National Park List and Information Links

Links to Wikipedia, maps, and portfolios:

National Park       Portfolios Location & Map Link Estab. Size Annual Visitors Description


Acadia National Park Crashing Waves


Acadia NP Celebration

Acadia NP Hike

Acadia and Portland

44.35°N 68.21°W
February 26, 1919 49,075.26 acres (198.6 km2) 3,509,271 Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats.[12][13]

American Samoa

American Samoa

American Samoa – Ofu

American Samoa NP – Ofu Bats

American Samoa Snorkeling

American Samoa – Ta’u

American Samoa – Tutuila

American Samoa
14.25°S 170.68°W
October 31, 1988 8,256.67 acres (33.4 km2) 69,468 The southernmost national park is on three Samoan islands and protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches. The area is also home to flying foxes, brown boobies, sea turtles, and 900 species of fish.[14]


38.68°N 109.57°W
November 12, 1971 76,678.98 acres (310.3 km2) 1,539,028 This site features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, with some of the most popular arches in the park being Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch and Double Arch.[15] Millions of years of erosion have created these structures located in a desert climate where the arid ground has life-sustaining biological soil crusts and potholes that serve as natural water-collecting basins. Other geologic formations include stone pinnacles, fins, and balancing rocks.[16]


Badlands South Dakota
43.75°N 102.50°W
November 10, 1978 242,755.94 acres (982.4 km2) 1,054,325 The Badlands are a collection of buttes, pinnacles, spires, and mixed-grass prairies. The White River Badlands contain the largest assemblage of known late Eocene and Oligocene mammal fossils.[17] The wildlife includes bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs.[18]

Big Benddagger

Big Bend Texas
29.25°N 103.25°W
June 12, 1944 801,163.21 acres (3,242.2 km2) 440,276 Named for the prominent bend in the Rio Grande along the U.S.–Mexico border, this park encompasses a large and remote part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Its main attraction is backcountry recreation in the arid Chisos Mountains and in canyons along the river. A wide variety of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils as well as cultural artifacts of Native Americans also exist within its borders.[19] (BR)[20]


25.65°N 80.08°W
June 28, 1980 172,971.11 acres (700.0 km2) 446,961 Located in Biscayne Bay, this park at the north end of the Florida Keys has four interrelated marine ecosystems: mangrove forest, the Bay, the Keys, and coral reefs. Threatened animals include the West Indian manatee, American crocodile, various sea turtles, and peregrine falcon.[21]

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison-2020


Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP – 2013

38.57°N 107.72°W
October 21, 1999 30,780.76 acres (124.6 km2) 307,143 The park protects a quarter of the Gunnison River, which slices sheer canyon walls from dark Precambrian-era rock. The canyon features some of the steepest cliffs and oldest rock in North America, and is a popular site for river rafting and rock climbing. The deep, narrow canyon is composed of gneiss and schist which appears black when in shadow.[22]

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon – Navajo Loop Trail


Bryce NP – Rainbow Point Trail

37.57°N 112.18°W
February 25, 1928 35,835.08 acres (145.0 km2) 2,571,684 Bryce Canyon is a geological amphitheater on the Paunsaugunt Plateau with hundreds of tall, multicolored sandstone hoodoos formed by erosion. The region was originally settled by Native Americans and later by Mormon pioneers.[23]



Canyonlands NP – Needles

Canyonlands NP – Elephant Hill

Canyonlands NP – Elephant Canyon

Canyonlands NP – Druid Arch

Canyonlands NP – Islands in the Sky

Canyonlands – Horseshoe Canyon

38.2°N 109.93°W
September 12, 1964 337,597.83 acres (1,366.2 km2) 742,271 This landscape was eroded into a maze of canyons, buttes, and mesas by the combined efforts of the Colorado River, Green River, and their tributaries, which divide the park into three districts. The park also contains rock pinnacles and arches, as well as artifacts from Ancient Pueblo peoples.[24]

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef – Fruita

Capitol Reef NP – Narrows

Capitol Reef – Hickman Bridge

Capitol Reef NP – Muley Twist Canyon

Capitol Reef – Goosenecks

Capitol Reef – Cathedral Valley


38.20°N 111.17°W

December 18, 1971 241,904.50 acres (979.0 km2) 1,150,165 The park’s Waterpocket Fold is a 100-mile (160 km) monocline that exhibits the earth’s diverse geologic layers. Other natural features include monoliths, cliffs, and sandstone domes shaped like the United States Capitol.[25]

