada
With pristine reflective waters surrounded by mountain ranges and towering trees, Jasper National Park has to be seen to be believed. A must see are the glacial waters of Maligne Lake and famed Spirit Island which are only accessible by boat. Known for the best bear-spotting in Canada, you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of a grizzly bear hunting for salmon.
9. Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona, U.S.A
If size matters, then the Grand Canyon should feel pretty good about itself. With 4926km² of layered red rock and centuries of geological history, the Grand Canyon is definitely something to tick off your bucket list. The Grand Canyon is much more than a giant hole in the ground, its home to cottontail rabbits, coyotes, and mountain lions. If you’re feeling courageous, let your Topdeck Trip Leader blindfold you and walk you out to the breath-taking lookout, unveil your mask and open your eyes to the jaw-dropping scene of the Grand Canyon below you, for one of life’s most unforgettable moments.
10. Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming, U.S.A
With mountains that seem extraordinary enough to be a part of a movie set, Grand Teton National Park is something out of a fairytale. You won’t be lost for something to do with over 200 miles of hiking trails at your disposal. The Snake River funnels through the middle of the park offering an unparalleled opportunity for world-class fishing, wildlife spotting and rapid rafting. There are also many other lakes throughout the park where you can stand-up paddle board, windsurf and water-ski.
GO THERE: From quintessential mountain peaks to hidden historical gems, Topdeck trips to the National Parks of the U.S.A and Canada will give you a lifetime of Instagram-worthy wanderlust moments. For more details, visit www.topdeck.travel