I've asked the travel experts, and they have reported back with the most beautiful national parks in the world for you to explore on your next outdoor adventure!
From the impressive volcano and lagoons in Chile to the ancient forests of Australia, I have collected plenty of personal experiences in the best national parks in the world to travel to. Whether visiting these beautiful national parks on an affordable cruise, or planning a expedition into the wilderness, these most beautiful national parks found throughout the world are absolutely stunning.
So grab your free travel planner, equipped with budgeting guides and itinerary worksheets, and buckle up, because we are going to explore the most beautiful national parks in the world featuring some of the best secluded destinations and outdoor vacation spots!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.
Conguillo National Park, Chile
Recommended by Stéphanie from Bey of Travel
Conguillio National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful national parks in the world and in Chile. It attracts more and more visitors every year. It’s home to the 3125 meter high Llaima volcano and is known for its beautiful lagoons and vegetation. The park is full of araucarias - these trees are national monuments and are world famous.
You can enter the park through both the north and the south. The beautiful entrance road will astonish you instantly; the volcanic scenery is reminiscent of the landscape where dinosaurs used to live.
The most popular hike in the park is the Sierra Nevada Trail. Make sure you plan the time of your visit wisely. If you want to go hiking October/November and March/April/May are the ideal months. This 10 km tour was declared by the Lonely Planet as one of the most beautiful short hikes in Chile.
The trail is a semi-tough six-hour trip, with beautiful views over the volcano. During the hike we saw both children and the elderly - so it’s safe to say that the trip is suitable for anyone.
We even spotted a couple of condors during the hike! After the hike, we stayed in Melipeuco with the sweetest Mamasita ever. It was a lovely homestay with an excellent breakfast. For more info or bookings, click here.
Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Recommended by Debbie from World Adventurists
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada where the prairies of Alberta and the peaks of the Rocky Mountains meet. It is the smallest National Park in the Rockies, but has many incredible natural sights that will leave you in awe. Powerful waterfalls, inspiring mountain views, picturesque hikes, clear lakes and incredible wildlife and wildflower viewing opportunities make Waterton National Park a gem. The park also borders Glacier National Park in Montana, United States.
Waterton, as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, is also the only place you can find a UNESCO World Heritage site, an international peace park, a dark sky preserve and a biosphere reserve. The best places to stargaze are the Bison Paddock Overlook, Cameron Bay and Red Rock Parkway.
One of the best things to do at Waterton is to take a boat tour. It is a great way to learn all you could ever want to know about the park, and lasts around two hours.
You can also have tea at the iconic Prince of Wales hotel, explore the cozy boutique waterfront town with many great shops and restaurants. You’ll probably also run into deer and bighorn sheep wandering around town!
Summer is peak season to visit, but plan your stay according to what you would like to see. If you want to see wildflowers, visit during the spring. Wildlife viewing is most promising during the Fall. You’ll even find plenty to do during the winter season when the park is covered in a blanket of snow.
Ballons des Vosges, France
Recommended by Mark from Wyld Family Travel
Ballons des Vosges, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, is located in North-East France.
The Park covers 2700 square kilometers and incorporates pieces of the regions of Alsace, Franche-Comté and Lorraine. This makes it one of the biggest Nature Parks in France. The best way to access the park is via a trip from Strasbourg or any of the amazing villages of the Alsace such as Colmar.
This France nature park offers some beautiful natural and cultural heritage of the area. The region is especially beautiful in Autumn when the leaves turn an amazing shade of colour before falling off just prior to winter. The natural landscape is hilly and mountainous with dense forests, mountain lakes and high plateaus for skiing in the winter. Wildlife is abundant in the area and you can see Falcons, deer, lynx and Grey Wolves who have returned to the park in the last decade.
This beautiful park also incorporates some of the famous Alsace fairytale villages such as Keysersberg, Ribeauville, Eguisheim and more. These towns are all part of the highly popular and well-publicized Alsace Wine Route. There are a number of chateaus and castles that can be visited such as Haut Koenigsbg and Hohlandsbourg.
