List of 63 National Parks in the US by State

If you love nature and outdoor activities, you’ll definitely want to check out these national parks in the US by state. From the majestic mountains of Alaska to the stunning beaches of Florida, there’s a park for everyone. And with over 400 national parks to choose from, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.

List of 63 National Parks in the US by State 1

Table of Contents

US National Parks Maps

Below you can find official National Park Services (NPS) maps. The maps include all 423 official National Park System properties.

The maps are available in high-resolution PDF format. Feel free to download them. The high resolution allows you to create large high-quality prints.

The map on the left (wall map) was designed as a poster, and you can hang it on the wall.

US National Parks Frequently Asked Questions

How Many National Parks in the US?

According to the National Park Service, 63 official national parks are currently in the United States. But the National Park System includes 423 national park sites in total. This includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Preserves, National Historical Parks, National Recreation Areas, National Trails, and National Historic Landmarks.

What is the prettiest national park?

It is a very subjective issue. You can find a wide variety of opinions here. In my case, I like most of the parks from the southwest region of the US, such as Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Yosemite.

What are the most visited national parks?

The most visited parks are Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, Rocky Mountain, Acadia, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Yosemite.

What national park reaches into three states of the USA?

The only national park that is located in 3 states is Yellowstone. The park reaches into Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Is there a national park in every US state?

While 49 out of 50 US states have national park sites, only 30 states have official national parks. The states without national parks are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

What states have 8 or more national parks?

California (9) and Alaska (8) are the two states with the most national parks in the nation.

How long would it take to visit all 63 national parks?

Probably a lifetime. Some parks are hard to reach because they are located inside the polar circle (Alaska), and others are on the other side of the planet (Samoa).

What state has no national park?

The only state which has no official national parks or national park sites is Delaware.

Are there 62 or 63 national parks?

In 2022 there are 63 official national parks. The latest park that was added to the official list was New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia) in 2020.

Which US national parks are located within the Arctic Circle?

The United States has 4 national park sites within the Arctic Circle. These parks include the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Noatak National Preserve.

Sortable List of 63 National Parks in the US

Park NameStateYear CreatedSize (Acres)Annual Visitors
AcadiaMaine191948,0004,069,098
American SamoaA. Samoa19888,2568,495
ArchesUtah192976,6801,806,865
BadlandsSouth Dakota1978244,0001,224,226
Big BendTexas1944801,200581,220
BiscayneFlorida1980173,000705,655
Black Canyon of the GunnisonColorado199930,750308,910
Bryce CanyonUtah192876,6801,806,865
CanyonlandsUtah1964257,640911,594
Capitol ReefUtah1971241,9001,405,353
Carlsbad CavernsNew Mexico193046,770349,244
Channel IslandsCalifornia1980249,561319,252
CongareeSouth Carolina200326,692215,181
Crater LakeOregon1902183,244647,751
Cuyahoga ValleyOhio197432,5702,575,275
Death ValleyCalifornia19943,373,0001,678,660
DenaliAlaska19174,740,911595,000
Dry TortugasFlorida193547,12583,817
EvergladesFlorida19341,508,976597,124
Gates of the ArcticAlaska19808,472,5062,800
Gateway ArchMissouri2018911,145,081
GlacierMontana19101,000,0003,081,656
Glacier BayAlaska19803,280,19889,768
Grand CanyonArizona19191,217,2622,897,098
Grand TetonWyoming1929310,0003,289,638
Great BasinNevada198677,000215,181
Great Sand DunesColorado1932149,000527,546
Great Smoky MountainsTennessee1934522,42714,161,548
Guadalupe MountainsTexas197286,367243,291
HaleakalaHawaii196130,183853,181
Hawai’i VolcanoesHawaii1916335,2591,262,747
Hot SpringsArkansas19215,5501,506,887
Indiana DunesIndiana20192,1823,177,210
Isle RoyaleMichigan1940527,00025,844
Joshua TreeCalifornia1994795,1562,399,542
KatmaiAlaska19184,093,07739,000
Kenai FjordsAlaska1980669,984320,000
Kings CanyonCalifornia1940461,901400,000
Kobuk ValleyAlaska19801,750,71615,000
Lake ClarkAlaska19804,030,01514,479
Lassen VolcanicCalifornia1916106,452500,000
Mammoth CaveKentucky194152,880515,774
Mesa VerdeColorado190652,000548,477
Mount RainierWashington1899236,3801,670,063
New River GorgeWest Virginia202070,0001,682,720
North CascadesWashington1968505,00017,855
OlympicWashington1938922,7002,718,925
Petrified ForestArizona1962146,900645,000
PinnaclesCalifornia201326,000200,000
RedwoodCalifornia1968131,938435,879
Rocky MountainColorado1915265,8074,434,848
SaguaroArizona199491,3271,079,786
SequoiaCalifornia1890328,3151,059,548
ShenandoahVirginia1935199,2001,592,312
Theodore RooseveltNorth Dakota197870,000796,085
Virgin IslandsUS Virgin Islands19567,259323,999
VoyageursMinnesota1975218,055243,042
White SandsNew Mexico2019145,800782,469
Wind CaveSouth Dakota190310,522709,001
Wrangell-St. EliasAlaska198013,175,79978,000
YellowstoneWyoming1872310,0003,885,230
YosemiteCalifornia1890747,9463,287,595
ZionUtah1919146,6005,039,835
Park NameStateYear CreatedSize (Acres)Annual Visitors

Alaska National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Alaska
Denali National Park

Denali National Park

  • Year Established: February 26, 1917
  • Area: 4,740,911 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 595,000
  • Best Time to Visit: May to August

Denali National Park is a vast and largely untouched wilderness in the interior of Alaska. The park is home to North America’s tallest mountain, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), glaciers, forests, a myriad of lakes, and tundra.

In Denali National Park, visitors can access the park by a vehicle on 92-mile Park Road. Only 15miles of Park Road are available for private cars. The rest of the park is accessible by ranger-led suttles service.

Gates of the Arctic National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 8,472,506 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 2,800
  • Best Time to Visit: June to August

Gates of the Arctic National Park is a vast and largely untouched wilderness in Alaska. The park is 7 million acres, making it the second largest national park in the country, only behind Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (also in Alaska). The park is known for its Brooks Mountain Range, valleys carved by glaciers, and polar tundra desert. The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and wolves. 

The park lies entirely within the Arctic Circle!

There are no roads or trails in the park, and most of the park can only be accessed by air.

