The U.S. National Parks are one of the biggest draws of living in the United States. We have a variety of parks across the country ranging from remote ones in Alaska to famous ones like the Grand Canyon. This ultimate guide lists all 63 US national parks by state so you can start planning your trip to visit one (or all of them).
Many people find it addicting once they start visiting national parks and want to begin keeping track of them. This happened with me and I kept forgetting how many I had visited already. That’s why I created a printable list of national parks to keep track of each new one I visit, and I’m sharing it here for you as well.
I put this list of US national parks in alphabetical order by state so it’ll be easier for you to find any particular ones you’re looking for. Here is your complete list of national parks by state for 2021.
I keep this list updated as new national parks are added, so as of January 2021, this list has all the current 63 US national parks on it.
How to Plan Your National Parks By State Trip
Here are a few things to keep in mind before traveling to the National Parks.
- Stay on the designated trails – I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t go off the trail to get a “better picture.” The NPS takes great care to make sure the parks stay preserved and the animals and landscape aren’t bothered, so only walk on the trail.
- Have an America the Beautiful Pass – This pass is a must, as you’ll be able to access every national park as many times as you want in a year. If you plan on visiting even a few parks in a year, this pass will pay for itself. The pass currently costs $80 for the year.
- Research current updates – Check each park’s official site for the most current updates and closures in the park. This will help you plan out your trip and inform you of important safety notifications.
Many people decide to do a road trip to some of the parks that are close together, so make sure to check out this road trip packing list to pack everything you need.
US National Parks Map
While I tried to make this list as helpful as possible, it’s easier to be able to visually see where all the national parks are by looking at a map. This will help you plan your national parks trip by seeing what park is near your next vacation.
Free National Park Days in 2021
If you’re on a budget, you may be interested in the days in 2021 that are free.
- January 18 (MLK day)
- April 17 (first day of national park week)
- August 4 (anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act signing)
- August 25 (National Park Service’s birthday)
- September 25 (National Public Lands Day)
- November 11 (Veterans Day)
The Full List of 63 National Parks By State
Here is your list of US national parks in alphabetical order for quick reference.
The first park in this printable list of national parks is Denali National Park and Preserve. Tourists flock to this park for its famous attraction, Denali, which is North America’s highest mountain. Besides the mountain, the park protects 6,045,153 acres of the landscape which includes forests, taiga, tundra, and glaciers. The park welcomed 594,660 guests in 2018.
Love adventure? Check out this ATV tour through Denali.
Gates of the Arctic
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is located in northern Alaska and protects part of the total wilderness known as the Brooks Range. While it was established as a park in 1980, it has no park facilities and is managed by Alaska Natives.
Another beautiful area on this list of US national parks by state, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve can be found in Southeast Alaska. This park and its surrounding area were proclaimed a national monument in 1925 and then designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The park protects part of the Alsek River and its aquatic habitats.
The Katmai National Park and Preserve is situated in Southern Alaska. The park preserves about 4,093,077 acres landscape, in which there are 18 individual (and partly active) volcanoes. Katami National Park is famous for its brown bears and for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.
Kenai Fjords National Park is found near Seward in south-central Alaska. It was designated as a national park in 1980. The park is home to many fjords, glaciers, and ice fields, including Harding Icefield, one of America’s largest ice fields.
This park is a bit tricky to get around, so you’ll want to book a tour and cruise to see more of it.
Kobuk Valley National Park is located just 25 miles away from the Arctic Circle in northwestern Alaska. It was designated as a national park in 1980 to preserve the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, the caribou migration routes, and other surrounding areas.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve can be found about 100 miles away from Anchorage in southwest Alaska. The park is named after the lake within it and also contains four active volcanoes – the most popular being Mount Redoubt. The park also contains many glaciers, waterfalls, rainforests, mountain ranges, and waterfalls.
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is located in south-central Alaska and maintained by the National Park Service. With over 8 million acres of mountain-filled country, St. Elias is the largest park on this national parks checklist. Within it are some of the tallest volcanoes and mountains on the American continent.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Arizona and is one of the most iconic parks on this list of US national parks. Of popular note within the park is the Grand Canyon itself, which is 277 miles long and about a mile deep.
It is frequented by a lot of climbers, hikers, and people that love the great outdoors. In fact, there are some amazing Grand Canyon day hikes to check out while you’re there.
Want an amazing view? Book a spot on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.
Petrified Forest National Park is on the border of Apache and Navajo counties in northeastern Arizona. It is named after the massive concentration of ancient petrified wood it holds. The park contains fossils of dinosaurs from millions of years ago and also protects more than 350 Native American sites.
Saguaro National Park is located in southeastern Arizona’s Pima County. The park is divided into the districts of Tucson Mountain and Rincon Mountain. It preserves the arid Sonoran Desert, which despite its dryness, still nurtures many species of life in up to six biotic communities.
