7 of the most beautiful US national parks, according to someone who's been to 59 of them

7 of the most beautiful US national parks, according to someone who's been to 59 of them

It's been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but as someone who's visited all 50 states and nearly every US National Park, I'd argue that there are some places where beauty simply can't be denied.

Although I've found all 59 of the national parks I've visited to be beautiful, some simply took my breath away, regardless of my personal preferences.

Whether from towering mountains, cerulean-blue lakes, impressive wildlife, or surreal otherworldly landscapes, some parks just stand out more than others.

Here are the seven most beautiful US national parks I've been to.

Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park has beautiful lakes and jagged mountains.

Emily stands on a rock and looks out at the green waters and large mountains at Grand Teton National Park. There are also trees behind her.
Visitors can swim and kayak in many of the lakes in Grand Teton National Park.Emily Hart

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming always tops my list of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.

The towering, jagged mountains are just one aspect of the incredible beauty in this park, with large lakes visitors can swim, kayak, and boat on. There are also challenging hiking trails and some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I've ever encountered.

There's no place quite like Yosemite National Park in California.

Emily sits on a wall and looks out at the mountains and trees at sunset. There is food next to her on the wall. Under the wall is a backpack covered in patches.
The mountains in Yosemite National Park are breathtaking. Emily Hart

In my opinion, there's truly no place like Yosemite National Park, where the famed towering granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome rise thousands of feet from the valley floor.

The park also features some of the tallest waterfalls in the country. To top things off, the giant Sequoia groves and large stretches of wilderness in the park create a striking contrast unlike anything else I've ever experienced.

Maine's Acadia National Park features stunning coastal, mountain, and forest landscapes.

Emily sits on a rock by the water and takes photos of the fall foliage. Her backpack, covered in patches, sits next to her on the rock.
Acadia is one of the most-visited US national parks.Emily Hart

As one of the most-visited US national parks, Acadia is obviously no hidden gem.

But the sometimes-crowded Maine park is also one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots in the US. The clashing of coastal, mountain, and forest landscapes is simply spectacular.

Spend a day seeing the waves crash on the rugged Ocean Path Trail or relax at the beach before going on a strenuous hike.

I also recommend driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain, which is home to the tallest point on the eastern seaboard.

There's a reason Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park is on so many bucket lists.

Emily walks along a trail on a sunny day in Grand Canyon National Park.
I'm always in awe of the vastness of the canyon.Emily Hart

The Grand Canyon is a bucket list park for a reason. I challenge anyone to visit for the first (or sixth time) and not be in awe when looking at the vastness of the canyon.

The scale makes it a special place you must truly see to believe. Stretching 277 miles, the canyon brings a perspective I haven't found anywhere else.

Washington's North Cascades National Park is home to stunning turquoise waters.

Emily sits on a rock wearing a backpack covered in patches. She looks out at stunning blue water, mountains, and trees.
The turquoise waters look like they're from the Caribbean.Emily Hart

Although North Cascades National Park is less than three hours from Seattle, this park is still slightly under-the-radar. At over 500,000 acres, the landscape is stunning and rugged, with an untamed beauty that's rare to find in the lower 48 states.

North Cascades is home to lakes that are so turquoise in color that they look like they're straight out of the Caribbean. When visiting this national park, it's easy to truly immerse yourself in nature.

The beauty of Glacier National Park in Montana makes me emotional.

Emily sits on a rock, with her backpack covered in patches next to her. Behind her is a lake surrounded by mountains and trees.
The park is home to clear glacial lakes, gorgeous wildflowers, and challenging hikes.Emily Hart

I've driven on Going-to-the-sun Road in Glacier National Park nearly a dozen times now, and each time, I have to pull over at least once because I become overwhelmed with emotion.

The massive and dramatic glacier-carved landscape has towering mountains on every side. The park is home to clear glacial lakes, gorgeous wildflowers, challenging hikes, and plenty of wildlife.

One can spend a lifetime exploring Glacier National Park and never lose the awe of that first view.

Olympic National Park features a stunning mix of coastal beaches, rainforests, and mountain ranges.

Emily stands between moss-covered trees in Olympic National Park.
I recommend taking the time to hike through the old-growth forests.Emily Hart

Olympic National Park is incredibly diverse, with a mix of coastal beaches, rainforests, and imposing mountain ranges.

There's plenty to do in this park, from summiting a snow-capped mountain to exploring the mystical Hoh Rainforest — which is said to be one of the quietest places in the US.

I recommend taking the time to hike through the old-growth forests before watching an epic sunset on one of the park's rugged coastlines.

Read the original article on Business Insider