Glacier Bay National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 3,280,198 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 89,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to August

Glacier Bay National Park is one of the most pristine and undeveloped national parks in the United States. The park is located on the southeast coast of Alaska, about halfway between Seattle and Anchorage, just north of Juneau. Nestled between Alaska’s Chugach and Wrangell Mountains, the park contains over 50 glaciers and more than 100,000 acres of temperate rainforest, rugged mountains, stormy coastlines, and deep fjords. The park was established in 1980 and covered over 3,3 million acres. 

The park is also home to abundant wildlife, including 40 different species of mammals (grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, beavers, moose, black-tailed deer, caribou, sea otter, harbor seals, and sea lions).

Katmai National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 4,093,077 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 39,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to August

Katmai National Park is located in southwest Alaska and is known for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The valley was created by the 1912 eruption of the Novarupta volcano and is now a popular tourist destination.

The park is also famous for the sockeye salmon that attract the Alaskan brown bears during summer migration. July and August is the best time to spot feeding brown bears.

Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and boat tours.

Kenai Fjords National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 669,984 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 320,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September

The Kenai Fjords National Park is a coastal conservation area located on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska. It is the smallest national park in Alaska.

The park is home to coastal fjords and glaciers, with the most notable being Harding Icefield and Bear Glacier.

Boat tours and kayaking is the best way to explore fjords and glaciers with abundant wildlife, including killer whales, humpback whales, black bears, puffins, and bald eagles.

Kobuk Valley National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 1,750,716 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 15,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September

Kobuk Valley National Park is located in the Arctic region of Alaska and is only 40km from the arctic circle. The park is best known for its Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, the largest active dunes in the Arctic.

The only way to reach the park is by charter plane or foot, as no roads lead to it. Since no roads or trails exist in the park, the best way to experience it is by airplane on flightseeing tours.

Despite being one of the least visited parks in the United States, Kobuk Valley National Park is a stunning and unique destination worth exploring.

Lake Clark National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 4,030,015 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 14,479
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September

Lake Clark National Park is located in southwest Alaska and is considered one of the most challenging places to reach. It is only accessible by plane or boat. The park’s uniqueness is that it contains all of Alaska’s ecosystems: glaciers, mountains, tundra, and forests.

The park also has an active volcano, Mt. Redoubt, which provides visitors with an incredible view.

Visitors can explore the park through hiking, kayaking, and salmon fishing.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

  • Year Established: December 2, 1980
  • Area: 13,175,799 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 78,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States. The park encompasses 13.2 million acres, making it larger than Switzerland. It is also home to nine of North America’s tallest mountains, including Mt. St. Elias, the second-highest peak in North America. The park also contains five major glaciers, including the largest glacier in North America, Bering Glacier.

The only way to get to the park is by two unpaved roads or by plane.

Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

Other Areas of Alaska Maintained by National Park Services

  • Alagnak Wild River
  • Alaska Public Lands Information Centers
  • Aleutian Islands World War II National Historic Area
  • Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve
  • Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
  • Cape Krusenstern National Monument
  • Iñupiat Heritage Center
  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  • Noatak National Preserve
  • Sitka National Historical Park
  • Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

American Samoa National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: 
American Samoa
National Park of American Samoa

National Park of American Samoa

  • Year Established: October 31, 1988
  • Area: 8,256 acres
  • Annual Visitors: 29,000
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September

National Park of American Samoa is a national park located in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the least developed US national park. The park encompasses three volcanic islands in American Samoa: Tutuila, Ta‘ū, and Ofu.

The park protects the Samoan rainforest, coral reefs, and the traditional way of life of the Samoan people.

Visitors to the park can hike through the rainforest, swim in the coral reefs, and learn about the Samoan culture.

Arizona National Parks

National Parks in the US by State:  Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

  • Year Established: 1919
  • Annual Visitors: 2,897,098
  • Area: 1,217,262 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to October

As one of the most popular natural landmarks in the United States, Grand Canyon National Park is the second most visited park in the nation! Over the course of 5 to 6 million years the mighty Colorado River carved the canyon into the natural wonder it is today.

The park is separated into the North Rim and South Rim. The South Rim is the most visited part of the park and gives visitors the most iconic views of the canyon. The South Rim offers amazing lodging, fantastic hiking and unparalleled views. The North Rim is closed in the winter, but has Bright Angel Point and a beautiful scenic drive. 

Petrified Forest National Park

  • Year Established: 1962
  • Annual Visitors: 645,000 
  • Area: 146,900 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to October

Petrified Forest National Park has one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world. Scientific studies have shown that the petrified wood in the park dates back 212 to 218 million years. This phenomenon occurs when wood is fossilized over centuries via a mineralization process. 

With the addition of dramatic geological formations and ancient art, this park is a must visit in eastern Arizona. The petroglyphs in the park are remnants of once thriving Pueblo villages. 

Saguaro National Park

  • Year Established: 1994
  • Annual Visitors: 1 million 
  • Area: 91,327 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: October to April 

Saguaro National Park is full of towering Saguaro cacti that are synonymous with the desert and the American west. The park itself helps to protect and preserve its namesake while attracting travelers from around the world to view these Arizona native ‘Kings of the Sonoran Desert.’

This park that started as a national monument, is now separated into two distinct sections, East and West. These districts are separated by the city of Tucson, giving visitors easy access to both sides of the park. Explore the East side for access to hiking or the West side of the park for a large concentration of cacti. 

Other Areas of Arizona Maintained by National Park Services

  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument
  • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  • Chiricahua National Monument
  • Coronado National Memorial
  • Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
  • Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
  • Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument
  • Navajo National Monument
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  • Pipe Spring National Monument
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  • Tonto National Monument
  • Tumacácori National Historical Park
  • Tuzigoot National Monument
  • Walnut Canyon National Monument
  • Wupatki National Monument

Arkansas National Parks

Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park

  • Year Established: 1921
  • Annual Visitors: 1.4 million 
  • Area: 5,550 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: February to April, August to October 

Hot Springs National Park’s thermal water features are what draws travelers to this natural wonder. Those looking for a more relaxing National Park experience will enjoy Hot Springs. Visitors can still soak in the historical establishments in the park, as well as hike some truly stunning trails. 

Due to the park’s location in central Arkansas, it is easily accessed by the town of Hot Springs bus service. Unlike many other National Parks, access to Hot Springs is completely free, but parking is limited within the park. 

Other Areas of Arkansas Maintained by National Park Services

  • Arkansas Post National Memorial
  • Buffalo National River
  • Fort Smith National Historic Site
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  • Pea Ridge National Military Park
  • President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site
  • Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail

California National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: California
Yosemite National Park

Channel Islands National Park

  • Year Established: 1980
  • Annual Visitors: 366,250
  • Area: 249,561 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: August to October 

Channel Island National Park is comprised of five jaw dropping islands about 29 miles from Santa Barbara, California. The islands include Anacapa, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. Known for its gorgeous nature, amazing wildlife, and preservation of cultural heritage, these islands are awe-inspiring.