History lovers will find memorials and battle sites where the French fought hard to keep the invading Nazis at bay during WW2. Located just outside the boundary of the park is Struthof Concentration Camp. It is the only camp that was built and operating in France by the Germans.
The beautiful park has many scenic walking trails that can take from a few hours to a few days to complete. In the Winter Months cross country, skiing and family fun with toboggans can be had in the high reaches of the Vosges park. If you're in the region and have a car you should undoubtedly take a drive in this fantastic area of France.
Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
Recommended by Martina and Jürgen from Places of Juma
One of the most beautiful National Parks in Europe is located in Austria: The National Park Hohe Tauern. It is the largest national park in Austria and the Alps and one of the largest protected areas in Central Europe.
Characteristic of the Hohe Tauern National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, are extensive glacier fields, glacially formed valleys with imposing valley closures, mighty alluvial and mudflow cones, alpine grass and shrub heaths, but also extensive forests with larches, spruces and Swiss stone.
As one of the most beautiful national parks, you will find 300 mountain peaks with more than 3,000 m above sea level. Countless moors and more than 500 lakes! Also there are 26 Waterfalls to discover. One of the best areas to explore this natural wonder is definitely at the Krimml Waterfalls.
This mighty force of nature is located in the province of Salzburg and is a popular destination for day trips. This attraction is famous for its drop height of 380 meters, that makes the Krimml Falls to one of the highest falls in Europe.
To enjoy the pure nature you could take the waterfall-trail, a 100-year-old hiking trail that meanders along the waterfall over serpentines. One enjoys again and again gigantic views of this natural wonder. But not only hiking is recommended here. The waterfall is also said to have a healing effect, especially for respiratory diseases.
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Recommended by Bailey from My Queenstown Diary
Fiordland National Park is one of the best places to visit on the South Island of New Zealand. This beautiful park is home to Milford Sound, what many Kiwis call the “8th Natural Wonder of the World.” And to be honest, once you visit for yourself it won’t be hard to understand why this title is so fitting.
Located deep in the Southern Hemisphere, Fiordland National Park is just as the name suggests – home to many fiords. Fiords are valleys that were carved back in ancient times by huge glaciers. Today, they present towering cliffs, mountains, steep valleys, and of course, countless waterfalls.
Most people visit Fiordland National Park on a day trip from Queenstown or Te Anau to join a scenic boat cruise through Milford Sound. However, some of the most famous hikes in all of New Zealand are also located within the park including the Kepler Track, Routeburn Track, and Milford Track.
The famous “Milford Road” is also one of the most scenic drives in the country and on this epic road trip, you can visit panoramic viewpoints, powerful waterfalls, and stunning calm lakes that reflect surrounding mountains seamlessly.
Tarra Bulga National Park, Australia
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Gippsland is a true hidden gem in the state of Victoria Australia. Nor many visitors to Australia know about it and even some people living here have never heard of it. When you visit Gippsland, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, you will be blessed with amazing scenery from pristine coastlines to rugged mountain areas. It is a beautiful place to see.
There are also some of the most amazing and beautiful National Parks to visit too. One of the best free things to do in Gippsland is to visit the Tara Bulga National Park. Tarra Bulga is a jointly managed National Park with Parks Victoria and the local Aboriginal people the Gunai/Kurnai both overseeing the well being of the park.
When you visit Tarra Bulga National Park you can really connect with nature on one of the many walks you can do. Some are as short as a couple of hours to more strenuous hike through ancient forest. One of the most popular and easy walks is to Corrigans Bridge. The large trees give you some shade from the sun if you are visiting in the summer but it is always a good idea to take extra water and let someone know where you are planning on going to be very safe.
The biggest large town from Tarra Bulga national park is Yarram so it would be a good idea to get your supplies there as there are no shops open in the park. There are plenty of areas where you can take a bbq to have when you are in the national park as well. There are some free bbq areas where you can cook your lunch or use one of the picnic tables to have your food. Sometimes you will find some of the local birds like magpies and rosellas will land close to you hoping for some scraps but please don't feed them.
Tarra Bulga National Park is located in South Gippsland and is roughly 2.5 hours from Melbourne along the Princes Highway. If you are visiting Melbourne you can do a day trip to Tarra Bulga but it would be a brilliant place to spend a couple of days exploring the area and really getting to see the amazing scenery around the region.
Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
Recommended by Daniel from Destinationless Travel
When it comes to beautiful national parks in Sri Lanka few are as magnificent as Udawalawe National Park. Located inland of the famous beach town of Mirissa, the national park spans 308 square kilometers of grasslands. Within the boundary of the park, you’ll find some of the most unique wildlife in Sri Lanka including water buffalo, leopards, crocodiles, monkeys, and the crowd favorite, elephants.
On a guided tour, you’ll explore Udawalawae in a jeep with your expert nature guide through one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Along the way, you’ll almost certainly spot elephants both alone in large herds which often include baby elephants. There are an estimated 500 elephants in the park and these beautiful creatures are amazing to see in the wild. If you are lucky, it is possible to spot a leopard, however, the animals are very elusive.
Sri Lanka is known as one of the cheapest places in the world to do an elephant safari and tours in Udawalawae cost less than $30 USD per person. This includes entrance to the park and an English speaking guide! For its attractive price and the high concentration of elephants and other wildlife, Udawalawea is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
Recommended by Natalie & Steve from Curious Campers
Located in South Australia 90 minutes from Adelaide, Deep Creek features rugged coastline and beautiful beaches, forests, waterfalls and wildlife; earning it a spot as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. You need to buy a National Park pass from Parks SA for your visit. Prices start from $11 per day.
It’s a park best explored on foot. There are over 20 walks around Deep Creek ranging from easy hikes through Stringybark forest to hard treks up and down valleys to creeks and waterfalls. Along many of the walks there are views across the water to nearby Kangaroo Island.
There are campgrounds scattered across the park. Each is located at the trailhead of multiple walks. Two of the more popular grounds are the Cobbler Hill near stunning Blowhole Beach and Tapanappa near the tough but rewarding Deep Creek circuit hike. The park also has self-contained accommodation from cottages to luxury eco-villas.
Whether you camp or have a solid roof over your head, you’ll see plenty of wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas and a variety of birds call Deep Creek home. You’re almost guaranteed to have a wildlife encounter on your walks and at camp. In winter you might spot whales off the coast.
As one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, you can visit the park year-round. Winter is a cooler time to do the walks and you can have a campfire. Wildflower displays make spring a good time to visit too. Nearby Rapid Bay and Second Valley are both lovely beaches to spend a day. They are great for snorkeling, kayaking and relaxing by the water.
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, the Phillipines
Recommended by Dea from How She Wanders
Palawan has been recognized as the "best island in the world" by international travel magazines, and it's easy to see why. With its raw beauty and rich history, no wonder why people who have been here fell in love with the place so easily. Moreover, it's a home to a UNESCO world heritage site and New 7 Wonders of Nature: The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. And this charming treasure of Palawan is not just another ordinary tourist spot.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, is a protected area in the Philippines with 8.2-kilometer-long underground river, being one of the longest navigable underground rivers in the world. It encompasses one of the world’s most impressive cave systems, and contains globally significant habitat for biodiversity conservation that's why it's been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River, you will see spectacular limestone karst formations looming in every direction. Non-motorized paddle boats are used to take visitors inside the cave, provided with audio guide headsets to explain each natural features and history. Tourists are only allowed to go up to 1.5km into the cave. It is possible to go farther but it's required to obtain a park permit at least 2 days before the visit.
Best time to visit is during summer months (March to May) when the ocean is calmer at Sabang Port which is the jump-off point to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Weather disturbances may result in cancellation of tours as the management is strict for the safety of everyone.
North Cascades National Park, USA
Recommended by Chantelle from Flannels or FlipFlops
North Cascades National Park is one of the most beautiful National parks anywhere! Located in Washington State, about 3 hours from Seattle, it is also one of the most primitive, rugged parks you are likely to visit in the lower 48.
North Cascades National Park has over 300 glaciers! That is more that any other National Park (outside of Alaska). Besides Glaciers, there are rivers, canyons, incredible mountains and peaks. There are lakes that range from emerald green to sapphire blue.
