All US National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park photo
Tennessee, North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North Carolina runs northeast to southwest through the centerline of the park. It is the most visited national park in the United States with over 11.3 million recreational visitors in 2016. On its route from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail also passes through the center of the park. The park was chartered by the United States Congress in 1934 and officially dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.

Grand Canyon National Park photo
Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is the 15th site in the United States to have been named a national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in northwestern Arizona. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Wonders of the World. The park, which covers 1,217,262 acres (1,901.972 sq mi; 492,608 ha; 4,926.08 km) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties, received nearly six million recreational visitors in 2016, which is the second highest count of all U.S. national parks after Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Zion National Park photo
Utah

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is a United States National Park located in southwestern Utah, near the city of Springdale. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km) park is Zion Canyon, which stretches 15 miles (24 km) long and spans up to half a mile (800 m) deep. It cuts through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.

Rocky Mountain National Park photo
Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a United States national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and westerns slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.

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Yosemite National Park photo
California

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a United States national park lying in the western Sierra Nevada of California. The park, which is managed by the U.S. National Park Service, covers an area of 747,956 acres (1,168.681 sq mi; 302,687 ha; 3,026.87 km). Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.

Yellowstone National Park photo
Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a national park located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone was the first national park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world. The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful geyser, one of its most popular features. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is the most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion.

Acadia National Park photo
Maine

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a United States national park located in the state of Maine, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park reserves much of Mount Desert Island and associated smaller islands along the Atlantic coast. Initially created as the Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916, the park was renamed and re-designated Lafayette National Park in 1919, and then renamed once more as Acadia National Park in 1929. Over three million people visited the park in 2016. Acadia is the oldest designated national park in the United States east of the Mississippi River, although two eastern Canadian parks are older: Thousand Islands (1904) and Point Pelee (1918).

Olympic National Park photo
Washington

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is located in the state of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. Within the park there are three distinct ecosystems which are sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadow, temperate forest, and the rugged Pacific Shore. These three different ecosystems are in pristine condition and have outstanding scenery.

Grand Teton National Park photo
Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres (480 sq mi; 130,000 ha; 1,300 km), the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long (64 km) Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. It is only 10 miles (16 km) south of Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Along with surrounding National Forests, these three protected areas constitute the almost 18,000,000-acre (7,300,000 ha) Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the world's largest intact mid-latitude temperate ecosystems.

Glacier National Park photo
Montana

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a 1,583-sq.-mi. wilderness area in Montana's Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. It's crossed by the mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Among more than 700 miles of hiking trails, it has a route to photogenic Hidden Lake. Other activities include backpacking, cycling and camping. Diverse wildlife ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears.

Joshua Tree National Park photo
California

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433), it had been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It is named for the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) native to the park. It covers a land area of 790,636 acres (1,235.37 sq mi; 3,199.59 km)—an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres (173,890 ha), is a designated wilderness area. Straddling the border between San Bernardino County and Riverside County, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park.

Bryce Canyon National Park photo
Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is a United States national park located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m).

Cuyahoga Valley National Park photo
Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a United States national park that preserves and reclaims the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The 32,572 acres (51 sq mi; 132 km) park is administered by the National Park Service and is the only national park in Ohio. It was originally designated the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1974, and was redesignated as a national park in 2000.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park photo
Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, established on August 1, 1916, is an American National Park located in the U.S. state of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive shield volcano. The park delivers scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna.

Hot Springs National Park photo
Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat. Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832 to be preserved for future recreation. Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that a piece of land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation.

Arches National Park photo
Utah

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a United States National Park in eastern Utah. The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. It is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations. It contains the highest density of natural arches in the world.

Shenandoah National Park photo
Virginia

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a national park that encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. The park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and Valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Although the scenic Skyline Drive is likely the most prominent feature of the park, almost 40% of the land area 79,579 acres (124.342 sq mi; 32,204 ha; 322.04 km) has been designated as wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).