This park is all about water experiences such as snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. Due to the nature of the islands, visitors need to arrange travel by boat to the island of their choice. It’s highly recommended that this is done in advance. Keep in mind that there are no cars or bikes on the islands, therefore exploring on foot is the only option. 

Death Valley National Park

  • Year Established: 1994
  • Annual Visitors: 1.7 million 
  • Area: 3,373,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May 

While Death Valley National Park is known for its stark landscape, for travelers looking for a bit more edge, this park is perfect. The geological and topographical aspects of Death Valley are what draws people in, including the vast salt lake bed that sits at -282 feet. That makes Death Valley the lowest National Park in the United States. 

During the spring season the park features stunning wildflowers. Most of the top sites in Death Valley National Park are accessible from paved roads. There are a few dirt road destinations but these roads are graded and easily accessible with most vehicles. 

Joshua Tree National Park

  • Year Established: 1994
  • Annual Visitors: 2-3 million 
  • Area:  795,156 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May, October to November

Joshua Tree National Park features a vastly beautiful desert landscape in southern California. Visitors can enjoy seeing the desert come to life as they find gorgeous Joshua Trees, cacti, geological features, and adventure around every corner. The park’s namesake is a twisted, spiny, palm-like tree that is considered a giant succulent. 

The location of this park is quite remote, but it is easily accessible from the three main entrances including the north entrance at Twentynine Palms, west entrance at Joshua Tree, and south entrance at Chiriaco Summit. Keep in mind that these towns are very small and all tend to blend together. 

Kings Canyon National Park

  • Year Established: 1940
  • Annual Visitors: 400,000 
  • Area:  461,901 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: September to October

Kings Canyon National Park has some truly spectacular scenery including General Grant Grove where the largest Sequoia in the park can be found. General Grant is actually the second largest tree in the world and a can’t miss attraction when visiting Kings Canyon. 

The park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains next to its sister park, Sequoia National Park. Beyond marveling at the stature of the giant Sequoia trees, the park also offers hiking, horseback riding, and camping. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park

  • Year Established: 1916
  • Annual Visitors: 500,000 
  • Area: 106,452 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: August to October

Those searching for a unique National Park to visit in the United States don’t need to look further than Lassen Volcanic in Northern California. Both nature lovers and adventure seekers will love the incredible landscape and geological features of the park. The park got its moniker for being the home of the world’s largest plug dome volcano, Lassen Peak. 

The park also offers other geological features such as steam vents and mud pots. Lassen Volcanic National Park does get inclement winter weather due to its northern location.

Pinnacles National Park

  • Year Established: 2013
  • Annual Visitors: 200,000 
  • Area: 26,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to October 

Pinnacles National Park offers solitude and challenge as visitors escape urban life for complete peace and quiet. The park has some challenging hikes, rock climbing, and interesting geological formations. 

The park has two distinct sections, the East and West, that are not connected by roads. Instead, the only way to get from East to West is hiking trails. One of the most popular features in this small National Park is a talus cave, Bear Gulch Cave. 

Redwood National Park

  • Year Established: 1968
  • Annual Visitors: 436,940 
  • Area: 131,938 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September

Redwood National Park is home to the world’s oldest and largest trees. Setting foot in a Redwood forest is a special experience that feels otherworldly. The Redwoods here reach staggering heights of over 360 ft and weigh over 500 tons, these are true giants. 

Additionally the park features incredible hiking and the pristine Northern California coastline. In fact, the scenic Redwood Coast drive is one of the most beautiful and iconic drives in all of North America. 

Sequoia National Park

  • Year Established: 1890
  • Annual Visitors: 1 million 
  • Area: 328,315 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June to August

Sequoia was California’s first National Park established in 1890 to protect the giant Sequoias of the park. Home to some of the tallest trees on Earth, the park also houses the General Sherman tree, which is believed to be 2,700 years old and is the largest Sequoia in the world. The General stands at a staggering 275 ft tall and is 36 ft in diameter. 

The park has a beautiful landscape, much like neighboring park Kings Canyon. Other activities include hiking and wildlife viewing. Sequoia is home to badgers, coyotes, black bear, deer, fox, cougars, and bighorn sheep. 

Yosemite National Park

As California’s most popular National Park, Yosemite has dramatic scenery including cascading waterfalls, stunning mountain peaks, and awe-inspiring canyon walls. Its location in the High Sierras of Northern California provides outdoor adventure and a nature lover’s dream. 

Yosemite National Park’s most famous features are its granite monoliths, Half Dome and El Capitan. Many climbers dream of scaling these monoliths, but the park also offers amazing hiking trails and abundant wildlife, including a healthy black bear population. The bears have even mastered breaking into people’s cars!

Are you planning an epic trip to Yosemite? Make sure to check the articles below:

Other Areas of California Maintained by National Park Services

  • Alcatraz Island
  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Castle Mountains National Monument
  • César E. Chávez National Monument
  • Devils Postpile National Monument
  • Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
  • Fort Point National Historic Site
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • John Muir National Historic Site
  • Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
  • Lava Beds National Monument
  • Manzanar National Historic Site
  • Mojave National Preserve
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  • Presidio of San Francisco
  • Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  • Tule Lake National Monument
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Colorado National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Colorado
Great Sand Dunes National Park

Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park

  • Year Established: 1999
  • Annual Visitors: 308,962
  • Area: 30,750 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: May – October 

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park allows visitors to explore some of the earliest rock formations in the United States. The dramatic landscape is breathtaking, and stopping along the many viewpoints is one of the best ways to see all of the scenic views. 

Much like the Grand Canyon, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is split into a North Rim and a South Rim. Those wanting to explore the Gunnison River and the bottom of the canyon will need to hike. This hidden treasure of a park is perfect for hiking and has a trail for every skill level. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park

  • Year Established: 2004
  • Annual Visitors: 527,546
  • Area: 149,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – October 

Great Sand Dunes National Park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. The park also has one of the most fragile and complex dune systems in the entire world. Great Sand Dunes also has a varying landscape that consists of alpine lakes, wetlands, and alpine forests. 

Hiking is a popular activity in the park and you can even hike the tallest sand dune in  North America. Don’t forget to grab a sled and take a mesmerizing slide down the sand dunes. The park is also home to bison, elk, black bear and bighorn sheep, so be sure to keep an eye out for these impressive animals. 

