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How to Visit The USA's Best National Parks

schedule10 Minute Read

21-Sep-2022 Karl Page

How to Visit The USA's Best National Parks

Unlock the USA's most incredible natural beauty...

When many think of the USA, they imagine sprawling metropolises, towering skyscrapers and cities that offer excitement and opportunity. Although the USA is home to some of the world's most famous cities, there is a natural side to this country that's also equally, if not more, awe-inspiring. We're talking towering trees that reach towards the clouds, gaping canyons, otherworldly rock formations and more.

If you want to walk on the wild side on a visit to the States, discover how to visit some of the best national parks the country has to offer.

Arches National Park, Utah

With more than 2,000 natural, red rock arches, Arches National Park is something of an iconic destination in Utah. An amazing place for lovers of hiking, here you can explore over 75,000 acres of unspoilt geological marvels in the sun. These arches were formed over 300 million years ago by the salt bed which lies beneath the landscape and now make for an explorer's playground with their otherworldly and domineering shapes and stature.

If you want to experience both Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park as well as the Moab, then a luxury holiday at Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is the way to go. Located on the banks of the winding Colorado River, you'll only be a 30-minute drive from some of the state's most iconic stone monuments. Here you can enjoy the local landscapes, indulge in farm-to-fork dining or talk to the Adventure Concierge to plan another day of outdoor explorations. There is a great range of family suites here, so those who are looking for luxury family hotels need to look no more.

After a day of hiking amidst the red stone, you'll be able to unwind and relax at the resort spa. With a range of saunas and steam showers, as well as pools and a state-of-the-art fitness centre, you'll be able to tend to your sore muscles and power up for another day of exploration.
A rock arch formation at Arches National Park in Utah at dusk
A rock arch formation at Arches National Park in Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Have you ever heard of a hoodoo? Well, Bryce Canyon National Park is full of them! In fact, it's got the largest concentration of them anywhere on Earth. These red, orange and pink irregular columns of rock tower up and cause the landscape here to be rugged and worn, you might imagine this is what the surface of Mars looks like, not a national park in Utah.

Tucked away in Bryce Canyon, Stone Canyon Inn is the perfect base for those who want to uncover this national park. With only ten lodgings, this family-owned and operated inn is intimate and the perfect place for a romantic break or a getaway from the day-to-day. As you're in Bryce Canyon National Park, adventure is all around you and as night falls, you'll be able to enjoy the stars in North America's darkest night sky region.

On-site is the Stone Hearth Grille, often regarded as one of the best restaurants in Utah, so you can enjoy a delicious meal to finish your day. Situated on a large deck which overlooks a stream and waterfall, it's a romantic setting to end the day and perfect for those who are enjoying a luxury honeymoon as the sun sets over the mountains.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, at dawn
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, at dawn

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

The name of this national park might conjure images of the seaside, but it's another Utah-based park that shows off the red stone monuments this state is so known for. Here, towering rock formations protrude from the seemingly flat ground and 200 million years of geological history come into play. A real highlight is the ST 12 Highway, which is often thought to be one of the best drives in the USA.

If Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park have all caught your attention so far, then why not explore them all with our luxury itinerary, Utah's Big Five: Las Vegas to Moab? Our itineraries can help you to make the very most of your time in a destination, guiding you through the must-see attractions and locations, taking you off of the tourist trail. On this itinerary, you'll visit five of the best national parks in the USA and enjoy a river cruise down the Colorado River. With all of this included in six nights and available as a self-drive tour, you'll have the freedom of enjoying the state at your own pace whilst making sure you are making the most of every section. In Capitol Reef, you can enjoy an off-road Jeep tour, see dinosaur bones and see one of the park's most iconic sites - the Temple of the Sun and The Moon.
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, at sunset
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, at sunset

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is one of the most celebrated and well-known natural icons in the world, and the Grand Canyon National Park is a popular spot for many travellers who are trying to see the vistas here with their own eyes. One thing that surprises many people is just how long it took before this became a national park, only happening in 1919. Back then, the park saw around 44,000 visitors but today, that number soars up to nearly six million.

We'd recommend a stay at Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa in Sedona for those who want to visit in style. Only a short car ride or helicopter flight from the Grand Canyon itself and situated between Boynton Canyon and the Coconino National Forest, here you can enjoy 70 acres of authentic natural beauty. The world-class resort and spa are inspired by their natural surroundings, and you'll be able to watch the stars glisten from your own private, red rock casita.

