Overview: US National Parks list by state

Overview: US National Parks list by state

The US National Parks are all beautiful. How many of them have you visited? This is a US National Parks list by state.

How many National Parks are there in the United States?

63 landscapes have been designated as a National Park in the United States. A US National Park in America is characterized by a beautiful natural landscape, unique geological features, a special ecosystem, and recreational opportunities.

In addition to National Parks, there are also National Monuments, these often have a historical or archaeological origin.

Some fun facts about the US National Parks

Did you know:

  • The very first US National Park is Yellowstone. It has been a National Park since 1872.
  • Thirty of the fifty states are home to one or more National Parks, in addition, Samoa and the Virgin Islands also have National Parks.
  • Most of the national parks are located in California. In this state, you can visit nine National Parks. Alaska is a close second with eight National Parks.
  • The National Parks had a combined total of more than 84 million visitors in 2017 (and that number is increasing every year)
  • The most visited National Park is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 2020 this park had no fewer than 12.1 million visitors.

US National Parks list by state

Not all US states have a national park, some states even have several. This is a list of all the US National Parks, listed by state.

National parks in Alaska

There are no fewer than eight national parks in the state of Alaska.

Denali National Park

In the middle of Denali National Park, you can find the highest mountain in the USA, which is called Denali. This mountain is no less than 6190 meters (20,310 feet) high. Hunting is prohibited in the park, so this is a good place to spot wildlife. You might see grizzly bears, reindeer, bighorn sheep, and wolves.

  • Size: 19,185.8 km2 (4,740,911.16 acres)
  • A National Park since 1917
  • Official website

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is the northernmost US National Park and one of the least visited. It is pure wilderness, there are no roads, no trails, no cell phone coverage, and no residents. What to do in this park? Get away from it all! Go hiking, go paddling the rivers, and see the Northern Lights.

  • Size: 30,448.1 km2 (7,523,897.45 acres)
  • A National Park since 1980
  • Official website

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is located in the southeast of Alaska, on the border with Canada. It is a park full of icebergs and glaciers and it’s a good place to see whales.

  • Size: 13,044.6 km2 (3,223,383.43 acres)
  • A National Park since 1980
  • Official website

Katmai National Park

In Katmai National Park, you’ll find a special volcanic landscape. In the park, you’ll see Mount Katmai, a large stratovolcano. It is a very remote place and perfect for people who want some privacy during their vacation. In the park, there is a good chance that you will see a bear catching salmon in one of the rivers.

  • Size: 14,870.3 km2 (3,674,529.33 acres)
  • A National Park since 1980
  • Official website

Kenai Fjords National Park

The name says it all: Kenai Fjords National Park is a park full of fjords and glaciers. This is a great place to do some kayaking or paddleboarding (SUP).

Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park is located in the northwest of Alaska and is named after the Kobuk River that flows through the park. In this park, you can find various sand dunes, which are up to 30 meters (about 100 feet) high. This is also a real wilderness, there are no facilities.

  • Size: 7,084.9 km2 (1,750,716.16 acres)
  • A National Park since 1980
  • Official website

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Four active volcanoes, including Mount Redoubt, are located in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. This makes it a beautiful landscape with mountains, the largest lake in Alaska (Lake Clark), glaciers, and waterfalls. There are no roads to this park, you have to get there by plane (air taxi).

  • Size: 10,602.0 km2 (2,619,816.49 acres)
  • A National Park since: 1980
  • Official website

Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve

The largest US National Park is Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. This park is home to some of the highest peaks in the United States, including the 5,489-meter (18,008-foot) Mount Saint Elias. There are also several large glaciers in the park.

  • Size: 33,682.6 km2 (8,323,146.48 acres)
  • A National Park since 1980
  • Official website

American Samoa

American Samoa is an archipelago in the South Pacific. They are three islands with a lot of rainforest. Most of the islands are part of the National Park of American Samoa. Here you will find beautiful coral reefs, tropical rainforests, volcanoes, and white beaches.