Hot Springs National Park is located adjacent to Hot Springs City, in Arkansas. It was designated as a national park in 1921. The first national park within a city, It features natural hot springs that flow from the Ouachita Mountains.
Channel Islands National Park can be found off the coast of California and preserve five of the eight Channel Islands. They include Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel. The park is home to 145 unique species of animals and plants and contains over 2000 species in total.
Death Valley National Park sits on the border of California and Nevada. The park is home to Death Valley, the hottest and driest place in the United States. The park is also home to Badwater Basin along with multiple canyons, sand dunes, ranges, springs, and over a thousand plant species.
Joshua Tree National Park is located near Palm Springs and San Bernadino, in southeastern California. Designated as a national park in 1994, the park is named after the Joshua Trees which are a unique plant in the Mojave Desert. It includes portions of two deserts – the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert.
Kings Canyon National Park can be found in southern Sierra Nevada, California. The park features a number of giant sequoia groves and is home to the General Grant Tree – the second-largest measured tree in the world. The park also preserves a portion of King’s River and Boyden Cave.
Lassen Volcanic National Park can be found in northeastern California. The park is most famous for preserving Lassen Peak, the world’s largest lava dome volcano. Lassen is connected to three other volcanoes in the park, resulting in a relatively active volcano park.
Pinnacles National Park preserves a vast mountainous area in Central California. The park is home to an extinct volcano that has eroded and left immense black and gold rocks that are favored by rock climbers as popular climbing spots. It is also home to rare predator birds like the California condor and prairie falcons.
The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) beautiful parks on the list of US national parks that are located on northern California’s coast. The composite parks include Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks.
Staying in San Francisco? You can get picked up from your hotel on this Redwood tour.
Sequoia National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada area. Under its preservation is the Giant Forest where some of the tallest trees in the world can be found. Of all of them, General Sherman is the tallest. The park also preserves more than 240 caves, the tallest mountain to be found in the United States, and Moro Rock.
Yosemite National Park is located at the western end of Central California’s Sierra Nevada. The park features some of North America’s tallest waterfalls, old-growth forests, and granite cliffs favored among advanced climbers. It also preserves three massive Sequoia groves that offer shelter to numerous flora and fauna species. You’ll want to add this to your list of national parks by state for 2021.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is situated in west Colorado. Of the entire 48-mile stretch that is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, 12 miles are found in the boundaries of this national park. Almost 200,000 people visit the park every year, many of them climbing and exploring the famous Black Canyon. You’ll want to spend some time in Colorado, as there are several hidden gems in the US here.
Great Sand Dunes
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in south-central Colorado. It conserves the tallest sand dunes in America on the edge of San Luis Valley as well as another national preserve in the Sangre de Cristo Range. It also has grasslands and wetlands, as six mountains that are over 10000 feet tall.
Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is situated in Montezuma County, Colorado. The original settlers in this land were the Puebloan people and the park contains more than 4000 archeological sites including cliff dwellings from the 12th and 13th centuries. You’ll want to add this to your national park printable list.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located about 76 miles from Denver International Airport, in Colorado’s north-central end. It preserves a portion of Rocky Mountain that contains more than 150 lakes, subalpine forests, as well as animal species like bighorn sheep, black bears, mule deer, and cougars.
Biscayne National Park is situated in the south of Florida. The park is 95% aquatic, preserving Biscayne Bay and the barrier reefs in its vicinity. The shore of Biscayne Bay spreads into a very extensive forest of mangroves. There are multiple islands in the park, many of them formed by coral reefs that have fossilized over millions of years.
Dry Tortugas National Park is located west of the Gulf of Mexico. Among the islands it protects are the Dry Tortugas islands as well as Fort Jefferson, one of the largest stone structures in the Western Hemisphere. The park is only accessible by air or boat.
Everglades National Park is a tropical wilderness located in Florida. The park is visited by over a million people each year and is the third-largest national park by state. Along with Dry Tortugas, the Everglades biosphere was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Check out this Everglades tour for your chance to see sea turtles, bald eagles, manatees, dolphins, and more.
Haleakalā National Park is located on Maui Island, in Hawaii. Nominated as a national park in 1976, the area was named after the dormant volcano Haleakalā, which it hosts. The park protects many species of freshwater fish and Hawaiian geese and is home to more endangered species than any other national park in America.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is located on the island of Hawaii. Established in 1916, the park comprises two active volcanoes; Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. The park is regularly visited by scientists who want to understand the science of volcanism. It is also visited by recreational guests for the landscape, the flora, and the fauna.
Take a day tour to see the best of the park.
