One thing many people love to do in the U.S. is visit the National Parks. Some people even venture out to visit all 63 U.S. National Parks, like the 93-year-old grandma who went with her grandson.
According to the National Park Service, the first national park, Yellowstone, was established in the late 1800s, but the National Park Service itself wasn’t established until August of 1916, around 106 years ago.
Today, national parks encompass incredible landscapes and draw visitors from around the world. In fact, in 2022, the National Park System saw some 311,985,998 people!
Many people realize how incredible the national parks in the U.S. are, but not everyone knows just how many landmarks you can find when you visit them. Some national parks boast world-renowned landmarks and landscapes.
Check out the notable parks below:
Arches National Park
Arches boasts the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Located in Utah, you can find more than 2,000 arches in the park.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Located in Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park features the world’s longest known cave system. In fact, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1981!
National Park of American Samoa
This national park is often overlooked, but it’s the only national park south of the equator. Beyond its unique location, it’s comprised of 10 volcanic islands, distinct rain forest communities, and two coral atolls.
Gateway Arch National Park
Located in Missouri, the Gateway Arch National Park is the smallest national park by area. The park has transofmed over the years and currently offers a waterfront green space, some small walking trails, an amphitheater, and an American history museum.
Sequoia National Park
In contrast to Gateway Arch National Park, Sequoia National Park boasts ample green space and wilderness. In fact, around 97% of the park’s 404,064 acres is wilderness. The park is home to the world’s largest living tree (by volume).
Denali National Park and Preserve
If you head to Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, you can find the highest point in all of North America. It’s remote and undeveloped, but that’s part of the park’s incredible charm.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortugas National Park is largely open water with just seven small islands for land. It’s home to America’s largest barrier reef.
White Sands National Park
If you travel to New Mexico, you can find the White Sands National Park, which is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
As of 2023, West Virginia is home to the newest national park: New River Gorge National Park and Preseve.
Yellowstone National Park
In contrast to West Virginia, Wyoming is home to the oldest national park: Yellowstone. Yellowstone predates the National Park Service even!
Death Valley National Park
Fitting for its name, Death Valley National Park boasts the hottest recorded temperature in the world. It’s also the lowest point in North America.
Grand Canyon National Park
It may not be too surprising to learn that the Grand Canyon National Park is home to the largest canyon in the world.
As you can see, national parks are home to an incredible amount of landmarks and landscapes. Even if you can only visit a few in your lifetime, they’re well worth it!