Our Favorite National Parks

A family hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Jul 19, 2023

Summer is the perfect time to take a trip to visit some of our country’s incredible natural wonders and soak in the beauty of our planet. Here are some of our favorite national parks and other protected lands, as recommended by members of our CleanChoice team:

1. Acadia National Park

Located on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Recommended by Erin, Director of Brand Marketing

Acadia National Park is one of my all time favorites! We camped just outside the park on the south beach and hiked up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise one morning. Absolutely stunning!

2. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Located in Anchorage, Alaska

Recommended by SJ, Business Development Coordinator

I fell in love with the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center from the moment I arrived. Surrounded by the majestic Chugach Mountain Range and Turnagain Arm Inlet, it's not only a breathtaking location but also a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife. Witnessing the animals, from brown bears to muskox, thriving in their natural habitats while being rehabilitated and protected left a lasting impact on me as a visitor. Knowing that my contribution, no matter how small, helps support their care and conservation efforts makes this experience truly meaningful and unforgettable.

3. Arches National Park and Grand Teton National Park

Located in Utah and Wyoming

Recommended by Christina, Director, Compliance and ESG

I went to Arches and Grand Teton several years ago and loved them both. If you like rock scrambling, go to Arches (bring lots of water!). Grand Teton lived up to the name "Grand" with vistas that make you feel small in a good way.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park (photo by Christina, Director, Compliance and ESG)

4. Assateague Island National Seashore

Located on Assateague Island, Maryland

Recommended by Tom, Chief Executive Officer

Assateague is a favorite for our family. Miles of sandy undeveloped beaches, sea shells, wild horses, hiking, and great memories.

5. Big Bend National Park

Located in Brewster County, Texas

Recommended by Kara, Business Analyst

If you travel down deep in the heart of Texas to Big Bend National Park, not only do you get a varied desert landscape with beautiful cacti and an ornithologist's paradise (there are hundreds of species of birds that live here!), you also get to see the Milky Way in one of the darkest parts of the country—Big Bend is an International Dark Sky Park. Camping in the Chisos Basin gives an incredible view of the Milky Way, just over Casa Grande peak.

6. Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks

Located in southern Utah

Recommended by Christina, Director, Compliance and ESG

While I’ve been to many national parks, and it is difficult to choose a favorite because they are all so unique, one of my favorite trips combined both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Zion wasn’t as crowded as some of the other parks, and there were so many beautiful (and some challenging) hikes with easy-to-access trailheads. Angels Landing is a legendary trail there. Bryce Canyon felt like I was on another planet—I’d never seen anything like it in my life. You can hike into the canyon, and also ride mules in for a different experience. It was amazing!

7. George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Located in Roanoke, Virginia

Recommended by Adam, Group Marketing Manager, Community Solar

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are my favorite grand escape from the DMV when I need to unplug. Because these are technically two national forests combined, the whole area crosses over three states through the Appalachian Mountains, serving a series of varied sublime natural and expansive scenes. I love coming here in summer or fall to hike the many trails or go glamping nearby with our dog, but if I could it would be worth coming to even just for one deep breath of the pine and Appalachian hardwoods.

8. Glacier National Park

Located in West Glacier, Montana

Recommended by Kara, Business Analyst

I did a three-day backpacking trip in Glacier National Park a few years ago. There is no shortage of amazing hiking, and opportunities to view the Milky Way (it's another International Dark Sky Park). We even spotted a grizzly... thankfully from a safe distance!

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park (photo by Kara, Business Analyst)

9. Grand Canyon National Park

Located in Grand Canyon, Arizona

Recommended by Abhishek, Senior Software Engineer

You can see the tens of thousands of years of history when you look over the Grand Canyon, and it always takes your breath away when you soak in the scale of it all. Even though it’s four hours each way from Phoenix, I’ve felt fulfilled and humbled after every visit, and it’s always nice seeing someone marvel at its grandeur for the first time while you feel the same way on the 50th visit.

10. Great Falls Park

Located in McLean, Virginia

Recommended by Janae, Email Marketing Coordinator

The Great Falls Park embodies the outdoor experience with rocky trails, tall trees, and a roaring waterfall that stretches 14 miles. I plan to visit again this summer!