At North Cascades, you will find ample opportunity for hiking, kayaking, and wildlife watching! You can also, just enjoy the beauty around you and relax.
Because the park is so remote, it does make lodging difficult. You can camp primitively in the park, and in the forest lands neighboring it. You can also stay in one of the neighboring towns like Winthrop, or Burlington. Keep in mind staying in these towns will require you to do ALOT of driving to get to your destinations. There is a small town, Stehekin, that is ONLY accessible by boat that has lodging and makes a great gateway to the park!
The best way to see North Cascades is to start in Seattle and drive the HWY 20 loop. This loop will drive you through the best parts of the park and the adorable neighboring towns.
There are a few important facts to keep in mind before visiting this epic park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Carry bear spray. Be prepared for all kinds of weather, and have extra food and water. You will not have cell service in most of the park. Most importantly, this park is mostly inaccessible during the winter, so you need to plan accordingly. North Cascades is one of the snowiest places on earth!
Rocky Mountain National Park, USA
Recommended by Kara from Destination: Live Life
Established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has been impressing visitors year-round with her gorgeous vistas ever since. In fact, RMNP is often ranked in the top three of most visited parks in the United States. And for good reason, Rocky National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world!
With 415 square miles of land – there’s a multitude of incredible recreational activities to enjoy. You can hike through sprawling meadows to view packs of wildlife like moose. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, head into the wilderness region of the park with more grueling trails to explore.
There’s horseback riding with Rocky Mountains, one of the most beautiful national parks in the US, as your backdrop, rafting, fishing, hot springs and more! And with year-round charm, even winter is a great time to visit for skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and more. At the end of the day, over 4 million annual visitors say the scenery is their main attraction to RMNP. So no matter what you decide to partake in – it’s sure to come with a nice view!
You can always stay in Denver and make a day trip up to the park, there is plenty to do. But if you have the time, why not stay nearby for some extra mountain fun? Grab yourself an Estes Park, Colorado cabin with a hot tub to relax after a long day of exploration!
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Recommended by Jin & De Wet from Museum of Wander
In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse (and perhaps most beautiful) national park. Virunga National Park, bordering Rwanda and Uganda sits right in the middle of Africa’s Great Lakes region, and can truly be described as the heart of Africa.
Being so biodiverse, Virunga is home to typical plains game and antelope, but also some very unique wildlife such as okapi, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas.
Virunga embodies all expectations one might have of Africa. From acacia dotted savannahs, croc and hippo filled rivers, forests and even the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori mountains. Snowmelt from the Rwenzori mountains, also called the Mountains of the Moon, is one of the sources of the Nile river.
Two incredible experiences draw visitors to Virunga: mountain gorilla trekking and hiking to the top of Nyiragongo volcano to see the largest lava lake on earth.
Not only are these bucket list experiences, but when you go gorilla trekking in the Congo you are directly supporting an incredible conservation project, which also supports and uplifts the local community living on the park’s perimeter.
Virunga has some excellent accommodation available right inside the park. One tented camp is on an island in Lake Kivu, while two others are right in the forest where the gorillas live.
As one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, Virunga can be visited throughout the year, however Virunga usually offers huge discounts on gorilla trekking permits between March and May.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Recommended by Kami from My Wanderlust
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is located in the central part of the country and is one of the most popular places to visit in the Balkans. You can get to Plitvice Lakes as one of the day trips from Zagreb as well as from other famous seaside destinations in Croatia - spending a few hours at the site is enough to see the best sights at the national park.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is known for its stunning waterfalls (including some big ones) and emerald lakes - you will walk between them on special paths made next to the water or even through some of the lakes.
There are a few paths to choose from, some trails take up to 8 hours, but no matter which one you choose you are in for a treat. Since the place is so popular it's better to avoid it in the summertime as it can get really crowded.
Plitvice Lakes remain one of the most beautiful national parks in the world are beautiful all year long so you can be sure to see beautiful scenery there despite the season.
Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Recommended by Jyoti from Story at Every Corner
The great red sand dunes of Namib Naukluft National Park in Sossusvlei are one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. The enormous and expansive red sand dunes are the highest and oldest in the world. For those reasons alone, it’s worth the visit in the middle of nowhere in one of the most sparsely populated counties in the world. You should plan for at least 3-4 days in Namib Naukluft National Park to just enjoy the dunes and include the drive time from Windhoek.