Mesa Verde National Park

  • Year Established: 1906
  • Annual Visitors: 548,477
  • Area: 52,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June – September 

For those who enjoy historical sites, Mesa Verde is the National Park in Colorado for you. Rich in history, Mesa Verde is the ancestral home of the Pueblo. Visitors can explore the 600 well preserved cliff dwellings as they learn about Pueblo culture and history. 

One of the best ways to explore the park is by driving scenic routes or taking a hike on the beautiful Cliff Palace Overlook. The park also has a museum dedicated to the Pueblo that explains the important cultural significance of the area. While at Mesa Verde, don’t miss Sun Temple, a structure where important ceremonies were held for the native Pueblos.

Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Year Established: 1915
  • Annual Visitors: 4,434,848
  • Area: 265,807 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June – September 

Rocky Mountain National Park is the third most visited park in the United States, the parks crowning glory are the majestic Rocky Mountains. One of the main draws of the park is Trail Ridge Road which reaches an astounding 12,183 feet in elevation.

With 300 trails to choose from, Rocky Mountain National Park is a hikers paradise. Rocky Mountain National Park is also full of wildlife, including elk, black bear, moose, bighorn sheep, as well as many other stunning animals. Make sure to visit the Continental Divide within the park. 

Other Areas of Colorado Maintained by National Park Services

  • Amache National Historic Site
  • Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Colorado National Monument
  • Curecanti National Recreation Area
  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Hovenweep National Monument
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  • Sante Fe National Historic Trail
  • Yucca House National Monument

Florida National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Florida
Everglades National Park

Biscayne National Park

  • Year Established: 1980
  • Annual Visitors: 705,655
  • Area: 173,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: December – March 

Biscayne National Park is an underwater wonderland with around 95% of the park underwater. For this reason, the best ways to experience the park are boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming.  The park’s largest attraction is the world’s third largest coral reef, which is home to vibrant fish, colorful coral, and even a few shipwrecks. 

What sets Biscayne National Park apart is that there are no roads leading to the park, and there is only a 1 mile stretch of road within the park. Another great way to see the park is snorkeling and scuba diving to discover the underwater world that makes Biscayne so unique. 

Dry Tortugas National Park

  • Year Established: 1992
  • Annual Visitors: 83,817
  • Area: 47,125 acres (100 square miles)
  • Best Time to Visit: December – February, September 

Another water wonderland, Dry Tortugas National Park, is located on an island roughly 70 miles from Key West. This park is 99% water and is made up of seven small islands. Visitors can get to the island by ferry, flight, or private boat hire. 

There are primitive campsites at Dry Tortugas but those will need to be booked well before a trip to the park as they can sell out  9-12 months in advance. On one of the larger islands park visitors can explore Fort Jefferson, which was constructed in the mid to late 1800s. The fort was used during the Civil War to house prisoners and Union deserters.

Everglades National Park

As the largest tropical wilderness park in the United States, Everglades National Park offers what you would expect of a Florida park: swamps and alligators. However, there is so much more to the park including seven distinct ecosystems and wildlife. 

The best way to explore Everglades National Park is hiking and kayaking through the park. Visitors can kayak through mangrove forests while making sure to keep an eye out for manatees surfacing during the winter months. Or spot some birds on the park’s famous Anhinga Trail. Looking for alligators? Head to the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park. 

Other Areas of Florida Maintained by National Park Services

  • Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Canaveral National Seashore
  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
  • De Soto National Memorial
  • Fort Caroline National Memorial
  • Fort Matanzas National Monument
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

Hawaii National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Hawai
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Haleakalā National Park

  • Year Established: 1961
  • Annual Visitors: 853,181
  • Area: 30,183 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: December – April 

Haleakalā National Park is located on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, and much of the park is only accessible on foot. The park showcases the Hawaiian Islands ecosystem perfectly, and allows visitors a chance to escape to nature as there are no developed areas within Haleakalā. 

The park is split into distinct sections, one offering lush tropical rainforest and the other volcanic mountain summits. The park preserves a volcanic landscape and the best way to explore is by hiking Haleakalā’s many trails. Make sure to take in a sunrise or sunset above the clouds or hike to a waterfall in the Oheo Gulch.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

  • Year Established: 1916
  • Annual Visitors: 1,262,747
  • Area: 335,259 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year Round

As the park’s name suggests, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to two active volcanoes. While the volcanoes are active it is never guaranteed that park visitors will see an active lava flow or lava glow while visiting. The park is located on the Big Island of Hawai’i and houses the largest volcano, Mauna Loas.

While laval flow is never guaranteed it is the major draw to the park. Visitors can also take in the diverse landscape as well as see the overwhelming power of lava and how it can reshape the landscape. 

Other Areas of Hawaii Maintained by National Park Services

  • Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
  • Hono’uli’uli National Historic Site
  • Kalaupapa National Historical Park
  • Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
  • Pearl Harbor National Memorial
  • Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
  • Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site

Indiana National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Indiana
Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

  • Year Established: 2019
  • Annual Visitors: 3,177,210
  • Area: 2,182 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – November

As one of the newest National Parks in the United States, Indiana Dunes boasts 15 miles of beautiful coastline along lake Michigan. There are also 15 miles of hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the dunes, forests, prairies, and wetlands of Indiana. 

The park is a short drive from bustling Chicago, making it a great day trip for escaping the city and enjoying nature. Camping and fishing are popular ways to relax at the dunes. Winter enthusiasts can enjoy miles of cross country skiing in this unique National Park as well. 

Other Areas of Indiana Maintained by National Park Services

  • George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Kentucky National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Kentucky
Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

  •  Year Established: 1941
  • Annual Visitors: 515,774
  • Area: 52,880 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, October – November

Mammoth Cave National Park, in Kentucky, is perfect for those who enjoy a good cave adventure. The park is actually home to one of the most extensive cave systems in the entire world, with more than 400 miles of cave mapped. It is estimated that an additional 600 miles of cave remains undiscovered. 

The cave system remains the same temperature year round, making Mammoth Cave National Park a great place to visit no matter the time of year. One of the best ways to explore the park is with a guided cave tour, be aware they often require reservations during the summer months. 

Other Areas of Kentucky Maintained by National Park Services

  • Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
  • Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
  • Camp Nelson National Monument
  • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Maine National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Maine
Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

  • Year Established: 1919
  • Annual Visitors: 4,069,098
  • Area: 48,000 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: May, September – October

Acadia National Park is one of the few parks located in the Northeastern United States. The park is home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the East Coast. This gives visitors to Acadia the distinct advantage of being the first place to see the sunrise from October to March each year. 