When staying at Enchantment, you can enjoy a private tour of the Grand Canyon led by one of the Trail House guides. Throughout your tour, you'll not only be able to take in the breathtaking scenery but learn more about the history of the area and the flora and fauna to be found here. The tours include a breakfast and picnic lunch, making sure you have an indulgent day in this most iconic of locations.
South Rim of the Grand Canyon at Dawn, Arizona
South Rim of the Grand Canyon at Dawn, Arizona

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Declared as a national park on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is the world's first national park and one of the most popular. Spread over 2.2 million acres, the park is renowned for its geothermal activity including geysers and the Yellowstone supervolcano. One of the most popular attractions in the park is the Old Faithful geyser, which erupts consistently and powerfully, reaching up to 180 feet high!

Yellowstone is not somewhere you can simply pass through, and that's why we offer the 12-day Yellowstone Adventure Private Itinerary. This luxury itinerary has been crafted to ensure that you get the most authentic experience possible, and it takes you off of the tourist trail and into the authentic Yellowstone that the locals know and love.

Enjoy a private guided tour of the park highlights, including Old Faithful. Take a visit to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and watch bison roam wild, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for bears and wolves. Then you'll get to see behind-the-scenes at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Centre, helping bears and wolves which couldn't survive in the wild rehabilitate. As well as that, you'll become a cowboy in Jackson Hole, watch the rodeo, go stargazing, try white-water rafting and much more.
The Grand Prismatic Pool at Yellowstone National Park
The Grand Prismatic Pool at Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park, California

Located in California, Yosemite National Park is a popular hiking and climbing spot due to its range of amazing waterfalls, mountains and peaks. Although it was technically the third national park, it was thought to be the inspiration behind the national park programme as President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant to protect the landscape. For those who visit, the Half Dome rock formation is essential to see, as are the Upper Yosemite Falls.

One of the best places to stay when visiting Yosemite is Tenaya Lodge. Only a few miles from the southern Yosemite entrance, Tenaya Lodge is tucked within the High Sierra and the towering trees make you feel as though you are truly secluded in the deep wilderness. It's a hub of outdoor activities, meaning you can make the most of the stunning surroundings, with activities including horseback riding and mountain biking on offer.

Alternatively, The Ahwahnee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley is a great choice. Within the thick of the Yosemite attractions, you'll only be a short distance from some of the most popular hiking trails, rock climbing and more. The Ahwahnee Hotel has been open for business since 1927 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, so a stay here will mean staying in a part of the lifeblood of the area.
Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Zion National Park, Utah

Like other national parks in Utah, Zion National Park can be characterised by its reddish rock formations. Here, hiking and climbing are popular pastimes, as locals and visitors enjoy the narrow canyons, towering cliffs and natural arches. There are also myriad pools and rivers, perfect for a dip if you want to cool off in the hot sun.

Cliffrose Lodge by Hilton is the ideal base for those who want to enjoy the best of Zion. Only minutes from the park entrance, the lodge overlooks the Virgin River and is set within its large and immaculately presented gardens. Hilton is a name associated with luxury and excellence when it comes to hotels and Cliffrose is no exception.

Adventure is the name of the game here with horse riding and hiking, but you can also unwind in the Five Petals Spa - perfect for rejuvenating tired legs from a day of exploring. The spa is one of the highlights, and each of the treatment rooms overlooks Zion National Park, meaning as you unwind you can also mentally prepare for another day of exploration.
The USA is home to some truly monumental national parks. With amazing natural landscapes, whether you choose to see the Grand Canyon or want to explore Yellowstone's geysers, you're sure to experience some awe-inspiring vistas. Any luxury holiday to the USA will be one to remember but make sure to not just enjoy the urban side of this country but the natural side too will make it all the more rewarding.

If you are looking for more travel guides, why not check out our online luxury travel magazine, Elegant Traveller? From a first-time visitor's guide to Japan to tips on seeing tigers in India, there is a wealth of travel knowledge to uncover.
Karl Page

Karl Page

Digital Experience Manager

With a genuine love for all things travel, I love exploring new destinations and discovering something new, gaining a wealth of experience in luxury holidays along the way.

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