Best U.S. National Park Views

Go off the beaten path to find these gorgeous vistas of untamed mountains, deep forests, pristine lakes, and wide-open spaces.

Sentinel Dome at Yosemite National Park in California

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The View: Abe Lincoln established Yosemite Valley as public land in 1864, with good reason: the area is chockablock with misty rapids, granite monoliths, and towering sequoia trees. Crowds flock by foot and car to Glacier Point, but you can catch the same view—without the hordes of gawkers—at Sentinel Dome. It’s only a one-mile hike from the valley floor, yet earns you a 360-degree view of the park (including El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America).

Getting There: Start your hike at the Sentinel Dome trailhead, six miles east of the Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff on Glacier Point Road. You’ll wend through forest and wildflower-topped meadows before reaching the granite dome (it’s a quick scuttle from there to the overlook).

Best U.S. National Park Views

Sentinel Dome at Yosemite National Park in California

The View: Abe Lincoln established Yosemite Valley as public land in 1864, with good reason: the area is chockablock with misty rapids, granite monoliths, and towering sequoia trees. Crowds flock by foot and car to Glacier Point, but you can catch the same view—without the hordes of gawkers—at Sentinel Dome. It’s only a one-mile hike from the valley floor, yet earns you a 360-degree view of the park (including El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America).

Getting There: Start your hike at the Sentinel Dome trailhead, six miles east of the Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff on Glacier Point Road. You’ll wend through forest and wildflower-topped meadows before reaching the granite dome (it’s a quick scuttle from there to the overlook).

Peter Wey / Alamy Stock Photo
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