The park’s landscape is beautiful with its rugged rocky coastlines, beautiful pine forest, and stunning lakes. This coastal gem has miles of hiking trails that are dog friendly. A favorite among fall lovers, the park explodes in color during the Autumn months. If you plan to visit during this time, make sure to book accommodations well in advance. 

Other Areas of Main Maintained by National Park Services

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  • Maine Acadian Culture Association
  • Roosevelt Campobello International Park
  • Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Michigan National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Michigan
Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park

  • Year Established: 1940
  • Annual Visitors: 25,844
  • Area: 527,000 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: Mid July – September

This rugged and remote National Park, in Michigan, is an adventurer’s dream and not for the faint of heart. Isle Royale National Park is surrounded by Lake Superior and just a few miles from the Canadian border. The remote nature of Isle Royal makes it only accessible by ferry or seaplane. 

Once you arrive on the island there are primitive campsites, and the best way to get around is on foot. This is pure open wilderness that provides scenic views and an abundance of wildlife. Guided tours of the park are offered, and it’s a good idea to figure out transportation before your trip. 

Other Areas of Michigan Maintained by National Park Services

  • Keweenaw National Historical Park
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Minnesota National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Minnesota
Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

  • Year Established: 1975
  • Annual Visitors: 243,042
  • Area: 218,055 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: June – September

Water enthusiasts will love Voyageur National Park in Minnesota because it’s completely surrounded by lakes. Around ⅓ of the park is covered in water, making kayaking and canoeing the best way to explore the hidden gem. The park is only accessible by water or sea plane, make sure to book transportation before your trip. 

There are 3 main options for exploring the park, you can bring your own kayak or canoe or reserve a watercraft in the park. Additionally there are guided boat tours available in the park that give you a great overview of the wilderness you are exploring. 

Other Areas of Minnesota Maintained by National Park Services

  • Grand Portage National Monument
  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Areas
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Pipestone National Monument
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

Missouri National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Missoury
Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park

  • Year Established: 2018
  • Annual Visitors: 1,145,081
  • Area: 91 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: May – October 

One of the newer National Parks, Gateway Arch in Missouri, reflects the prominent role of St. Louis in the United States Westward Expansion during the 1800s. Sitting along the famous mighty Mississippi River, Gateway Arch is the smallest National Park in the United States. 

The park features include a museum on Westward Expansion and the Dred Scott case. Of course, the Gateway Arch is the main attraction soaring 630 feet high and 630 feet long. The arch is a striking structure in an urban area that has drawn people to St. Louis since it was completed in 1965. 

Other Areas of Missouri Maintained by National Park Services

  • California National Historic Trail
  • George Washington Carver National Monument
  • Harry S Truman National Historic Site
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Sante Fe National Historic Trail
  • Ste. Geneviève National Historical Park
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Montana National Park

National Parks in the US by State: Montana
Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

As the ‘Crown of the Continent,’ Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the most strikingly beautiful parks. Glacier was once home to 100 glaciers, but there are only around 20 left in the park today. These glaciers are constantly moving and thawing making them a must see. 

The park features one of the most scenic drives in the world, Going-to-the-sun Road, which offers both spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and amazing hiking options. Keep in mind that this road is closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall making the route impassable. Those wanting to drive, Going-to-the-Sun Road, should visit the park between July and September. 

Other Areas of Montana Maintained by National Park Services

  • Big Hole National Battlefield
  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  • Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park

Nevada National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Nevada
Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park

  • Year Established: 1986
  • Annual Visitors: 215,181
  • Area: 77,000 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: April – October

Great Basin National Park is one of the lesser known parks. It is famous for a unique tree, the bristlecone pine tree, that grows at Great Basin. These trees are the oldest living organism on the earth making them a special sight to see. The park also features a cave system, Lehman Caves, for visitors to explore. 

The best way to see the Great Basin National Park is to hike the trails through the alpine forests and to take a guided cave tour. The guided tours give visitors further insight into the inner workings of the park. 

Other Areas of Nevada Maintained by National Park Services

  • California National Historic Trail
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

New Mexico National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: New Mexico
White Sands National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

  • Year Established: 1930
  • Annual Visitors: 349,244
  • Area: 46,770 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year Round 

Carlsbad Caverns National Parks is home to a rare underground cave network that makes it an incredible park to visit. Those who are fans of bats will love the Bat Flight program that is offered from May – October. The bats are most active from September to October. 

Visitors can choose from exploring the park on their own or in a guided tour that gives you a bit more information about the cave network. The caves remain the same temperature year round thanks to the natural thermal insulation of the system. Carlsbad Caverns also offers a Night Sky Program that typically takes place after the Bat Flight program. 

White Sands National Park

  • Year Established: 2019
  • Annual Visitors: 782,469
  • Area: 145,800 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: October – December

The mesmerizing giant white sand dunes at White Sands National Park in New Mexico will captivate visitors at the newer park. Visitors can explore the park by taking the scenic Dunes Drive, an 8 mile (13 km) road (16 mile round trip). The first 5 miles of the drive is paved road, and the last 3 miles are packed gypsum. 

Hike 1 of 5 trails in the park or go sledding down the captivating ivory dunes. Keep in mind that White Sands Missile Range is active and missile testing takes place.  This closes Highway 70 and can also close Dune Drive depending on the range of the missile testing. 

Other Areas of New Mexico Maintained by National Park Services

  • Aztec Ruins National Monument
  • Bandelier National Monument
  • Capulin Volcano National Monument
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  • El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
  • El Malpais National Monument
  • El Morro National Monument
  • Fort Union National Monument
  • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pecos National Historical Park
  • Petroglyph National Monument
  • Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Valles Caldera National Preserve

North Dakota National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

  • Year Established: 1978
  • Annual Visitors: 796,085
  • Area: 70,000 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: May – September 

Named after the infamous Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt who protected 230 million acres and was a champion of the National Parks. The park is made up of 3 district units including the North Unit, the South Unit, and Elkhorn Ranch Unit. Each has something different to offer. 

The North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is famous for its stunning North Dakota badlands, hiking tails, and the Little Missouri River. The South Unit is known for its 48 mile scenic drive, camping, and wildlife viewing. The park is home to bison, mule deer, prairie dogs, and wild horses. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit is the most remote, and is the place of Theodore Roosvelts home ranch. 

Other Areas of North Dakota Maintained by National Park Services

  • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail

Ohio National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Ohio
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

  • Year Established: 2000
  • Annual Visitors: 2,575,275
  • Area: 32,570 acres 
  • Best Time to Visit: April – May, September – October 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is filled with lush green hills and mossy sandstone ledges. As Ohio’s only National Park and set along the Cuyahoga River, this park offers incredible nature and plenty of outdoor activities. One of the best ways to experience the park is by getting out on the trails or canoeing the river. 