Carlsbad Caverns *

Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico
32.17°N 104.44°W
May 14, 1930 46,766.45 acres (189.3 km2) 520,026 Carlsbad Caverns has 117 caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles (190 km) long. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long, and the caves are home to over 400,000 Mexican free-tailed bats and sixteen other species. Above ground are the Chihuahuan Desert and Rattlesnake Springs.[26] (WHS)[27]

Channel Islands dagger

Channel Islands California
34.01°N 119.42°W
March 5, 1980 249,561.00 acres (1,009.9 km2) 383,687 Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, and half of the park’s area is underwater. The islands have a unique Mediterranean ecosystem originally settled by the Chumash people. They are home to over 2,000 species of land plants and animals, and 145 are unique to them, including the island fox. Ferry services offer transportation to the islands from the mainland.[28] (BR)[29]

Congaree dagger

Congaree – Trails

Congaree – New Park

South Carolina
33.78°N 80.78°W
November 10, 2003 26,539.22 acres (107.4 km2) 159,595 On the Congaree River, this park is the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America. Some of the trees are the tallest in the eastern United States. An elevated walkway called the Boardwalk Loop guides visitors through the swamp.[30] (BR)[31]

Crater Lake

Crater Lake Oregon
42.94°N 122.1°W
May 22, 1902 183,224.05 acres (741.5 km2) 711,749 Crater Lake lies in the caldera of an ancient volcano called Mount Mazama that collapsed 7,700 years ago. The lake is the deepest in the United States and is noted for its vivid blue color and water clarity. Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship are more recent volcanic formations within the caldera. As the lake has no inlets or outlets, the lake is replenished only by precipitation.[32]

Cuyahoga Valley

Cuyahoga Ohio
41.24°N 81.55°W
October 11, 2000 32,572.35 acres (131.8 km2) 2,226,879 This park along the Cuyahoga River has waterfalls, hills, trails, and exhibits on early rural living. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal, where mules towed canal boats. The park has numerous historic homes, bridges, and structures,[33] and also offers a scenic train ride.[34]

Death Valley dagger

Death Valley – 2014

Death Valley – 2010

California, Nevada
36.24°N 116.82°W
October 31, 1994 3,373,063.14 acres (13,650.3 km2) 1,294,827 Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the United States, with daytime temperatures that have exceeded 130 °F (54 °C). The park protects Badwater Basin and its vast salt flats located at the lowest elevation in North America, −282 ft (−86 m).[35] The park also protects canyons, badlands, sand dunes, mountain ranges, historic mines, springs, and more than 1000 species of plants which grow in this geologic graben.[36] (BR)[37]

Denali dagger

Denali NP

Denali Alaska
63.33°N 150.50°W
February 26, 1917 4,740,911.16 acres (19,185.8 km2) 642,809 Centered on Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, Denali is serviced by a single road leading to Wonder Lake. Denali and other peaks of the Alaska Range are covered with long glaciers and boreal forest. Wildlife includes grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, and gray wolves.[38] (BR)[39]

Dry Tortugas dagger

Dry Tortugas Florida
24.63°N 82.87°W
October 26, 1992 64,701.22 acres (261.8 km2) 54,281 The islands of the Dry Tortugas, at the westernmost end of the Florida Keys, are the site of Fort Jefferson, a Civil War-era fort that is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere. The park is home to undisturbed coral reefs and shipwrecks, and is only accessible by plane or boat.[40] (BR)[41]

Everglades double-dagger

Everglades Florida
25.32°N 80.93°W
May 30, 1934 1,508,934.25 acres (6,106.4 km2) 1,018,557 The Everglades are the largest tropical wilderness in the United States. This mangrove and tropical rainforest ecosystem and marine estuary is home to 36 protected species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, and West Indian manatee. Some areas have been drained and developed; restoration projects aim to restore the ecology.[42] (WHS)[43] (BR)[41]

