America’s National Parks – Ranked Best to Worst

Most articles ranking America’s National Parks are based on other people’s impressions and not necessarily from the experience of the author. That’s because it’s quite the feat traveling to all 59 National Parks, let alone in one consecutive trip, AND manage to document ones impressions along the way. That’s where we come in!

In 2017, my husband and I road tripped to all 59 U.S. National Parks with Evolve and GoWesty. It took us 7 months, 25,000+ miles of driving (see our route), 26 flights, and countless trails hiked. Along the way we passed through 39 U.S. States, 2 U.S. Territories, and drove some of the most beautiful roads in the country.

Update – We just found out that another park was added in February ’18! Gateway National Park in St. Louis, Missouri. We will update this blog post once we get a chance to visit, but for now this is just based on the 59 National Parks that were designated as of 2017.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VAN LIFE

So if you’re looking for first hand details then you’ve come to the right place! We ranked the 59 National Parks on their beauty, accessibility, availability/ease of transport, crowds, facilities, and how photogenic they were. Some of the park’s had the same score so in those situations we ordered them alphabetically.

Example score: Grand Teton National Park (Facilities: 9/10; Trails: 10/10; Scenery: 10/10; Photogenic: 10/10; Crowds/Transport: 6/10. Total = 45/50)

Remember, this is an overall ranking, with some parks scoring lower due to things like the extreme methods visitors must take to access them, or often due to large crowds dampening the overall experience of a beautiful park. 

10 Highest Ranked National Parks

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

1. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Score = 45/50

You just can’t beat the Tetons… This was our 5th visit to the park and it won’t be our last. So why did Grand Teton National Park score so highly? Simple – it’s is insanely beautiful, easy to access and get around, has great hikes, camping opportunities, nearby accommodation and restaurants, and the crowds are manageable even in the peak of summer. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK

2. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Score = 44.5/50

Kenai Fjords was our highest ranked Alaskan park and our second highest overall. Why? For it’s sheer beauty, accessibility, incredible wildlife, amazing hikes, and ample photography opportunities. We can’t wait to return this summer! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - WRANGELL-ST ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

3. Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Score = 44/50

I’m itching to get back and explore the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park… I feel like we just scratched the surface! The Wrangell Mountains are out of this world beautiful! Plus, you can drive to the park in only 4-5 hours from Anchorage (or around 8 hours from Anchorage to Kennicott) with the option for also flying there. Once in the park visitors can access accommodations and restaurants (McCarthy/Kennicott) and the crowds are minimal even in the height of summer. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DENALI NATIONAL PARK

4. Denali National Park, Alaska

Score = 43/50 (equal with Mount Rainier)

Everything is on another scale in Denali – the bears, mountains, roads, rivers, valleys… (list could go on). The park is also home to America’s largest peak, Denali at a crazy 20,310 feet. We  had an incredible time exploring the park, despite the weather being a little fickle. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

5. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Score = 43/50 (equal with Denali)

Mount Rainier will always be one of our favorite parks and we were stoked it made the top 5 of this list. Large crowds in summer was the main reason it didn’t score even higher, but we think it’s worth the visit regardless. Some places just need to be seen to be believed! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

6. Yosemite National Park, California

Score = 42.5/50

It’s not surprising that Yosemite was one of America’s first recognized national parks. Its incredible beauty, opportunities for adventure and easy to access nature really do make it a park for everyone. Similar to Mount Rainier, Yosemite would have scored higher if the crowds weren’t so large. Our recommendation is to visit some of the less visited areas and try to go during off-peak months. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK

7. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Score = 42/50

We were not expecting Glacier Bay to make the top 10! Why? We visited on a cruise ship in 2012 and despite enjoying the experience we weren’t absolutely awe struck. This time was completely different. We were in the area for multiple days, which allowed for adventures on the land and sea. We got closer up to the glaciers, saw more wildlife and hiked some gorgeous forest trails. We plan to return for a backcountry kayaking trip someday in the (hopefully) near future! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

8. Glacier National Park, Montana

Score = 42/50 (equal with Glacier Bay)