National parks in Arizona

After Alaska, Arizona’s national parks are completely different. A desert landscape full of beautiful rock formations.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona

Everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular US National Parks. The canyon itself is an icon with many beautiful viewpoints. There are beautiful hiking trails, you can go rafting on the Colorado River or go on a helicopter and see the majestic canyon from above.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is different from the other national parks. A desert landscape with spectacular colors (it’s called the Painted Desert) and there are many petrified trees to be found. Those are even older than dinosaurs! Fossils of animals and plants are also regularly found here.

Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro is a giant cactus, and you can see many of them in Saguaro National Park. It is located near Tucson (Arizona’s second city) and consists of two parts. There are many beautiful hiking trails in the park.

National park in Arkansas

There is only one national park in the state of Arkansas.

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is located on the outskirts of the town of Hot Springs. This is one of the smallest US National Parks (it was even the smallest until 2018) and it is a place for both culture and nature lovers. In addition to many warm hot springs (there are 47 of them) you can also view beautiful bathhouses from the nineteenth century.

National parks in California

The state with the most US National Parks is California. Here you can visit as many as nine National Parks.

Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands are located east of Los Angeles off the coast of California. Five of the eight islands together form Channel Islands National Park. Many animals live here, such as the island fox (an endangered species), the spotted skunk, seals, sea lions, and the blue whale (the largest animal on Earth).

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park - California

Death Valley National Park is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the United States of America. The Badwater Basin salt flat lies 86 meters below sea level. In summer it can easily be 50 degrees Celsius (over 120 degrees Fahrenheit) in the park, so bring plenty of water at all times.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park - California

Joshua Tree National Park is located east of San Diego and Los Angeles. This park is largely located in the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. In the park, you see many Joshua trees (a yucca tree), cacti, and interesting rock formations.

Kings Canyon National Park

The Kings River flows through Kings Canyon National Park, creating a beautiful gorge. The park is also home to many sequioa trees, and the General Grant Grove is well worth a visit. You will also see steep rock formations and waterfalls here.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park - California

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a little out of the way, which is why few people visit this park on a USA road trip. It’s worth visiting though, I really loved visiting this park on my road trip in the Pacific Northwest. It’s kind of a small version of Yellowstone with a lot of volcanic activity. Everywhere steam is coming out of the earth and you can also see boiling mud pools.

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park was created from the remains of an extinct volcano and the landscape is, therefore, a very interesting sight. There are many beautiful rock formations, which makes the park popular with rock climbers. There are also many beautiful hiking trails.

Redwood National Park

In Redwood National Park you will find the tallest trees in the world and they are very old. The park is located on the coast in northern California, which makes it regularly foggy. This gives a mysterious effect in combination with the tall trees.

Sequioa National Park

Sequoia National Park is located against Kings Canyon and here you will find most of the sequoia trees in the world. These are truly enormous. The largest in the park is General Sherman, which has a height of 83.8 meters (275 feet) and a diameter of 11.1 meters (36 feet). This tree is located in the Giant Forest, here are the fifteen largest trees in the world.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park - California

With over four million visitors a year, Yosemite National Park is the most visited US National Parks. It is absolutely beautiful, it has steep granite cliffs (Half Dome and El Capitan are famous), and a beautiful valley (Yosemite Valley) full of waterfalls.

National parks in Colorado

In the state of Colorado, you will find four different national parks.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the Gunnison River flows through one of the deepest, narrowest and longest canyons in the world. It is a popular spot for rock climbers, but you can also go rafting on the river.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The name says it all: in Great Sand Dunes National Park, you will find the highest dunes in North America. They can be up to 230 meters (750 feet) tall. The wind changes the dunes in the park continuously. In addition to sand dunes, there are also six high mountains (of almost 4000 meters – 13.000-feet) in the park.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is not all about nature, although the landscape is beautiful. The focus is on the large number of cliff dwellings, which are very well preserved. These buildings date from the thirteenth century and are dwellings in shallow caves in the walls of the ravine. A spectacular sight.

Rocky Mountain National Park

With over three million visitors (in 2020), Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular US National Parks. It has some beautiful mountain views, and the landscape is incredibly varied. There are many hiking trails and there’s a change are you will see some wildlife such as deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep.