Gates of the Arctic

Gates of the Arctic – Anaktuvuk Pass

Gates of the Arctic – Bettles

Gates of the Arctic – Lake Nutuvuki

Gates of the Arctic – Selby Lake

67.78°N 153.30°W
December 2, 1980 7,523,897.45 acres (30,448.1 km2) 11,177 The country’s northernmost park protects an expanse of pure wilderness in Alaska’s Brooks Range and has no park facilities. The land is home to Alaska Natives who have relied on the land and caribou for 11,000 years.[44]

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch NP Missouri
38.63°N 90.19°W
February 22, 2018 192.83 acres (0.8 km2) 1,398,188 The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (192 m) (both high and wide) catenary arch built to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Expedition, initiated by Thomas Jefferson, and the subsequent westward expansion of the country. The nearby Old Courthouse, across a greenway to the west of the arch, was the first site of the Dred Scott case about slavery. A museum, located in the underground visitor center below the arch, describes the arch’s construction and the country’s westward expansion.[45]

Glacier Bay double-dagger

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay – Humpback Whales

58.50°N 137.00°W
December 2, 1980 3,223,383.43 acres (13,044.6 km2) 547,057 Glacier Bay contains tidewater glaciers, mountains, fjords, and a temperate rainforest, and is home to large populations of grizzly bears, mountain goats, whales, seals, and eagles. When discovered in 1794 by George Vancouver, the entire bay was covered by ice, but the glaciers have since receded more than 65 miles (105 km).[50] (WHS)[51] (BR)[52]

Glacier double-dagger


Glacier & Waterton Lakes

48.80°N 114.00°W
May 11, 1910 1,013,125.99 acres (4,100.0 km2) 3,305,512 The U.S. half of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, this park includes 26 glaciers and 130 named lakes surrounded by Rocky Mountain peaks. There are historic hotels and a landmark road called the Going-to-the-Sun Road in this region of rapidly receding glaciers.[46] The local mountains, formed by an overthrust, expose Paleozoic fossils including trilobites, mollusks, giant ferns and dinosaurs.[47] (WHS)[48] (BR)[49]

Grand Canyon *

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Grand Canyon NP

36.06°N 112.14°W
February 26, 1919 1,201,647.03 acres (4,862.9 km2) 6,254,238 The Grand Canyon, carved by the mighty Colorado River, is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 1 mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 15 miles (24 km) wide. Millions of years of erosion have exposed the multicolored layers of the Colorado Plateau in mesas and canyon walls, visible from both the north and south rims, or from a number of trails that descend into the canyon itself.[53] (WHS)[54]

Grand Teton

Grand Teton Wyoming
43.73°N 110.80°W
February 26, 1929 310,044.22 acres (1,254.7 km2) 3,317,000 Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park’s historic Jackson Hole and reflective piedmont lakes teem with endemic wildlife, with a backdrop of craggy mountains that rise abruptly from the sage-covered valley.[55]

Great Basin

Great Basin

Great Basin-Wheeler Peak

Great Basin – Bristlecone Pines

38.98°N 114.30°W
October 27, 1986 77,180.00 acres (312.3 km2) 168,028 Based around Nevada’s second tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park contains 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, a rock glacier, and the limestone Lehman Caves. Due to its remote location, the park has some of the country’s darkest night skies. Wildlife includes the Townsend’s big-eared bat, pronghorn, and Bonneville cutthroat trout.[56]

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes Colorado
37.73°N 105.51°W
September 13, 2004 107,341.87 acres (434.4 km2) 486,935 The tallest sand dunes in North America, up to 750 feet (230 m) tall, were formed by deposits of the ancient Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley. Abutting a variety of grasslands, shrublands, and wetlands, the park also has alpine lakes, six 13,000-foot mountains, and old-growth forests.[57]

Great Smoky Mountains double-dagger

Great Smoky Mountains NP 2008

Great Smoky Mountains NP 2021

Tennessee, North Carolina
35.68°N 83.53°W
June 15, 1934 522,426.88 acres (2,114.2 km2) 11,338,893 The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, span a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park’s main attraction, with over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails, including 70 miles (110 km) of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities include fishing, horseback riding, and touring nearly 80 historic structures.[58] (WHS)[59] (BR)[60]

Guadalupe Mountains

Guadalupe Mountains Texas
31.92°N 104.87°W
October 15, 1966 86,367.10 acres (349.5 km2) 225,257 This park contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, as well as the scenic McKittrick Canyon filled with bigtooth maples, a corner of the arid Chihuahuan Desert, and a fossilized coral reef from the Permian era.[61]