11. Hoosier National Forest

Located in Bedford, Indiana

Recommended by Julissa, DevOps Team Lead

Hoosier National Forest is hundreds of thousands of acres of natural beauty, American history, and wonderful quietude. I love knowing no matter how often I visit, there will always be a new trail or camping spot to discover.

12. Indiana Dunes National Park

Located in Northwest Indiana

Recommended by Sam, UX/UI Designer

I grew up a few miles from the Indiana Dunes back when it was classified as a National Lakeshore and think it’s a real hidden gem of a park! Beyond the 15 miles of sandy beaches, this park includes oak savannas, swamps, bogs, marches, prairies, rivers, and forests. It’s actually right behind Yosemite in terms of biodiversity, packing a lot into 25 square miles!

13. Kenai Fjords National Park

Located in Seward, Alaska

Recommended by Zarana, Marketing Director, Clean Electricity

My first feeling when we entered Kenai Fjords was this lasting sense of awe. Sitting in a kayak on the water’s surface, we got to experience the majestic beauty and raw strength that is the Aialik Glacier. I’ve never seen more spectacular wildlife or scenery—watching baby humpback whales splash in the bay or chunks of ice plummet into the sea made me realize how small and inconsequential we are!

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park (photo by Zarana, Marketing Director, Clean Electricity)

14. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Located in Folkston, Georgia

Recommended by John, Chief Financial Officer

When I am in the neighborhood, Okefenokee is worth the visit. I grew up in New England and giant swamps were not something that I saw growing up. You can use a boat or a canoe to move through the swamp. Some of it is grassland and some of it is forested. The birds and animals are plentiful, but nothing helps your children put aside their differences like counting alligators! 

15. Olympic National Park

Located in Port Angeles, Washington

Recommended by Kara, Business Analyst

I visited Olympic National Park in 2016 (and was there for less than 24 hours!) and yet it still remains my favorite national park. The varied landscape is incredibly unique. I highly recommend visiting The Hoh Rainforest, one of the few temperate rain forests in the U.S.

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park (photo by Kara, Business Analyst)

16. Rocky Mountain National Park

Located in Estes Park, Colorado

Recommended by Emily, Manager, Retail Operations

Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite! Even on short hikes in the park, I made my way through many different biomes as I climbed. From meadows to tundra, the stunning views were constantly changing, including the wildlife I saw (my favorites being mountain goats and lots of sassy chipmunks!).

17. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Located in Three Rivers, California

Recommended by Sarah, Digital Marketing Coordinator

If you are looking to witness one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world, look no further than Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Standing amongst one of the largest and oldest organisms on earth, the giant sequoias, is reason enough to make the journey—but these parks also offer beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, lakes, and great hiking trails. A perfect visit for families and people of all ages—Sequoia & Kings Canyon are truly a must-see!

18. U.S. National Arboretum and Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Located in Washington, DC

Recommended by Jordan, Social Media Specialist

The National Arboretum and Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens are two hidden little treasures you would never know are nestled in Washington, D.C. Both parks allow dogs, making them great places to take a long walk in nature. The Arboretum features the National Capitol Columns, which were part of the U.S. Capitol that are now beautifully displayed in an open meadow.

19. Yellowstone National Park

Located in Park County, Wyoming

Recommended by Dorie, Manager, Email and SMS Marketing

Yellowstone was the first national park open to the American public, and it’s also the first national park I ever visited. With breathtaking waterfalls, geysers, and mountains, Yellowstone is a treasure that made me fall in love with camping. There’s so much to do and see for visitors of all ages and abilities—I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did!

20. Yosemite National Park

Located in Yosemite, California

Recommended by Roxanne, Operations Analyst

Yosemite is my favorite national park for a couple different reasons. The waterfalls almost look like they are falling from the sky when you get up close, and on a particularly special day you can magically experience all four seasons. I was present on one of those days as it went from sunny and 80 degrees, to a cool spring/fall 65, then it later started to snow coating all the trees in a December-like white blanket that looked like an old postcard painting of New England during the holidays.

21. Zion National Park

Located in southern Utah

Recommended by Eileen, Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis

Zion National Park is my hands-down favorite. Hiking through The Narrows was amazing, where you literally hike beside, above, and straight through the river the entire time.

Looking for ways you can do your part to protect our precious natural lands? One of the easiest and most impactful ways you can help protect our planet is by choosing 100% clean, renewable energy from wind and solar sources for your home. Learn more about how you can sign up today to help ensure a better environment for future generations.

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