national park west coast

35 Must-Visit: National Park, West Coast of the U.S.

If you visit a National Park on the West Coast of the United States, you’ll find so many stunning sites that, if all summed up, would be your best vacation ever!

The West Coast is also called the Pacific States, Western Seaboard, or sometimes Pacific Coast. The West Coast is the coastline where the western part of the United States joins the northern part of the Pacific Ocean.

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West Coast National Parks

Every national park you could find on the West Coast of America would leave you speechless! There are 63 gorgeous national parks in the whole country, and seeing all of them would be fabulous!

But you have to plan your trip to maximize time and minimize resources. Try going over the Best National Parks on the Western Coast first.

The excitement you would feel as you go on a road trip, hopping from one fantastic spot to another, traveling through excellent hiking trails, would leave you hungry for more taste of national parks that the 40 West Coast National Parks could offer.

Yes! 40 Jaw-dropping National Parks are at the West coast, out of the 63 listed under the National Park System of the United States of America, under the National Park Service.

These West Coast National Parks prove that there are more beautiful sceneries in the western part of the United States.

We are featuring the following 35 Amazing Wonders of the West Coast National Parks, namely:

  1. Arches National Park, Utah
  2. Bryce Canyon, National Park, Utah
  3. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
  4. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
  5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
  6. Channel Islands National Park, California
  7. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
  8. Death Valley National Park, California, and Nevada
  9. Denali National Park, Alaska
  10. Glacier National Park, Alaska
  11. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  12. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
  13. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  14. Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
  15. Joshua Tree National Park, California
  16. Katmai National Park, Alaska
  17. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
  18. Kings Canyon National Park
  19. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
  20. Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
  21. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
  22. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
  23. North Cascades National Park, Washington
  24. Olympic National Park, Washington
  25. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
  26. Pinnacles National Park, California
  27. Redwood National Park, California
  28. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  29. Saguaro National Park, Arizona
  30. Sequoia National Park, California
  31. White Sands National Park, New Mexico
  32. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska
  33. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
  34. Yosemite National Park, California
  35. Zion National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park in Utah with its red rock formations shaped by the natural phenomenon that started 65 million years ago

A total beauty came out of the mess of nature 65 million years in the making: Arches National Park in Utah.

Who would have known that something that may have been seen as a gloomy occurrence years ago has now become one of the most beautiful sights in America? The birth of Arches National Park, a lovely meeting of this World’s natural landscapes with nature.

The Arches National Park is one of the geological witnesses of the west coast national parks to how nature shapes the World. Evident within its rock formations.

You will see potholes near cliff edges. And there are small honeycomb formations called tafoni that water had caused to dissolve and form the beautiful formations which give you such awe and appreciation.

The Arches has plenty of hiking trails. You will be amazed by the arches like Delicate Arch, Skyline Arch, and Double Arch.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce National Park in Utah has magnificent file of cones into a basin like sinkhole like trail path

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to crimson-colored hoodoos among the west coast national parks. These rock formations are like a series of cones piled perfectly into a basin in the National Park Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park is a small park but small as it is, it has lots to offer. The main road going to Bryce National Park leads to the open Bryce Amphitheater. The National Park Bryce Canyon also has the same cone-like trimmings filed into a basin-like sink just below the rim of the trail hiking path.

The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is from May through September, although October through April is just as significant to visit as well.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park is a grand showcase of colorful canyons, fins, mesas, buttes, arches, and spires.

The effects of the Colorado River that has several architectured parks in Utah have also brought the beauty and grandeur of the 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, fins, mesas, buttes, arches, and spires found in the Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

It is evident in the four districts of Canyonlands that the natural beauty and what has taken place in human history have been preserved. This beauty is what explorers and adventurers are now enjoying in their visits.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
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Another one of the several wonders around the Utah valley, in south-central Utah, had risen the nature’s wonder: Capitol National Park.