Haleakalā dagger


Haleakala – Road to Hana

20.72°N 156.17°W
August 1, 1916 33,264.62 acres (134.6 km2) 1,112,390 The Haleakalā volcano on Maui features a very large crater with numerous cinder cones, Hosmer’s Grove of alien trees, the Kipahulu section’s scenic pools of freshwater fish, and the native Hawaiian goose. The park protects the greatest number of endangered species within a U.S. National Park.[62] (BR)[63]

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes double-dagger

Hawaii Volcanoes Hawaii
19.38°N 155.20°W
August 1, 1916 323,431.38 acres (1,308.9 km2) 2,016,702 This park on the Big Island protects the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, two of the world’s most active geological features. Diverse ecosystems range from tropical forests at sea level to barren lava beds at more than 13,000 feet (4,000 m).[64] (WHS)[65] (BR)[63]

Hot Springs

Hot Springs Arkansas
34.51°N 93.05°W
March 4, 1921 5,548.01 acres (22.5 km2) 1,561,616 Hot Springs was established as a federal reserve by Congress on April 20, 1832—the oldest area managed by the National Park Service. Congress redesignated Hot Springs as a national park on March 4, 1921. Natural hot springs flow out of the Ouachita Mountains, providing opportunities for relaxation in a historic setting. Bathhouse Row preserves numerous examples of 19th-century architecture.[66] Hot Springs is the first national park in a city and was the smallest national park until February 22, 2018 when the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial was redesignated Gateway Arch National Park.[67]

Indiana Dunes

41.6533°N 87.0524°W
February 15, 2019 15,349.08 acres (62.1 km2) 3,177,210 Previously designated a national lakeshore, parts of this 20-mile (32 km) stretch of the southern shore of Lake Michigan have sandy beaches and tall dunes. The park includes grassy prairies, peat bogs, and marsh wetlands home to over 2,000 species.[71]

Isle Royale dagger

Isle Royale Michigan
48.10°N 88.55°W
April 3, 1940 571,790.30 acres (2,314.0 km2) 28,196 The largest island in Lake Superior is a place of isolation and wilderness. Along with its many shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails, the park also includes over 400 smaller islands within 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of its shores. There are only 20 mammal species on the entire island, though the relationship between its wolf and moose populations is especially unique.[68] (BR)[69]

Joshua Tree dagger

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree – New Years

33.79°N 115.90°W
October 31, 1994 790,635.74 acres (3,199.6 km2) 2,853,619 Covering large areas of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts and the Little San Bernardino Mountains, this desert landscape is populated by vast stands of Joshua trees. Large changes in elevation reveal various contrasting environments including bleached sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, and maze-like clusters of monzogranite monoliths.[70] (BR)[37]


Wet bear



Katmai – The Miss

Katmai – The Catch

58.50°N 155.00°W
December 2, 1980 3,674,529.33 acres (14,870.3 km2) 37,818 This park on the Alaska Peninsula protects the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, an ash flow formed by the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, as well as Mount Katmai. Over 2,000 grizzly bears come here each year to catch spawning salmon. Other wildlife includes caribou, wolves, moose, and wolverines.[71]

Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fjords – Kayaking

59.92°N 149.65°W
December 2, 1980 669,650.05 acres (2,710.0 km2) 303,598 Near Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, this park protects the Harding Icefield and at least 38 glaciers and fjords stemming from it. The only area accessible to the public by road is Exit Glacier; the rest must be viewed or reached from boat tours.[72]

Kings Canyon dagger

Kings Canyon NP – Zumwalt Meadow

Kings Canyon (with Sequoia NP)

Kings Canyon NP – River

Kings Canyon NP – Canyon

King’s Canyon – Grant’s Grove

36.80°N 118.55°W
March 4, 1940 461,901.20 acres (1,869.2 km2) 692,932 Home to several giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree, the world’s second largest measured tree, this park also features part of the Kings River, sculptor of the dramatic granite canyon that is its namesake, and the San Joaquin River, as well as Boyden Cave.[73] Although Kings Canyon National Park was designated as such in 1940, it subsumed General Grant National Park, which had been established on October 1, 1890 as the United States’ fourth national park. [74] [75][76](BR)[77]