National parks in Florida

The state of Florida is located in the very southeast of the United States. The climate here is different from most other places in the USA and there are three National Parks in Florida.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is an underwater park on the north side of the Florida Keys (near Miami). It has four different ecosystems, including a mangrove forest and the beginning of one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Visitors can explore the park when they go diving or snorkeling.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas is an archipelago west of Key West, in southern Florida. The park has a few historic fortresses and there’s a beautiful coral reef around the islands. The islands can only be visited by boat or by plane.

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park - Florida

Everglades National Park is the largest tropical wildlife area in the United States. The park consists of rainforest, mangroves and swamps. You can find many special plant and animal species here. Think, for example, of (many) alligators, manatees, and the Florida panther.

National parks in Hawaii

There are two national parks in the islands of Hawaii

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park - Hawaii

Haleakala is a volcano on the island of Maui and has a huge crater. The landscape looks otherworldly and you’ll see red and brown hills. The highest point is more than 3000 meters (over 10.000-feet) and therefore you have a great view of Maui and other Hawaiian islands.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park - Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the island of Hawaii (Big Island). In this park, you will learn how the islands came to be (hint: lots of volcanic activity) and see what volcanic eruptions do to the ecosystem. You can see many different craters, petroglyphs (drawings scratched into rocks long ago), and black lava rocks along the coast.

National park in Indiana

Indiana has only one national park: Indiana Dunes National Park.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park is located on the shores of the gigantic Lake Michigan. The park is very diverse, here you’ll find sandy beaches, marshes, forests, dunes, and grassy meadows. Many different bird species live here and there are also various historical monuments in the park.

National park in Kentucky

Kentucky also has only one national park: Mammoth Cave National Park.

Mammoth Cave National Park

With a length of more than 640 kilometers, Mammoth cave is the longest cave complex in the world. No fewer than eight different species of bats live there. You can visit the caves with a tour, but book it ahead of your visit. There is also plenty to see outside the caves, there are many hiking trails to explore.

National Park in Maine

There is one National Park in Maine, which is called Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is located in the far northeast of the United States of America. It protects much of Mount Desert Island and a few small islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The views are amazing in this park. The coastline, lakes, and forrests are beautiful.

National Park in Michigan

Isle Royale National Park is the only National Park in the state of Michigan.

Isle Royale National Park

Isla Royale is the largest island in the Upper Lake (Lake Superieur) and this is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Besides the island of Isla Royale, Isla Royale National Park contains 450 smaller islands. The island can only be reached by boat in summer.

National park in Minnesota

There is also only one national park in Minnesota: Voyageurs National Park.

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is located in the north of the USA, on the border of Canada, and consists of four lakes. It is a popular place for canoeists and kayakers, there are many great places to explore. The park is home to Ojibwe Native Americans. Verwijderen

National park in Missouri

The state of Missouri is home to Gateway Arch National Park.

Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park is the smallest US National Park, but a very impressive sight. The park revolves around the enormous Gateway Arch, which is 192 meters (630-foot) tall and wide). In addition, there is an old courthouse from 1920 and a museum with information about the construction of the Gateway Arch. The park is located in the town of St. Louis.

National park in Montana

There are two national parks in Montana: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The latter is described in this US National Park list by state at the state of Wyoming.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has no fewer than 26 large glaciers and more than 130 lakes. The park is located in the Rocky Mountains and six of the peaks are higher than 3000 meters (10.000 feet). One of the highlights in the park is the stunning Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is open only a few months a year.

National park in Nevada

There is one national park in the state of Nevada, which is Great Basin National Park.

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park - Nevada

Almost all of Nevada is located in the Great Basin Desert, America’s largest desert. Great Basin National Park occupies the northeastern part of the state surrounding the nearly 4000-meter-high (13,065 feet) Wheeler Peak. You can explore the park when you go hiking or visit the Lehman caves. For the latter, it is wise to book in advance.

National parks in New Mexico

There are two National Parks in the state of New Mexico.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to 116 caves, which can be visited via the natural entrance or by an elevator that goes 230 meters below the surface. Only two caves are open to the public: the Carlsbad Caverns and the Slaughter Canyon Cave. In addition, the Slaughter Canyon Cave can be visited with a guide.