The cliffs, domes, canyons, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile wrinkle on the Earth that turned out to be a geologic wonder, are just some of the jaw-dropping reasons why this is one of the best national parks on the west.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

If you are the type that’s always hungry for the adventure of a lifetime, Carlsbad Caverns National in Nex Mexico must be your top destination.

You’ll find more than 119 caves hidden beneath the surface as you explore the hiking trails. These caverns of all sizes were left behind when they were formed after sulfuric acid dissolved limestone formation within the valleys.

Bask yourselves with high ancient sea ledges, animals you thought you’d see only on African deserts, flowering cactus, deep, rocky canyons in that treasure pot in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Channel Islands National Park, California

Channel Islands National Park, California
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Not too far from California Mainland is Channel Islands, National Park.

Channel Islands National Park covers five remarkable islands of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, and Santa Rosa. The ocean environment surrounding these five islands has provided isolation over thousands of years which protected the park’s natural and cultural resources.

There you can find unique plants, animals, and archeological resources that you won’t find in other parts of the globe.

So, if you love to have a break from the busy urban life, you know where to go. You could just relax and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Things to do

hiking, camping, snorkeling, kayaking, birdwatching, taking photographs, or just relaxing and listening to the sounds of nature

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
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Looking down from the top of the Cascade Mountain Range, you will be in awe seeing the Crater Lake National Park. This West Coast National Park is the only national park in Oregon and where you can find the deepest lake, known as Oregon Crater Lake.

This marvelous west coast national park was formed when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of Mount Mazama. The supposed mess from nature’s phenomenon is now the deepest lake in the United States. Art lovers, photographers, travelers bask in its pristine blue water.

Death Valley National Park, California, and Nevada

Death Valley National Park, California, and Nevada
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Death Valley National Park is the hottest national park, with temperatures of 108degrees to 127 degrees Fahrenheit.

The name Death Valley was given by a group of early settlers who were lost in it in the winter of 1849 to 1850. Although only one died from that incident, all of these settlers thought that the scorching desert would be their grave. But now, Death valley is one of the best west coast national parks.

If you love to explore the extremes of the snow that frosts the peaks of the park, or just lavish yourself with the lush wildflower meadows and oases, or brave enough to be in endless desert plains, Death Valley National Park is for you.

Shun the heat and desolation that Death Valley was used to be seen way back; it is now loved for its colors! This is one of the most beautiful things about Death Valley National Park-how amazingly colorful it is that you wouldn’t expect in such a lonely place.

So, what is the best time to visit? The best time to visit the park is in spring or autumn. In summer, flowers bloom, and autumn showcases clear skies. It is also a great time during winter as the weather is cool.

Take note that since Death Valley is four hours away from Los Angeles and less than two hours from Las Vegas, you will have a perfect spot for a more extended, worthwhile road trip.

Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park, Alaska
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Denali National Park is a more superficial park than the other west coast national parks.

Denali has only one road, and one road entrance called the Denali Park Road. The road is 92 miles, starting in a forest and rises and falls like a carnival ride passing through scenic mountain ranges. Don’t panic if you pass along steep mountainsides; you’ll be ok.

You have the option to explore Denali by hiking off-trail and voyaging through the wild landscape. The six million acres of wildland is home to wild and small animals roaming freely on unfenced lands.

Glacier National Park, Alaska

Glacier National Park, Alaska
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Glacier National Park is for adventurous hikers searching for the wilderness’s surprises and solitude in a west coast national park.

You will be challenged by the 700 miles of hiking trails where you could feed your eyes with the Glacier’s beautiful natural forests, rough mountains, panoramic lakes, and high meadows.

Glacier National Park is the continent’s crown and certainly is a gem. As one of the best west coast national parks, you will surely agree as you visit Glacier National Park.

You’ll see the valleys covered with glaciers, magnificent waterfalls, and an endless view of wildflowers that will not only dazzle your eyes but your heart as well.

What’s impressive with Glacier is that both black and grizzly bears live within the park. You will also find mountain goats, eagles, foxes, and sheep herds with big horns.