Kobuk Valley

Kobuk Valley – Onion Portage

Kobuk Valley – Sand Dunes

Kobuk Valley – Ambler

67.55°N 159.28°W
December 2, 1980 1,750,716.16 acres (7,084.9 km2) 15,500 Kobuk Valley protects 61 miles (98 km) of the Kobuk River and three regions of sand dunes. Created by glaciers, the Great Kobuk, Little Kobuk, and Hunt River Sand Dunes can reach 100 feet (30 m) high and 100 °F (38 °C), and they are the largest dunes in the Arctic. Twice a year, half a million caribou migrate through the dunes and across river bluffs that expose well-preserved ice age fossils.[78]

Lake Clark

Lake Clark Alaska
60.97°N 153.42°W
December 2, 1980 2,619,816.49 acres (10,602.0 km2) 22,755 The region around Lake Clark features four active volcanoes, including Mount Redoubt, as well as an abundance of rivers, glaciers, and waterfalls. Temperate rainforests, a tundra plateau, and three mountain ranges complete the landscape.[79]

Lassen Volcanic

Lassen Volcanic California
40.49°N 121.51°W
August 9, 1916 106,589.02 acres (431.4 km2) 507,256 Lassen Peak, the largest lava dome volcano in the world, is joined by all three other types of volcanoes in this park: shield, cinder cone, and composite. Though Lassen itself last erupted in 1915, most of the rest of the park is continuously active. Numerous hydrothermal features, including fumaroles, boiling pools, and bubbling mud pots, are heated by molten rock from beneath the peak.[80]

Mammoth Cave double-dagger

Mammoth Cave Kentucky
37.18°N 86.10°W
July 1, 1941 54,011.91 acres (218.6 km2) 587,853 With more than 400 miles (640 km) of passageways explored, Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system. Subterranean wildlife includes eight bat species, Kentucky cave shrimp, Northern cavefish, and cave salamanders. Above ground, the park provides recreation on the Green River, 70 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of sinkholes and springs.[81] (WHS)[82] (BR)[83]

Mesa Verde *

Mesa Verde Colorado
37.18°N 108.49°W
June 29, 1906 52,485.17 acres (212.4 km2) 613,788 This area constitutes over 4,000 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived here and elsewhere in the Four Corners region for at least 700 years. Cliff dwellings built in the 12th and 13th centuries include Cliff Palace, which has 150 rooms and 23 kivas, and the Balcony House, with its many passages and tunnels.[84] (WHS)[85]

Mount Rainier

Mount Ranier
Mount Ranier – Waterfalls

Mount Rainier NP – Summit

Mount Rainier – Paradise Meadows

Mount Rainier NP – National Park Inn

Mount Rainier NP – Carbon River

Mount Rainier NP – Hoh Rain Forest and Seattle

46.85°N 121.75°W
March 2, 1899 236,381.64 acres (956.6 km2) 1,415,867 Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the most prominent peak in the Cascades and is covered by 26 named glaciers including Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier, the largest in the contiguous United States. The mountain is popular for climbing, and more than half of the park is covered by subalpine and alpine forests and meadows seasonally in bloom with wildflowers. Paradise on the south slope is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly.[86] The Longmire visitor center is the start of the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the mountain.[87]

New River Gorge

New River Gorge National River – Grist Mill

New River Gorge National River – Sandstone Falls

New River Gorge National River – Bridge

New River Gorge National River – Nuttalburg Coal Mine

West Virginia
38.07°N 81.08°W
December 27, 2020 72,345.91 acres (292.8 km2) 1,682,720 The New River Gorge is the deepest river gorge east of the Mississippi River. The park is primarily the lower gorge area around the New River Gorge Bridge, which features some of the country’s best whitewater rafting. Smaller noncontiguous sections showcase the ghost town of Thurmond, the scenic Grandview vista, and Sandstone Falls. The other 65,165 acres (263.71 km2) of the redesignated national river is now a national preserve, spanning 53 mi (85 km) of the New River.[92][93]