Mount Rainier National Park photo
Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington state. It was established on March 2, 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States. The park encompasses 236,381 acres (369.35 sq mi; 956.60 km) including all of Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot (4,392 m) stratovolcano. The mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 1,600 feet to over 14,000 feet (490 - 4,300 m). The highest point in the Cascade Range, around it are valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, old-growth forest and more than 25 glaciers. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow on the peak every year.

The Gateway Arch photo
Missouri

The Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (192 m) monument in St. Louis in the U.S. state of Missouri. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch,[5] it is the world's tallest arch,[4] the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere,[6] and Missouri's tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States,[5] and officially dedicated to "the American people," it is the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch National Park and has become an internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis, as well as a popular tourist destination.

Death Valley National Park photo
California, Nevada

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, it occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts in the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area. It is the hottest, driest and lowest of the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times.

Sequoia National Park photo
California

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans 404,064 acres (631.35 sq mi; 163,518.90 ha; 1,635.19 km). Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.

Capitol Reef National Park photo
Utah

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is a United States national park located in south-central Utah. The park is approximately 60 miles (97 km) long on its north–south axis but an average of just 6 miles (9.7 km) wide. The park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres (377.98 sq mi; 97,895.08 ha; 978.95 km) of desert landscape and is open all year with May through September being the highest visitation months.

Haleakalā National Park photo
Hawaii

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park is a national park located on the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. The park covers an area of 33,265 acres (134.62 km), of which 19,270 acres (77.98 km) is a wilderness area.

Badlands National Park photo
South Dakota

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is a national park of the United States located in southwestern South Dakota. It protects 242,756 acres (379.306 sq mi; 98,240 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The park is managed by the National Park Service.

Everglades National Park photo
Florida

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is a U.S. National Park in Florida that protects the southern 20 percent of the original Everglades. In the United States, it is the largest tropical wilderness, the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance, one of only three locations in the world to appear on all three lists.

Saguaro National Park photo
Arizona

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is a United States national park in Pima County in southeastern Arizona. The 92,000-acre (37,000 ha) park consists of two separate areas—the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) about 10 miles (16 km) west of the city of Tucson and the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) about 10 miles (16 km) east of the city—that preserve Sonoran Desert landscapes, fauna, and flora, including the giant saguaro cactus.

Canyonlands National Park photo
Utah

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab. It preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. Legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12, 1964.

Crater Lake National Park photo
Oregon

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the fifth-oldest national park in the U.S. and the only national park in Oregon. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo
North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a United States National Park comprising three geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota. The park was named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The park covers 70,446 acres (110.072 sq mi; 28,508 ha; 285.08 km) of land in three sections: the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit.

Kings Canyon National Park photo
California

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, in Fresno and Tulare Counties, California in the United States. Originally established in 1890 as General Grant National Park, it was greatly expanded and renamed to Kings Canyon National Park on March 4, 1940. Its namesake, Kings Canyon, is a rugged glacier-carved valley more than a mile (1,600 m) deep; the park also includes multiple 14,000-foot (4,300 m) peaks, high mountain meadows, swift-flowing rivers, and some of the world's largest stands of giant sequoia trees. Kings Canyon is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park, and the two are jointly administered by the National Park Service as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Denali National Park and Preserve photo
Alaska

Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve is a national park and preserve located in Alaska Interior, centered on Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The park and contiguous preserve encompasses more than 6 million acres (24,500 km). The national preserve is 1,334,200 acres (5,430 km). On December 2, 1980, a 2,146,580 acre (8,687 km) Denali Wilderness was established within the park. Denali's landscape is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga. The preserve is also home to tundra at middle elevations, and glaciers, rock, and snow at the highest elevations. The longest glacier is the Kahiltna Glacier. The park received 587,412 recreational visitors in 2016. Wintertime activities includes dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmachining.

Petrified Forest National Park photo
Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the fee area of the park covers about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. The park received 643,274 recreational visitors in 2016, representing a decrease of 19% from the prior year and slightly below the ten year average of about 660,000. Typical visitor activities include sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking.

