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Kabetogama Lake Wins Best National Park Location for Sunrise/Sunset

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Cadillac Mountain, Cowee Mountains Overlook, Cholla Cactus Garden and Mather Point also winners

National parks are often at their best and most beautiful during sunrise and sunset. 10Best editors and the National Park Foundation have nominated 20 of the best national park locales from across the country for watching a sunrise or sunset.

  • Kabetogama Lake

    Kabetogama Lake
    Voyageurs National Park

    Within Voyageurs National Park, campers on the shores of Kabetogama Lake enjoy stunning sunrises and sunsets. Ranger-led twilight tours bring the history of the park to life.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Cadillac Mountain

    Cadillac Mountain
    Acadia National Park

    Travelers who want to be among the first to see the sun rise over the United States can head to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to do so. While sunrise is the most popular time of day on the summit, the sunset here is also spectacular.
    Photo courtesy of NPS / Kristi Rugg

  • Cowee Mountains Overlook

    Cowee Mountains Overlook
    Blue Ridge Parkway

    The Blue Ridge Parkway has no shortage of turnoffs and overlooks, perfect for watching the sun rise or set, but one of the most popular is the Cowee Mountains Overlook in North Carolina, where the sunset is well worth a stop.
    Photo courtesy of Justin Askew Photography / Flickr

  • Cholla Cactus Garden

    Cholla Cactus Garden
    Joshua Tree National Park

    The dense concentration of Cholla Cacti within the Cholla Cactus Garden area of Joshua Tree National Park provide a picture perfect foreground for either sunrise or sunset.
    Photo courtesy of NPS/Brad Sutton

  • Mather Point

    Mather Point
    Grand Canyon National Park

    There's not really a bad place to watch sunrise or sunset over the Grand Canyon. While Hopi point is the most popular (and often quite congested), Mather Point on the South Rim offers memorable views at both dawn and dusk.
    Photo courtesy of NPS photo by Michael Quinn

  • Beaver Marsh

    Beaver Marsh
    Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Beaver Marsh, located along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is a popular birdwatching location, particularly at sunrise, when it's often shrouded in morning mist.
    Photo courtesy of Tom Jones / NPS Photo

  • Gettysburg Battlefield

    Gettysburg Battlefield
    Gettysburg National Military Park

    Gettysburg National Military Park, the site of one of the most important battles in American military history, is also a somber and stunning setting for watching the sun rise or set. Confederate Avenue is particularly scenic in the early morning hours, while Little Round Top is ideal for sunset.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Pinnacles Overlook

    Pinnacles Overlook
    Badlands National Park

    The badlands of South Dakota are at their most beautiful come sunrise or sunset, and Pinnacles Overlook off Badlands Loop Road provides a perfect viewing point.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Haleakala Summit

    Haleakala Summit
    Haleakala National Park

    With 360-degree views, both sunrise and sunset are magical moments at the summit area of Hawaii's Haleakala National Park. The peak is high enough up that in the morning, the sun often rises above a sea of clouds.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Mormon Row

    Mormon Row
    Grand Teton National Park

    Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park in interesting in that if you're there for sunrise, you're probably not actually watching the sun rise. Instead, you're watching as the first light of day illuminates the historic homesteads and peaks of the Teton Range in an orange glow.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Kabetogama Lake
  • Cadillac Mountain
  • Cowee Mountains Overlook
  • Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Mather Point
  • Beaver Marsh
  • Gettysburg Battlefield
  • Pinnacles Overlook
  • Haleakala Summit
  • Mormon Row

The top 10 winners in the category Best National Park Location for Sunrise/Sunset are as follows:

  1. Kabetogama Lake - Voyageurs National Park
  2. Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park
  3. Cowee Mountains Overlook - Blue Ridge Parkway
  4. Cholla Cactus Garden - Joshua Tree National Park
  5. Mather Point - Grand Canyon National Park
  6. Beaver Marsh - Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  7. Gettysburg Battlefield - Gettysburg National Military Park
  8. Pinnacles Overlook - Badlands National Park
  9. Haleakala Summit - Haleakala National Park
  10. Mormon Row - Grand Teton National Park

Other spots nominated in this category included Bryce Point at Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyon Junction at Zion National Park, Cape Hatteras Light Station at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Castillo de San Marcos at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Chimney Rock at Point Reyes National Seashore, Delicate Arch at Arches National Park, Fire Island Lighthouse at Fire Island National Seashore, Grandview at New River Gorge National River, Mesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park and Zabriskie Point at Death Valley National Park.

Looking for a perfect national park experience for your next vacation? Visit FindYourPark.com to get ideas for exploring our more than 400 national parks.

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David French

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David French

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