Indiana Dunes National Park is located in northwestern Indiana. It was designated as the 61st national park in America on February 15th, 2019. The park protects about 15,000 acres of landscape and 2000 wild species, running about 25 miles down Lake Michigan’s southern shore.
Mammoth Cave National Park is located in central Kentucky. It preserves whole portions of Mammoth Cave, which is the world’s longest cave system – with more than 400 miles of explored passageways. The park contains many subterranean species like bats, cave shrimp, and cavefish.
Acadia National Park
Acadia is situated in Maine, on the southwestern end of Bar Harbor. Visited by more than 3.5 million people per year, it is one of the most visited on this list of national parks in 2021. Acadia covers and preserves most of Mount Desert Island and features tall mountains, forests, multiple bodies of freshwater.
This park is beautiful all year, but particularly in the fall. If you have the time, I recommend spending 3 days in Acadia.
You can sign up for a half-day tour of the park if you don’t feel like exploring yourself.
Isle Royale National Park is located in Michigan and consists of Isle Royale as well as other adjacent islands numbering in the hundreds. Established as a national park in 1940, it was also designated as a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1980.
Voyageurs National Park is located close to the town of International Falls in northern Minnesota. Established in 1975, the name of the park honors the legendary French-Canadian traders who traded fur and frequently traveled the area. The park preserves the entire Kabetogama Peninsula and is famous for having excellent water resources.
Gateway Arch National Park
Gateway Arch National Park is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It was known as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial till 2018 when its name was changed in favor of the Gateway Arch; a 630-foot catenary arch constructed to commemorate the Corps of Discovery Expedition.
Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana, on the border of Canada and the United States. With over a million acres under its preserve, the park is home to multiple rocky mountains, twenty-six glaciers, and more than 120 lakes.
Explorers can go to this park to find Paleozoic fossils. You will love hiking in Glacier National Park with how many beautiful trails there are.
Great Basin National Park was established in 1986 in east-central Nevada, close to the border of Utah. It was named after the Great Basin, a mountainous region that separates the Sierra Nevada from the Wasatch Mountains. The park is famous for its bristlecone pines, the Lehman Caves, and Wheeler Peak Glacier.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in southeastern New Mexico, in the Guadalupe Mountains. There are more than 117 caves in the park; the most popular of them all being the Carlsbad Cavern. The caves are home to seventeen different bat species, including the Mexican free-tailed bat.
White Sands National Park is the newest park on this US national park list. This is located between western Otero County and Doña Ana County in New Mexico. It preserves the southern end of a field of white sands that extends for 275-square-miles. You’ll get some stunning photos here, and the sunset hike with an official ranger is highly recommended.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is made up of three distinct badlands located in North Dakota. It was named after President Theodore Roosevelt due to its influence on his life. The three composite sections: the Elkhorn Ranch Unit, as well as the North Unit and South Unit, make up 70,446 acres of parkland.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located in Northeastern Ohio and preserves 32,572 acres of the landscape going down the Cuyahoga River which sits in between Cleveland and Akron. Within the acres are numerous trails, hills, waterfalls, and more. There are signs of ancient occupation like old homes and exhibits of earlier living.
Established in Oregon in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is America’s fifth park on this national park checklist. The lake itself sits in the caldera of Mount Mazama, an ancient volcano that collapsed more than 7000 years ago. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America.
I recommend booking this epic three-day tour if you really want to explore the park on this US national parks list.
Congaree National Park was designated to preserve acres of central South Carolina landscape in 2003. The Congaree River runs through it, and so the nourished park contains the most substantial piece of old-growth flood plain that North America has left. The park also contains some of the tallest trees on the east coast.
Located in the southwestern end of South Dakota, Badlands National Park is comprised majorly of pinnacles, mixed-grass prairies, spires, and buttes. This national park is home to many different species of wildlife including bighorn sheep, bison, prairie dogs, as well as black-footed ferrets. It also contains the largest collection of fossils from the Eocene and Oligocene epochs.
Wind Cave National Park is located in western South Dakota, less than 10 miles from Hot Springs town. It was established in 1903 as the seventh national park in the United States. Within the cave is 95% of the box work formations in the world and Wind Cave is known to contain the densest system of caves in the world.
Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this national park is the most visited in the United States; attracting over 11 million visitors each year. Visitors come by to hike, fish, ride horses, and go on a tour of the historic park.
Big Bend National Park is located in West Texas on the border of Mexico. It was established in 1944 and given its name for the big bend in the Rio Grande. Most people visit it for the backcountry games played in the Chisos Mountains and other canyons.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located east of El Paso, in Texas. Within the park is Guadalupe Mountain, the tallest peak in Texas. It also preserves a piece of the dry Chihuahuan Desert, the picturesque McKittrick Canyon, and a fossilized coral reef that has survived since the Permian geological era.
