Top 17 Most Beautiful Forests in the US [Update 2024]


Surprising to many, the United States possesses the 4th-largest forest territory in the world at approximately 3 million kilometers. A total of 154 national forests have been in the United States and Puerto Rico. Additionally, forest dwellers were the first inhabitants of this world.

To survive, they gathered food from the forest and used it for everything from clothing to shelter. They began clearing a little section of woodland to cultivate food, and eventually they became food producers. To this day, people continue to rely on forests to supply a significant portion of their energy and food requirements.

Without further delay, let’s see the list of the top 15 most beautiful forests in the US:

1. White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest is one of the most beautiful forests in the US.

One of the most beautiful forests in the US is the White Mountain National Forest in western North Carolina. If you want to see the world-famous autumn colors, see historic buildings, or get out on the trails to experience the natural splendor, this state has a lot to offer. By presidential proclamation in 1918, the White Mountain National Forest was formed.

Now, New Hampshire and Maine’s White Mountains National Forest has expanded to about 800,000 acres in size and attracts more than 6 million people each year. Uniquely, alpine peaks, hardwood woods, waterfalls, waterways, and a wide diversity of fauna may be found all over the place.

It’s regarded as among the most wild and rugged land in the Northeastern United States. It’s also renowned for having some of the most extreme weather in the globe, including high winds and heavy snowfall.

2. Sierra National Forest (New Hampshire)

Sierra National Forest (New Hampshire)

Mountain splendor and an abundance of natural resources are hallmarks of the 50,000-acre Sierra National Forest, which lies on the windward side of the middle Sierra Nevada. Between 900 and 13,986 feet above sea level, the Sierra National Forest covers over 1.3 million acres. The woodland is breathtakingly gorgeous and an unforgettable place to explore.

Despite being bordered by much larger and more popular forests, Sierra National Forest is nonetheless a beautiful place to visit. Mountains rise over sub-alpine meadows and dazzling lakes in this region. In addition, the Sierra National Forest provides a wide range of recreational opportunities, from lake-shore campsites and picnicking to solitary wilderness exploration.

Known for its world-renowned Hansel Adams and John Muir Nature reserves and heavily used and constructed lakes, the Sierra Nevada offers recreational opportunities at both extremes. Tourists may get away from the sweltering temperatures of the city and recharge their batteries by visiting these stark contrasts in nature, with family, and friends.

3. Superior National Forest (Minnesota)

In the upper Midwest, you might not think of solitude, although Superior National Forest is one of the most popular tracts of public property in the United States for paddling, climbing, hunting and snowmobiling.

Superior, among the most beautiful forests in the US, is well-known for its diverse ecology of boreal forest, pristine lakes, and rich cultural heritage. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, at one million acres, is located inside the Forest’s borders. In addition, most of the Superior’s woods are a combination of northern boreal and southern deciduous kinds, with a number of species on the boundary of their range.

Most of the land has been developed in the nearby land or in the small towns of Hoyt Lakes, Ely, and Grand Marais.

You might also want to know about the most beautiful rivers in the US.

4. Coconino National Forest (Arizona)

Coconino National Forest (Arizona)

As a whole, the Coconino National Forest is a representation of the state of Arizona. From the red cliffs of Sedona to the pine-filled alpine woods, it’s a crazy mix of desert and forest. Some locations are pure southwestern desert splendor.

There is a particular place to visit in Flagstaff called Oak Creek Canyon, a type of mini-Grand Canyon that is full of beautiful rock formations, beautiful creek side swimming holes, and stunning desert hiking trails. Saguaro cactus and the desert may come to mind when you think about Arizona. Sometimes, national forests may conjure images of mountains clothed with evergreens.

When you visit Coconino National Forest, you’ll see a landscape that spans from spectacular red rocks to alpine tundra. Elk, javelinas, black bears, rattlesnakes, and more may be found in the region. Moreover, hiking and horseback riding are two of the most popular ways to spend time in Coconino National Forest.

5. Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests (North Carolina)

Western North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala national forests are well-known for their spectacular fall leaf displays. Both woods cover almost 1 million acres and every year the Blue Ridge Mountains are covered with red, yellow, and orange leaves.

A variety of outdoor pursuits like as hiking, fishing, and camping may be enjoyed year-round in these old-growth forest areas with their diverse array of native tree species.

6. Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Southern Washington

As this beautiful forest in southern Washington becomes older, it develops odd features such as caverns and tunnels formed by lava that has been allowed to cool for a long period. Additionally, the National Volcanic Monument at Mount St. Helens may be found here.

Mountain grasslands and pastures, enormous glaciers, old-growth woods with several volcanoes, and the Cascade Mountains, form the backbone of the forest. Mount Adams, the state’s second-tallest volcano, is also located here.

Check out the most popular historic landmarks in the US.

7. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

One of the biggest temperate-zone ecosystems on the planet, The 1.2 million hectares of protected by the constitution wilderness in the Bridger-Teton National Forest is part of the Larger Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Glaciers, lush green meadows, limestone peaks, and hundreds of kilometers of rivers and streams dot this magnificent landscape, which has been designated as part of the Wild and Beautiful Snake River Headwaters National Monument. The Gros Ventre Slide Geologic Area, a lengthy, rubble-strewn scar left by a notorious 1925 landslide that stopped the Gros Ventre River and produced the five-mile-long Lower Slide Lake, is the forest’s main geological feature.