Go hiking, biking, kayaking, or take a relaxing train ride along the park by the Cuyahoga River. While the park is close to urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, visitors feel miles away in the serenity of Cuyahoga National Park.

Other Areas of Ohio Maintained by National Park Services

  • Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  • First Ladies National Historic Site
  • Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
  • James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
  • William Howard Taft National Historic Site

Oregon National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Oregon
Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

  • Year Established: 1902
  • Annual Visitors: 647,751
  • Area: 183,244 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: July – September

As Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake is a rare park that was created by a volcanic eruption. The massive eruption caused the mountain to collapse into itself creating a crater. The lake is the deepest in the country, reaching depths of 1,100 feet. 

One of the best ways to see the stunning lake is by taking a scenic drive on the Rim Drive. This ​​33 miles (53 km) drive showcases the best sights in the park and features lake views, panoramic vistas, as well as meadow and forest views. Make sure to stop at one of the many scenic overlooks. 

Other Areas of Oregon Maintained by National Park Services

  • California National Historic Trail
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve

South Carolina National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: South Carolina
Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park

  • Year Established: 2003
  • Annual Visitors: 215,181
  • Area: 26,692 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March-June, October-November

Congaree National Park preserves some of the largests trees on the east coast. The bottomland hardwood forest in the park is home to a diverse variety of plants and wildlife. One of the best ways to explore Congaree is by hiking some of the amazing trails in the park. 

Visitors can easily find a hike no matter their skill level, the park features everything from easy .6 mile hikes to strenuous 12 miles treks. Kayaking and canoeing also give visitors a unique perspective of the landscape. Exploring the park on the elevated boardwalk makes for a unique experience in South Carolina’s only National Park. 

Other Areas of South Carolina Maintained by National Park Services

  • Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
  • Cowpens National Battlefield
  • Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
  • Kings Mountain National Military Park
  • Ninety Six National Historic Site
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
  • Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

South Dakota National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: South Dakota
Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

  • Year Established: 1978
  • Annual Visitors: 1,224,226
  • Area: 244,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: April – May, September – October

Visitors will find this underrated park rolling throughout the Badlands of South Dakota. The rugged landscape is filled with colorful buttes and contrasting prairie land. Badlands National Park’s landscape captivates visitors with its contrast of sandstone spires and rolling prairies that are home to an abundance of wildlife. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for the park’s bison, bighorn sheep, coyotes and prairie dogs. Exploring the park on the scenic Badlands Loop Road allows visitors to enjoy some of the park’s highlights from overlooks. The 39 mile loop road brings you to all of the must see places in the park, but those wanting a closer look can hike 1 of the 11 official trails at Badlands. 

Wind Caves National Park

  • Year Established: 1903
  • Annual Visitors: 709,001
  • Area: 10,522 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – September

As one of the most complex and largest caves systems in the United States, Wind Caves National Park provides the unique opportunity to explore what lies beneath the prairies of South Dakota. The park is home to an impressive herd of between 250-400 bison. 

Exploring the park both below ground in the caves and above ground on the prairies, gives visitors the full Wind Caves experience. While in the caves make sure to pay attention to the unique boxwood formations that are rarely found anywhere else on the planet. Above ground visitors can enjoy hiking trails (some are even dog friendly) and wildlife viewing. 

Other Areas of South Dakota Maintained by National Park Services

  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Missouri National Recreational River
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Tennessee National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Year Established: 1940
  • Annual Visitors: 14,161,548
  • Area: 522,427 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: Year Round

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. This park has no entrance fee and is the most visited National Park in the United States. Providing visitors with stunning mountain views, waterfall hiking trails, and a concentration of black bears it’s easy to see why Great Smoky Mountains are popular. 

Hike to the highest point in the park at Clingmans Dome, or trek to one of the park’s many waterfalls for stunning views. For wildlife viewing head to Cades Cove at dawn or dusk. To explore the history of the park make sure to check out the Elkmont Historic District. 

Other Areas of Tennessee Maintained by National Park Services

  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
  • Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
  • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  • Natchez Trace Parkway
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  • Obed Wild and Scenic River
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
  • Shiloh National Military Park
  • Stones River National Battlefield
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Texas National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Texas
Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

  • Year Established: 1944
  • Annual Visitors: 581,220
  • Area: 801,200 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: October – April

Big Bend National Park is on the border of Texas and Mexico and is located in the Chihuahuan Desert. The rugged and wild landscape of this park provides visitors with over 200 miles of hiking trails and stunning views around every corner. 

As you journey through the park, make sure to keep an eye out for the legendary road runners that call the Big Bend home. A fantastic way to see the park is by hiking to the highest point, Emporium Peak, where hikers are treated to panoramic views of the landscape. 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

  • Year Established: 1966
  • Annual Visitors: 243,291
  • Area: 86,367 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – October

Visitors will find Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the border of New Mexico and Texas. This secluded park features 80 miles of hiking trails, such as the Devil’s Hall Trail where hikers can climb up a natural stone staircase. 

Take the Guadalupe Peak Trail that is 8.5 miles and climbs a staggering 3,000 feet to the ‘top of Texas.’ Although the park is generally a desert landscape, visitors are often surprised to find wildlife and conifer forests in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The park is also famous for its dark skies thanks to its remote location and the complete lack of light pollution. 

Other Areas of Texas Maintained by National Park Services

  • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
  • Amistad National Recreation Area
  • Big Thicket National Preserve
  • Chamizal National Memorial
  • El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
  • El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
  • Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
  • Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
  • Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument

Utah National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park, in Utah, has over 2,000 beautiful natural arches that have been thousands of years in the making. The park’s stunning landscape is dotted with over 14 hiking trails that feature up close views on the arches the park is famous for. 

Take a scenic drive that passes some of Arches most stunning features, or take an unpaved road to get a better idea of the vast landscape of the park. Hike 3 miles (5 km) to Delicate Arch, featured on the Utah license plate or 1.8 miles (3 km) to the Devils Garden for fantastic views.  

Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Year Established: 1928
  • Annual Visitors: 2,104,600
  • Area: 35,835 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: April – May, September – October

Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon has an incredibly unique landscape. In fact, Bryce Canyon is famous for its high concentration of hoo doo’s, and the greatest number of them can be found at the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater. The best way to explore the park is by hiking some of the stunning trails or taking the scenic drive with 14 viewpoints. 