Arches National Park is located in Utah, adjacent to the Colorado River. The park is famous for its natural sandstone arches and features more than two thousand of them. Some of the more popular ones include the Delicate Arch and the Double Arch. Visitors to Arches can also explore many stone pinnacles, balancing rocks, and fins.
Located in southwest Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for being home to Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon, however, is actually a collection of naturally-formed giant amphitheaters, not a canyon. The area was originally dwelled in by Native Americans but was later taken over by Mormon settlers.
Canyonlands National Park is located close to the town of Moab in southeastern Utah. As the name suggests, its landscape is made up of multiple canyons, mesas, and buttes that were eroded into it by the combined flows of the Green River, the Colorado River, and their various offshoots.
Capitol Reef National Park is a 60-mile long park that is located in south-central Utah. It was established in 1971 and is responsible for the preservation of over 240,000 acres of the desert landscape. The park is open to visitors all through the year and May to September are its peak months for visits.
Zion National Park is located in close proximity to the town of Springdale, in southwestern Utah. Many people come here to go on the various easy hikes in Zion. Its coverage extends across the Great Basin, the Colorado Plateau, and the Mojave Desert. The park features rock towers, canyons, mesas, and other sandstone formations.
There are many places to stay in Zion, whether you want to be in a high-end hotel or a unique yurt. You can also go camping here if you love spending the night in the outdoors.
You can easily do Zion in one day if you’re short on time and want to combine it with other Utah national parks.
Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia and preserves a large portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is a beautiful one on this US national parks list and is teeming with forests, wildlife, and hiking trails and is especially popular for two hiking trails – The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail – that encircle the entire park.
Mount Rainier National Park is situated between Pierce County and Lewis County in Washington State. Its biggest attraction is Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano which is also the tallest mountain in the Cascades. Climbers frequent this park a lot and at least half of it is covered in subalpine and alpine forests.
Don’t want to drive? Take a full-day tour to learn about the history of the area and see some beautiful parts of the park.
North Cascades National Park is a 500,000-acre park located in Washington State. The park is broken into two distinct areas; the Lake Chelan National and Ross Lake Recreation Areas. The Cascade mountains are fully glaciated and many people visit the park for the challenge of climbing.
One of the best things to do in the park during the summer and fall is hike thanks to the golden yellow larches and crystal blue lakes that surround the area. There are also many easy stops with gorgeous viewpoints as you’re driving through the park, such as Diablo Lake. Consider spending one day in North Cascades National Park if you’re in Seattle to experience this unique park.
Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It is broken into four regions – the alpine areas, the Pacific coastline, the drier east side and its forests, and the rainforest on the west side. If you have time, you’ll want to go on an Olympic Peninsula road trip to see the best of the park.
Within the park sit the Olympic Mountains, Mount Olympus being the tallest of them all. There are many different hikes to explore in the area, or you can head to the beach. Whether you spend a weekend here or visit Olympic National Park in 1 day, you’ll love visiting the park.
New River Gorge
This is the newest addition to the list of national parks in the US that was added at the end of 2020. The park holds one of the oldest rivers in the country, and if you love to rock climb or paddle, this is the park for you. There are numerous trails to go on, so hikers will love exploring this beautiful area.
Grand Teton National Park is located on the northwestern end of Wyoming. Its 310,000+ acres is home to a large portion of Teton Range with its high peaks and most of the northern part of Jackson Hole Valley. The park is 10 miles away from Yellowstone National Park.
This is one of my favorite places to visit on this list of national parks in the US due to its natural beauty. You can go on hikes through the many trails or relax by the popular Jenny Lake. I recommend taking a few days to explore the region.
Yellowstone National Park is located majorly in Wyoming but borders on smaller sections of Idaho and Montana. It is the United State’s first national park and also the first in the world. The park is popular for its wildlife and its many geysers, most popular of them being Old Faithful.
Located in the United States territory of American Samoa and spread across the islands of Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū is the National Park of American Samoa. This may be one of the most stunning parks on this US national parks list by state. The area is home to multiple rainforests, coral reefs, sparkling white beaches, and inactive volcanoes. It is also the home of more than 900 species of aquatic life.
The last park in this list of national parks by state is the Virgin Islands National Park. They are located in the United States Virgin Islands and preserves more than 60% of Saint John, 5,500 acres of the nearby ocean, and the majority of Hassel Island.
The park also preserves Archeological sites of the Taíno people as well as relics of sugar plantations that were employed in the time of Christopher Columbus.
While it may seem overwhelming to complete this list of US national parks, just focus on the ones you really want to see first. You may also not be aware that some parks are nearby on your next vacation, so you can refer to this list to add one to your itinerary. Don’t forget to download your free printable list of national parks PDF!