A sunrise hike up to the Big Daddy Dune is one of a kind experience unparalleled to any other experience. But this beautiful national park is only open after sunrise and before sunset. So, to go up to the dunes for sunrise or sunset, you’ll need to stay inside the national park which includes the campsite or the Sossus Dune lodge. On the flip side, you’ll need to stay outside the park if you want to do a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride.
Besides the majestic dunes, the park also has the unusual Deadvlie as seen at Big Daddy dune, the canyon and significant wildlife and hikes in the desert.
The best time to visit this stunning national park is early or late winter in Southern Hemisphere, because the desert gets unbearably hot in summer.
Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
Recommended by Nicholas from Rambling Feet
Did you know that the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa is considered its own plant kingdom? More than 60 per cent of the plants here cannot be found anywhere else in the world, but you can see many of them in Table Mountain National Park.
As one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, its area covers the entire rock formation of the same name so it stretches from the Cape Town City Bowl all the way to Cape Point. There are many points and ways to explore Tale Mountain National Park--take your pick from:
- A leisurely visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
- Seeing African penguins at Boulders Beach
- A sunset climb to the top of Lion's Head for the view of Cape Town and the ocean
- The stunning Chapman's Peak Drive
- An excursion to the Cape of Good Hope, and more
In August and September, the slopes and heaths are awash with color as the native flowers bloom, and it's the best time to see the king protea and other sugarbushes in Kirstenbosch. Just avoid touching the blister bush, which can leave very painful phototoxic blisters, while you're hiking, and keep your car doors and bags closed when baboons are about at the Cape of Good Hope.
Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile
Recommended by Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes
On the southern tip of South America, you will find Torres Del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Located in Chile’s Patagonia region, the stunning park is famous for its three granite peaks called the Towers of Paine that overlook a glacial lake.
The best way to see the park is by doing a multi-day hike, with the most popular route being the W Trek. In your 5 day W Trek itinerary you will see massive glaciers, rugged mountains, icebergs, waterfalls, turquoise lakes and the breathtaking three Towers of Paine.
You can choose to either camp in a tent or stay in a refugio (lodge) along the way. Lodges offer full or half-board meals and most have a bar where you can reward yourself with a cold beer after a long day of trekking. It’s a hiker’s paradise!
The best time to visit the park is during the summer months of November – March. You will have the most daylight hours and the best weather conditions.
Jasper National Park, Canada
Recommended by Mayuri from Canada Crossroads
Jasper National Park in Canada is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. It is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies and definitely deserves a visit.
The park is home to beautiful Patricia and Pyramid Lakes, which are accessible all year round. It is great for kayaking and hiking in the summer months. And in the winter, you can go snowshoeing, and ice skating.
Athabasca Falls is another attraction inside of Jasper National Park. These waterfalls can be accessed without a strenuous hike. Maligne Canyon is a must-visit during your trip as well. These canyons are over 50 meters deep, and you will love the beautiful crevasse and rock formations.
Jasper abounds in a ton of beautiful cabins, and lofts, making it a wonderful vacation idea in Canada - the one with nature, outdoor activities, and relaxed getaways.
Jasper National Park is best explored in the summer months, from June to August, when you can go hiking, camping, or road tripping through the park. In spring and fall, many of the routes may be closed due to weather conditions. It is important to note that summer is a peak tourist month so expect accommodation to be expensive, and trails crowded.
Our favorite time to visit is in winter. Jasper in winter is a wonderful time to explore. During this time, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are possible. Accommodations in various cabins are cheaper, plus you also get to sight the Northern Lights in winter!
Eravikulam National Park, India
Recommended by Athul from Our Backpack Tales
The Eravikulam National Park is located in Kerala, India. Situated in the midst of the beautiful mountains and tea estates of Munnar in the Western Ghats, Eravikulam National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world and a must-visit spot in your Munnar Itinerary.
It is famed to be the first national park in Kerala. The size of the national park is around 97 square kilometers and is situated at a distance of 7kms from Munnar town, making it very easy to access.