Wind Cave National Park photo
South Dakota

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is a United States National Park located 10 miles (16 km) north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its displays of the calcite formation known as boxwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world's discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Wind Cave is also known for its frostwork. The cave is also considered a three-dimensional maze cave, recognized as the densest (greatest passage volume per cubic mile) cave system in the world. The cave is currently the sixth-longest in the world with 140.47 miles (226.06 km) of explored cave passageways. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

Mesa Verde National Park photo
Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is a National Park and World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States.

Mammoth Cave National Park photo
Kentucky

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. national park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Since the 1972 unification of Mammoth Cave with the even-longer system under Flint Ridge to the north, the official name of the system has been the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System. The park was established as a national park on July 1, 1941. It became a World Heritage Site on October 27, 1981, and an international Biosphere Reserve on September 26, 1990.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve photo
Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is in the Alaska panhandle west of Juneau. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the area around Glacier Bay a national monument under the Antiquities Act on February 25, 1925. Subsequent to an expansion of the monument by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) enlarged the national monument by 523,000 acres (2116.5 km) on December 2, 1980 and in the process created Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, with 57,000 additional acres (230.7 km) of public land designated as national preserve to the immediate northwest of the park in order to protect a portion of the Alsek River and related fish and wildlife habitats while allowing sport hunting.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park photo
New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show cave, Carlsbad Cavern. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance or take an elevator from the visitor center.

Lassen Volcanic National Park photo
California

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a United States National Park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southern-most volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907: Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve photo
Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a national park that conserves an area of large sand dunes up to 750 feet (229 m) tall on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, and an adjacent national preserve located in the Sangre de Cristo Range, in south-central Colorado, United States. The park was originally designated Great Sand Dunes National Monument on March 17, 1932 by President Herbert Hoover. The original boundaries protected an area of 35,528 acres (55.5 sq mi). A boundary change and redesignation as a national park and preserve was authorized on November 22, 2000 and then established by an act of Congress on September 24, 2004. The park encompasses 107,342 acres (167.7 sq mi) while the preserve protects an additional 41,686 acres (65.1 sq mi) for a total of 149,028 acres (232.9 sq mi).

Biscayne National Park photo
Florida

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southern Florida, south of Miami. The park preserves Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. Ninety-five percent of the park is water, and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 172,971 acres (69,999 ha) and includes Elliott Key, the park's largest island and first of the true Florida Keys, formed from fossilized coral reef. The islands farther north in the park are transitional islands of coral and sand. The offshore portion of the park includes the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world.

Redwood National and State Parks photo
California

Redwood National and State Parks

The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are a complex of several state and national parks located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres (560 km), and feature old-growth temperate rainforests. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km). These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, and 37 miles (60 km) of pristine coastline.

Big Bend National Park photo
Texas

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is a United States National Park located in West Texas, bordering Mexico. It has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. It contains more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.

Channel Islands National Park photo
California

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is a United States national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U.S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean. Although the islands are close to the shore of densely populated Southern California, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped. The park covers 249,561 acres (100,994 ha) of which 79,019 acres (31,978 ha) are owned by the federal government. The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 76% of Santa Cruz Island, the largest island in the park.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park photo
Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a United States National Park located in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service. There are two primary entrances to the park: the south rim entrance is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Montrose, while the north rim entrance is 11 miles (18 km) south of Crawford and is closed in the winter. The park contains 12 miles (19 km) of the 48-mile (77 km) long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, according to Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In the book, author Duane Vandenbusche states, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon."

Virgin Islands National Park photo
United States Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park

The Virgin Islands National Park is a United States National Park, covering approximately 60% of the island of Saint John in the United States Virgin Islands, over 5,500 acres of adjacent ocean, plus nearly all of Hassel Island, just off the Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas harbor. It became the 29th U.S. national park in 1956.

