The world’s most beautiful national parks



Slide 1 of 31: From desert canyons to tumbling waterfalls, national parks are home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty around the globe. With so many picture-perfect places, we can see why millions of people capture the pretty parks on social media. Using data collated by Mainland Aggregates, we reveal the world’s 30 most beautiful national parks according to Instagram.
Slide 2 of 31: Making it into the top 30 with just over 25,000 posts, tucked away from Hawaii's pristine sandy beaches, the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is like another planet. Established in 1916 on the Big Island, the park is home to Kīlauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Kīlauea’s lava continuously flows across the rocky wasteland, with steam rising from the cracked earth resembling a scene from space.
Slide 3 of 31: Set in the world’s highest tropical mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca, Peru’s Huascarán National Park is the next most Instagrammed scene, with just over 28,000 posts capturing its famous turquoise lakes and mountain scenery. Soaring a mighty 22,205 feet (6,768m), the park centers around its namesake mountain, Mount Huascarán, Peru’s highest peak. The eye-popping blue lake Laguna 69, is another favorite amongst visitors, sitting at the foot of Pisco Mountain.
Slide 4 of 31: The Perito Moreno glacier, a sprawling icy expanse is the focal point of this park in southwest Argentina and has earned just over 32,000 posts. Located in the Austral Andes region, the park covers around 1,722 square miles (4,459sq km) featuring lush forests alongside its snowy peaks and ice fields. Nicknamed Perito, its giant glacier is probably one of the most famous attractions in the world. Take a look at 60 gorgeous photos of the last unspoiled places on earth here.

Slide 5 of 31: Nestled on the border between France and Spain, the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park can be found towering high in the Pyrenees mountains. With its rocky surroundings, the park is filled with lofty peaks and rugged valleys, racking up almost 35,000 Instagram posts. Established in 1918, the park was one of Spain’s first protected areas. Measuring seven miles long (11km) is the park’s namesake valley, dotted with thick forests, striking waterfalls and scenic hiking trails.
Slide 6 of 31: Landing the next spot with just over 35,000 posts and measuring around 82 square miles (212sq km) is Tatra National Park on the Slovakian border. Often regarded as Slovakia’s prettiest peak, its impressive 8,185-foot-high (2,495m) Mount Kriváň dominates the park and is a national symbol for Slovakia. The park’s snowy mountains and steep slopes typically attract skiers and snowboarders from across the world during winter.
Slide 7 of 31: Coming in at number 25 with just under 40,000 posts, often hailed as “Heaven on Earth” this aptly named park in India is famous for its swathes of colorful alpine flowers that decorate the valley. Situated in the state of Uttarakhand in the West Himalayas, the park is also home to an array of endangered animals including snow leopards, Asiatic black bears and musk deer. For more gorgeous blooms, explore the world’s most beautiful gardens.
Slide 8 of 31: Covering an impressive 5,460 square miles (14,141sq km) in Iceland, the Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s largest national park and ranks next with just over 57,500 posts. Known for its majestic mountains, thundering waterfalls and glittering glaciers, it gets its name from the colossal 3,127-square-mile (8,100sq km) ice cap in its borders covering 8% of Iceland’s land mass. Take a look at more stunning pictures of Europe’s best national parks here.
Slide 9 of 31: As its name suggests, this park in central Arkansas is famed for its magnificent geothermal hot springs earning it just over 74,300 Instagram posts. A beautiful blend of history and nature, the area rose to fame as a health resort during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, nicknamed ‘The American spa’. The historic bathhouses can still be seen on Bathhouse Row, while thermal fountains and open springs are scattered across the park.

Slide 10 of 31: With just over 96,000 posts to its name, the Durmitor National Park is distinguished by its high peaks, pine forests and deep gorges. Located in the Dinara mountain range in northwestern Montenegro, the park is best known for the jaw-dropping Tara River Canyon, one of the longest and deepest river canyons in Europe. Dubbed the ‘Tear of Europe’ for its sheer scale, it measures roughly 50 miles long (82km) and 4,300 feet deep (1,310m) at its peak.
Slide 11 of 31: Fringed by icy fiords in New Zealand's South Island, this stunning UNESCO-listed park has racked up 112,000 posts on Instagram. The native Māori people attributed the creation of its fiords to a demigod known as Tu Te Raki Whanoa who carved out the landscape. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ Milford Sound is the park’s most famous fiord. Measuring up to 1,312 feet (400m) deep, Milford is studded with steep cliffs, rainforests and cascading waterfalls that plunge into the inky water below.
Slide 12 of 31: Making it into the top 20 with nearly 122,000 posts, the Krka National Park takes its name from the magnificent Krka River. Located along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, the park covers roughly two thirds of the river and is shaped by its alluring waterfalls and glittering pools. A series of picturesque cascades known as Skradinski Buk waterfall is the park’s biggest draw. Regarded as one of Croatia’s best beauty spots, the falls are dotted with scenic trails zig-zagging through the park. Explore more of the world's most beautiful waterfalls here. 
Slide 13 of 31: Hailed for its abundance of incredible wildlife, Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park is up next, with a big jump in posts with just under 295,000. Characterized by the Teton mountain range, its rising peaks frame the 485 square miles (1,256sq km) of parkland. The 13,700-foot-high (4,198m) peak of Grand Teton watches over the park and its resident wildlife include elk, moose, bison and bears.
Slide 14 of 31: In 18th place with just over 297,600 posts, there are plenty of picturesque spots in the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Covering almost 115 square miles (300sq km), the park is halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, best-known for its color-changing lakes connected by a series of pretty cascades and waterfalls. The lakes change from bright blues to earthy greens due to the tufa build up in the waters.