Glacier National Park has 13 campgrounds and more or less 1009 campsites. There are different rules per campsite. One of the most famous hikes within the park is the Highline Trail. It leads to the extraordinary Glacier.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
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The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, is one of the most famous of all west coast national parks not only because it embraces 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River but because of its village that exudes so much history. The reason why Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best national parks.

The first steam-powered train arrived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1901. This progress in its railways welcomed the changes to the Grand Canyon Village- from a quiet village to one bustling with activity.

Shops and other luxurious structures like El Tovar, Hopi House, and Verkamp’s Curios started during the first decade of the Santa Fe Railway. Grand Canyon began to bustle with life.

Adventurous people who are history lovers can feel like being in the 1900s once they visit the Grand Canyon Village. No wonder this National Park is always bustling with visitors.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
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Extraordinary wildlife is something that this National Park of the West Coast is proud to showcase. The Grand Teton mountain range is a wonder to behold.

Don’t be surprised to see many animals journeying through the park just like you, especially during fall. But once winter sets in, everything will be silent again.

This National Park Range symbolizes the victory of the people who defended it.

If you love the wildlife and adore nature’s tranquility, visit Grand Teton and explore over two hundred miles of trails, enjoy the Snake River, and be in serenity with these mountains of the imagination.

You will have plenty to do at Grand Teton. There are many hiking trails throughout the park, from the moderate trail passing around Jenny Lake to the more advanced level, then climbing up Cascade Canyon.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
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The tallest dunes in North America lie in a spacious landscape of woodlands, lakes, meadows, wetlands, and tundra at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

You may say that Great Sand Dunes National Park has a meandering geologic story that dates back millions of years.

Sand Dunes National Park’s natural beauty is attributed to the many factors from intense volcanic activity that caused the San Juan mountain range and affected the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The rift further widened the valley to cover more land. Sediments were carried into the valley through melting ice and snow that gave birth to Lake Alamosa.

The best time to visit the park depends upon your purpose. If your priority is to see the wildflowers of Colorado, it will be best to visit in June or July. If you prefer to do lots of hiking, you visit late spring or early fall.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
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Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, has the volcano with the most prominent craters. You will be captivated by the feelings you will feel once you’re on top of the Haleakala volcano. It sculpts the landscape that has this magnificent array of colors reflecting through the whole of it like an artist’s painting.

Haleakala means House of the Sun in Hawaiian. It is a known fact that Hawaii is rich in history and culture, bonded into its people, which resounds in the Haleakala National Park.

The park also ensures the safety of its endangered species, which can only be found in it.

Be one with nature amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forests, making that most memorable journey on hiking trails that will take you deeper into nature’s beautiful landmarks.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California
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Joshua Tree National Park brought together two varying desert ecosystems: the Mojave and Colorado. The Colorado Desert embraces the eastern part of the park.

The Joshua Tree National Park’s almost 800,000 acres were reserved to protect the natural resources that thrive on it. The three ecosystems embrace these natural resources: the Colorado Desert, Mojave Desert, and San Bernardino Mountains.

You will find a fascinating variety of animals and plants in this national park Joshua Tree that though prone to strong winds and occasional floods, still maintain its scenic wonders for the visitors to enjoy.

Animals like snakes, kangaroo rats, coyotes, bighorn sheep, lynx, rabbits, lizards, and birds are abundant at the park.

In the Southern end of the park, the Joshua trees are lesser, and there is a Cholla Cactus Garden instead.

Katmai National Park, Alaska

Katmai National Park, Alaska
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Katmai National Park is one famous national park, not only on the West Coast but in the World. Why? It is renowned because of the significant events in history that transpired in this park.

During 1965 and 1966, Katmai’s Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was chosen as a training destination for astronauts of NASA’s Apollo. In Katmai, they would play the “moon game.”

According to NASA, the valley represents a lunar landscape as it has almost the same geological features as the moon. You will find the same igneous rocks and ashy soil in Katmai and the moon.

