The 5 Most Popular National Parks for Hiking

From 2004 to 2023, the search engine's data shows that the southwestern Utah park, which is known as an adventurer's paradise for its colorful rocks and canyons, has been the most popular park for hikers.

The National Park Service runs 424 sites, and Zion has been a favorite for walkers and climbers for a long time. It has everything from backcountry scrambles to easy trails that lead to beautiful views.

The last two of the top five most-searched national parks are both popular all over the country. Rocky Mountain in Colorado came in second, then Glacier in Montana, Shenandoah in Virginia, and Yosemite in California.

1. Zion National Park

The 232-square-mile Zion National Park goes through plateaus, valleys, and even a 2,000-foot sandstone cliff. Its lowest point is at 3,666 feet at Coal Pits Wash and its highest point is at 8,726 feet at Horse Ranch Mountain, making it a hiker's paradise with many different paths and views.


2. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, which is 415 square miles and has 355 miles of trails, has one of the most beautiful and relaxing alpine settings in the country for hiking, with clear lakes and lush fields set among rocky peaks.


3. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, which calls itself the "crown of the continent," may be best known for the Going-to-the-Sun Road, but it's also famous for its more than 700 miles of trails. 


4. Shenandoah National Park

The 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails and is 75 miles from Washington, DC. The park's Old Rag region, with perilous scrambles and peaks that "make you feel like you're on top of the world," requires reservations but is worth it.


5. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park's Half Dome walk is its most popular. However, the 14- to 16-mile round-trip trail rises nearly 5,000 feet above the valley and requires an ascend over 400 feet of cables.


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