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America’s Most Stunning Landscapes: 15 Natural Wonders Worth the Visit

By Jake Beardslee · March 17, 2024

If you're into outdoor adventures and nature, you'll have plenty of amazing natural wonders to check out on a 2024 U.S. road trip. No matter where you go, you'll find incredible natural landscapes like national parks, volcanoes, geysers, and other geological sites that will blow your mind. Here are 15 of the top natural wonders in the U.S. to add to your list.  Katie Polansky/Unsplash

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah is a sanctuary of massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. The park offers a variety of hiking trails, from the easy riverside walks to the challenging Angels Landing hike, providing something for everyone. Zion's unique landscape of narrow canyons and towering cliffs make it a premier destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.  Fineas Anton/Unsplash

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, straddling the Utah-Arizona border, showcases massive sandstone buttes that dominate the barren desert landscape. This iconic American West landscape, part of the Navajo Nation, offers visitors a glimpse into a vast, untouched natural world. The 17-mile scenic drive within the Monument Valley Tribal Park provides up-close views of these striking formations.  Nik Shuliahin 💛💙/Unsplash

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier, standing tall in Washington's landscape, is not only the highest peak in the Cascade Range but also one of America's most epic natural landmarks. With millions flocking to Mount Rainier National Park each year, this majestic mountain offers a range of activities from challenging hikes to serene views accessible to all visitors. The park's diverse ecosystem and stunning wildflowers during July and August add to its charm, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts​.  Andrew S/Unsplash

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, is a picturesque cascade found in the Columbia River Gorge. Easily accessible and a short drive from Portland, the falls attract visitors with its accessible viewpoints and the iconic Benson Bridge, which provides a stunning vantage point for photography. The best time to visit is in spring when the water flow is at its peak, offering a spectacular display of natural beauty.  James Forbes/Unsplash

Crater Lake

Crater Lake, the result of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption over 7,000 years ago, is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the most pristine globally. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, draws visitors with its vivid blue water, breathtaking vistas, and activities like hiking, swimming, and boat tours to Wizard Island. Driving around the rim offers panoramic views of this natural wonder.  Dan Meyers/Unsplash

Arches National Park

Utah's Arches National Park is world-renowned for its over 2,000 natural stone arches, with Delicate Arch being the most iconic. This landscape of contrasting colors, landforms, and textures is best viewed at sunrise or sunset, offering photographers and nature lovers spectacular sights. The park's accessibility allows visitors to explore its beauty through hikes or scenic drives.  Intricate Explorer/Unsplash

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) in the world, presents a natural amphitheater of breathtaking beauty. Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon offers trails like the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop, which allow visitors to wander among these stunning formations. The park's high elevation makes for cool summer weather, ideal for exploring.  Ellis Dieperink/Unsplash

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is an ethereal landscape of glistening white gypsum dunes, the largest of its kind in the world. The dunes are constantly changing, creating a dynamic and surreal environment. Visitors can explore the dunes on foot, by sledding, or even during a full moon, offering a unique desert experience​.  Anchor Lee/Unsplash

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is a land of towering fjords, glaciers, and temperate rainforests. With over 1,000 glaciers, the park offers opportunities for kayaking, wildlife viewing, and glacier tours. The immense beauty and remote wilderness of Glacier Bay make it a must-visit for those seeking solitude and adventure in nature​.  Frank Thiemonge/Unsplash

Redwood National and State Parks

Home to the tallest trees on earth, Redwood National and State Parks in California offer a chance to walk amongst giants. These ancient redwoods provide a window into the past and a refuge for diverse ecosystems. The parks' trails lead visitors through serene forests, where the quiet and grandeur of these towering trees can be fully appreciated.  Emma Watson/Unsplash

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a rare opportunity to witness the power of creation, with KÄ«lauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, at its heart. The park's diverse landscapes range from lush rainforests to volcanic craters and deserts, providing a unique environment for hiking, camping, and exploration. The dynamic nature of the park means that every visit can offer a new and exciting experience.  Cedric Letsch/Unsplash

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, straddling the border between the United States and Canada, is a spectacle of nature's power. The falls' immense water flow and beauty attract millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. The best time to visit is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and the falls are at their most vibrant​.  Sergey Pesterev/Unsplash

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, the first national park in the world, is a wonderland of geothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, and mudpots. The park's vast landscapes also support a diverse range of wildlife, making it a premier destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.  Meina Yin/Unsplash

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, offers breathtaking views that inspire awe and reflection. This immense chasm, carved by the Colorado River, showcases the power of nature and the passage of time. Visitors can explore the canyon's rim, hike into its depths, or raft its rapids, experiencing its grandeur from various perspectives​.  Ken Cheung/Unsplash

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, located on the coast of Maine, blends ocean, mountains, and forests into a stunning natural landscape. The park's trails and carriage roads offer access to rugged coastline, serene woodland, and mountain summits. Acadia's beauty changes with the seasons, from the vibrant fall foliage to the serene snow-covered winter landscape, making it a year-round destination for nature lovers​.  Trevor Hayes/Unsplash

Each of these 15 natural wonders showcases the diverse beauty of the United States. From the volcanic landscapes of Hawaii to the ancient forests of California, and from the cascading waterfalls of Oregon to the dramatic canyons of Utah and Arizona, America's natural beauty offers endless opportunities for exploration and inspiration.  Nicolai Krämer/Unsplash