White Sands National Park

White Sands has been the newest national park in America since December 2019, before that it had been a national monument since 1933. The park consists of white sand dunes and gypsum crystals and it is a beautiful place to explore by foot or by bike.

National park in North Carolina and Tennessee

North Carolina and Tennessee together share the most popular US National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With over 12 million visitors in 2020, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States of America. It is a very beautiful mountain area full of primeval forests. Many different kinds of animal species live there, including a very high population of black bears.

National Park in North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is the only national park in the state of North Dakota.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

This national park consists of three areas through which the Little Missouri River flows. The park has a beautiful prairie landscape where various animal species live, such as the American bison, mustangs, and pronghorns. President Theodore Roosevelt owned a ranch in this area, which is why the park is named after him.

National Park in Ohio

Ohio also has only one national park: Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park protects part of the Cuyahoga River. The park is very popular with cyclists and hikers, who like to explore the 30-kilometer Towpath Trail. AANPASSEN Several beautiful waterfalls can be found along the river.

National park in Oregon

Oregon is home to a gorgeous national park: Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park - Oregon

Created from the stratovolcano Mount Mazama, Crater Lake National Park is a must-see on any Oregon road trip. The water in the lake is bright blue and when there is no wind it acts as a mirror. The view of the lake is breathtaking from every angle.

National Park in South Carolina

Congaree National Park is the only national park in the state of South Carolina.

Congaree National Park

In Congaree National Park you will find the last remaining large hardwood forests in the United States. The trees are also the tallest trees on the east side of the country. There are also several swamps that you can discover, just walk the Boardwalk Loop. This is a nice short trail that shows you the beauty of this park.

National parks in South Dakota

There are two national parks in the state of South Dakota.

Badlands National Park

In Badlands National Park you can see many different buttes (a hill with a steep slope) in different colors. There are ravines, gorges, and hoodoos, and it’s a spectacular landscape. Many fossils have been found in this area, including horses, rhinoceroses, and pigs. The finds show that people already lived here more than 11,000 years ago.

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is the first cave in the world to be designated a national park. These caves are filled with special calcite formations (a common mineral), which is a beautiful sight. It is one of the longest caves in the world and takes its name from the wind that constantly changes in the caves due to the air pressure.

National parks in Texas

There are two national parks in the state of Texas.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located in the south of Texas, on the border with Mexico. Named for the big bend in the Rio Grande, it covers much of the Chihuahua desert. In the park, you can admire the famous mountain range Chisos and many canyons. AANPASSEN It is an area with a rich ecology, there are more than 1200 plant species and 450 bird species.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

In Guadalupe Mountains National Park, you’ll find the highest point in Texas: the Guadalupe Peak is 2667 meters (8751 feet) high. Special about this park is that you not only see mountains and desert landscape, but also a forest full of pine trees. Like Big Bend, part of this park is part of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park is located on the US Virgin Islands, a couple of islands east of Puerto Rico. The National Park covers most of the island of Saint John and a few small spots on Saint Thomas. Why is it so special? It has crystal clear water, beautiful sandy beaches, and a stunning coral reef.

National parks in Utah

In the state of Utah, you can find no less than five national parks, which are full of beautiful red rocks.

Arches National Park

Landscape Arch in Arches National Park
The famous Landscape Arch in Arches National Park.

With more than 2000 sandstone arches, the landscape in Arches National Park is a fantastic sight. In fact, Utah residents are so proud of the 16-foot Delicate Arch that it features on their license plate. In the park you can explore many beautiful hiking trails, this way you can discover even more stone arches.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Trail - Bryce Canyon National Park

The landscape of Bryce Canyon is some of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen. The park is filled with bright red hoodoos and rock formations. You can view them well from various viewpoints, but it is even more fun to go hiking in this bizarre landscape.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park - Utah

Do you really want to feel like you are in the Wild West? Then Canyonlands National Park is the place to be. The landscape is a succession of canyons, buttes, and table mountains. A spectacular sight! Canyonlands is the least visited of all parks in Utah, so you’ll pretty much have a beautiful place to yourself.