Make sure to watch a beautiful technicolor sunrise at Sunrise Point. One of the best hiking trails in the park is the Navajo Loop to the Queens Garden. On this trail visitors hike the famous Wall Street switchbacks, as well as see the most famous hoo doo in the park, the Queen. 

Canyonlands National Park

  • Year Established: 1964
  • Annual Visitors: 911,594
  • Area: 257,640 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – November
  • Map: Canyonlands Official Map (PDF)

Canyonlands National Park is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, and is one of the least crowded Utah National Parks. The canyon was shaped by the confluence of the mighty Colorado River and the Green River. Canyonlands is split into 3 distinct sections including Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. 

Most visitors only explore the Island in the Sky district because it is the easiest to reach. This district offers a scenic drive, hiking trails, and beautiful overlooks to take in the landscape of Canyonlands. Hike trails to arches and domes within the park or check out White Rim Road on a mountain bike or ATV. 

Capitol Reef National Park

  • Year Established: 1971
  • Annual Visitors: 1,405,353
  • Area: 241,900 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – May, September – October
  • Map: Capitol Reef Official Map (PDF)

Capitol Reef National Park is a rugged remote place characterized by its unique Waterpocket fold formations and slot canyons. Visitors can see petroglyphs that are from the ancestral Pueblans from approximately 600 – 3000 AD. The petroglyphs can be found on Highway 24 just east of the park’s Visitors Center. 

There are over 13 hiking trails in the park that offer views of spectacular natural arches, slot canyons, and beautiful vistas. Hike the Cohab Canyon Trail for stunning views and the chance to explore 3 small slot canyons. Or take in a sunset at the beautiful Sunset Point, but be aware that the road to get there is graded stone. 

Zion National Park

  • Year Established: 1919
  • Annual Visitors: 5,039,835
  • Area: 146,600 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: April – May, September – October

As one of the most popular parks in the United States, Zion National Park is unlike any of the other Utah parks. The park is home to famous hikes like Angels Landing, which is now on a permit lottery, and The Narrows. Utah’s first National Park also features more greenery and wildlife than other parks in the state. 

Within the park, visitors need to take a shuttle to certain parts of the park. These shuttles do not require a permit or ticket and they run frequently from the Zion Visitors Center to different points along the Zion Scenic Drive. It makes getting around the park easy and cuts down on vehicle traffic. 

Other Areas of Utah Maintained by National Park Services

  • California National Historic Trail
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Golden Spike National Historical Park
  • Hovenweep National Monument
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Virgin Islands National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

  • Year Established: 1956
  • Annual Visitors: 323,999
  • Area: 7,259 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: December – April

Visitors to Virgin Islands National Park get the perfect blend of relaxing tropical vacation and adventure. Located on the island of St. Johns, this National Park has sea turtles and snorkeling along the coral reef system of the Caribbean. 

Hiking is another great way to see the Virgin Islands National Park. It offers jungle treks where you can see ancient petroglyphs, as well as ancient ruins. There are 20 trails in total to choose from including the Reef Bay Trail where hikers can see the ruins of a sugar plantation and ancient rock carvings. 

Other Areas of Virgin Islands Maintained by National Park Services

  • Buck Island Reef National Monument
  • Christiansted National Historic Site
  • Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
  • Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

Virginia National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Virginia
Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Annual Visitors: 1,592,312
  • Area: 199,200 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: March – June, September – November 

Shenandoah National Park’s most famous attraction is the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it has some of the most impressive scenic views of any National Park in the United States. The best way to see Shenandoah is to take the scenic Skyline Drive with its many overlooks, visitors can experience the different elevations of the park. Keep in mind that the Skyline Drive does close during inclement weather during the winter. 

Hiking is another great way to experience this National Park in Virginia. With an impressive 236 trails, Shenandoah is also incredibly dog friendly. The park’s most famous hike is Old Rag, which takes hikers to a stunning summit view of the park. Keep an eye out for black bears while exploring this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Other Areas of Virginia Maintained by National Park Services

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
  • Assateague Island National Seashore
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Booker T. Washington National Monument
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Civil War Defenses of Washington
  • Colonial National Historical Park
  • Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
  • Fort Monroe National Monument
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
  • George Washington Birthplace National Monument
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Great Falls Park
  • Green Springs National Historic Landmark District
  • Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
  • Petersburg National Battlefield
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • Prince William Forest Park
  • Richmond National Battlefield Park
  • Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
  • Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Washington National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Washington
Olympic National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

  • Year Established: 1899
  • Annual Visitors: 1,670,063
  • Area: 236,380 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June – September

Mount Rainier National Park is part of the Cascade Range in Washington, it’s actually the highest peak in the entire range. Great for adventure seekers and hikers, this park is one of the oldest in the United States. As the park reaches heights of over 14,000 elevation it’s important to remember that elevation does affect hiking. 

There are 260 miles of maintained trails within Mount Rainier National Park, they feature beautiful alpine meadows and stunning summits. For those who love wildflowers, Mount Rainier is a riot of colors during the spring and summer months. 

North Cascade National Park

  • Year Established: 1968
  • Annual Visitors: 17,855
  • Area: 505,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June – October

North Cascade National Park encompasses nearly 300 glaciers and is also located on the Cascade Range. The vast wilderness in the park offers visitors the chance to see mountain peaks, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and even lush forests. 

One of the best ways to experience North Cascades is hiking on its 400 miles of trails. Or taking a scenic drive on North Cascade Scenic Byway, a 140 mile byway that provides stunning views of the entire park. Hike the 7 mile Glacier Basin Trail and keep your eye out for mountain goats along the way. 

Olympic National Park

  • Year Established: 1938
  • Annual Visitors: 2,718,925
  • Area: 922,700 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: June – September

This unique coastal National Park gets its name from its highest peak, Mount Olympus. The dramatic and diverse landscape of the park includes the lush Hoh Rainforest that is impossibly green and moss covered. The park also features rugged mountain peaks and a rocky coastline that is awe inspiring. One of the best ways to see the park is by hiking and camping. 

Popular hiking trails include Rialto Beach, Madison Falls, and the Spruce Railroad Trail. Tidepooling is another great activity that allows visitors to experience Olympic’s rugged coastline. Find the most popular tide pools at Kalaloch’s Beach and Mora’s Hole in the Wall. 

Other Areas of Washington Maintained by National Park Services

  • Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit National Historical Park
  • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site
  • Wing Luke Museum Affiliated Area

West Virginia National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: West Virginia
New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge National Park

  • Year Established: 2020
  • Annual Visitors: 1,682,720
  • Area: 70,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: April – October

As the newest National Park, New River Gorge protects the rugged and rapid New River of West Virginia. It is the oldest river in North America. Known for both its amazing whitewater rafting opportunities and great hiking trails with overlooks with views of the impressive gorge. 

