America’s 11 Most Beautiful National Parks, According to Social Media

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Rocky Mountains National Park
Margaret.Wiktor /

They can’t all be the prettiest — so how do you pick? Luggage storage company Bounce recently combed Instagram, TikTok, online reviews and Google searches in an effort to rank the most-beautiful national parks in the United States.

It was a big job, but the Bounce team was undaunted. Offering a glimpse into its methods, Bounce says, for example, that the term “Rocky Mountain” inspired 2.8 million searches in the last year, earned 91.1 million TikTok views and starred in 782,416 Instagram posts.

Following, we highlight the U.S. parks earning the top Bounce rankings, including a tie for 10th place.

10. Badlands National Park (tie)

Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Checubus /

Where this park is located: South Dakota

Beauty score: 7.18 out of 10

At South Dakota’s Badlands National Park’s intriguing Fossil Preparation Lab, paleontologists (scientists who study Earth’s history by studying fossils) and interns prepare and examine fossils as you watch.

The Fossil Preparation Lab is only open in summer, but tons of other activities are available throughout the year, including wildlife watching and scenic hikes.

10. Mount Rainier National Park (tie)

Mount Rainier National Park
Danita Delimont /

Where this park is located: Washington

Beauty score: 7.18 out of 10

Winter camping season at Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park is roughly January through mid-May, depending on the depth of snow, which varies at each campground. You can camp “almost anywhere” in the park where snow is deep enough if you have a wilderness permit.

The Mountaineers, an outdoors organization, holds introductory courses throughout the year teaching wilderness skills, from kayaking to skiing and snowboard mountaineering, rock climbing basics to whitewater packrafting.

Here’s a summer guide to activities in Rainier’s spectacular paradise.

9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sean Pavone /

Where this park is located: Tennessee and North Carolina

Beauty score: 7.54 out of 10

They call this place “Wildflower National Park.” Come in springtime to witness the spectacular diversity and abundance of wildflowers — some 1,500 types — more than in any other North American national park.

The park hosts an annual, weeklong Wildflower Pilgrimage. Come for guided walks, exhibits and learning and viewing opportunities.

8. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
CK Foto /

Where this park is located: Arizona

Beauty score: 7.70 out of 10

Arizona’s famed Grand Canyon National Park runs in and along 278 miles of the Colorado River. Forces of nature, including erosion, uplift, layering of soils and carving by the river, have been working for tens of millions of years to create the canyon we see today.

The park includes ancestral homelands of 11 federally recognized Associated Tribes.

Before you go, check out which park areas are open and research trail and hiking conditions.

7. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in Montana
Galyna Andrushko /

Where this park is located: Montana

Beauty score: 7.86 of 10

Montanans are justifiably proud of majestic Glacier National Park, located in the northwestern corner of Montana at the Canadian border.

The park is extremely popular. Get ready to jockey for a parking spot and cope with human and vehicular congestion. Operators of this national treasure advise, “Pack your patience and plan ahead.”

Keep an eye on the park’s website to learn where you’ll need permits, vehicle reservations and an entry pass and to stay current on park conditions, news and alerts.

6. Zion National Park

Woman hiking in Zion National Park
EB Adventure Photography /

Where this park is located: Utah

Beauty score: 7.90 out of 10

Blue skies, slot canyons, sandstone cliffs in hues of pink, cream, orange and red, intricately weathered rock formations and emerald pools: Visitors report that they are awed by the power of nature evident at this magical place.

Here is your guide for planning your trip, including maps, information on parking, hours, fees, passes, closures, weather and children’s activities.

5. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park in California
David P. Smith /

Where this park is located: California

Beauty score: 7.94 out of 10

Yosemite National Park is a beloved destination among California residents and visitors to the Golden State. You’ll need a reservation to visit the park at certain times of the year and there are two reservations systems to manage crowds among some of the most-popular sites and activities.

For your patience and trouble, you will be rewarded by access to breathtaking natural landscapes, including Hetch Hetchy Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Meadows, lakes, rivers, falls, meadows and rock formations.

4. Yellowstone National Park

Excelsior Geyser Crater in Yellowstone National Park
Margaret.W /

Where this park is located: Montana, Wyoming and Idaho

Beauty score: 7.99 out of 10

Created in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park. The park protects an ecosystem spanning 2.2 million acres full of wildlife that includes bears, wolves, bison, other wildlife, the grand canyon of the Yellowstone River and roughly half of the world’s natural geysers.

Check out park conditions and learn what’s open at the park’s main website.

3. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park in Maine
Eric Urquhart /

Where this park is located: Maine

Beauty score: 8.26 out of 10

Acadia National Park is located along the Maine coast. The region has been home of the Wabanaki Nations indigenous people for 12,000 years. Samuel de Champlain claimed the land as part of New France in 1604.

In 1947, a voracious wildfire changed the park forever, burning through about 10,000 acres of forest and park land and consuming thousands more acres surrounding the park. Today’s park, with colorful deciduous forests, is a different place than the dense evergreen pre-fire landscape.

2. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
By f11photo /

Where this park is located: Wyoming

Beauty score: 8.35 out of 10

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is set among the rugged and beautiful Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The park protects such large wild mammals as bighorn sheep, elk, bison, black bears, grizzlies and pronghorn antelope.

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
Phanom Nuangchomphoo /

Where this park is located: Colorado

Beauty score: 8.63 out of 10

Rocky Mountain National Park stretches across the Continental Divide that separates North America’s creek and river drainage basins. On one side, streams feed into the Pacific Ocean; on the other side they flow into rivers feeding the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and Gulf of Mexico, National Geographic explains.

If you can’t be at Rocky Mountain Park and want to stay in touch, pull up the park’s six webcams. These include a camera at the Alpine Visitor Center (elevation 11,796 feet); Kawuneeche Valley (filled with wildflowers in spring) and the Continental Divide and Long Peak (the tallest mountain in the park, at 14,259 feet above sea level).

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