List of U.S. National Parks

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List of National Parks in the United States
List of National Parks in the United States

About the U.S. National Parks

The National Park Service, an agency of the United States Department of the Interior, operates 59 protected areas comprising nearly 52 million acres of land known as National Parks.

The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service. Its purpose is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife, and to provide for enjoyment and to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Criteria for Selection

The criteria for selection of a national park includes:

  • The overall natural beauty of the area
  • The unique geological features of the area
  • The existence of unusual ecosystems within the area
  • Recreational opportunities

All of these criteria are considered in the selection process, but those chosen do not necessarily need to have all of these characteristics to qualify.

The U.S. Congress is responsible for designating protected areas as National Parks. Recently, the current President, Donald Trump, signed an executive order to remove some of the previously protected areas.

List of National Parks in the United States

There are a total of 59 national parks in 27 states. Yellow Stone was the first area to be designated as a national park.

Of course, some of the parks span multiple states such as Yellowstone (which spans through portions of three states, including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming) and The Great Smoky Mountains (which spans through portions of both North Carolina and Tennessee).

California has the most of any state. Yet, the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee are the most visited.

Following is a list broken down by state:

Alaska

  • Denali
  • Gates of the Arctic
  • Glacier Bay
  • Katmai
  • Kenai Fjords
  • Kobuk Valley
  • Lake Clark
  • Wrangell-St. Elias

Arizona

  • Grand Canyon
  • Petrified Forest
  • Saguaro

Arkansas

  • Hot Springs

California

  • Channel Islands
  • Death Valley (part is located in Nevada)
  • Joshua Tree
  • Kings Canyon
  • Lassen Volcanic
  • Redwood
  • Sequoia
  • Yosemite

Colorado

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Great Sand Dunes
  • Mesa Verde
  • Rocky Mountain

Florida

  • Biscayne
  • Dry Tortugas
  • Everglades

Hawaii

  • Haleakala
  • Hawaii Volcanoes

Idaho

  • Yellowstone (spans portions of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana)

Kentucky

  • Mammoth Cave

Maine

  • Acadia National – Established in 1919

Michigan

  • Isle Royale

Minnesota

  • Voyageurs

Montana

  • Glacier
  • Yellowstone National Park  (spans portions of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana)

Nevada

  • Death Valley (also located in California)
  • Great Basin

New Mexico

  • Carlsbad Caverns

North Carolina

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park  (spans portions of Tennessee and North Carolina)

North Dakota

  • Theodore Roosevelt

Ohio

  • Cuyahoga Valley

Oregon

  • Crater Lake

Tennessee

  • Great Smoky Mountains (spans portions of Tennessee and North Carolina)

Virginia

  • Shenandoah

South Carolina

  • Congaree

South Dakota

  • Badlands
  • Wind Cave

Texas

  • Big Bend
  • Guadalupe Mountains

Utah

  • Arches – Established in 1971
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Canyonland
  • Capitol Reef
  • Zion

Washington

  • Mount Rainier
  • North Cascades
  • Olympic

Wyoming

  • Grand Teton
  • Yellowstone National Park  (spans portions of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana)

US Territories

  • American Samoa (located in American Samoa Territory)
  • Virgin Islands (located in the US Virgin Islands)

More Information

If you would like to learn more, please visit Wikipedia. And, if you like lists, view our Lists of Lists category.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or comments about this list of National Parks, please post a message below.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.

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