Oh Glacier, you continue to steal our hearts over and over again. This was our third visit to the park and it definitely won’t be our last. Glacier offers insanely beautiful scenery, ample wildlife, and epic hiking opportunities. Plus, the views along the Going-to-the-Sun Road are really something else… Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KATMAI NATIONAL PARK

9. Katmai National Park, Alaska

Score = 41/50 (equal with Lake Clark)

Katmai National Park is one of the few places in the world that allows such an up close experience with wild bears. At Brooks Falls there are raised viewing platforms that visitors can “safely” observe bears fishing for salmon. It was quite the experience and one we hope to have again! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK

10. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

Score = 41/50 (equal with Katmai)

We LOVED Lake Clark National Park. The main reason it didn’t score in the top 5 is because of the Park’s remote nature, lack of facilities and expensive transportation (float planes). I wrote a blog post on our experience staying on Upper Twin Lake, plus you can check out our park guide here.

 

Watch our trip video!

 

Middle Ranked National Parks

Some of our favorites are in this bunch, like Bryce Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Zion, Big Bend, North Cascades, Redwood, Gates of the Arctic, and Virgin Islands. Our rating system meant that many of the crowded or hard to access parks scored lower despite some incredible scenery. We wanted to provide a score based on our overall experience, not just how beautiful each park was.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

11. Olympic National Park, Washington

Score = 40.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

12. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

13. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK

14. Kings Canyon National Park, California

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

15. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Score = 40/50 (equal with Kings Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

16. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming + Montana

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

17. Death Valley National Park, California

Score = 39.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

18. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Score = 39/50 (equal with Zion)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ZION NATIONAL PARK

19. Zion National Park, Utah

Score = 39/50 (equal with Grand Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK

20. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with North Cascades, Redwood)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK

21. North Cascades National Park, Washington

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with Big Bend, Redwood)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK

22. Redwood State & National Parks, California

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with Big Bend, North Cascades)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

23. Arches National Park, Utah

Score = 38/50 (equal with Crater Lake)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

24. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Score = 38/50 (equal with Arches)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

25. Acadia National Park, Maine

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Great Basin, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK

26. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK

27. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Great Basin, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

28. Virgin Islands National Park, USVI

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

29. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Score = 37/50 (equal with Lassen Volcanic)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK

30. Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Score = 37/50 (equal with Hawai’i Volcanoes)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

31. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Score = 36/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK

32. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

Score = 35/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

33. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Score = 34.5/50 (equal with Sequoia)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

34. Sequoia National Park, California

Score = 34.5/50 (equal with Canyonlands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK

35. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Score = 34/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK

36. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Score = 33.5/50

Check out our park guide here.AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK

37. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Score = 33/50 (equal with American Samoa, Saguaro)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - AMERICAN SAMOA NATIONAL PARK

38. National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa

Score = 33/50 (equal with Isle Royale, Saguaro)

Check out our park guide here. AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

39. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Score = 33/50 (equal with Isle Royale, American Samoa)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK

40. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Score = 32.5/50 (equal with Mesa Verde)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

41. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Score = 32.5/50 (equal with Carlsbad Caverns)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CAPITAL REEF NATIONAL PARK

42. Capital Reef National Park, Utah

Score = 32/50 (equal with Gates of the Arctic, Mammoth Cave)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK

43. Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

Score = 32/50 (equal with Capital Reef, Mammoth Cave)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

44. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Score = 32/50 (equal with Gates of the Arctic, Capital Reef)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK

45. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Score = 31.5/50 (equal with Petrified Forest)

Check out our park guide here.

 AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK

46. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Score = 31.5/50 (equal with Hot Springs)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

47. Everglades National Park, Florida

Score = 31/50 (equal with Theodore Roosevelt)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - THEODOREROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK

48. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Score = 31/50 (equal with Everglades)

Check out our park guide here.

