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The Info List - National Parks Of The United States


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The United States
United States
has 60 protected areas known as national parks[1] that are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States
United States
Congress. A bill creating the first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park
Mackinac National Park
in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
(later merged into National Capital Parks), Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service
National Park Service
"to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."[2] Many current national parks had been previously protected as national monuments by the president under the Antiquities Act
Antiquities Act
before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (including six in Alaska) are paired with a national preserve, areas with different levels of protection that are administered together but considered separate units and whose areas are not included in the figures below. Criteria for the selection of national parks include natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities (though these criteria are not always considered together). National monuments, on the other hand, are frequently chosen for their historical or archaeological significance. Fourteen national parks are designated UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites (WHS),[3] while 21 national parks are designated UNESCO
UNESCO
Biosphere Reserves (BR).[4] Eight national parks are designated in both UNESCO
UNESCO
programs. Twenty-eight states have national parks, as do the territories of American Samoa
American Samoa
and the United States
United States
Virgin Islands. California
California
has the most (nine), followed by Alaska
Alaska
(eight), Utah
Utah
(five), and Colorado (four). The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska: at over 8 million acres (32,375 km2), it is larger than each of the nine smallest states. The next three largest parks are also in Alaska. The smallest park is Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri, at approximately 192.83 acres (0.7804 km2). The total area protected by national parks is approximately 52.2 million acres (211,000 km2), for an average of 870 thousand acres (3,500 km2) but a median of only 229 thousand acres (930 km2).[5] The national parks set a visitation record in 2017, with more than 84 million visitors.[6] The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina
North Carolina
and Tennessee, with over 11.3 million visitors in 2017, followed by Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park, with over 6.2 million. In contrast, only 11,177 people visited the remote Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
in Alaska
Alaska
in the same year.[7] A few former national parks are no longer designated as such, or have been disbanded. Other units of the National Park Service
National Park Service
(417 altogether) are broadly referred to as national parks within the National Park System.[8]

Contents

1 National parks 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

National parks[edit]   Green shading indicates parks that are UNESCO
UNESCO
designated World Heritage Sites (a * symbol also appears after the park's name).   Blue shading indicates UNESCO
UNESCO
designated Biosphere Reserves (a symbol also appears).   Purple shading indicates parks that are designated in both UNESCO
UNESCO
programs (a symbol also appears).

Name Photo Location Date established as park[9][10] Area (2017)[11] Recreation visitors (2017)[7] Description

Acadia

Maine 44°21′N 68°13′W / 44.35°N 68.21°W / 44.35; -68.21 (Acadia) 000000001919-02-26-0000February 26, 1919 7008198600531111949♠49,075.26 acres (198.6 km2) 3,509,271 Covering most of Mount Desert Island
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 14°15′S 170°41′W / 14.25°S 170.68°W / -14.25; -170.68 (National Park of American Samoa) 000000001988-10-31-0000October 31, 1988 7007334135580171374♠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]

Arches

Utah 38°41′N 109°34′W / 38.68°N 109.57°W / 38.68; -109.57 (Arches) 000000001971-11-12-0000November 12, 1971 7008310308822676081♠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°45′N 102°30′W / 43.75°N 102.50°W / 43.75; -102.50 (Badlands) 000000001978-11-10-0000November 10, 1978 7008982398434864749♠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
Eocene
and Oligocene
Oligocene
mammal fossils.[17] The wildlife includes bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs.[18]

Big Bend

Texas 29°15′N 103°15′W / 29.25°N 103.25°W / 29.25; -103.25 (Big Bend) 000000001944-06-12-0000June 12, 1944 7009324219248177910♠801,163.21 acres (3,242.2 km2) 440,276 Named for the prominent bend in the Rio Grande
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
Chisos Mountains
and in canyons along the river. A wide variety of Cretaceous
Cretaceous
and Tertiary fossils as well as cultural artifacts of Native Americans also exist within its borders.[19] (BR)[20]

Biscayne

Florida 25°39′N 80°05′W / 25.65°N 80.08°W / 25.65; -80.08 (Biscayne) 000000001980-06-28-0000June 28, 1980 7008699989247393156♠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

Colorado 38°34′N 107°43′W / 38.57°N 107.72°W / 38.57; -107.72 (Black Canyon of the Gunnison) 000000001999-10-21-0000October 21, 1999 7008124565316292353♠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