Slide 15 of 31: Named after its spectacular falls with just over 345,000 posts, the Iguazu National Park is in the heart of the Paranaense Rainforest. The park’s main attraction is Iguazu Falls, a stunning series of 275 waterfalls stretching across the border between Argentina and Brazil. Famed for its crashing cascades and spraying waters, the jaw-dropping falls measure 1.7 miles long (2.7km) and is the largest waterfall system in the world.
Slide 16 of 31: Earning over 395,000 posts, Uluru-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is home to one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks and lies in the middle of Central Australia’s outback. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a mighty 1,142-foot-high (348m) red sandstone monolith roughly half a billion years old. The eye-catching rock is a sacred site for the guardians of the land known as the Aṉangu people and is regarded as one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Discover more of Australia’s stunning natural wonders here.
Slide 17 of 31: Known as the biggest park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper encompasses a staggering 4,200 square miles (11,000sq km) and ranks 15th with nearly 405,500 posts. With its shielding mountains, Jasper’s starry nights make it the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world. The park’s Maligne Lake is another major draw. Measuring 14 miles (22km) long, it is the largest natural lake of the Rockies and its clear blue waters are mesmerizing.
Slide 18 of 31: Situated in eastern Utah, this sprawling park gets its name from the 2,000 natural stone arches that adorn its desert landscape and has earned just under 450,000 Instagram posts. Standing tall at 128 feet (39m), Balanced Rock is the park’s most famous attraction. The huge rust-colored structure carefully balances on a pedestal, almost defying gravity and is certainly a magnificent sight.
Slide 19 of 31: Famed for its ancient sequoia trees, this aptly named park can be found in east-central California and makes it to 13th with just over 478,000 posts. Set in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, its towering trees grow up to 8,000 feet (2,438m). Home to the largest tree in the world (by volume), General Sherman is a whopping 275 feet (84m) tall and 36 feet (11m) in diameter. The giant tree can be found in the Giant Forest with walking paths slicing across the grove.
Slide 20 of 31: With its sun-bleached landscapes and vibrant wildlife, the Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania makes it to 12th, with just over 511,600 posts and is one of the best-known safari destinations in the world. Established in 1952, the sweeping 12,000-square-mile (31,100sq km) park is home to one of nature’s most incredible sights, the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra. The park plays host to plenty of other animals too including lions, cheetah, elephants and giraffes.
Slide 21 of 31: Missing out on the top 10 with just over 518,000 posts, Bryce Canyon National Park is another gem from Utah, known for its vivid reddish pink cliffs and tall rock spires (called hoodoos) dotted throughout the park. Formed over millions of years, its namesake Bryce Amphitheater is the biggest attraction. Like the name suggests, Sunrise Point is a popular overlook for seeing the colorful canyon as the sun comes up. Check out more of the world’s most stunning sunrises here.
Slide 22 of 31: Making it to 10th place with nearly 537,000 posts, the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is best-known for its pretty peaks and incredible zig-zagging roads. Dubbed as an ‘All American Road’ the 48-mile-long (77km) Trail Ridge Road is the park’s most scenic byway. Soaring over 12,000 feet (3657m) at its peak, it’s the highest continuous paved road in the US and boasts epic views of the mountains. See the most beautiful scenic byway in your state here.
Slide 23 of 31: Covering 7,523 square miles (19,484sq km), Kruger National Park is the largest safari park in eastern South Africa and is popular on Instagram with just under 568,000 posts. Known as one of the most popular game-viewing destinations in the world, its diverse landscape is home to some of South Africa’s most famous wildlife including lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes and rhinos.
Slide 24 of 31: Distinguished by its snow-capped mountains, shimmering lakes and winding rivers, the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile comes in eighth with just over 568,600 posts. Often named the eighth wonder of the world, the park is bursting with incredible sights from icy glaciers to dramatic waterfalls. In the heart of the park just below the Paine Massif lies Lake Pehoé (pictured), whose crystal-clear waters wow its visitors.
Slide 25 of 31: Located in northern Montana, the 1,583-square-mile (4100sq km) Glacier National Park takes seventh place with just over 709,000 posts. From its close proximity to the US-Canada border, the park encompasses a well preserved ecosystem along the Rocky Mountains often called the ‘Crown of the Continent’. The protected region features picturesque mountains, unspoiled valleys and dense forests and became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
Slide 26 of 31: At number six with just under 962,500 posts is Zion National Park in Utah, founded in 1919, it is the state’s oldest national park. Measuring an eye-watering 232-square miles (600sq km), its red-hued canyon and scenic overlooks are the most famous spots. At 3,000 feet (914m) deep in places, Zion Canyon is a hiking haven, especially the Narrows. The 16-mile (26km) long stretch is partly submerged by the Virgin River and involves wading through the water. Look at these images of the world’s most incredible canyons.
Slide 27 of 31: Established in 1872 and coming in fifth place with almost 1.4 million posts, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the US and is widely recognized as the oldest in the world. Renowned for its geothermal wonders, Yellowstone features the world's most famous geyser known as Old Faithful (pictured). Named for its recurring eruptions, the hot spring dramatically shoots water up to 100-180-feet (30-55m) high around 20 times per day.
Slide 28 of 31: In fourth place with just over 2.4 million posts, just northwest of Calgary lies Banff, the birthplace of Canada’s national parks. Measuring 2,564 square miles (6,641sq km), Banff National Park was founded in 1885 and is known for its sparkling lakes and steep slopes. Surrounded by the craggy peaks of the Canadian Rockies, the mesmerizing waters of Moraine Lake (pictured) is one of the park’s most breathtaking sights.
Slide 29 of 31: Encompassing a staggering 912 square miles (2,362sq km) of England’s northwest and making it to the top three with nearly 2.6 million posts, the Lake District is the largest national park in England. Located in Cumbria, the aptly named park is known for its rocky mountains and fells, vast lakes and charming coastline. Home to the largest natural lake in England, Windermere measures an impressive 10.5 miles long (18km). Discover more of the UK’s most stunning national parks here. 
Slide 30 of 31: Mountains punctured by waterfalls and soaring sequoia trees dominate California's famous Yosemite National Park which takes second place with almost 2.9 million posts. Set in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the 1,187-square-mile (3,074sq km) park is peppered with peaks and granite cliffs. The most noteworthy cliff is Half Dome, a distinct rock formation rising almost 5,000 feet (1,524m) above Yosemite Valley.
Slide 31 of 31: Clinching the top spot with just over 3.6 million posts, the Grand Canyon National park in Arizona is home to one of the most popular landmarks in the US. Certainly, grand in its size, its iconic namesake canyon forms an 18-mile-wide (29km) gorge where the Colorado River has sliced its way through the landscape. Its familiar rust-colored rock dates back roughly six million years and typically attracts millions of visitors each year. Find more of America’s stunning natural wonders here

