US National Parks
About US National Parks
The United States is home to some of the world's most stunning natural landscapes, many of which are protected as National Parks. These parks are managed by the National Park Service and offer visitors a chance to experience the country's diverse geography and wildlife. There are currently 63 national parks in the United States, each with its own unique features and attractions.
Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, was the first national park in the world. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is known for its geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. Yellowstone also has a large population of bison, as well as wolves, elk, and bears.
Yosemite National Park, located in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, is famous for its towering granite cliffs, including Half Dome and El Capitan. The park is also home to giant sequoia trees, which can live for thousands of years and grow to be over 300 feet tall.
Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, is known for its awe-inspiring views of the massive canyon carved by the Colorado River. Visitors can hike down into the canyon, take a helicopter tour, or simply enjoy the panoramic views from the rim.
Other notable national parks in the United States include Acadia National Park in Maine, with its rocky coastline and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean; Zion National Park in Utah, with its towering red rock cliffs and hiking trails; and Glacier National Park in Montana, with its stunning glaciers and alpine lakes.
In addition to these larger parks, the National Park Service also manages dozens of smaller parks, historic sites, and monuments across the country. These include the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York City, the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Visiting a national park is a great way to experience the natural beauty and diversity of the United States. Whether you're interested in hiking, camping, wildlife watching, or simply taking in the scenery, there is something for everyone at America's national parks.
Discovering National Parks
Upon arriving in the United States in the spring of 1997, I was quickly introduced to the concept of National Parks. During my first month in the country, while strolling through a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I stumbled upon a section dedicated to books on national parks and outdoor recreation. Looking back on it now, I find it amusing that I left the store with two books, one about US national parks and an Atlas (which detailed all the roads in the US), despite not even owning a car at the time. It was on that day that my love for national parks began.
Later that summer, my job took me to South Dakota to work for a computer manufacturing company called GATEWAY, which featured cow patches on their products. It was during this time that I had the opportunity to visit my very first national park, Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Since then, it has become my life's goal to visit every national park in the United States. To date, I have had the pleasure of visiting 24 of the national parks in the lower 48 states, and I hope to share my experiences visiting all of them when time permits.
List of US National Parks
Acadia National Park, Maine - 49,071.40 acres (Visited in 2018)
American Samoa National Park, American Samoa - 8,256.67 acres
Arches National Park, Utah - 76,678.98 acres (Visited in 2016)
Badlands National Park, South Dakota - 242,755.94 acres (Visited in 1997)
Big Bend National Park, Texas - 801,163.21 acres
Biscayne National Park, Florida - 172,971.11 acres
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado - 30,779.83 acres (Visited in 2018)
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah - 35,835.08 acres (Visited in 2016)
Canyonlands National Park, Utah - 337,597.83 acres (Visited in 2016)
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah - 241,904.50 acres (Visited in 2016)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico - 46,766.45 acres
Channel Islands National Park, California - 249,561.00 acres
Congaree National Park, South Carolina - 26,692.60 acres
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon - 183,224.05 acres (Visited in 2021)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio - 32,571.88 acres
Death Valley National Park, California & Nevada - 3,408,395.63 acres
Denali National Park, Alaska - 4,740,911.16 acres
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida - 64,701.22 acres
Everglades National Park, Florida - 1,508,938.57 acres (Visited in 2014)
Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska - 7,523,897.45 acres
Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri - 91 acres
Glacier National Park, Montana - 1,013,126.39 acres (Visited in 2017)
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska - 3,223,383.43 acres
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - 1,201,647.03 acres (Visited in 2007 & 2016)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming - 310,044.36 acres
Great Basin National Park, Nevada - 77,180.00 acres
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado - 107,345.73 acres (Visited in 2022)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee - 522,426.88 acres (Visited in 2008)
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas - 86,367.10 acres
Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii - 33,264.62 acres
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii - 325,605.28 acres
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas - 5,554.15 acres
Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana - 15,349.08 acres
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan - 571,790.30 acres
Joshua Tree National Park, California - 795,155.85 acres (Visited in 2020)
Katmai National Park, Alaska - 3,674,529.33 acres
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska - 669,650.05 acres
Kings Canyon National Park, California - 461,901.20 acres (Visited in 2014)
Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska - 1,750,716.16 acres
Lake Clark National Park, Alaska - 2,619,816.49 acres
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California - 106,589.02 acres
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky - 54,016.29 acres
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado - 52,485.17 acres (Visited in 2022)
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington - 236,381.64 acres (Visited in 2019)
New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia - 7,021 acres
North Cascades National Park, Washington - 504,780.94 acres (Visited in 2019)
Olympic National Park, Washington - 922,649.41 acres (Visited in 2019)
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona - 221,390.21 acres
Pinnacles National Park, California - 26,685.73 acres
Redwood National Park, California - 138,999.37 acres
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - 265,807.24 acres (Visited in 2022)
Saguaro National Park, Arizona - 92,867.42 acres
Sequoia National Park, California - 404,062.63 acres (Visited in 2014)
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia - 200,192.09 acres (First visited in 2008 & many more times)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota - 70,446.89 acres
Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands - 15,052.33 acres
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota - 218,222.35 acres
White Sands National Park, New Mexico - 146,344.31 acres
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota - 33,970.84 acres
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park, Alaska - 8,323,146.48 acres
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana & Idaho - 2,219,790.71 acres
Yosemite National Park, California - 761,747.50 acres (Visited in 2014)
Zion National Park, Utah - 147,242.66 acres (Visited in 2016)
Interactive Map of US Nationals Parks
The US National Parks are located throughout the country, and an interactive map is available to help plan your visit to these breathtaking natural sites. To utilize the map, you can easily zoom in on the specific area you want to explore. From there, you can locate the park you're interested in and adjust the level of detail displayed by zooming in or out. Additionally, you can obtain driving directions to the park entrance, making trip planning easier than ever before.