Utah 37°34′N 112°11′W / 37.57°N 112.18°W / 37.57; -112.18 (Bryce Canyon) 000000001928-02-25-0000February 25, 1928 7008145019423645217♠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
Mormon
pioneers.[23]

Canyonlands

Utah 38°12′N 109°56′W / 38.2°N 109.93°W / 38.2; -109.93 (Canyonlands) 000000001964-09-12-0000September 12, 1964 7009136620994652380♠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
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

Utah 38°12′N 111°10′W / 38.20°N 111.17°W / 38.20; -111.17 (Capitol Reef) 000000001971-12-18-0000December 18, 1971 7008978952779432460♠241,904.50 acres (979.0 km2) 1,150,165 The park's Waterpocket Fold
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 *

New Mexico 32°10′N 104°26′W / 32.17°N 104.44°W / 32.17; -104.44 (Carlsbad Caverns) 000000001930-05-14-0000May 14, 1930 7008189257108535348♠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
Chihuahuan Desert
and Rattlesnake Springs.[26] (WHS)[27]

Channel Islands

California 34°01′N 119°25′W / 34.01°N 119.42°W / 34.01; -119.42 (Channel Islands) 000000001980-03-05-0000March 5, 1980 7009100993753563056♠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

South Carolina 33°47′N 80°47′W / 33.78°N 80.78°W / 33.78; -80.78 (Congaree) 000000002003-11-10-0000November 10, 2003 7008107400412902486♠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

Oregon 42°56′N 122°06′W / 42.94°N 122.1°W / 42.94; -122.1 (Crater Lake) 000000001902-05-22-0000May 22, 1902 7008741481423480638♠183,224.05 acres (741.5 km2) 711,749 Crater Lake
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
United States
and is noted for its vivid blue color and water clarity. Wizard Island
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

Ohio 41°14′N 81°33′W / 41.24°N 81.55°W / 41.24; -81.55 (Cuyahoga Valley) 000000002000-10-11-0000October 11, 2000 7008131815623790160♠32,572.35 acres (131.8 km2) 2,226,879 This park along the Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River
has waterfalls, hills, trails, and exhibits on early rural living. The Ohio
Ohio
and Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the Ohio
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
Death Valley

California, Nevada 36°14′N 116°49′W / 36.24°N 116.82°W / 36.24; -116.82 (Death Valley) 000000001994-10-31-0000October 31, 1994 7010136503022312697♠3,373,063.14 acres (13,650.3 km2) 1,294,827 Death Valley
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
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
Denali

Alaska 63°20′N 150°30′W / 63.33°N 150.50°W / 63.33; -150.50 (Denali) 000000001917-02-26-0000February 26, 1917 7010191857867758738♠4,740,911.16 acres (19,185.8 km2) 642,809 Centered on Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, Denali
Denali
is serviced by a single road leading to Wonder Lake. Denali
Denali
and other peaks of the Alaska
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
Dry Tortugas

Florida 24°38′N 82°52′W / 24.63°N 82.87°W / 24.63; -82.87 (Dry Tortugas) 000000001992-10-26-0000October 26, 1992 7008261836547694115♠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
Everglades

Florida 25°19′N 80°56′W / 25.32°N 80.93°W / 25.32; -80.93 (Everglades) 000000001934-05-30-0000May 30, 1934 7009610644026059182♠1,508,934.25 acres (6,106.4 km2) 1,018,557 The Everglades
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

Alaska 67°47′N 153°18′W / 67.78°N 153.30°W / 67.78; -153.30 (Gates of the Arctic) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7010304481327170114♠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
Brooks Range
and has no park facilities. The land is home to Alaska
Alaska
Natives who have relied on the land and caribou for 11,000 years.[44]

Gateway Arch

Missouri 38°38′N 90°11′W / 38.63°N 90.19°W / 38.63; -90.19 (Gateway Arch) 000000002018-02-22-0000February 22, 2018 7005780355323931392♠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

Montana 48°48′N 114°00′W / 48.80°N 114.00°W / 48.80; -114.00 (Glacier) 000000001910-05-11-0000May 11, 1910 7009409997541933185♠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
Going-to-the-Sun Road
in this region of rapidly receding glaciers.[46] The local mountains, formed by an overthrust, expose Paleozoic
Paleozoic
fossils including trilobites, mollusks, giant ferns and dinosaurs.[47] (WHS)[48] (BR)[49]

