The pristine beauty of US national parks

Hiking Collection by
komoot

John Muir once proclaimed that “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” And his words inspired a movement, profoundly changing the way we see and interact with nature. He championed the creation of numerous national parks and protected areas throughout the United States of America, relentlessly preaching the importance of preserving the great outdoors long before the idea became popular. To our benefit, his hard work, determination and commitment to the cause would eventually pay off — and today there are over 390 national parks in the USA; something for which every American – and every visitor to America — should thank the "Father of National Parks".

In order to celebrate the unique and extraordinary beauty of America's national parks, this Collection brings you some of the most impressive and most breathtaking places you'll find in the country. Just bear in mind that this list barely scratches the surface of the incredible beauty waiting to be discovered. Which one are you going to visit next?

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Yosemite Four Mile Trail

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    This trail begins near the base of Sentinel Rock and climbs to the top of Yosemite Valley at Glacier Point. The trail maintains a continuous steep grade, following the path of an old toll trail that was completed in 1872. The trail has changed a bit over the years; it is now closer to five miles than four (and of course there is no more toll). Spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and, eventually, Half Dome await those willing to tackle this strenuous trail. Don't skip the side trip to enjoy the view of Yosemite Valley from Union Point, located a bit over two-thirds of the way up.

    The Four Mile Trail ends at Glacier Point, where restrooms, parking, and a snack stand (summer only) are available. You can choose to hike back to Yosemite Valley by reversing your route or by continuing on the Panorama Trail, which brings you to the Happy Isles Trailhead in another 8.5 miles (13.7 km).

    Tip by
    Dmytro
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    One of the most impressing view points to see Mount Rainier. During sunrise and sunset, when there's now wind or rain, this lake right by the park road reflects the mountain in all of its majesty.

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Bryce Canyon Navajo Trail

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    The Navajo Trail is a short hiking path loop in Bryce National Park that leads down to the Bryce Canyon and then back up through Wall Street. It can be done in about 1 to 2 hours, depending on how many stops you make to enjoy the awe inspiring rock formations and take photos.

    The trail is rather steep with quite a bit of altitude to conquer – make sure to bring enough water. If you come in the morning or evening, you might be able to hike in the shade before the sunlight comes down into the canyon.

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Grand Canyon View from Rim Trail

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    A nice short hike with many impressive views of the canyon. Actually, the entire stretched is a highlight. Good parking is available at the car park "C + D" from here with the shuttle bus to the Visitor Center and here the hike starts. Take a lot of water - there is little shade.

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    Breathtaking views over these surreal, beautiful landscapes. Perfect for a quick stop and very short walk whilst driving through the park.

    If you'd like to go on a longer hike, there are also several great official hiking paths. Make sure to always bring enough water and sun protection.

    Hikes: nps.gov/badl/planyourvisit/hiking.htm
    Camping: nps.gov/badl/planyourvisit/camping.htm

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Sequoia National Park - Congress Trail

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    The Congress trail is a paved loop that leads by the largest trees in the world. It starts at the General Sherman Tree, the most voluminous tree on the planet. Most people just go to the Sherman Tree and back, which makes this part very busy. The rest of the trail is less crowded but the trees are just as impressive. At the south end, there are unusual groupings of somewhat smaller sequoias, the House and Senate groups.

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Views

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    Probably the most pictruesque area of the Yellowstone national park is its Grand Canyon. It is approximately 10,000 years old, 32 miles long, in between 250m and 400m deep, and 500m to 1,300m wide. There are three big waterfalls in the Canyon: the Upper and the Lower Falls as well as the less known Crystal Falls in between. The Lower Falls are almost twice as high as the Niagara Falls! The Yellowstone river is running at the bottom of the Canyon. Most of the yellows in the canyon are the result of iron present in the rock.

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Delicate Arch

    Hiking Highlight

    Delicate Arch ... Utah's landmark. Nice trail.

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    Angels Landing

    Hiking Highlight

    The most popular climb of Zion national park offers spectacular views over the Zion Canyon from the summit at 1765m. The altitude difference of the trail is 450m, getting there and back takes approximately five hours. The trail is secured but very exposed at some points, people with vertigo should stay away from this climb.

    Tip by
    Stephanie
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    Crater Lake from Above

    Hiking Highlight

    Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US at over 594 m deep at its deepest point. The lake occupies the dormant volcanic caldera of Mount Mazama in Oregon, a sleeping vulcano. It owes its blue color to the depth and exceptional clarity of the water; with no rivers in or out, the water lost due to evaporation and subsurface seepage is replenished by rainfall and snow melt.

    When going by car, you can access several observation points along the "Rim Drive". There are also many hiking trails and several campgrounds inside the park. Unlicensed fishing is allowed without any limitation of size, species, or number. Swimming is allowed, too. There are boat tours to Wizard Island during summer. Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only publicly accessible path down to the water

    Before you go, check the webcams - Crater Lake is often invisible due to clouds.

    More information: nps.gov/crla/index.htm

    Tip by
    Stephanie

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