You will also find Brook’s Camp at the Brooks River and the shore of Naknek Lake. People from all over the world visit Brook’s Camp to watch the Brown Bears go about their lives in the brook.

Brook’s Camp is also famous for world-class fishing and learning about the history of the place.

This park was created to be an attraction and at the same time to protect, study, and interpret volcanic activity around the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, the dispersion of its extensive coastal resources, securing habitats of salmon and brown bears.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
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Kenai Fjords National Park lies at the edge of the Kenai Peninsula. They say it is where the ice age got stuck until now.

You will find almost 40 glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield and the reason why Kenai Fjords is famous. And you would be amazed that wildlife thrives in the icy waters! Ironically, there are dense woodlands surrounding this immense stretch of ice.

King’s Canyon National Park

King's Canyon National Park
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Kings Canyon National Park has so many activities to offer, aside from having the tallest trees in the World, which are the Sequoias, whatever season it is.

WINTER ACTIVITIES

Winter Drives and Viewpoints

Foothills hikes

Winter in Giant Forest and Grant Grove

Exploring Soundscapes

Skiing and Snowshoeing

A wide range of recreational activities like walking, exhibits, camping, and shuttle

Snow playing

Picnicking

Winter Ranger Programs

Junior Ranger Programs

Day Hiking

Overnight Backpacking

Watching Wildlife

SUMMER ACTIVITIES

Dark Sky Festival

Horseback Riding

Rock Climbing

Moro Rock Climbing

Crystal Cave exploration

Camping

Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
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Lake Clark National Park in Alaska is gorgeous with its Volcano steam, rocky mountains, salmon run, bears forage, and sparkling blue lagoons.

As you venture into this park, you will become part of the wilderness, just like how people depend on land and water for their living and culture.

The ancestral homelands of the Dena’ ina people, the fisherfolk who heads the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the World, are the primary showcases of Lake Clark. Furthermore, it has a rich cultural wilderness that is still being preserved well up to this day.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
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Lassen Volcanic National Park holds a vast history of numerous volcanoes that have shaped it into the nature’s wonder that it is now.

You will be amazed by the steaming fumaroles, fields with wildflowers that dance when the wind blows. The clear mountain lakes reflect all the wonders around it.

Plus, the jagged peaks give us a preview of what may have taken place long ago. And it doesn’t end there, it also has the hot water that continues to shape the Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Want to go camping or hiking? There are about 150 miles of trails you can choose from. There are many campgrounds to build your tents or position your RVs throughout the park.

Want to learn about the park with a ranger? Lassen Volcanic National park offers a variety of ranger programs for Junior and Adults throughout the summer and winter seasons.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
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Mesa Verde National Park is one of the most notable and best-preserved in the United States.

The rich ancient history of America’s first inhabitants held by the Mesa Verde National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. So, if you are the type who’s engrossed with history, you will enjoy this park with its spectacular, stunning archeological showcase of the first people in America.

You may tour around cliff dwellings guided by rangers. Some sites may only be visited on a ranger-guided tour, like Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House.

There are campings during in the summer. Be sure to contact the National Park Services first for updates on park operations at these times.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
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Mount Rainier National Park in the south-central area of Washington was established as a National Park on March 2, 1899.

It has 236, 380 acres of land including the stratovolcano which is 14,411 feet high, the highest peak in the Cascade Range, which is Mount Rainier.

When you’re in Seattle, you can see the volcano like a mirage. With its beauty, you would be compelled to go and see Mount Rainier National Park from a closer view.

This best west coast national park is not only a sight to visit because of the solid Mount Rainier, but the national park has also preserved 142 square miles of ancient forests, beautiful pristine waters, picturesque valleys, waterfalls, fields of flowers all of which will make you feel like being in paradise.

Not only that, but this park is also home to glaciers that have names! 26 of them! Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier are the largest glaciers by volume and area.

Two of the most popular areas for visitors within the park are Paradise and Longmire.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

North Cascades National Park, Washington
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North Cascades National Park is less than three hours from Seattle. Once you see that mountainous landscape, you are looking at North Cascades National Park.

