The United States is home to some of the most breathtaking and diverse landscapes on the planet, and there’s no better way to experience the country’s natural beauty than by exploring its national parks.

From the rugged mountains of the Rocky Mountains to the pristine beaches of the Florida Everglades, the U.S. National Park System offers a wide range of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts.

So once your EVUS visa enrollment is done, you can start planning your US National Park Road trip! Here is a look at six must-visit national parks that showcase the incredible diversity of the American wilderness.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in Wyoming but extending into Montana and Idaho, is often referred to as the crown jewel of the national park system. Established in 1872, it was the first national park in the world, and for good reason. Yellowstone boasts a stunning array of geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser, which shoots water into the air with remarkable regularity.

But Yellowstone is much more than geysers. It’s a vast wilderness that encompasses pristine lakes, roaring waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Bison, elk, grizzly bears, and wolves are just a few of the animals you might encounter while exploring the park’s numerous trails. For a truly unique experience, consider hiking to Yellowstone’s backcountry and camping under the star-studded skies.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon, located in northern Arizona, is an iconic American landmark that leaves visitors in awe of its sheer size and dramatic beauty. Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, this immense canyon stretches for 277 miles and reaches depths of over a mile in some places. Standing on the rim and gazing into the canyon is an unforgettable experience.

While most visitors enjoy the breathtaking vistas from the rim, the more adventurous can venture into the canyon itself. Hiking and backpacking trails like the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail lead intrepid explorers into the depths of the Grand Canyon, providing an opportunity to experience the unique ecosystems and geology up close.

Acadia National Park

Located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s diverse landscape includes rugged coastlines, lush forests, pristine lakes, and towering mountains. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the U.S. Atlantic coast, offers stunning sunrise views.

Acadia is a paradise for hikers and rock climbers, with miles of trails and iconic rock formations like Jordan Pond and the Precipice Trail. The park also boasts picturesque carriage roads perfect for cycling. For water lovers, kayaking along the park’s rocky shoreline or swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Jordan Pond is a must.

Zion National Park

Utah’s Zion National Park is a red-rock wonderland that beckons adventurers with its towering sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and the winding Virgin River. The park’s most famous hike, the Narrows, involves hiking through the river itself, surrounded by sheer rock walls that rise hundreds of feet above you.

Zion also offers a range of other hiking options, from the challenging Angels Landing trail to the family-friendly Riverside Walk. For an adrenaline rush, try canyoneering, which involves rappelling down slot canyons and exploring hidden passages. Zion’s unique geology and stunning vistas make it a must-visit destination for any nature lover.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its mist-shrouded peaks, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. It’s the most visited national park in the United States, and once you set foot in its enchanting landscape, it’s easy to understand why.

The park offers an extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging backcountry adventures. Clingmans Dome, the park’s highest point, provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to spot black bears, deer, and a variety of bird species.

Glacier National Park

Nestled in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park is a pristine wilderness known for its stunning alpine landscapes, pristine lakes, and dwindling glaciers. This park shares its northern border with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park, forming the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The centerpiece of Glacier National Park is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a breathtaking scenic drive that winds its way through the heart of the park. Along this route, you’ll encounter sweeping vistas, dense forests, and the chance to spot diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. Hiking is a popular activity in Glacier, with trails catering to all skill levels. One of the most famous hikes is the Highline Trail, which offers jaw-dropping views of the park’s rugged terrain. Glacier National Park is a testament to the fragile beauty of our planet’s icy landscapes. However, due to climate change, many of its glaciers are rapidly disappearing, making it even more crucial to visit and appreciate this natural wonder while it lasts.