US National Parks

The United States has 60 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the National Park Service. Of these, 14 national parks are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 30 are designated US Biosphere Reserves.

The below list makes for a great adventure bucket list. Visit them all or select some to add to your ultimate bucket list. The choice is yours.

List of US National Parks

1. Denali National Park, Alaska

2. Gates of the Arctic, Alaska

3. Glacier Bay, Alaska

4. Katmai, Alaska

5. Kenai Fjords, Alaska

6. Kobuk Valley, Alaska

7. Lake Clark, Alaska

8. Wrangell – St. Elias, Alaska

9. American Samoa National Park, American Samoa

10. Grand Canyon, Arizona

11. Petrified Forest, Arizona

12. Saguaro, Arizona

13. Hot Springs, Arkansas

14. Channel Islands, California

15. Death Valley, California

16. Joshua Tree, California

17. Kings Canyon, California

18. Lassen Volcanic, California

19. Redwood National Park, California

20. Sequoia National Park, California

21. Yosemite, California

22. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

23. Great Sand Dunes,  Colorado

24. Mesa Verde, Colorado

25. Rocky Mountain, Colorado

26. Biscayne, Florida

27. Dry Tortugas, Florida

28. Everglades, Florida

29. Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

30. Hawaii Volcanoes, Big Island, Hawaii

31. Yellowstone, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

32. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

33. Acadia, Maine

34. Isle Royale, Michigan

35. Voyageurs, Minnesota

36. Gateway Arch, Missouri

37. Glacier, Montana

38. Great Basin, Nevada

39. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

40. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

41. Theodore Roosevelt, North Dakota

42. Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio

43. Crater Lake, Oregon

44. Congaree, South Carolina

45. Badlands, South Dakota

46. Wind Cave, South Dakota

47. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

48. Big Bend, Texas

49. Guadalupe Mountains, Texas

50. Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands

51. Arches, Utah

52. Bryce Canyon, Utah

53. Capitol Reef, Utah

54. Canyonlands, Utah

55. Zion, Utah

56. Shenandoah, Virginia

57. Mount Rainier, Washington

58. North Cascades, Washington

59. Olympic, Washington

60. Grand Teton, Wyoming 

National Parks by States

Alaska

  • Denali (est. 1917)
  • Gates of the Arctic (est. 1980)
  • Glacier Bay (est. 1980)
  • Katmai (est. 1980)
  • Kenai Fjords (est. 1980)
  • Kobuk Valley (est. 1980)
  • Lake Clark (est. 1980)
  • Wrangell – St. Elias (est. 1980)

American Samoa

  • American Samoa (est. 1988)

Arizona

  • Grand Canyon (est. 1919)
  • Petrified Forest (est. 1962)
  • Saguaro (est. 1994)

Arkansas

  • Hot Springs (est. 1921)

California

  • Channel Islands (est. 1980)
  • Death Valley (est. 1994)
  • Joshua Tree (est. 1994)
  • Kings Canyon (est. 1940)
  • Lassen Volcanic (est. 1916)
  • Redwood (est. 1968)
  • Sequoia (est. 1890)
  • Yosemite (est. 1890)

Colorado

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison (est. 1999)
  • Great Sand Dunes (est. 2004)
  • Mesa Verde (est. 1906)
  • Rocky Mountain (est. 1915)

Florida

  • Biscayne (est. 1980)
  • Dry Tortugas (est. 1992)
  • Everglades (est. 1947)

Hawaii

  • Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii (est. 1916)
  • Hawaii Volcanoes, Big Island, Hawaii (est. 1916)

Idaho

  • Yellowstone (est. 1872)

Kentucky

  • Mammoth Cave (est. 1941)

Maine

  • Acadia (est. 1919)

Michigan

  • Isle Royale (est. 1940)

Minnesota

  • Voyageurs (est. 1975)

Missouri

  • Gateway Arch (est. 2018)

Montana

  • Glacier (est. 1910)
  • Yellowstone (est. 1872)

Nevada

  • Great Basin (est. 1986)

New Mexico

  • Carlsbad Caverns (est. 1930)

North Carolina

  • Great Smoky Mountains (est. 1934)

North Dakota

  • Theodore Roosevelt (est. 1978)

Ohio

  • Cuyahoga Valley (est. 2000)

Oregon

  • Crater Lake (est. 1902)

South Carolina

  • Congaree (est. 2003)

South Dakota

  • Badlands (est. 1978)
  • Wind Cave (est. 1903)

Tennessee

  • Great Smoky Mountains (est. 1934)

Texas

  • Big Bend (est. 1944)
  • Guadalupe Mountains (est. 1966)

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Virgin Islands (est. 1956)

Utah

  • Arches (est. 1971)
  • Bryce Canyon (est. 1928)
  • Capitol Reef (est. 1971)
  • Canyonlands (est. 1964)
  • Zion (est. 1919)

Virginia

  • Shenandoah (est. 1935)

Washington

  • Mount Rainier (est. 1899)
  • North Cascades (est. 1968)
  • Olympic (est. 1938)

Wyoming

  • Grand Teton (est. 1929)
  • Yellowstone (est. 1872)

National Parks Fun Facts

  • The criteria for the selection of national parks include natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. 
  • National Monuments, on the other hand, are frequently chosen for their historical or archaeological significance.
  • Out of 50 States, 28 states have national parks, and two of the US territories (American Samoa and US Virgin Islands.)
  • California has 9 national parks, the most in any state, followed by Alaska (8), Utah (5), and Colorado (4).
  • The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska. At over 8 million acres, it is larger than the combined area of nine smallest US states. The next three largest national parks are also in Alaska.
  • The smallest national park is Hot Springs in Arkansas.
  • Yellowstone was the first national park.
  • The most-visited national park is the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, followed by Arizona’s Grand Canyon, with millions of tourists visiting these parks each year.
  • The least visited National Park is the Gates of the Arctic in remote Alaska. Only about 10,000 people visit it each year.
  • The most re-visited national park is Michigan’s Isle Royale, a small island in the Lake Superior.
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