Explore communities that have adapted to the moisture in the west and fire in the east that happens a lot. You will be in awe at the rugged mountains crowned by more than 300 glaciers!

You will have the waters running from the top of the mountains to the forested valleys accompanying you like background music.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park, Washington
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Olympic National Park showcases diversity. Its vast landscape, covering about a million acres of human history spanning thousands of years, and varied ecosystems, not to mention the stunning mountains topped with glaciers, more than 70 miles of lush coastline, and balmy rain forests. Wow!

Olympic National Park is like an all-in-one park. Visiting it is like visiting multiple parks at one time. There are more great reasons why you must visit Olympic National Park. It is one of the best west coast national parks.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park
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Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is 346 square miles of a desert area rich in plant and animal fossils. And if you love archeological sites, you’ll love this national park.

It was named Petrified Forest because of the trees that have turned into stone after millions of years of natural factors called fossilization. Most of these fossils came from conifers- the tall trees common to the park grew over 200 million years ago near wetlands.

Pinnacles National Park, California

Pinnacles National Park, California
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Pinnacles National Park was said to be born of fire. It was the leftover from volcanic eruptions some 23 million years ago. Just two hours south of San Francisco, Pinnacles National Park is very accessible.

Travelers trek through chaparral, woodlands of oak trees, and canyon bottoms.

And if you love entering caves, you’ll enjoy rare talus caves and exit over high rock pinnacles that are abundant with living organisms like peregrine falcons, the amazing bird they call a California condor or known as the vulture of the new World, and the famous golden eagles which are dark brown birds with a golden sheen.

There are many things to explore in one of the best west coast national parks.

Redwood National Park, California

Redwood National Park, California
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Redwood National Park is famous for its tallest trees on Earth! Not only that, but the park also has preserved vast meadows—woodlands of oaks, turbulent streams, and 40 miles of wild coastal plains.

There have been many inhabitants of the land since ancient times. Now, the National Park Service and California State Parks are caring for the restoration of these lands so people would enjoy their beauty.

Enjoy scenic rides on roads that are between the tallest trees on Earth! You’ll feel like you’re Jack in the Giant beanstalk!

You could also camp in the forest while enjoying the serene beauty of nature.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
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Rocky Mountain National Park is a sight to behold, on top of great mountain ranges! No wonder Rocky Mountain National Park is the most popular and most crowded!

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles cradles marvelous mountainous views. You’ll surely enjoy Trail Ridge Road – ascending over 12,000 feet plus the many sights you’ll never miss gazing at while experiencing the subalpine and alpine worlds.

The hikers would love the 300 miles of hiking trails. Your eyes will be devouring the magnificence of the starry nights at the Rocky Mountains National Park. You will be amazed at the wildlife that will take you to the natural beauty that nature has to offer.

Rocky Mountains National Park is on top of the World! And you will agree once you get the chance to visit Rocky Mountain, National Park.

Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Saguaro National Park, Arizona
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Saguaro National Park is in Tucson, Arizona- home to the enormous cacti in the United States.

Do you know that the giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West? Well, now you know.

These cacti are rare in the United States; that’s why it is preserved and protected by the Saguaro National Park.

You’ll surely enjoy watching and exploring more of these gigantic cacti against the beauty of majestic Sahara-like dusk.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park
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Sequoia National Park is not only breathtaking with its gigantic sequoia trees but also strolling along the Crescent Meadow that will take you far off to another world as you explore the more than 270 caves, the Tokopah Falls, and so much more!

These sequoias grow naturally along the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in the west- they are the giant trees in the World!

Both the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks cradle these sequoias and also have one of the deepest canyons in North America. Not only these, but these national parks also have the highest peak in the continental part of the country and amazing views of the Great Western Coast.

While enjoying the beauty of the sequoias, travelers can have lots of other activities like hiking, climbing, exploring caves, biking, swimming, and fly fishing!