Glacier Bay

Alaska 58°30′N 137°00′W / 58.50°N 137.00°W / 58.50; -137.00 (Glacier Bay) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7010130445699355532♠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]

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
*

Arizona 36°04′N 112°08′W / 36.06°N 112.14°W / 36.06; -112.14 (Grand Canyon) 000000001919-02-26-0000February 26, 1919 7009486289300081338♠1,201,647.03 acres (4,862.9 km2) 6,254,238 The Grand Canyon, carved by the mighty Colorado
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
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

Wyoming 43°44′N 110°48′W / 43.73°N 110.80°W / 43.73; -110.80 (Grand Teton) 000000001929-02-26-0000February 26, 1929 7009125470444293499♠310,044.22 acres (1,254.7 km2) 3,317,000 Grand Teton
Grand Teton
is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park's historic Jackson Hole
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

Nevada 38°59′N 114°18′W / 38.98°N 114.30°W / 38.98; -114.30 (Great Basin) 000000001986-10-27-0000October 27, 1986 7008312336378680832♠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

Colorado 37°44′N 105°31′W / 37.73°N 105.51°W / 37.73; -105.51 (Great Sand Dunes) 000000002004-09-13-0000September 13, 2004 7008434397136001925♠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
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
Great Smoky Mountains

Tennessee, North Carolina 35°41′N 83°32′W / 35.68°N 83.53°W / 35.68; -83.53 (Great Smoky Mountains) 000000001934-06-15-0000June 15, 1934 7009211418657456239♠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

Texas 31°55′N 104°52′W / 31.92°N 104.87°W / 31.92; -104.87 (Guadalupe Mountains) 000000001966-10-15-0000October 15, 1966 7008349515253319063♠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
McKittrick Canyon
filled with bigtooth maples, a corner of the arid Chihuahuan Desert, and a fossilized coral reef from the Permian
Permian
era.[61]

Haleakalā
Haleakalā

Hawaii 20°43′N 156°10′W / 20.72°N 156.17°W / 20.72; -156.17 (Haleakalā) 000000001916-08-01-0000August 1, 1916 7008134617141085695♠33,264.62 acres (134.6 km2) 1,112,390 The Haleakalā
Haleakalā
volcano on Maui
Maui
features a very large crater with numerous cinder cones, Hosmer's Grove
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

Hawaii 19°23′N 155°12′W / 19.38°N 155.20°W / 19.38; -155.20 (Hawaiʻi Volcanoes) 000000001916-08-01-0000August 1, 1916 7009130888035735869♠323,431.38 acres (1,308.9 km2) 2,016,702 This park on the Big Island protects the Kīlauea
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

Arkansas 34°31′N 93°03′W / 34.51°N 93.05°W / 34.51; -93.05 (Hot Springs) 000000001921-03-04-0000March 4, 1921 7007224519999000394♠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]

Isle Royale

Michigan 48°06′N 88°33′W / 48.10°N 88.55°W / 48.10; -88.55 (Isle Royale) 000000001940-04-03-0000April 3, 1940 7009231395324782102♠571,790.30 acres (2,314.0 km2) 28,196 The largest island in Lake Superior
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

California 33°47′N 115°54′W / 33.79°N 115.90°W / 33.79; -115.90 (Joshua Tree) 000000001994-10-31-0000October 31, 1994 7009319958932219797♠790,635.74 acres (3,199.6 km2) 2,853,619 Covering large areas of the Colorado
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]

Katmai

Alaska 58°30′N 155°00′W / 58.50°N 155.00°W / 58.50; -155.00 (Katmai) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7010148702926184076♠3,674,529.33 acres (14,870.3 km2) 37,818 This park on the Alaska
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

Alaska 59°55′N 149°39′W / 59.92°N 149.65°W / 59.92; -149.65 (Kenai Fjords) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7009270997760560298♠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

California 36°48′N 118°33′W / 36.80°N 118.55°W / 36.80; -118.55 (Kings Canyon) 000000001940-03-04-0000March 4, 1940 7009186924783773426♠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] (BR)[74]