Kenai Fjords National Park photo
Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is a United States National Park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.85 sq mi; 2,711.33 km) on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska, near the town of Seward. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a popular port for cruise ships. Exit Glacier is reachable by road and is a popular tour destination. The remainder of the park is primarily accessible by boat. The fjords are glacial valleys that have been submerged below sea level by a combination of rising sea levels and land subsidence.

Voyageurs National Park photo
Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is a United States National Park in northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls established in 1975. The park's name commemorates the voyageurs—French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to frequently travel through the area. The park is notable for its outstanding water resources and is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters, and fishermen. The Kabetogama Peninsula, which lies entirely within the park and makes up most of its land area, is accessible only by boat. To the east of the National Park lies the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Pinnacles National Park photo
California

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is a United States National Park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Soledad and 80 miles (130 km) southeast of San Jose. The park's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles (320 km) from its original location on the San Andreas Fault, embedded in a portion of the California Pacific Coast Ranges. Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park photo
Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a national park in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet (2,667 m) in elevation. Located east of El Paso, it also contains El Capitan, long used as a landmark by people traveling along the old route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. Visitors can see the ruins of an old stagecoach station near the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Camping is available at the Pine Springs Campground and Dog Canyon. The restored Frijole Ranch House is now a small museum of local ranching history and is the trailhead for Smith Spring. The park covers 86,367 acres (134.95 sq mi; 349.51 km) and is in the same mountain range as Carlsbad Caverns National Park which is located about 25 miles (40 km) to the north in New Mexico. A number of trails exist in the park for hiking and horse-riding. Climbing over 3,000 feet (910 m) to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the Guadalupe Peak Trail winds through pinyon pine and Douglas-fir forests and has views of El Capitan and the Chihuahuan Desert.

Great Basin National Park photo
Nevada

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is a United States National Park located in White Pine County in east-central Nevada, near the Utah border, established in 1986. It is most commonly entered by way of Nevada State Route 488, which is connected to U.S. Routes 6 and 50 by Nevada State Route 487 via the small town of Baker, the closest settlement to the park.

Congaree National Park photo
South Carolina

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park, in central South Carolina, is a 26,276-acre (41.06 sq mi; 10,633.52 ha; 106.34 km) United States national park. It received its official designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign launched in 1969. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in its floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern United States, forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 57 percent (15,000 acres or 61 square kilometers) of the park is designated wilderness area.

National Park of American Samoa photo
American Samoa

National Park of American Samoa

The National Park of American Samoa is a National Park in the United States Territory of American Samoa, distributed across three separate islands: Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū. The park preserves and protects coral reefs, tropical rainforests, fruit bats, and the Samoan culture. It is popular for hiking and snorkeling. Of the park's 13,500 acres (5,500 ha), 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) is land and 4,500 acres (1,800 ha) is coral reefs and ocean. The park is the only American National Park Service system unit south of the equator.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve photo
Alaska

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States national park and national preserve managed by the National Park Service in south central Alaska. The park and preserve was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. This protected area is included in an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of the Kluane/Wrangell–St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park and preserve form the largest area managed by the National Park Service in the United States by area with a total of 13,175,799 acres (20,587.186 sq mi; 53,320.57 km2), an expanse that could encapsulate a total of six Yellowstone National Parks. The park includes a large portion of the Saint Elias Mountains, which include most of the highest peaks in the United States and Canada, yet are within 10 miles (16 km) of tidewater, one of the highest reliefs in the world. Wrangell–St. Elias borders on Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve to the east and approaches the U.S. Glacier Bay National Park to the south. The chief distinction between park and preserve lands is that sport hunting is prohibited in the park and permitted in the preserve. In addition, 9,078,675 acres (3,674,009 ha) of the park are designated as the largest single wilderness in the United States.

Dry Tortugas National Park photo
Florida

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is a national park in the United States about 68 miles (109 km) west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. The park preserves Fort Jefferson and the seven Dry Tortugas islands, the westernmost and most isolated of the Florida Keys. The archipelago's coral reefs are the least disturbed of the Florida Keys reefs.