But there’s more when you are anywhere near San Francisco; the road trip to Sequoia is about 4 to 5 hours. But you will have plenty to take with you as you pass through San Francisco with its flourishing gallery of food that you’ll surely love.

White Sands National Park, New Mexico

White Sands National Park, New Mexico
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White Sands National Park is one of the World’s great natural wonders located at the heart of the Tularosa Basin.

Who wouldn’t be awed and mesmerized when your feet touch white sands that glitter as the sun shines over the expansive landscape? It is like being in a dream.

This is how you’ll feel being on the White Sands National Park, 275 square miles of the desert of literally glittering, white sands of New Mexico. White Sands National Park is the World’s largest gypsum dune field and takes care of a significant portion of this fantastic natural wonder.

Furthermore, the plants and animals that live there are as impressive as the land is.

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska
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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the biggest of all national parks, equal to six Yellowstone national parks, with its mountains of glaciers.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park rises from the ocean up to 18, 008 ft.

Do you know that its size of 13.2 million acres is the size of Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Switzerland all summed up?

So, if you want the adventure of a lifetime that’s as vast as this national park, Wrangell -St, Elias National Park is the place to be!

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Step into a world like no other at Yellowstone National Park.

Do you know that the first time someone heard of this place, it was thought to be fiction? Something that one just made up?

Who wouldn’t think of it that way? Just the mere mention of hot springs, captivating waterfalls, a pool of bubbling mud, bizarre landscapes, and many more that you thought are purely found in fiction books, you will find within the park.

Yellowstone National Park resides on top of a dormant volcano, and you wouldn’t find more hot springs and geysers than any other place on Earth. From wildlife to hydrothermal features, all these contribute to the beauty that Yellowstone National Park never fails to amaze the World.

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park, established in 1872. It was primarily located in Wyoming, then later expanded to Montana and Idaho.

The best time to visit is during summer when the park is constantly open. The weather conditions during summer are also one of the reasons why it’s the best time to visit.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California
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Yosemite National Park has lots of activities and magnificent sights to explore. The Panda Bear Yosemite is the crown jewel of California. It is also one of the best national parks on the west.

Yosemite National Park is 7 miles wide, with incredible rock formations and jaw-dropping destinations for sightseeing and exploration.

El Capitan, the World’s tallest granite monolith, will keep you wanting to go rock-climbing. Hence, El Capitan is the World’s number one destination for those who love rock climbing!

And it doesn’t end there. The largest waterfall in North America is the Yosemite Falls within the Yosemite Valley, and it is more than just breathtaking. In springtime, many people visit to witness snow melting from mountain peaks. Also, you will be captivated by the sequoia trees, gigantic and ancient.

The best time to visit Yosemite Valley is early fall when temperatures are mild, and the park is not too crowded yet. Remember that winter starts between October and November, so there’ll be limited hiking opportunities because of road closures.

One more thing, are you courageous enough to try the unforgettable Half Dome hike? You will need a permit to do the Half Dome hike and prepare yourself for 12 to 14 hours, challenging your physical and mental capacities.

But still, many visitors are going for the Half Dome hike. It must be because of the accomplishment they feel when going through the hike and lavishing themselves with extraordinary views from the top.

And if you love photography, the best spot of the Yosemite Valley is from Tunnel View. This is quite popular for photographers.

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah
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Zion National Park is a deep red rock valley that’s sure to take your breath away!

There are many things to do at Zion National Park like backpacking, camping, canyoneering, hiking, horseback riding. During the winter season, Zion National Park is a great place to spend those nights when you feel like gazing at the stars and just enjoying the different colors of reds, pinks, and oranges that the sandstones reflect.

This West Coast National Park is an absolute must-see. One of the best national parks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Olympic Beach

There are just so many things that we would love to know about these magnificent national parks on the west coast.

Here are the common questions being asked by those thinking to visit these national parks:

How many national parks are on the West Coast?

National Park Service

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. It is the agency responsible for the maintenance of national parks and monuments.