Kobuk Valley

Alaska 67°33′N 159°17′W / 67.55°N 159.28°W / 67.55; -159.28 (Kobuk Valley) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7009708489693589546♠1,750,716.16 acres (7,084.9 km2) 15,500 Kobuk Valley protects 61 miles (98 km) of the Kobuk River
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.[75]

Lake Clark

Alaska 60°58′N 153°25′W / 60.97°N 153.42°W / 60.97; -153.42 (Lake Clark) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7010106020211880659♠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.[76]

Lassen Volcanic

California 40°29′N 121°31′W / 40.49°N 121.51°W / 40.49; -121.51 (Lassen Volcanic) 000000001916-08-09-0000August 9, 1916 7008431350460144322♠106,589.02 acres (431.4 km2) 507,256 Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, is joined by all three other types of volcanoes in this park: shield, cinder dome, 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.[77]

Mammoth Cave

Kentucky 37°11′N 86°06′W / 37.18°N 86.10°W / 37.18; -86.10 (Mammoth Cave) 000000001941-07-01-0000July 1, 1941 7008218578444869590♠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
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.[78] (WHS)[79] (BR)[80]

Mesa Verde *

Colorado 37°11′N 108°29′W / 37.18°N 108.49°W / 37.18; -108.49 (Mesa Verde) 000000001906-06-29-0000June 29, 1906 7008212399947295255♠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.[81] (WHS)[82]

Mount Rainier

Washington 46°51′N 121°45′W / 46.85°N 121.75°W / 46.85; -121.75 (Mount Rainier) 000000001899-03-02-0000March 2, 1899 7008956602557971444♠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.[83] The Longmire visitor center is the start of the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the mountain.[84]

North Cascades

Washington 48°42′N 121°12′W / 48.70°N 121.20°W / 48.70; -121.20 (North Cascades) 000000001968-10-02-0000October 2, 1968 7009204277598894410♠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.[85]

Olympic

Washington 47°58′N 123°30′W / 47.97°N 123.50°W / 47.97; -123.50 (Olympic) 000000001938-06-29-0000June 29, 1938 7009373382969048207♠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
Hoh Rainforest
and Quinault Rainforest
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.[86][87] (WHS)[88] (BR)[89]

Petrified Forest

Arizona 35°04′N 109°47′W / 35.07°N 109.78°W / 35.07; -109.78 (Petrified Forest) 000000001962-12-09-0000December 9, 1962 7008895934393194984♠221,390.21 acres (895.9 km2) 627,757 This portion of the Chinle Formation
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.[90]

Pinnacles

California 36°29′N 121°10′W / 36.48°N 121.16°W / 36.48; -121.16 (Pinnacles) 000000002013-01-10-0000January 10, 2013 7008107993317836932♠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
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.[91]

Redwood *

California 41°18′N 124°00′W / 41.30°N 124.00°W / 41.30; -124.00 (Redwood) 000000001968-10-02-0000October 2, 1968 7008562510493194053♠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.[92] (WHS)[93]

Rocky Mountain

Colorado 40°24′N 105°35′W / 40.40°N 105.58°W / 40.40; -105.58 (Rocky Mountain) 000000001915-01-26-0000January 26, 1915 7009107563501216309♠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).[94] (BR)[95]

Saguaro

Arizona 32°15′N 110°30′W / 32.25°N 110.50°W / 32.25; -110.50 (Saguaro) 000000001994-10-14-0000October 14, 1994 7008371160350517040♠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
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.[96]

Sequoia

California 36°26′N 118°41′W / 36.43°N 118.68°W / 36.43; -118.68 (Sequoia) 000000001890-09-25-0000September 25, 1890 7009163518344926733♠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
Nevada
including the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, and Moro Rock, a large granite dome.[97] (BR)[74]

Shenandoah

Virginia 38°32′N 78°21′W / 38.53°N 78.35°W / 38.53; -78.35 (Shenandoah) 000000001935-12-26-0000December 26, 1935 7008806205711980706♠199,217.77 acres (806.2 km2) 1,458,874 Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
are covered by hardwood forests that teem with a wide variety of wildlife. The Skyline Drive
Skyline Drive
and Appalachian Trail
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.[98]

Theodore Roosevelt

North Dakota 46°58′N 103°27′W / 46.97°N 103.45°W / 46.97; -103.45 (Theodore Roosevelt) 000000001978-11-10-0000November 10, 1978 7008285088449234606♠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.[99]

