Top 17 Magical National Parks for Hiking, According To Visitors

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Our Facebook followers are passionate national park enthusiasts who have shared their top picks for the best hiking destinations in the U.S.

These parks have struck a chord with visitors, who have shared why these locations are so magical. From breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems to unforgettable hiking trails and unique natural features, these parks offer some of the most enchanting experiences in nature.

Based on our community's heartfelt and enthusiastic responses, we've compiled their recommendations into a list of 21 magical national parks arranged by popularity.

Route connecting 17 national parks for magical hiking experiences. Showing - 
Yellowstone National Park
Glacier National Park
Yosemite National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Zion National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Olympic National Park
Acadia National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Arches National Park
Redwood National and State Parks
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Mount Rainier National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Whether you're an avid hiker or simply love exploring the great outdoors, these parks offer some of the most breathtaking and unforgettable experiences in nature.

1. Yellowstone National Park

Located primarily in Wyoming, with parts in Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park is renowned for its geothermal features, including the iconic Old Faithful geyser.

View of Upper Yellowstone Falls at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

It's also a prime destination for hiking, offering trails that traverse breathtaking landscapes filled with wildlife and natural wonders. As one commenter put it, "Yellowstone was awesome 👌," highlighting the park's wide appeal and stunning beauty.

Read more: 7 Unforgettable Adventures in Yellowstone’s Backcountry

2. Glacier National Park

Situated in Montana, Glacier National Park is famous for its rugged mountains, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes.

Cracker Lake and beautiful wild lilies in Glacier national park, MT

The park offers over 700 miles of hiking trails, making it a hiker's paradise. "Glacier is a magical place," a commenter noted, reflecting its enchanting scenery.

Read more: 11 Tried-and-True Tips for Glacier National Park

3. Yosemite National Park

Located in California, Yosemite National Park is celebrated for its towering granite cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoias.

Popular hiking trails include the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and the Half Dome hike. One fan remarked, "Yosemite is my favorite, followed by a tie of all the rest for #2🥰."

4. Bryce Canyon National Park

Situated in Utah, Bryce Canyon is known for its unique hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations.

Thor's Hammer, Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

The park's hiking trails, such as the Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden Trail, offer spectacular views of these natural wonders. "Bryce made me feel like I was on another planet," shared a visitor.

Read more: Bryce Canyon National Park – A Quick Guide

5. Grand Canyon National Park

Located in Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the world.

Its vast and visually overwhelming landscape can be explored via numerous hiking trails, including the challenging Bright Angel Trail. "Grand Canyon takes my breath and makes me cry," said a commenter.

Read more: The 6 Most Stunning Vistas in Grand Canyon National Park

6. Zion National Park

Also in Utah, Zion National Park is known for its towering sandstone cliffs and narrow slot canyons.

Zion National Park, Utah in Autumn

Popular hikes include Angels Landing and The Narrows. "Zion hiking Angels Landing and the Narrows! Both amazing!" mentioned one enthusiastic hiker.

Read more: Zion National Park – A Concise Visitor’s Guide

7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its biodiversity and mist-covered mountains.

Trails like Alum Cave Trail and Clingmans Dome provide excellent hiking opportunities. "The Smokies restores my soul," shared one admirer.

Read More: 23 Great Smoky Mountains Experiences To Add To Your Itinerary

8. Olympic National Park

Located in Washington state, Olympic National Park features diverse ecosystems, from temperate rainforests to rugged coastlines.

Olympic national park

Notable hikes include the Hoh Rainforest Trail and Hurricane Hill. A visitor described it as "So many different things!"

Read more: 11 Top things to do in Olympic National Park (A Visitor’s Guide)

9. Acadia National Park

Situated on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is known for its rocky shores, woodlands, and Cadillac Mountain.

Acadia national park

Popular hiking trails include the Precipice Trail and Jordan Pond Path. "Acadia was spectacular," a commenter enthused.

10. Grand Teton National Park

Located in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is famous for its stunning mountain scenery and diverse wildlife.

Grand tetons national park

The park offers numerous hiking trails, including the Teton Crest Trail. "The Tetons have a special place in my heart," noted a visitor.

Read more: 6 Bucket List National Parks in the Rocky Mountains You Have To Visit

11. Arches National Park

Situated in Utah, Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural stone arches.

The delicate arch in Arches national park

The park's trails, like the Delicate Arch Trail, offer incredible views of these formations. "Arches makes you feel like you’re on Mars," commented one visitor.

Read more: 5 Things to Do in Arches National Park

12. Redwood National and State Parks

Located in Northern California, these parks protect the tallest trees on Earth.

Trails like the Tall Trees Grove offer visitors a chance to walk among these giants. "Redwoods is otherworldly," shared a fan.

Read more: Explore Redwood National Park [A Must-See Guide with Breathtaking Photos!]

13. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Situated in California, these parks are known for their massive sequoia trees, including General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Popular hikes include the Congress Trail and Mist Falls Trail. "Sequoia is my favorite national park for the exact reason that it feels magical!" said a visitor.

14. Mount Rainier National Park

Located in Washington state, Mount Rainier National Park is dominated by the iconic, snow-capped Mount Rainier.

Mount Rainier

The park offers excellent hiking, with trails like the Skyline Trail providing stunning views. "Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic…all amazing and stunningly beautiful!" remarked a hiker.

15. Rocky Mountain National Park

Situated in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park boasts high-altitude landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Popular hikes include the Bear Lake Trail and the challenging Longs Peak. "RMNP all the way. ❤️❤️❤️," commented a fan.

16. Joshua Tree National Park

Situated in California, Joshua Tree National Park is known for its unique desert landscape and the Joshua trees that gave it its name.

Sunset over boulders, rock formations, and bushes in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Popular hikes include Hidden Valley and Ryan Mountain. "Joshua Tree hands down," said a commenter.

17. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Situated in Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is known for its steep, dramatic cliffs and narrow canyons.

Hiking trails like the Rim Rock Trail offer stunning views of the canyon. "Black Canyon of the Gunnison!" exclaimed a commenter.

Hike your hike!

We hope this list inspires you to lace up your hiking boots and explore these incredible national parks.

Each park offers unique beauty and adventures, as recommended by our dedicated community of outdoor lovers. Don't forget to share your own experiences and favorite parks with us by leaving a comment – happy hiking!

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