1. Travel

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

National Parks 

National Parks are generally large natural places having a wide variety of attributes, at times including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining and consumptive activities are not authorized. At present, there are 58 national parks in the National Park System.

Acadia National Park
The first national park established east of the Mississippi features the rugged coastal area of Mount Desert Island, the cliffs of Isle au Haut, and the Schoodic Peninsula.

Arches National Park
Outstanding geological features include giant arches, pinnacles, pedestals, and windows, the products of erosion.

Badlands National Park
Carved by erosion, this scenic landscape contains fossils from 23 to 35 million years ago and includes the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the U.S.

Big Bend National Park
Situated on border with Mexico, where the Rio Grande makes a sharp turn, park's desert and mountainous environment features a diversity of plant and animal life.

Biscayne National Park
Protects interrelated marine ecosystems including mangrove shoreline, bay community, subtropical keys, and the northernmost coral reef in the U.S.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths visible here.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Erosion has carved colorful and unusual formations of limestone, mudstone, and sandstone from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah.

Canyonlands National Park 
Rocks, spires, and mesas dominate the heart of the Colorado Plateau cut by canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers.

Capitol Reef National Park
Features the Waterpocket Fold, a 70-mile uplift of sandstone cliffs with highly colored sedimentary rock formations.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Preserves more than 80 caves in the Guadalupe Mountains of southern New Mexico, including the nation's deepest limestone cave.

Channel Islands National Park
Comprising five islands off the Southern California coast, park includes nesting sea birds, sea lion rookeries, and a variety of plants found nowhere else in the world.

Congaree National Park
Designated an International Biosphere Reserve, it preserves the largest expanse of old-growth floodplain forest in America.

Crater Lake National Park
Information included here will help you plan a visit to the park, which features incredible scenery, severe weather, and the deepest lake in the United States.  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Links the urban centers of Cleveland and Akron, preserving the rural character of the Cuyahoga River Valley.

Death Valley National Park
This large desert, nearly surrounded by high mountains, includes the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

Denali National Park and Preserve
This Biosphere Reserve features 20,320-foot Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, as well as a number of other mountains and large glaciers.

Dry Tortugas National Park
Park's cluster of seven islands includes Fort Jefferson, the largest all-masonry fortification in the Western Hemisphere, a bird refuge, and abundant marine life.

Everglades National Park
The largest subtropical wilderness in the continental U.S. includes extensive fresh- and saltwater areas, Everglades prairies, and mangrove forests.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Second largest unit of the NPS lies entirely above Arctic Circle and preserves part of Central Brooks Range, the northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Includes Mount Fairweather, the highest peak in southeast Alaska, the U.S. portion of the Alsek River, and a variety of plants and animals.

Glacier National Park
Ruggedly beautiful terrain features numerous glaciers, lakes and streams, and a wide variety of wildlife and wildflowers.

Grand Canyon National Park
Focusing on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, park illustrates one of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world.

Grand Teton National Park
Features the most impressive part of the Teton Range, part of Jackson Hole, and more than 200 miles of trails.

Great Basin National Park
Includes an ancient bristlecone pine forest, 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak, numerous limestone caverns, streams, lakes, and abundant wildlife.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Large sand dunes in the U.S. were deposited over thousands of years by southwesterly winds blowing through the passes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Encompassing portions of NC and TN, park features a diversified plant and animal life, and preserves structures representing southern Appalachian mountain culture. Here you'll find all the information you need to plan your trip to the park or surrounding area.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Features portions of the world's most extensive and significant Permian limestone fossil reef; includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet.

Haleakala National Park
Preserves the volcanic landscape of Haleakala on Maui and unique ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley and the scenic pools along Oheo Gulch.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site features active volcanism and rare vegetation. Elevations range from sea level to 13,677 feet.

Hot Springs National Park
Features 47 thermal springs flowing from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain.

Isle Royale National Park
The largest forested island in Lake Superior includes 165 miles of scenic hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife observation.

Joshua Tree National Park
Desert park and Biosphere Reserve features a variety of plants and animals, and a representative stand of Joshua-trees.

Katmai National Park and Preserve
Large wilderness area includes lakes, forests, mountains, and marshlands, all with an abundance of wildlife.

Kenai Fjords National Park
Includes one of the four major ice caps in the U.S., the 300-square-mile Harding Icefield, and is home to tens of thousands of breeding birds.

Kings Canyon National Park
The third oldest national park features a rugged canyon and powerful river, waterfalls, and desolate backcountry. It includes Grants Grove and Cedar Grove.

Kobuk Valley National Park
Located entirely north of the Arctic Circle, park features the 25-square mile Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and a variety of wildlife.

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Geological diversity includes jagged peaks, granite spires, and two active volcanoes. Lakes and rivers within park are critical salmon habitat.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Established as a national park due to active volcanism. Lassen Peak erupted intermittently from 1914 until 1921.

Mammoth Cave National Park
The longest recorded cave system in the world includes more than 336 miles explored and mapped.

Mesa Verde National Park
The first cultural park set aside by NPS features the best preserved and most notable pre-Columbian cliff dwellings and other works of early Americans.

Mount Rainier National Park
Featuring the greatest single-peak glacial system in the U.S., park contains vast expanses of pristine old-growth forests and subalpine flower meadows.

National Park of American Samoa
Two rain forest preserves and a coral reef are home to unique tropical animals including the Flying Fox, Pacific Boa, tortoises, and an array of birds and fish.

North Cascades National Park
This wild alpine region features high mountain peaks, waterfalls, and more than 300 glaciers.

Olympic National Park
Pristine wilderness park includes glacier capped mountains, over 60 miles of scenic ocean shore, and stands of old-growth and temperate rain forest.

Petrified Forest National Park
Features one of the world's largest concentrations of petrified wood, Indian ruins and petroglyphs, and portions of the colorful Painted Desert.

Redwood National and State Parks
Features old growth coastal redwood forests and 40 miles of scenic Pacific coastline.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Designated a Biosphere Reserve, park straddles the Continental Divide and features 14,000-foot peaks.

Saguaro National Park
Features the giant saguaro cactus, which may reach a height of 50 feet and is unique to the Sonoran Desert.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
The second oldest national park is home to groves of giant sequoias, Mineral King Valley, and Mount Whitney.

Shenandoah National Park
Park's Skyline Drive runs along the crest of a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains, affording spectacular vistas.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Memorializes 26th President for his contributions to natural resource conservation. Features badlands along the Little Missouri River and part of Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch.

Virgin Islands National Park
Designated a Biosphere Reserve, park covers about one-half of St. John Island and Hassel Island in St. Thomas harbors.

Voyageurs National Park
One of the few water-dominated parks in the NPS system, it features a variety of islands, coves, and bays scattered within more than 30 lakes.

Wind Cave National Park
Features limestone cave decorated by calcite crystal formations and mixed grass prairie, home to native wildlife.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Located at convergence of the Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges, the largest unit of the NPS includes Mount St. Elias and numerous glaciers.

Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872 as the world's first national park, it features more than 10,000 geysers and hot springs, including Old Faithful. 

Yosemite National Park
Established in 1890, this Sierra Nevada park features alpine wilderness, groves of Giant Sequoias, and the glacially-carved Yosemite Valley.

Zion National Park
Park includes sheer, vividly-colored cliffs and deep canyons, one of the last mostly free-flowing river systems on the Colorado Plateau, and the richest diversity of plants in Utah.

Click here to select another park by classification type, by name, by state, or by activity.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.