Eravikulam National park is famous for its Nilgiri thars which is an endangered species and can be only seen in this region. Eravikulam also houses the highest peak in South India named Anamudi, which stands at an elevation of 8843 feet above sea level.
If you are lucky you can also spot several other wild animals like leopards, tigers, the golden jackals, Nilgiri martens, and dusky palm squirrels. The best time to visit is from September to March when the climate is pleasant. The park opens at 8.30 AM and closes at 4.30 PM.
The entry is restricted with tickets, which can be purchased at the entrance. As this park is situated in Munnar there are various places such as Kolukkumalai, Echo point and Top station which are popular tourist spots nearby. You can also trek the mountains surrounding the park with proper guidance.
Karijini National Park, Australia
Recommended by Steph from A Nomad's Passport
With its stunning red gorges, natural swimming holes and flora and fauna, Karijini National Park in Western Australia is easily one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. It is a wonderful place full of jaw-dropping sceneries and the perfect playground for every outdoor lover. Karijini is a place with a unique charm.
It is an amazing vacation spot for nature lovers as exploring this fantastic national park is full of hikes of varying levels. Here you can spend hours hiking before cooling off in one of the many natural swimming holes with crystal clear water. Hereby, Fern Pool in Dales Gorge is especially amazing and serene.
The best time to visit Karijini National Park is between April and October as that is when temperatures are the most suitable. Unlike in summer, the temperatures usually stay below 40°C and there is little rain.
While remote, this beautiful national park is well worth a trip as it offers a lot. Some of the best things to do are hiking Weano Gorge with the stunning Handrail Pool and Hancock Gorge that is famous for its Spider Walk and the amazing Kermit’s Pool. The most challenging hike is the climb down to the bottom of Joffrey Falls, while the hike to Spa Pool is suitable for bushwalking beginners.
Be sure to watch the sunset at Fern Pool in Dales Gorge as this is when the fading sunlight illuminates the red rocks, the water and the tree backdrop in the most stunning colors.
Glacier National Park, USA
Recommended by Julia from Well Planned Journey
It's easy to see why Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. From the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the bright blue glacial waters, it's unlike any other national park in the United States. This is the perfect park for those that long to be amongst the mountains.
Glacier National Park is covered in snow for most of the year. But from June to September, the snow melts, revealing immaculate scenic drives and stunning lakes. You'll find wildflowers and roaming mountain goats throughout the park's many hiking trails.
The best thing to do in Glacier National Park is to take a hike. Some of the most scenic trails are the Highline Trail, Grinnell Glacier, and Iceberg Lake. If you're looking for a family-friendly hike, stroll along the boardwalk at Trail of the Cedars.
Don't miss driving Going-to-the-Sun Road, exploring the park's scenic lodges, and catching sunrise at Two Medicine Lake!
Zion National Park, USA
Recommended by Ale from Sea Salt & Fog
Located in southern Utah, Zion National Park is one of the most stunning national parks in the United States. Zion is made up of beautiful, crimson red rock canyons dotted with lush greenery. The vistas at Zion are what you’d expect of the old west, and the hiking is bucket list worthy.
While simply driving through Zion will give you great views, the best way to explore this beautiful national park is to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail. The Narrows is one of Zion’s most iconic hikes, and with good reason. Here, you’ll be hiking through a river that’s only 20 to 30 feet wide, while the canyon walls soar up to a thousand feet above you, putting on a display of nature’s sheer force and beauty.
Another epic hike is Angels Landing, an adrenaline pumping trail that ends with an exposed cliff section and stunning views.
Easier, but no less breathtaking hikes include the Canyon Overlook Trail, which gives you great views of the canyon (this one is great at sunrise or sunset). Similarly, the Pa’rus trail is an easy stroll that gives you views of the river, meadows, and ends with a great overlook of the Zion Canyon valley.
Zion is popular, and crowds form during the busy, hot summer months. Try visiting during the early fall months for cooler weather and smaller crowds. You’ll need at least a weekend to explore Zion, so follow a two day Zion itinerary to make the most of your trip.