The park preserves 53 miles of free flowing river that offers some of the best whitewater rafting in the United States. There are plenty of class IV and V rapids in the park. There are nearly 100 miles of hiking trails to choose from, but the Grandview Rim Trail offers some of the most stunning views in the park. 

Other Areas of West Virginia Maintained by National Park Services

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Bluestone National Scenic River
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Gauley River National Recreation Area
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Wyoming National Parks

National Parks in the US by State: Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park

  • Year Established: 1929
  • Annual Visitors: 3,289,638
  • Area: 310,000 acres
  • Best Time to Visit: mid-May – late September 

Located within the Teton Mountain Range, Grand Teton is often overshadowed by its neighbor Yellowstone National Park. However, Grand Teton offers stunning Rocky Mountain views, amazing wildlife, and the beautiful Snake River. Grand Teton is an outdoor lover’s paradise that offers hiking, boating, biking, fishing, and climbing. 

The wildlife viewing at Grand Teton cannot be understated, the park is home to moose, elk, bison, black and grizzly bears, pronghorn and more. Some of the best places to view wildlife in the park are Oxbow Bend, Mormon Row, and Snake River. Make sure not to approach or feed wildlife. 

Yellowstone National Park

  • Year Established: 1872
  • Annual Visitors: 4,860,242
  • Area: 2.222 million  acres
  • Best Time to Visit: April – June, September – October

America’s first National Park, Yellowstone has become an iconic destination in North America. Most of the park lies within Wyoming, but small portions straddle state lines into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone’s most famous landmark, Old Faithful, is a geyser that erupts daily for visitors to view. 

One of the best ways to enjoy Yellowstone is to take the park’s Grand Loop Road, a 142 mile route that takes you to all of the park’s most popular attractions. Make sure to view at least one geological feature in the park. Those looking for wildlife, including wolves, will want to visit Lamar Valley in the northern most corner of the park at either dawn or dusk.

Other Areas of Wyoming Maintained by National Park Services

  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Devils Tower National Monument
  • Fort Laramie National Historic Site
  • Fossil Butte National Monument
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail

List of US States Without National Parks but With Areas Maintained by National Park Services

Not all states have national parks, but every state has the areas managed by National Park Services, such as national monuments, military parks, historic sites, national battlefields, national memorials, and scenic trails.

Alabama

  • Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument
  • Freedom Riders National Monument
  • Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
  • Little River Canyon National Preserve
  • Natchez Trace Parkway
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  • Russell Cave National Monument
  • Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  • Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

Connecticut

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Coltsville National Historical Park
  • New England National Scenic Trail
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
  • Weir Farm National Historical Park

Delaware

  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • First State National Historical Park
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

District of Columbia

  • African American Civil War Memorial
  • Anacostia Park
  • Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
  • Capitol Hill Parks
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Civil War Defenses of Washington
  • Constitution Gardens
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
  • Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
  • Fort Dupont Park
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  • National Capital Parks – East
  • National Mall and Memorial Parks
  • Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • President’s Park (White House)
  • Rock Creek Park
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Washington Monument
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
  • World War I Memorial
  • World War II Memorial

Georgia

  • Andersonville National Historic Site
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
  • Cumberland Island National Seashore
  • Fort Frederica National Monument
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Jimmy Carter National Historical Park
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
  • Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Guam

  • War in the Pacific National Historical Park

Idaho

  • California National Historic Trail
  • City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
  • Oregon National Historic Trail

Illinois

  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Pullman National Monument
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Iowa

  • Effigy Mounds National Monument
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

Kansas

  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Nicodemus National Historic Site
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Louisiana

  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  • El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  • Poverty Point National Monument
  • Vicksburg National Military Park

Maryland

  • Antietam National Battlefield
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Assateague Island National Seashore
  • Baltimore-Washington Parkway
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Catoctin Mountain Park
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Civil War Defenses of Washington
  • Clara Barton National Historic Site
  • Fort Foote Park
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
  • Fort Washington Park
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Glen Echo Park
  • Greenbelt Park
  • Hampton National Historic Site
  • Harmony Hall
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
  • Monocacy National Battlefield
  • Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm
  • Piscataway Park
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
  • Thomas Stone National Historic Site
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

Massachusetts

  • Adams National Historical Park
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
  • Boston African American National Historic Site
  • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
  • Boston National Historical Park
  • Cape Cod National Seashore
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
  • Longfellow – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
  • Lowell National Historical Park
  • Minute Man National Historical Park
  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  • New England National Scenic Trail
  • Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
  • Springfield Armory National Historic Site
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

Mississippi

  • Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
  • Natchez National Historical Park
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  • Natchez Trace Parkway
  • Shiloh National Military Park
  • Tupelo National Battlefield
  • Vicksburg National Military Park

Nebraska

  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Homestead National Historical Park
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Missouri National Recreational River
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Niobrara National Scenic River
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument

New Hampshire

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

New Jersey

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Gateway National Recreation Area
  • Great Egg Harbor River
  • Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River
  • Morristown National Historical Park
  • New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
  • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument
  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

New York

  • African Burial Ground National Monument
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Castle Clinton National Monument
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
  • Federal Hall National Memorial
  • Fire Island National Seashore
  • Fort Stanwix National Monument
  • Gateway National Recreation Area
  • General Grant National Memorial
  • Governors Island National Monument
  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  • Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
  • Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum
  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  • National Parks of New York Harbor
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  • Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site
  • Saratoga National Historical Park
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument
  • Stonewall National Monument
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
  • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  • Thomas Cole National Historic Site
  • Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River
  • Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park

North Carolina

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore
  • Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
  • Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  • Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
  • Moores Creek National Battlefield
  • Over mountain Victory National Historic Trail
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial

Oklahoma

  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  • Fort Smith National Historic Site
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
  • Washita Battlefield National Historic Site

Pennsylvania

  • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  • Eisenhower National Historic Site
  • First State National Historical Park
  • Flight 93 National Memorial
  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield
  • Friendship Hill National Historic Site
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site
  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  • Independence National Historical Park
  • Johnstown Flood National Memorial
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • Steamtown National Historic Site
  • Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  • Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

Puerto Rico

  • San Juan National Historic Site

Rhode Island

  • Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
  • Roger Williams National Memorial
  • Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

Vermont

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  • North Country National Scenic Trail

Wisconsin

  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

List of National Parks in the US | Conclusion

The US National Parks are some of the world’s most diverse, beautiful, and well-maintained parks. They offer a variety of activities for visitors and are definitely worth a visit. So get out there and explore one of these fantastic places!

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