10 Lowest Ranked National Parks

We still enjoyed our time at these parks but felt the overall experience wasn’t as good as the higher scoring parks. Please don’t be put off visiting any of the places below – they were still 100% worth seeing.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK

49. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Score = 30/50 (equal with Guadalupe Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

15 Least Crowded National Parks in the US - Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Renee Roaming

50. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Score = 30/50 (equal with Black Canyon of the Gunnison)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK

51. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Wind Cave, Voyageurs)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

52. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Wind Cave, Dry Tortugas)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK

53. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Voyageurs, Dry Tortugas)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

54. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Score = 27.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

55. Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska

Score = 27/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

56. Channel Islands National Park, California

Score = 26/50 (equal with Pinnacles)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK

57. Pinnacles National Park, California

Score = 26/50 (equal with Channel Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK

58. Biscayne National Park, Florida

Score = 25/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK

59. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Score = 22.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

 

How long is your bucket list now?!

I hope we have inspired you to explore these beautiful parks and to get outside and to do everything in your power to protect our beautiful natural spaces.

Stay tuned for in depth posts about the best parks for hiking, camping, family trips, wildlife encounters, photography, and more!

 

Want to read more about our parks trip?

The national parks we think are the most underrated

Get off-the-beaten-path in the least-crowded national parks

Check out this post to see the route we took

See what we thought about living in a van

Hear what my favorite park experience was

Read our individual park guides on the Evolve blog

 

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AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VAN LIFE

 

Disclaimer: All photographs copyright of Renee & Matthew Hahnel. This trip was sponsored by Evolve, though as always my opinions are honest and unbiased. 

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Most articles ranking America’s National Parks are based on other people’s impressions and not necessarily from the experience of the author. That’s because it’s quite the feat traveling to all 59 National Parks, let alone in one consecutive trip, AND manage to document ones impressions along the way. That’s where we come in!

In 2017, my husband and I road tripped to all 59 U.S. National Parks with Evolve and GoWesty. It took us 7 months, 25,000+ miles of driving (see our route), 26 flights, and countless trails hiked. Along the way we passed through 39 U.S. States, 2 U.S. Territories, and drove some of the most beautiful roads in the country.

Update – We just found out that another park was added in February ’18! Gateway National Park in St. Louis, Missouri. We will update this blog post once we get a chance to visit, but for now this is just based on the 59 National Parks that were designated as of 2017.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VAN LIFE

So if you’re looking for first hand details then you’ve come to the right place! We ranked the 59 National Parks on their beauty, accessibility, availability/ease of transport, crowds, facilities, and how photogenic they were. Some of the park’s had the same score so in those situations we ordered them alphabetically.

Example score: Grand Teton National Park (Facilities: 9/10; Trails: 10/10; Scenery: 10/10; Photogenic: 10/10; Crowds/Transport: 6/10. Total = 45/50)

Remember, this is an overall ranking, with some parks scoring lower due to things like the extreme methods visitors must take to access them, or often due to large crowds dampening the overall experience of a beautiful park. 

10 Highest Ranked National Parks

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

1. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Score = 45/50

You just can’t beat the Tetons… This was our 5th visit to the park and it won’t be our last. So why did Grand Teton National Park score so highly? Simple – it’s is insanely beautiful, easy to access and get around, has great hikes, camping opportunities, nearby accommodation and restaurants, and the crowds are manageable even in the peak of summer. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK

2. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Score = 44.5/50

Kenai Fjords was our highest ranked Alaskan park and our second highest overall. Why? For it’s sheer beauty, accessibility, incredible wildlife, amazing hikes, and ample photography opportunities. We can’t wait to return this summer! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - WRANGELL-ST ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

3. Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Score = 44/50

I’m itching to get back and explore the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park… I feel like we just scratched the surface! The Wrangell Mountains are out of this world beautiful! Plus, you can drive to the park in only 4-5 hours from Anchorage (or around 8 hours from Anchorage to Kennicott) with the option for also flying there. Once in the park visitors can access accommodations and restaurants (McCarthy/Kennicott) and the crowds are minimal even in the height of summer. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DENALI NATIONAL PARK

4. Denali National Park, Alaska

Score = 43/50 (equal with Mount Rainier)

Everything is on another scale in Denali – the bears, mountains, roads, rivers, valleys… (list could go on). The park is also home to America’s largest peak, Denali at a crazy 20,310 feet. We  had an incredible time exploring the park, despite the weather being a little fickle. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

5. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Score = 43/50 (equal with Denali)

Mount Rainier will always be one of our favorite parks and we were stoked it made the top 5 of this list. Large crowds in summer was the main reason it didn’t score even higher, but we think it’s worth the visit regardless. Some places just need to be seen to be believed! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

6. Yosemite National Park, California

Score = 42.5/50

It’s not surprising that Yosemite was one of America’s first recognized national parks. Its incredible beauty, opportunities for adventure and easy to access nature really do make it a park for everyone. Similar to Mount Rainier, Yosemite would have scored higher if the crowds weren’t so large. Our recommendation is to visit some of the less visited areas and try to go during off-peak months. Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK

7. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Score = 42/50

We were not expecting Glacier Bay to make the top 10! Why? We visited on a cruise ship in 2012 and despite enjoying the experience we weren’t absolutely awe struck. This time was completely different. We were in the area for multiple days, which allowed for adventures on the land and sea. We got closer up to the glaciers, saw more wildlife and hiked some gorgeous forest trails. We plan to return for a backcountry kayaking trip someday in the (hopefully) near future! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

8. Glacier National Park, Montana

Score = 42/50 (equal with Glacier Bay)

Oh Glacier, you continue to steal our hearts over and over again. This was our third visit to the park and it definitely won’t be our last. Glacier offers insanely beautiful scenery, ample wildlife, and epic hiking opportunities. Plus, the views along the Going-to-the-Sun Road are really something else… Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KATMAI NATIONAL PARK

9. Katmai National Park, Alaska

Score = 41/50 (equal with Lake Clark)

Katmai National Park is one of the few places in the world that allows such an up close experience with wild bears. At Brooks Falls there are raised viewing platforms that visitors can “safely” observe bears fishing for salmon. It was quite the experience and one we hope to have again! Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK

10. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

Score = 41/50 (equal with Katmai)

We LOVED Lake Clark National Park. The main reason it didn’t score in the top 5 is because of the Park’s remote nature, lack of facilities and expensive transportation (float planes). I wrote a blog post on our experience staying on Upper Twin Lake, plus you can check out our park guide here.

 

Watch our trip video!

 

Middle Ranked National Parks

Some of our favorites are in this bunch, like Bryce Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Zion, Big Bend, North Cascades, Redwood, Gates of the Arctic, and Virgin Islands. Our rating system meant that many of the crowded or hard to access parks scored lower despite some incredible scenery. We wanted to provide a score based on our overall experience, not just how beautiful each park was.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

11. Olympic National Park, Washington

Score = 40.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

12. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

13. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK

14. Kings Canyon National Park, California

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

15. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Score = 40/50 (equal with Kings Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

16. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming + Montana

Score = 40/50 (equal with Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Kings Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

17. Death Valley National Park, California

Score = 39.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

18. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Score = 39/50 (equal with Zion)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ZION NATIONAL PARK

19. Zion National Park, Utah

Score = 39/50 (equal with Grand Canyon)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK

20. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with North Cascades, Redwood)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK

21. North Cascades National Park, Washington

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with Big Bend, Redwood)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK

22. Redwood State & National Parks, California

Score = 38.5/50 (equal with Big Bend, North Cascades)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

23. Arches National Park, Utah

Score = 38/50 (equal with Crater Lake)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

24. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Score = 38/50 (equal with Arches)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

25. Acadia National Park, Maine

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Great Basin, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK

26. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK

27. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Great Basin, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

28. Virgin Islands National Park, USVI

Score = 37.5/50 (equal with Acadia, Shenandoah, Virgin Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

29. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Score = 37/50 (equal with Lassen Volcanic)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK

30. Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Score = 37/50 (equal with Hawai’i Volcanoes)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

31. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Score = 36/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK

32. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

Score = 35/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

33. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Score = 34.5/50 (equal with Sequoia)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

34. Sequoia National Park, California

Score = 34.5/50 (equal with Canyonlands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK

35. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Score = 34/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK

36. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Score = 33.5/50

Check out our park guide here.AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK

37. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Score = 33/50 (equal with American Samoa, Saguaro)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - AMERICAN SAMOA NATIONAL PARK

38. National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa

Score = 33/50 (equal with Isle Royale, Saguaro)

Check out our park guide here. AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

39. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Score = 33/50 (equal with Isle Royale, American Samoa)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK

40. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Score = 32.5/50 (equal with Mesa Verde)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

41. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Score = 32.5/50 (equal with Carlsbad Caverns)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CAPITAL REEF NATIONAL PARK

42. Capital Reef National Park, Utah

Score = 32/50 (equal with Gates of the Arctic, Mammoth Cave)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK

43. Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

Score = 32/50 (equal with Capital Reef, Mammoth Cave)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

44. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Score = 32/50 (equal with Gates of the Arctic, Capital Reef)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK

45. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Score = 31.5/50 (equal with Petrified Forest)

Check out our park guide here.

 AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK

46. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Score = 31.5/50 (equal with Hot Springs)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

47. Everglades National Park, Florida

Score = 31/50 (equal with Theodore Roosevelt)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - THEODOREROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK

48. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Score = 31/50 (equal with Everglades)

Check out our park guide here.

10 Lowest Ranked National Parks

We still enjoyed our time at these parks but felt the overall experience wasn’t as good as the higher scoring parks. Please don’t be put off visiting any of the places below – they were still 100% worth seeing.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK

49. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Score = 30/50 (equal with Guadalupe Mountains)

Check out our park guide here.

15 Least Crowded National Parks in the US - Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Renee Roaming

50. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Score = 30/50 (equal with Black Canyon of the Gunnison)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK

51. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Wind Cave, Voyageurs)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

52. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Wind Cave, Dry Tortugas)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK

53. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Score = 28.5/50 (equal with Voyageurs, Dry Tortugas)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

54. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Score = 27.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

55. Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska

Score = 27/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

56. Channel Islands National Park, California

Score = 26/50 (equal with Pinnacles)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK

57. Pinnacles National Park, California

Score = 26/50 (equal with Channel Islands)

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK

58. Biscayne National Park, Florida

Score = 25/50

Check out our park guide here.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK

59. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Score = 22.5/50

Check out our park guide here.

 

How long is your bucket list now?!

I hope we have inspired you to explore these beautiful parks and to get outside and to do everything in your power to protect our beautiful natural spaces.

Stay tuned for in depth posts about the best parks for hiking, camping, family trips, wildlife encounters, photography, and more!

 

Want to read more about our parks trip?

The national parks we think are the most underrated

Get off-the-beaten-path in the least-crowded national parks

Check out this post to see the route we took

See what we thought about living in a van

Hear what my favorite park experience was

Read our individual park guides on the Evolve blog

 

PIN THIS!

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS – ALL 59 RANKED BEST TO WORST - VAN LIFE

 

Disclaimer: All photographs copyright of Renee & Matthew Hahnel. This trip was sponsored by Evolve, though as always my opinions are honest and unbiased. 

Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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42 Comments

  1. Michelle Stelly on April 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Love to see which ones you liked from best to worst. Trying my hardest to see all 59 but it is a long process! I am at 14 right now and I will see Glacier, Channel Islands, Hot Springs, Acadia and Great Sand dunes in the next year. I am so excited!

    • Renee Hahnel on May 5, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      14 is amazing! Glacier is a real gem! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Crzdesi on April 28, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    This is amazing. Thanks for showing us this. Can you please comment on how you rated these? Just curious.

    • Steve on April 29, 2018 at 4:55 am

      Yeah, if you read the intro you’d know.

    • Renee Hahnel on May 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      As Steve mentioned, I have some information at the beginning of the post talking about how we ranked the parks. Thanks for reading!

      • MP on February 17, 2019 at 2:10 pm

        Hi,
        I get your point system. Did i miss the breakdown though? I see the totals, but I am not seeing the categories like in your example. Oh and Steve, If i missed it, please dont be rude!