Banff National Park, Canada
Recommended by Devin from Deventuretime
Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the world due to the stunning lakes, beautiful mountain views, and incredible hiking trails.
Known as one of the best places to visit in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the park attracts over 4 million visitors a year. It is home to many popular lakes for photography, including Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. These lakes are amazing to visit during sunrise when the glow of the sun highlights the peaks of the mountains.
The best time to visit the park is in the spring before the busy summer season begins. During this time, waterfalls are at their peak volume, flowers begin to bloom, and the weather isn’t too hot for hiking. If you’re lucky, you will catch sight of local wildlife, including moose, elk, and bears, hopefully from a distance!
Camping spots at Banff National Park are really popular and need to be booked well in advance. It is an incredible experience waking up in the beautiful park, right in the middle of the mountains. It’s a perfect way to get an early start to hiking and experience the calm of the park before the crowds come!
Yosemite National Park, USA
Recommended by Jenny from Limitless Hiker
Yosemite National Park in California is one of the most iconic parks to visit in California and the US. Yosemite Valley is known for its granite walls that were carved by glaciers. Half Dome and El Capitan are just a couple of the reasons that Yosemite is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
Half Dome is Yosemite’s most popular trail, but it’s not an easy one. If you’re lucky enough to get permits, this is a 16 mile round trip hike, and commonly known as “nature’s stairmaster” and for good reason. But at the top, not only have you accomplished such an amazing trail, you also are rewarded with 360 degree views of the Valley below and the high Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east.
Throughout the park, there are also a variety of other trails to do such as the Mist Trail, Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls, Cathedral Lakes, North Dome, the Four Mile Trail, and so many more. There are trails for all skill levels.
If you’re looking for just a photography tour of the park, Glacier Point is one that cannot be beaten. You get a stunning view of Half Dome, especially at sunrise or sunset.
Yosemite is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world during any season, but if you’re planning your trip during the spring, summer, or fall months, camp inside the park if you can get a reservation. It’s a great way to truly experience the park and everything it has to offer.
Make sure to store your food correctly in the bear lockers in camp to prevent bears and other wildlife from getting into your food. This is to protect your food, but also to prevent unwanted wildlife encounters. For more tips and info on visiting Yosemite National Park, read through this blog post.
Periyar National Park, India
Recommended by Neha from Travel Melodies
Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Kerala is one of the renowned beautiful National Parks in India. Visiting this Tiger and Elephant reserve is one of the best things to do in Thekkady.
It is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts as it is a home of animals like elephants, wild boars, bison, tigers, sambar (a species of deer) and birds.
There is a picturesque lake in the middle of the park called the Periyar Lake that is a main spotting area for animals that come to drink water. Boat cruises in the lake are a great way to spot these animals.
There are many activities from Bamboo rafting to Jeep Safaris to guided treks even in the night for adventure and wildlife lovers in the National Park. It is better to book the tickets for the activities online to avoid the crowd and get the preferred slot.
There are camps and lodges available inside the National Park to experience it up close. Else Greenwoods Resort Thekkady is a great choice to stay in the city.
October to April is a good time to visit with weather being pleasant in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
Cappadocia National Park, Turkey
Recommended by Roxanne from Faraway World
Situated in Central Turkey, Cappadocia National Park is famous for its otherworldly landscape of “fairy chimneys” – rock formations which rise out of the ground in a range of interesting shapes. The effect is strange and beautiful, and a wonderful setting for hikes through pastel-colored valleys.
These rock formations are also the home to some early Christian churches, carved out of the soft rock, with faded often still visible. In the region you’ll also find underground cities, bush walks and one of the favorite tourist activities, hot air balloon rides.
At sunrise, the sky is filled with dozens of hot air balloons silhouetted against the dim light, floating high above the fairy chimneys. It’s a beautiful sight, both from the ground and, of course, from up in the balloon. Other highlights include staying in a cave hotel, where rooms are carved from the rock, exploring the surrounding towns, and trying the local specialty, the testi kebab (slow cooked in a clay pot).
The easiest way to travel in Cappadocia is through doing day trips to see part of the region, either with a tour or independently. Either way, you’ll enjoy your time in this fascinating and beautiful national park in the world.