Source: Mikhail Kolesnikov/Shutterstock.com
Ready to explore the United States? Then pack your travel case, secure your DSLR camera in a camera hard case and hit the road! Here are the 10 most beautiful places in the U.S., from the wild Glacier Mountains of Montana to the Grand Canyon and deserts of Arizona.
1. Yosemite National Park, California
One of the all-time most beautiful places in the U.S. has to be Yosemite National Park. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite offers stunning and natural geological formations that are a sight to behold, not to mention the ancient sequoia trees that tower above. This region has captivated audiences for years and has been photographed countless times over.
From the stonewall granite cliffs of El Capitan to the Bridalveil Fall, there are many outdoor activities you can explore, packing a lunch in your personal cooler. Plus, on rainy days, you can take in deep history, staying dry inside the Yosemite Museum or Ansel Adams Gallery, named after the famous black-and-white landscape photographer who was also in awe over it all.
2. Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Bordering between California and Nevada is Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake situated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Surrounded by lakeside beaches and resorts, Lake Tahoe offers the perfect balance of the rugged outdoors and leisurely activities. Along the southern tip is the Emerald Bay State Park, which provides a Nordic-inspired Vikingsholm mansion, and to the north is the Sand Harbor Beach and Spinner Lake, which meets up with the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Lake Tahoe is mainly known for its crystal-clear blue waters, created by precipitation that falls into the watershed directly. Make no mistake – this is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S.
3. Montana, aka ‘Big Sky Country’
They don’t call Montana “Big Sky Country” for nothing. Packed with wide mountain ranges and vistas, especially those in Glacier National Park, you will take in various sights and sounds of the wilderness. Nearby are the Rocky Mountains, which can be seen in the distance exhibiting their snow-capped peaks and summits. And below are vast prairie lands that seem to go on forever. Left mostly primitive and untouched by the tourism industry, Montana offers a vast state full of outdoor activities and complete freedom to explore. There’s nothing better than that!
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is America’s oldest national park, established way back when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Spanning from the northwest corner of Wyoming into Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone covers a lot of lands, all offering gorgeous landscapes. However, some of its most notable features are its hydrothermal and geologic wonders, such as the famous blue and yellow Old Faithful geyser. Yellowstone is also known for its wildlife, such as the great American bison and even moose and black bears, who frequent the lush alpine meadow areas. Visit in the early summer to see fields of wildflowers in full bloom.
5. Alaska Wilderness
If you like the sound of Montana in all its untamed wilderness, you will fall in love with Alaska. From remote glaciers to barren coastlines and tall mountain peaks, Alaska truly offers all types of landscapes! You can even discover old-growth rainforests with lush greenery surrounding rivers, lakes and more. A wild region indeed, you will encounter wildlife such as moose and big grizzly bears.
6. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park offers stunning landscapes with naturally formed pinnacles, called hoodoos, formed by erosion long ago. While not exactly a canyon, Bryce still offers majestic views, especially along the southern tip where Bryce Point is located. Take amazing photographs of the unique hoodoos during the early dawn or late dusk hours, capturing their silhouettes or stunning color displays. Looking for more adventure? Bryce Canyon offers lots of excursions to take in the sights, from ATV tours to horseback rides along the Red Canyon.
7. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Another one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. is Grand Teton National Park, located in Wyoming just north of Jacksonville. Named after the Teton Range, this 310,000-acre mountainous parkland offers gorgeous alpine lakes, as well as green valley floors and meadows. Explore all Grand Teton has to offer, taking advantage of its backcountry camping (with permits) and seven park campgrounds that provide just over 1,000 campsites. If you feel adventurous and want to take in a truly panoramic view, head to Jackson Hole, where you can hitch a ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise. Grand Teton is also alive and well when it comes to wildlife – so much so there’s even a wildlife safari where you can spot local creatures, great and small.
8. Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah
Source: iacomino FRiMAGES/Shutterstock.com
Considered one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., Monument Valley offers unforgettable views. Tons of Native American history lies in this great valley, surrounded by mesas and buttes and scattered with towering sandstone structures that reach heights of 1,000 feet in front of the magnificent skylines and desert clouds. Unlike anything else on earth, Monument Valley is a must-see destination!
9. The Grand Canyon, Arizona
You simply can’t make a list of the most beautiful places in America without mentioning the Grand Canyon. Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. Millions of years went into its making, creating red rock layers that boast multi-colored banding. Take a journey to one of the many viewpoints, such as Mather Point and Yavapai Observation Station, as well as the Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and Desert View Watchtower. Visit Lipan Point to take in the Grand Canyon in all its glory, taking panoramic photographs of the Colorado River and beyond. Catch it at sunset for a stunning display of color! The Grand Canyon also offers many outdoor activities, from white water rafting to hiking and even helicopter rides that carry you straight over the landscape.
10. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Last, but certainly not least, is Crater Lake National park, located in the Pacific Northwest territory of Oregon. Crater Lake was created by a 7,000-year-old explosion, which now offers vivid blue waters at Mount Mazama’s base. How big was the explosion? Big enough to create a 2,000-foot crater that invites scuba enthusiasts to take a dive! Explore multiple views of this lake, taking the Rim Drive or hiking the Sun Notch Trail, where you can see the small island of Phantom Ship.