Picture-perfect parks

From desert canyons to tumbling waterfalls, national parks are home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty around the globe. With so many picture-perfect places, we can see why millions of people capture the pretty parks on social media. Using data collated by Mainland Aggregates, we reveal the world’s 30 most beautiful national parks according to Instagram.

30. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA

Making it into the top 30 with just over 25,000 posts, tucked away from Hawaii’s pristine sandy beaches, the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is like another planet. Established in 1916 on the Big Island, the park is home to Kīlauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Kīlauea’s lava continuously flows across the rocky wasteland, with steam rising from the cracked earth resembling a scene from space.

29. Huascarán National Park, Peru

Set in the world’s highest tropical mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca, Peru’s Huascarán National Park is the next most Instagrammed scene, with just over 28,000 posts capturing its famous turquoise lakes and mountain scenery. Soaring a mighty 22,205 feet (6,768m), the park centers around its namesake mountain, Mount Huascarán, Peru’s highest peak. The eye-popping blue lake Laguna 69, is another favorite amongst visitors, sitting at the foot of Pisco Mountain.

28. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina

The Perito Moreno glacier, a sprawling icy expanse is the focal point of this park in southwest Argentina and has earned just over 32,000 posts. Located in the Austral Andes region, the park covers around 1,722 square miles (4,459sq km) featuring lush forests alongside its snowy peaks and ice fields. Nicknamed Perito, its giant glacier is probably one of the most famous attractions in the world. Take a look at 60 gorgeous photos of the last unspoiled places on earth here.

27. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain

26. Tatra National Park, Poland and Slovakia

25. Valley of Flowers National Park, India

Coming in at number 25 with just under 40,000 posts, often hailed as “Heaven on Earth” this aptly named park in India is famous for its swathes of colorful alpine flowers that decorate the valley. Situated in the state of Uttarakhand in the West Himalayas, the park is also home to an array of endangered animals including snow leopards, Asiatic black bears and musk deer. For more gorgeous blooms, explore the world’s most beautiful gardens.

24. Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Covering an impressive 5,460 square miles (14,141sq km) in Iceland, the Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s largest national park and ranks next with just over 57,500 posts. Known for its majestic mountains, thundering waterfalls and glittering glaciers, it gets its name from the colossal 3,127-square-mile (8,100sq km) ice cap in its borders covering 8% of Iceland’s land mass. Take a look at more stunning pictures of Europe’s best national parks here.

23. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, USA

22. Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

21. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Fringed by icy fiords in New Zealand’s South Island, this stunning UNESCO-listed park has racked up 112,000 posts on Instagram. The native Māori people attributed the creation of its fiords to a demigod known as Tu Te Raki Whanoa who carved out the landscape. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ Milford Sound is the park’s most famous fiord. Measuring up to 1,312 feet (400m) deep, Milford is studded with steep cliffs, rainforests and cascading waterfalls that plunge into the inky water below.

20. Krka National Park, Croatia

Making it into the top 20 with nearly 122,000 posts, the Krka National Park takes its name from the magnificent Krka River. Located along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, the park covers roughly two thirds of the river and is shaped by its alluring waterfalls and glittering pools. A series of picturesque cascades known as Skradinski Buk waterfall is the park’s biggest draw. Regarded as one of Croatia’s best beauty spots, the falls are dotted with scenic trails zig-zagging through the park. Explore more of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls here. 

19. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

18. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

17. Iguazu National Park, Argentina

16. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Earning over 395,000 posts, Uluru-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is home to one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks and lies in the middle of Central Australia’s outback. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a mighty 1,142-foot-high (348m) red sandstone monolith roughly half a billion years old. The eye-catching rock is a sacred site for the guardians of the land known as the Aṉangu people and is regarded as one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Discover more of Australia’s stunning natural wonders here.

15. Jasper National Park, Canada

14. Arches National Park, Utah, USA

13. Sequoia National Park, California, USA

12. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

11. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA

Missing out on the top 10 with just over 518,000 posts, Bryce Canyon National Park is another gem from Utah, known for its vivid reddish pink cliffs and tall rock spires (called hoodoos) dotted throughout the park. Formed over millions of years, its namesake Bryce Amphitheater is the biggest attraction. Like the name suggests, Sunrise Point is a popular overlook for seeing the colorful canyon as the sun comes up. Check out more of the world’s most stunning sunrises here.

10. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

Making it to 10th place with nearly 537,000 posts, the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is best-known for its pretty peaks and incredible zig-zagging roads. Dubbed as an ‘All American Road’ the 48-mile-long (77km) Trail Ridge Road is the park’s most scenic byway. Soaring over 12,000 feet (3657m) at its peak, it’s the highest continuous paved road in the US and boasts epic views of the mountains. See the most beautiful scenic byway in your state here.

9. Kruger National Park, South Africa

8. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Distinguished by its snow-capped mountains, shimmering lakes and winding rivers, the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile comes in eighth with just over 568,600 posts. Often named the eighth wonder of the world, the park is bursting with incredible sights from icy glaciers to dramatic waterfalls. In the heart of the park just below the Paine Massif lies Lake Pehoé (pictured), whose crystal-clear waters wow its visitors.

7. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

6. Zion National Park, Utah, USA

At number six with just under 962,500 posts is Zion National Park in Utah, founded in 1919, it is the state’s oldest national park. Measuring an eye-watering 232-square miles (600sq km), its red-hued canyon and scenic overlooks are the most famous spots. At 3,000 feet (914m) deep in places, Zion Canyon is a hiking haven, especially the Narrows. The 16-mile (26km) long stretch is partly submerged by the Virgin River and involves wading through the water. Look at these images of the world’s most incredible canyons.

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

4. Banff National Park, Canada

3. Lake District, England

Encompassing a staggering 912 square miles (2,362sq km) of England’s northwest and making it to the top three with nearly 2.6 million posts, the Lake District is the largest national park in England. Located in Cumbria, the aptly named park is known for its rocky mountains and fells, vast lakes and charming coastline. Home to the largest natural lake in England, Windermere measures an impressive 10.5 miles long (18km). Discover more of the UK’s most stunning national parks here. 

2. Yosemite National Park, California, USA

1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

Clinching the top spot with just over 3.6 million posts, the Grand Canyon National park in Arizona is home to one of the most popular landmarks in the US. Certainly, grand in its size, its iconic namesake canyon forms an 18-mile-wide (29km) gorge where the Colorado River has sliced its way through the landscape. Its familiar rust-colored rock dates back roughly six million years and typically attracts millions of visitors each year.

Find more of America’s stunning natural wonders here

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