Capitol Reef National Park

Picking fruit in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is a beautiful park full of steep red rocks. What makes it even more special is its history. The village of Fruita in the valley was founded in 1880 by Mormons. Unfortunately, they no longer live here, but you can still view the houses, and every now you’ll find a forgotten agricultural tool in the landscape. In addition, there are a number of orchards here, where you can pick fruit all year round. It’s so good!

Zion National Park

Zion National Park - Utah

Of all the national parks in Utah, Zion National Park is by far the most visited. The view of Zion Canyon is really good and picture-perfect. It really is a fun place if you like to hike, here you can find some of the most beautiful trails in the USA, such as Angels Landing and Observation Point.

National Park in Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is the only national park in the state of Virginia.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is located on the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Skyline Drive, a beautiful road full of viewpoints, runs straight through the park. It is a wooded area full of waterfalls and there are many hiking trails to be found. The famous Appalachian Trail continues right through the park.

National Parks in Washington

Three national parks can be visited in Washington state.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park - Washington

The most striking mountain peak in Washington State is Mount Rainier. This active volcano is no less than 4392 meters (14,411 feet) high! The volcano is located in the middle of Mount Rainier National Park and the park is made up of lots of forests and fast-flowing rivers. A wonderful place to go hiking. It is always great to see the impressive summit of Mount Rainier.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is located on the border with Canada, in the northern part of the Cascade Range. It is a mountainous area full of primeval forests and many species of animals live there. Like black bears, moose, wolves, and lynxes. It is a fantastic place for long hiking trips with a backpack. For example, a section of the Pacific Crest Trail passes through this park.

Olympic National Park

In the very northwest of Washington state, Olympic National Park is located near the city of Seattle. Within the park lies the mountain range of the Olympic Mountains, hence the name Olympic National Park. It is a special place because it is one of the few places in the world with a temperate rainforest. To protect nature, it is only accessible to visitors in a few places.

National Park in West Virgina

There is a small National Park in the state of West Virginia: New River Gorge National Park.

New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge National Park is dominated by the deepest river gorge east of the Mississippi. What can you do here? Rafting of course! You can see impressive waterfalls, check out beautiful viewpoints and you can even visit a ghost town (Thurmond).

National Parks in Wyoming

The state of Wyoming has only two national parks, but both are world famous.

things to do in Grand Teton National Park

Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is located south of the famous Yellowstone National Park but is also well worth a visit. In the center of the park is the impressive Teton Mountains (the highest point is at 4197 meters – 13,775 feet). In addition, there is a large valley where you can visit historic buildings and see a lot of wildlife. It is not uncommon to see a deer or pronghorn crossing the road. So drive carefully! With over 320 miles of hiking trails, Grand Teton National Park is a wonderful place for hikers.

Yellowstone National Park

Ribbon Lake Loop Trail - Yellowstone National Park

While Yellowstone National Park is largely located in the state of Wyoming, it is so large that it is also partly in the states of Idaho and Montana. Yellowstone is actually a supervolcano and it is bursting with hot springs (with bizarre colors) and geysers. There are also many animals (chances are you’ll see some of these during your visit), such as bears, wolves, elk, and lots of bison. Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the US. If you decide to visit the park, make sure to take your time. There are many beautiful places in Yellowstone to explore!

Practical information

You have to pay entrance fees for almost all of the US National Parks. Your entrance ticket is often valid for several days. Are you planning on visiting multiple National Parks in the next year? Then it might be cheaper to purchase an America the Beautiful pass. It costs $80 and is valid for one year in most of the National Parks and National Monuments.

When you arrive, you often get a map of the park and in the visitor centers, you can get more information about the origin of the park and what to do. Do not hesitate to speak to a ranger during your visit, they always know a lot of interesting things about the park and give useful tips.

Read more

Many beautiful books have been written about the beautiful US National Parks. These books are worth checking out:

USA National Parks – Lands of Wonder

Lonely Planet USA’s National Parks

National Parks of the USA

You can also read a lot about beautiful destinations in the US on this website. You can find them all on this page. These are the most read articles about traveling in the USA:

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Co

Hi! I'm Co and a travel addict. On this website, I'll share stories of my travel adventures and share some travel tips. I'll make sure to keep you inspired for your next trip!

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