North Cascades

North Cascades – Washington Pass

North Cascades NP – Agnes Gorge

North Cascades NP – Winthrop

North Cascades NP – Night Sky

North Cascades NP and Seattle

48.70°N 121.20°W
October 2, 1968 504,780.94 acres (2,042.8 km2) 30,326 This complex includes two geographically distinct units of the national park, as well as Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. The highly glaciated mountains are spectacular examples of Cascade geology. Popular hiking and climbing areas include Cascade Pass, Mount Shuksan, Mount Triumph, and Eldorado Peak.[88]

Olympic double-dagger

Olympic NP – Third Beach

Olympic NP – Quinault Rain Forest

Olympic NP – Lake Quinault

Olympic NP Totems

Olympic NP – Hurricane Ridge

Olympic NP – First Beach

47.97°N 123.50°W
June 29, 1938 922,649.41 acres (3,733.8 km2) 3,401,996 Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, this park includes a wide range of ecosystems from Pacific shoreline to temperate rainforests to the alpine slopes of the Olympic Mountains, the tallest of which is Mount Olympus. The Hoh Rainforest and Quinault Rainforest are the wettest area in the contiguous United States, with the Hoh receiving an average of almost 12 ft (3.7 m) of rain every year.[89][90] (WHS)[91] (BR)[92]

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest Arizona
35.07°N 109.78°W
December 9, 1962 221,390.21 acres (895.9 km2) 627,757 This portion of the Chinle Formation has a large concentration of 225-million-year-old petrified wood. The surrounding Painted Desert features eroded cliffs of red-hued volcanic rock called bentonite. Dinosaur fossils and over 350 Native American sites are also protected in this park.[93]


Pinnacles California
36.48°N 121.16°W
January 10, 2013 26,685.73 acres (108.0 km2) 233,334 Named for the eroded leftovers of a portion of an extinct volcano, the park’s massive black and gold monoliths of andesite and rhyolite are a popular destination for rock climbers. Hikers have access to trails crossing the Coast Range wilderness. The park is home to the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and one of the few locations in the world where these extremely rare birds can be seen in the wild. Pinnacles also supports a dense population of prairie falcons, and more than 13 species of bat which populate its talus caves.[94]

Redwood *

Redwood California
41.30°N 124.00°W
October 2, 1968 138,999.37 acres (562.5 km2) 445,000 This park and the co-managed state parks protect almost half of all remaining coastal redwoods, the tallest trees on earth. There are three large river systems in this very seismically active area, and 37 miles (60 km) of protected coastline reveal tide pools and seastacks. The prairie, estuary, coast, river, and forest ecosystems contain a wide variety of animal and plant species.[95] (WHS)[96]

Rocky Mountain dagger

Rocky Mountain – Alpine Meadows

Rocky Mountain NP – Colorado Headwaters

Rocky Mountain NP – Fall River

40.40°N 105.58°W
January 26, 1915 265,795.20 acres (1,075.6 km2) 4,437,215 Bisected north to south by the Continental Divide, this portion of the Rockies has ecosystems varying from over 150 riparian lakes to montane and subalpine forests to treeless alpine tundra. Wildlife including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and cougars inhabit its igneous mountains and glacial valleys. Longs Peak, a classic Colorado fourteener, and the scenic Bear Lake are popular destinations, as well as the historic Trail Ridge Road, which reaches an elevation of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m).[97] (BR)[98]


Saguaro – East

Saguaro – West

32.25°N 110.50°W
October 14, 1994 91,715.72 acres (371.2 km2) 964,760 Split into the separate Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain districts, this park is evidence that the dry Sonoran Desert is still home to a great variety of life spanning six biotic communities. Beyond the namesake giant saguaro cacti, there are barrel cacti, chollas, and prickly pears, as well as lesser long-nosed bats, spotted owls, and javelinas.[99]

Sequoia dagger

Sequoia NP

Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP

36.43°N 118.68°W
September 25, 1890 404,062.63 acres (1,635.2 km2) 1,291,256 This park protects the Giant Forest, which boasts some of the world’s largest trees, the General Sherman being the largest measured tree in the park. Other features include over 240 caves, a long segment of the Sierra Nevada including the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, and Moro Rock, a large granite dome.[100] (BR)[77]


Shenandoah – Skyline Drive

Shenandoah – Fall Colors

Shenandoah – Hike

Shenandoah – Drive

38.53°N 78.35°W
December 26, 1935 199,217.77 acres (806.2 km2) 1,458,874 Shenandoah’s Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by hardwood forests that teem with a wide variety of wildlife. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park, along with more than 500 miles (800 km) of hiking trails passing scenic overlooks and cataracts of the Shenandoah River.[101]