Virgin Islands

United States
United States
Virgin Islands 18°20′N 64°44′W / 18.33°N 64.73°W / 18.33; -64.73 (Virgin Islands) 000000001956-08-02-0000August 2, 1956 7007604600349506560♠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.[100] (BR)[101]

Voyageurs

Minnesota 48°30′N 92°53′W / 48.50°N 92.88°W / 48.50; -92.88 (Voyageurs) 000000001971-01-08-0000January 8, 1971 7008883024678396143♠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
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.[102]

Wind Cave

South Dakota 43°34′N 103°29′W / 43.57°N 103.48°W / 43.57; -103.48 (Wind Cave) 000000001903-01-09-0000January 9, 1903 7008137475112028322♠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.[103] The cave is culturally significant to the Lakota people
Lakota people
as the site "from which Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery, sent the buffalo out into their hunting grounds."[104]

Wrangell–St. Elias *

Alaska 61°00′N 142°00′W / 61.00°N 142.00°W / 61.00; -142.00 (Wrangell – St. Elias) 000000001980-12-02-0000December 2, 1980 7010336825787871639♠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.[105] (WHS)[51]

Yellowstone

Wyoming, Montana, Idaho 44°36′N 110°30′W / 44.60°N 110.50°W / 44.60; -110.50 (Yellowstone) 000000001872-03-01-0000March 1, 1872 7009898317429114735♠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
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.[106] (WHS)[107] (BR)[108]

Yosemite *

California 37°50′N 119°30′W / 37.83°N 119.50°W / 37.83; -119.50 (Yosemite) 000000001890-10-01-0000October 1, 1890 7009308268276262214♠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
Half Dome
and El Capitan
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.[109] (WHS)[110]

Zion

Utah 37°18′N 113°03′W / 37.30°N 113.05°W / 37.30; -113.05 (Zion) 000000001919-11-19-0000November 19, 1919 7008595847080002037♠147,237.02 acres (595.8 km2) 4,504,812 Located at the junction of the Colorado
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.[111]

See also[edit]

List of areas in the United States
United States
National Park System List of the United States
United States
National Park System
National Park System
official units History of the National Park Service List of National Monuments of the United States List of U.S. National Forests List of World Heritage Sites in the United States

References[edit]

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Great Smoky Mountains
National Park". unesco.org. UNESCO. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.  ^ "Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve". unesco.org. UNESCO. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.  ^ "Guadalupe Mountains National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010.  ^ "Haleakala National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010.  ^ a b "Hawaiian Islands Biosphere Reserve". unesco.org. UNESCO. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.  ^ " Hawaii
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External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for United States
United States
National Parks.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to National parks of the United States.

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Official website of the National Park Service Find a Park by the NPS The National Parks: America's Best Idea by PBS Visitor use statistics America's Natural Heritage - The Essential Guide to the National Parks by the Washington Post

v t e

National parks of the United States

Acadia American Samoa Arches Badlands Big Bend Biscayne Black Canyon of the Gunnison Bryce Canyon Canyonlands Capitol Reef Carlsbad Caverns Channel Islands Congaree Crater Lake Cuyahoga Valley Death Valley Denali Dry Tortugas Everglades Gates of the Arctic Gateway Arch Glacier Glacier Bay Grand Canyon Grand Teton Great Basin Great Sand Dunes Great Smoky Mountains Guadalupe Mountains Haleakalā Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Hot Springs Isle Royale Joshua Tree Katmai Kenai Fjords Kings Canyon Kobuk Valley Lake Clark Lassen Volcanic Mammoth Cave Mesa Verde Mount Rainier North Cascades Olympic Petrified Forest Pinnacles Redwood Rocky Mountain Saguaro Sequoia Shenandoah Theodore Roosevelt Virgin Islands Voyageurs Wind Cave Wrangell–St. Elias Yellowstone Yosemite Zion

List of national parks of the United States
United States
(by elevation)

v t e

Federal Protected Areas in the United States

Park System

Parks Preserves Lakeshores and Seashores

Forests Grasslands Monuments Marine Sanctuaries Recreation Areas Landscape Conservation System Estuarine Research Reserves Trails Wild and Scenic Rivers Wilderness Preserves Wild

.