Katmai National Park and Preserve photo
Alaska

Katmai National Park and Preserve

Katmai National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska, notable for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and for its Alaskan brown bears. The park and preserve covers 4,093,077 acres (6,395.43 sq mi; 16,564.09 km), which is between the sizes of Connecticut and New Jersey. Most of this is a designated wilderness area in the national park where all hunting is banned, including over 3,922,000 acres (1,587,000 ha) of land. The park is named after Mount Katmai, its centerpiece stratovolcano. The park is located on the Alaska Peninsula, across from Kodiak Island, with headquarters in nearby King Salmon, about 290 miles (470 km) southwest of Anchorage. The area was first designated a national monument in 1918 to protect the area around the major 1912 volcanic eruption of Novarupta, which formed the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a 40-square-mile (100 km), 100-to-700-foot-deep (30 to 213 m) pyroclastic flow. The park includes as many as 18 individual volcanoes, seven of which have been active since 1900.

North Cascades National Park photo
Washington

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is a United States National Park located in the state of Washington. The park is the largest of the three National Park Service units that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland adjoin the National Park. The park features rugged mountain peaks and protects portions of the North Cascades range.

Isle Royale National Park photo
Michigan

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park is a U.S. National Park on Isle Royale and adjacent islands in Lake Superior, in the state of Michigan. Isle Royale National Park was established on April 3, 1940; designated as a National Wilderness Area in 1976; and made an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. The park covers 894 square miles (2,320 km), with 209 square miles (540 km) above water. At the Canada–U.S. border, it meets the borders of the Canadian Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve photo
Alaska

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park in Port Alsworth, Alaska. It was first proclaimed a national monument in 1978, then established as a national park and preserve in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park includes many streams and lakes vital to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, including its namesake Lake Clark. A wide variety of recreational activities may be pursued in the park and preserve year-round. Located about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Anchorage, the park includes a variety of features not found together in any of the other Alaska Parks: the junction of three mountain ranges, a coastline with rainforests along the Cook Inlet, a plateau with alpine tundra on the west, glaciers, glacial lakes, major salmon-bearing rivers, and two volcanoes, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna. Redoubt is active, erupting in 1989 and 2009. The wide variety of ecosystems in the park mean that virtually all major Alaskan animals, terrestrial and marine, may be seen in and around the park. Salmon, particularity sockeye salmon, play a major role in the ecosystem and the local economy. The Kvichak River is the world's most productive watershed for sockeye salmon. Large populations of brown bears are attracted as a result, to feed on the spawning salmon in the Kijik River and at Silver Salmon Creek, and as a result bear viewing is a common activity in the park.

Kobuk Valley National Park photo
Alaska

Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park is in northwestern Alaska 25 miles (40 km) north of the Arctic Circle. It was designated a United States National Park in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It is noted for the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and caribou migration routes. Park visitors can bring their own gear and go backcountry camping, hiking, backpacking,boating, and dog sledding. There are no designated trails or roads in the park, which at 1,795,280 acres (2,805.12 sq mi; 7,265.24 km), is approximately the size of the state of Delaware. The park is entirely above the Arctic Circle.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve photo
Alaska

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is a U.S. National Park in Alaska. It is the northernmost national park in the U.S. (the entirety of the park lies north of the Arctic Circle) and the second largest at 8,472,506 acres (3,428,702 ha) (34,287 km²), slightly larger in area than Belgium. The park consists primarily of portions of the Brooks Range of mountains. It was first protected as a U.S. National Monument on December 1, 1978, before becoming a national park and preserve two years later in 1980 upon passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. A large part of the park is protected in the Gates of the Arctic Wilderness which covers 7,167,192 acres (2,900,460 ha). The wilderness area adjoins the Noatak Wilderness Area and together they form the largest contiguous wilderness in the United States.