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt North Dakota
46.97°N 103.45°W
November 10, 1978 70,446.89 acres (285.1 km2) 708,003 This region that enticed and influenced President Theodore Roosevelt consists of a park of three units in the northern badlands. Besides Roosevelt’s historic cabin, there are numerous scenic drives and backcountry hiking opportunities. Wildlife includes American bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and wild horses.[102]

Virgin Islands dagger

Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
18.33°N 64.73°W
August 2, 1956 14,940.00 acres (60.5 km2) 304,408 This island park on Saint John preserves Taíno archaeological sites and the ruins of sugar plantations from Columbus‘s time, as well as all the natural environs. Surrounding the pristine beaches are mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs.[103] (BR)[104]


Voyageurs Minnesota
48.50°N 92.88°W
January 8, 1971 218,200.15 acres (883.0 km2) 237,250 This park protecting four lakes near the Canada–US border is a site for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The park also preserves a history populated by Ojibwe Native Americans, French fur traders called voyageurs, and gold miners. Formed by glaciers, the region features tall bluffs, rock gardens, islands, bays, and several historic buildings.[105]

Wind Cave

Wind Cave South Dakota
43.57°N 103.48°W
January 9, 1903 33,970.84 acres (137.5 km2) 619,924 Wind Cave is distinctive for its calcite fin formations called boxwork, a unique formation rarely found elsewhere, and needle-like growths called frostwork. The cave is one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. Above ground is a mixed-grass prairie with animals such as bison, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs, and ponderosa pine forests that are home to cougars and elk.[106] The cave is culturally significant to the Lakota people as the site “from which Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery, sent the buffalo out into their hunting grounds.”[107]

Wrangell–St. Elias *

Wrangell-St. Elias

Wrangell-St. Elias – Kennecott Mines

61.00°N 142.00°W
December 2, 1980 8,323,146.48 acres (33,682.6 km2) 68,292 An over 8 million acres (32,375 km2) plot of mountainous country—the largest national park in the system—protects the convergence of the Alaska, Chugach, and Wrangell-Saint Elias Ranges, which include many of the continent’s tallest mountains and volcanoes, including the 18,008-foot Mount Saint Elias. More than a quarter of the park is covered with glaciers, including the tidewater Hubbard Glacier, piedmont Malaspina Glacier, and valley Nabesna Glacier.[108] (WHS)[51]

Yellowstone double-dagger


Yellowstone – Stars

Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
44.60°N 110.50°W
March 1, 1872 2,219,790.71 acres (8,983.2 km2) 4,116,524 Situated on the Yellowstone Caldera, the park has an expansive network of geothermal areas including boiling mud pots, vividly colored hot springs such as Grand Prismatic Spring, and regularly erupting geysers, the best-known being Old Faithful. The yellow-hued Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River contains several high waterfalls, and four mountain ranges traverse the park. More than 60 mammal species including gray wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, lynxes, bison, and elk, make this park one of the best wildlife viewing spots in the country.[109] (WHS)[110] (BR)[111]

Yosemite *


Half Dome from a distance

Yosemite California
37.83°N 119.50°W
October 1, 1890 761,747.50 acres (3,082.7 km2) 4,336,890 Yosemite features sheer granite cliffs, exceptionally tall waterfalls, and old-growth forests at a unique intersection of geology and hydrology. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the park’s centerpiece, the glacier-carved Yosemite Valley, and from its vertical walls drop Yosemite Falls, one of North America’s tallest waterfalls at 2,425 feet (739 m) high. Three giant sequoia groves, along with a pristine wilderness in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, are home to a wide variety of rare plant and animal species.[112] (WHS)[113]


Zion Utah
37.30°N 113.05°W
November 19, 1919 147,237.02 acres (595.8 km2) 4,504,812 Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert, this park contains sandstone features such as mesas, rock towers, and canyons, including the Virgin River Narrows. The various sandstone formations and the forks of the Virgin River create a wilderness divided into four ecosystems: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest.[114]
UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites (a * symbol appears after the park’s name)
UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserves (a dagger symbol appears)
Parks designated in both UNESCO programs (a double-dagger symbol appears)