The National Park System listed 63 National Parks in the United States as of the writing of this article.

And there are 40 national parks on the West Coast, making them the best choice for a road trip visit.

How many national parks are located on the California coast?

Sand Dunes Death Valley National Park

Sunny California is loud and proud as it boasts nine national parks! The most number of national parks any state has to offer.

Death Valley is first on the list, the hottest and most prominent, and most challenging of all national parks.

Next is the Joshua Tree, which has a bizarre charm compared to the other national parks.

If you want to be out of this world, head to the Channel Islands.

Kings Canyon National Park

If you love big, giant trees, Kings Canyon and Sequoia are your destination places.

Bridalveil Fall Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage; it won’t fail you.

Pinnacles National Park is marvelous for watching California Condors.

Last not but not least, Lassen Volcanic and Redwoods will give you a mix of awe and marvel.

What are some national parks’ historic sites in the West Region?

These are some of the national parks’ historic sites in the West Region:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (OR, WA)

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (WA)

Manhattan Project National Park (WA)

Nez Perce National Historical Park (ID, MT, OR, WA)

San Juan Island National Historical Park (WA)

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park (CA)

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (CA)

War in the Pacific National Historical Park (G)

Honouliuli National Historic Site (HI)

Kalaupapa National Historical Park (HI)

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (HI)

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park (HI)

How much does it cost to enter West Coast National Park?

Entering West Coast National Park is just around $20-$30 per vehicle. There is also a ticket called “America the Beautiful Pass” at the gates of most national parks, which costs $79 (one-time fee) that will give you a free pass to 2,000 sites, all national parks, and national monuments.

What is the “America the Beautiful” passes?

The America the Beautiful passes are a suite of annual and lifetime passes from the National Parks and Federal Recreations Land Passes.

They provide a suite of annual and lifetime passes to U.S. citizens and visitors in an affordable, convenient way to access the parks and recreational lands under the National Park Foundation distributed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

You can buy the passes at certain park sites but an advance reservation will be best.

The time of processing online or mailed applications may take several weeks.

What are the most popular national parks in the western region?

The most popular national park in the western region is Yellowstone National Park. It has an average of 3-5 million visitors each year!

The most famous features of this national park are the Old Faithful which is a cone geyser, the Yellowstone Falls, rainbow-colored hot springs, and the not-so-famous but equally stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Double Arch Arches National Park

The Arches are also the main attraction. Utah is popular for its red rock formations, deserts, and canyons. A road trip to this gorgeous landscape is one memorable experience.

Road trip or by taking the hiking trails., both will serve your purpose of engrossing yourself with nature’s wonders. Stunning arches like Delicate Arch, Skyline Arch, and Double Arch are perfect for photoshoots.

Grand Canyon

Another must-see is the Grand Canyon. Those who love whitewater rafting the Colorado River will surely have a blast!

Another great adventure in this national park is taking the helicopter ride over the Canyon to have a 360-degree aerial view.

There is a hidden oasis for hikers at the Canyon- the Havasu Falls with its magnetic turquoise-colored water.

Redwood National Park is another popular park in California, and also popularly one of the greenest ones.

You may have the mysterious gondola ride through the Trees of Mystery. If you don’t want the gondola ride, you could have the drive-through Redwood tree and you’ll surely have the most fabulous time as well as it will keep you entertained when you need to rest for a while.

What is the biggest National Park?

Nothing can beat the size of this biggest National Park- it’s Alaska’s Wrangell – St. Elias National Park & Preserve at 13.2 million acres.

Do you how large it is? It’s larger than the land area of Yellowstone’s National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland added together!

This west coast National Park is also one of the wildest places in North America because of its abundant wildlife and vast virgin wilderness. Plus, there is hardly any sign of a man-made structure.

From four mountain ranges to the highest peaks, with the 18,008 – foot Mount Saint Elias, Wrangell spans them all.