        • Laura on February 19, 2019 at 4:22 am

          I totally agree with MP. I’d love to see how you rated each park, rather than just the sum. My personal preference puts a lot more emphasis on crowds and trails over facilities and how photogenic a place is, plus I could calibrate your scale using my own impressions of parks I’ve visited. It’s just a suggestion – thanks for putting this together!

  3. David on April 28, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    This is an incredible list and so helpful and useful ,you do amazing work thks David

  4. Sidney on April 28, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Wow, Stunning pictures! You must have been patient to wait for just the right lighting for some of these pictures.
    We are in the process of visiting all 59 National Parks. While we’ve been to the Gateway Arch, I still can’t really accept that it was named a National Park! It’s not deserving!
    I also created a ranked list of National Parks, but based not on my ratings (although I rate them also in my blog), but based on visitation and distance. Check it out at https://journey2allnationalparks.com/general/best-national-parks/ and see what you think.
    Of course, most of the fun is to debate this list. There is no definitive rank order. Everyone has their take on it. I’m surprised Teton #1 while Yellowstone is #16! I do agree Congaree is #59.
    Also check out my blog at https://journey2allnationalparks.com/

    • Renee Hahnel on May 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Sidney! I agree with you about Gateway Arch… seems like a very odd choice for a national park! Love our stat heavy your post is – super informative!

  5. Anonymous on April 28, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Very cool! Here is another National Park to add to the list – El Yunque National Forest.

    • Renee Hahnel on May 5, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks for reading! I would love to visit El Yunque but the reason it didn’t make this list is because it’s a National Forest, not Park.

  6. Jackie on April 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Wow what a fantastic evaluation of all the parks. Incredible photos and and lots of very helpful info and stats. Amazing work Renee and Matt.

  7. Angelique on April 29, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Great post about all the national parks, loved to read which ones you liked most.

  8. Stephanie B. on May 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

    It’s very cool to see how others rate their top parks! A few of our favorites were toward the end of your list. Goes to show that EVERYONE can have a different experience at each of our National Parks! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Renee Hahnel on May 5, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      For sure, I love that we all have different experiences 🙂

  9. Deb on May 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for this blog! I’m trying to make all the parks, also. Will visit Alaska this month, but know I won’t have time to make all the parks there. I have been to 29 parks. Love to see what our beautiful country offers!

  10. Rebecca on May 18, 2018 at 10:06 am

    We’re only at 8 national parks! 🙂 We moved to the US a little over a year ago and have been continuously blown away by how beautiful and well-maintained the national parks are (well, the ones we’ve visited anyway). Thanks for sharing this list – so much more travel inspiration here!

  11. Sally Gomez on May 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Hello! I was wondering how much time we would need to do all four national parks in Colorado!? How much time would you allot for each? Also on a separate leg we are planning to do the Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier and since you’re the expert I was also wondering how much time for those as well (sorry for bugging). You guys are a real inspiration to me and my husband, thank you for sharing your life with us!

  12. David Johnson on July 14, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    This ranking is tremendously subjective. Yellowstone is easily one of the single best. Grand Teton is beautiful but the wildlife is hardly equal to the scenery. Katmai is amazing, in fact the cover Brown Bear at Brooks Falls is the cover photo along with I assume Renee standing overlooking I am not even sure where. Fact is the National Parks are easily one of America’s Best Ideas. I have been a member of the National Park Foundation for years and have worked at several. I have never been to them all. My Brother Kermit and I have donated about a thousand acres to the USA. Fortunately there is still some private farm and ranch land that is very well managed.

  13. Tony on August 2, 2018 at 1:50 am

    You sure you ranked Pinnacles right on this list? Seems crazy for that to be so low, and when you click over to the guide via the link, it’s ranked much higher.

    • Renee Hahnel on February 8, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      We didn’t include the rankings on our individuals guides, you may be getting confused with the park number (order in which we visited each one)

  14. Debashish on August 2, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Great to know about your passion. I have visited 33 of the 59. Mostly not done away from main land NPS. Liked your post very much although YNP ranked 16 is too low ranking from my opinion. Anyway I must respect your opinion as you have made a visit to all 59, a huge achievement.