In the lower altitudes, you’ll find aspen, Douglas fir, and lodge pole pine; higher up, you’ll find spruce-fir and whitebark pine. You may see moose, deer, bighorn sheep, elk, coyote, pika, and bald eagle at various times of the year.

8. Dixie National Forest, Utah

Southern Utah’s Dixie National Forest, also amidst the most beautiful forests in the US, encompasses roughly 170 miles of land and is a natural wonder. In addition, Death Hollow (a stunning canyon and wilderness region characterized by steep, gray orange sandstone cliffs) and Hell’s Backbone Route both have a 1,500-foot drop on each side of the bridge with the same name. Boulder Mountain, which has a number of lakes and hiking trails, also resides in the Dixie National Forest.

9. Tongass National Forest, Alaska

Over half of North Carolina’s landmass is covered by Tongass National Forest. While the Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and cedar forests make up the bulk of the forest, they are also geological formations and climatically varied enough to accommodate beautiful glaciers and ice fields.

Their size and durability – sometimes up to 800 years – make the trees notable in their own right. A large portion of Tongass National Forest is classified as federal wilderness, providing a haven for a wide range of animals, especially brown or black bears, bighorn sheep, black-tailed deer, grizzly bears, river otters, harbor seals, and bald eagles, among many more. Here’s a fun tidbit: the famous sci-fi/horror movie “The Thing” was filmed here in 1982.

10. Cibola National Forest ,New Mexico

1.6 million acres in northern and central New Mexico make up the Cibola National Forest, a network of ‘sky islands,’ with peaks up to 11,300 feet. Four protected nature reserves, habitat for elk, mule deer, black bears, and bobcats, and a crucial migrating corridor for raptors and other animals across the Albuquerque and Manzano mountains are all found in the forest and adjacent grasslands.

11. Green Mountain National Forest

There are just two national forests in Vermont and New York: the Green Mountain National Forest and the Finger Lakes National Forest. In order to take full advantage of the economies of scale that come with being so close, they share one administrative unit to better serve the needs of their respective regions.

Additionally, at any time of year, among the most beautiful forests in the US, Green Mountain is a wonderful place to be, with a winter wonderland setting in the coldest months and a leaf peeping paradise in the fall, making each time you visit the best time for views. It is a temperate evergreen and mixed forest with a wide variety of species, including otters, reindeer, and wild turkeys, all of which may be found in the trees.

12. Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

Nearly all the renowned Frank Church-River of No Return Solitude, the United States’ biggest continuous wilderness, may be found in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The woodland is a veritable treasury of American history.

It is possible to connect today’s visitors with the history of the area by way of historical cabins, guard stations, lookouts, mining ghost towns and the Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce National Historic Trails. Many hot springs dot the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The springs’ water and adjacent pools may be close to or over boiling point, resulting in extremely painful and even lethal burns.

13. Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

Over 1,000 miles of trekking trails, campsites, lodges, magnificent lakes, and picnic places make this a favorite holiday destination. Aside from that, it’s one of the country’s first government-protected woods.

Wildlife, waterfalls, and mist-covered mountains abound in this forest, while the forest’s gorgeous vistas and outdoor activities, such as hiking, make it a worthwhile trip any time of year, the park truly comes to life in the fall when the trees turn a brilliant shade of purple, orange, and gold.

In winter and summer, tourists may enjoy this magnificent region that rises between the Powder River and the Big Horn Basins, connecting them to the history and tranquility of the region. As a source of regeneration for Native Americans, homesteaders, and today’s explorers, the mountain environment has long been a location of human connection.

14. Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee’s biggest public property holding, extends through Chattanooga to Bristol along the North Carolina boundary in East Tennessee. With its 640,000-acre size, the Cherokee National Forest is a hugely diversified part of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Every year, millions of people flock to the natural splendor and diverse wildlife of the Cherokee National Forest, which is inhabited by more than 20,000 species of animals and plants. Among the forest’s prominent features are Ocoee River, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail’s 150 miles, the Citico Creek Wilderness, Big Frog Mountain in the Big Frog Wilderness, and the Watauga Reservoir.

15. Fish-lake National Forest, Utah

There are 3,000 acres of ponds and lakes, 4 campsites, 7 picnic places, 1 watercraft site, 3 resorts, and 125 summer houses in the Fish Lake-Johnson Valley Area of the Fish-lake National Forest, a 13,700-acre territory on the east side of Fish-lake. There are numerous kinds of salmon, slake, and giant mackinaw are caught all year long in the area.

Aspen woods, beautiful side streets, motorized and particularly basic pathways, elk shooting, and command ship and trout fishing are just some of Fish lake National Forest’s many recreational offerings. Scenic driving, mountain climbing, snowboarding, ATV use, hiking and camping are also included in the available recreational activities. Traveling in an All-Terrain Vehicle is a breeze thanks to the forest’s mountains and plateaus.

16. Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

This well-liked holiday spot, which is the sister range to the Rockies, has more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails, as well as campgrounds, lodges, breathtaking lakes, and picnic places. It’s also one of the oldest forests in the nation that is under official protection.

17. El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

With the beautiful flora of El Yunque only a 30-minute drive from the capital of San Juan, Puerto Ricans and visitors may enjoy the best of both worlds. In addition to having cool mountain lakes and picturesque drives, El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the national forest system, is home to unusual trees, orchids, and birds.

In conclusion, the many advantages trees give, from better air quality to a reduction in air temperature, are sometimes taken for granted. For this reason, national forests in the United States help to safeguard almost 200 million acres of communal woodlands and grasslands.

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