3 Stunning Must-Visit U.S. National Parks

joshua tree

While we often daydream of exotic lands far, far away, where life is purer, more simple and full of nature, we are often overlooking the very land that we inhabit: the great United States. The country is home to a landscape among the world’s finest and should not be overlooked, like these three national parks.

They may fall under the radar to the average American, but these national parks could easily be ranked among the best in the U.S.–if not the world. Two brothers pioneered a filming endeavor called, More Than Just Parks (MTJP),which aims to take viewers on a visually stunning journey through the country’s 59 national parks. To date, they have completed three. Hopefully, you too will be inspired to visit one of the these national parks! Keep up with their adventures until you’ve seen all 59 in action.

Here are three incredibly beautiful national parks in the U.S.A., captured by MTJP. They are unique in that they showcase the diversity of the American soil and the vastness of its wildlife. Even if you are a city person, it’s hard not to gawk at what these parks have to offer.

joshua tree

1. Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California, covering nearly 800,000 acres of diverse terrain. The winters are harsh and the summers harsher, with weather conditions deeming the area otherwise unwelcoming. However, the landscape is fascinating, a joining together of two desserts – two large ecosystems at different elevations. This makes for a unique atmosphere and stunning scenes of both arid and lush wilderness. The MTJP team’s video explores the Joshua Tree National Park and captures its beauty very aptly.

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2. Olympic National Park

Located in the state of Washington, the Olympic National Park encompasses four regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forest of the drier east side. The park covers 922,650 acres and is contoured by 13 rivers. The park is just 3 hours from Seattle and is known for its great trails that support easy navigation. The MTJP created a short film presenting the Olympic National Park at its best.

MTJP | OLYMPIC from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

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3. Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is the most visited national park in the U.S., with nearly 10 million people having visited it as of 2012. It encompasses some 522,500 acres of land, which includes 16 mountains reaching higher than 6,000 feet. The park sees a lot of rainfall and is almost 95 percent of it is covered in forests. Some 36 percent of the forests are estimated by the Park Service to be old growth forest, with many trees predating European settlement of the area.

MTJP | Smoky Mountains from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

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Photo Credit: MTJP Vimeo, MTJP Vimeo, MTJP Vimeo,