    • Sidney on August 2, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      We are also in the misdst of visiting all national parks…. 47 done right now. Even after 47, I still rank Yellowstone as #1 for the sheer variety and beauty. It has elements of so many of the other parks all in one. The main downside is the crowd but if you go in shoulder season and willing to put up with the weather, and go hike in the trails, no problem!

  15. Nicole Hahn on August 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    We are heading to Crater Lake next week. Unfortunately there are fires burning in the area again. : ( What was your favorite trail there, and your favorite viewpoint?
    My husband and I also shoot with Sony a7rII ‘s ; )

  16. Daniel on August 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Gateway is not a national park but, in fact, a national recreation area. Not the same designation. Very cool to see someone visiting all the parks all within a year. As an Arkansas native and someone who has been to about half of the parks so far, I’m very much surprised to see Hot Springs so high on the list ahead of Wind Cave, Black Canyon, Channel Islands, and Pinnacles. However, I think that this brings up a great point that there is something for everyone in our national parks system and everyone is going to enjoy every park in a different way.

    • Renee Hahnel on February 8, 2019 at 8:08 pm

      Gateway is a National Park now, happened in early 2018

  17. Sidney on August 16, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Gateway arch in St. Louis was changed from National monument to national park after the visitor center was renovated. Why? I don’t know. I thought it was perfectly fine as a National monument.

    Also check out my attempt at ranking here
    https://journey2allnationalparks.com/general/best-national-parks/

  18. Vagabond on August 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Good list, even though it is subjective. I prefer northern forests and lakes to deserts. Most of the Alaska parks take some serious travel to get to but they are huge and the most impressive.

  19. […] America’s National Parks: Ranked Best to Worst […]

  20. suhail on September 25, 2018 at 6:47 am

    i am a male from Oman 55 years old I am interested to visit the wild places in USA for more than one year so is it possible for me to get a visa and stay their for long time .
    please who knows the role reply me back as soon as possible .
    My email: jadadsuhail@gmail.com

  21. Anonymous on December 5, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Did ya forget Sequoia National Park? or did I not see it and Crater Lake National Park.

    • Renee Hahnel on February 8, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      They are all there!

  22. Steve Simpson on February 6, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Really inspiring! The photos are great however in your rankings the pic you have under Guadalupe National Park is actually a shot of the del Carmen mountains in Big Bend National Park. Great pic but not accurate.

    • Renee Hahnel on February 8, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      You are right! Thanks for pointing out that error Steve, I have now updated the photo

  23. Jackie from Hudson Valley Exposed on February 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    This is a wonderful post and your photos are STUNNING! One of the items on my Bucket List is to visit as many National Parks s I can and take photographs while doing so. I will keep this post as a guide. Thank you!

  24. Kaecee L on March 20, 2019 at 9:52 am

    This is a reallllllly great ranking! We’re working our way through all the NP’s as well except at a much slower pace! I agree with other commenters that seeing the breakdown of your scoring would be super beneficial. It would allow people using your list as a guide to better determine if an area you ranked low or high Is a dealbreaker for them. For example, being a geologist, and from California, and visiting Yosemite and Death Valley more times than I can count… I find that Death Valley has far more to offer in terms of beauty, rugged nature, adventures, and photography than Yosemite. The crowds at Yosemite kill a lot of the vibe for me personally and outweigh any driving I need to do between spots in Death Valley. I read your info about Death Valley and nothing in it tells me why the points were so low. I know this was your ranking of your experience/preferences which is why more info on the ranking would be a huge help! Thanks!!

  25. […] it is, transport within the park, crowds, and facilities. Early last year, I read Renee Roaming’s blog on her trip through all 59 US National Parks and loved the way she ranked each one. Scott and I […]

  26. Forest Howell on May 21, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Sequoia is 34th?! That’s crazy. Those trees are epic. The Grand Tetons, with their Alpine Fir and Englemans…like a xmas tree lot next to some dinky little hills. 13,770′ elevation? Cute. Sequoia is on the west slope of Mount Whitney, homegirl. That’s a real mountain.

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Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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