More than a quarter of the park is packed with glaciers. And still, it is a cradle of volcanic activity as thousands of lava flows concentrate in the 2,000 – acre Wrangell Volcanic Field. Speaking of extremes, huh!

Although Wrangell is the biggest national park, Alaska has other national parks that are not lagging behind in terms of size.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (8.5 million acres) which is Alaska’s northernmost park. It is the home to the wild Brooks Range. Here in this land live the hardy Alaska natives who have hunted caribou on this land for thousands of years.

Denali National Park and Preserve (6.1 million acres) is located at Denali, the highest peak in North America. It has enormous glaciers and boreal forests.

Katmai National Park and Preserve (4.3 million acres) is home to the largest grizzly bear populations in the world!

Thousands of bears gather each year to feast on abundant salmon that runs in Brooks River at this national park.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (3.3 million acres) is famous for its amazing tidewater glaciers, which extend from the mountains to the coast.

Death Valley National Park (3.4 million acres) although the hottest, driest, and lowest place in the US, is home to a remarkably diverse class of plants and animals.

Yellowstone Park (2.2 million acres) comprises a large area of geothermal features. You’ll be awed from the iconic Old Faithful geyser to the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Wolves, bison, and a variety of mammals- more than 50, all live in this stunning national park.

Everglades National Park (1.5 million acres) preserves Florida’s vital wetlands in the south. These wetlands are the largest tropical wilderness in the country. Be amazed by the Florida bonneted bat, wading birds, or even crocodiles!

Grand Canyon Park (1.2 million acres) is home to America’s pride – the grand Grand Canyon!

It stretches up to 15 miles wide and a mile deep.

What are the updates on health protocols in the US National Park Service?

The National Park Service is in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state, public health authorities, Federal Emergency Management, and the tribal communities to ensure public safety.

They ensure that visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners are safe as long as they are in the national parks.

For more timely updates about response activities in the parks, you may refer to their site for details.

What is the US National Park Service’s campaign to “Recreate Responsibly”?

With the endless opportunities for recreational activities that national parks across the US provide, it is a moral responsibility to be a part of preserving the beauty that future generations must also enjoy.

They have these mandates on how to help recreate responsibly (taken from the NPS website)

Protecting You: More than 300 million people visit national parks each year, as well as the communities living in or around them.

Protecting Us: Tens of thousands of NPS employees, plus volunteers, partners, and others provide services for the safety and enjoyment of parks, including emergency assistance, facilities such as restrooms and visitor centers, transportation, and sales.

Protecting America’s Treasures: National parks are home to some of the nation’s most treasured and irreplaceable resources, including wildlife, scenery, and historic places.

What is the National Park System?

On August 25, 1916, the Organic Act creating the National Park Service was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

It is a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior authorized to preserve and maintain national parks and monuments that are under its National Park System.

The National Park System continues to increase and now has 423 units which are referred to as parks, more than 150 related areas, and various programs that support in conserving the natural and cultural heritage of the United States for the benefit of current and future generations.

What are under the National Park System?

Units/Parks

It runs 423 individual units covering more than 85 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

The following are listed in the National Park System under Units/ Parks:

11 National Battlefields

4 National Battlefield Parks

1 National Battlefield Sites

9 National Military Parks

61 National Historical Parks

74 National Historical Sites

 1 International Historical Sites

3 National Lakeshores

31 National Memorials

84 National Monuments

 63 National Parks

 4 National Parkways

 19 National Preserves

2 National Reserves

18 National Recreation Areas

4 National Rivers

10 National Wild and Scenic Rivers and Riverways

3 National Scenic Trails

10 National Seashores

11 Other Designations

Are you in for the grandest adventure on the West Coast of the U.S.?

Now, you are more than excited to see for yourself the things that we have laid out for you.

At Book on Board, we are glad to help you with anything and everything about the places you have in mind.

Free your imagination by experiencing them first hand!

Remember, the west coast has many to offer. These national parks can feed your wildest imaginations about the wild wild west. It will turn your perceptions of the places you have never been to experiences you won’t forget.

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