The History of America’s 400 National Parks
In 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park in America. The area was originally set aside as a public park by the U.S. government in order to protect its unique geothermal features from development. Since then, the national park system has grown to include more than 400 parks, monuments, and recreation areas.
The National Park System was created to protect and preserve America’s natural heritage for future generations. The parks are managed by the National Park Service, which is a division of the Department of the Interior.
The mission of the National Park Service is:
“to conserve the scenery and the natural and historical objects and wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
The national parks are typically located in remote or wild areas, which can make them difficult to get to. However, many parks offer visitor services and facilities, such as camping, hiking, and ranger-led programs.
In addition, many national parks offer educational opportunities, such as Junior Ranger programs and volunteer opportunities.
More than 275 million people visit national parks each year. These visitors come from all over the world to experience America’s natural beauty and to learn about its history and culture. National parks offer something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a place to hike, camp, fish, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.
What are national parks and why should you visit them
National Parks are lands set aside by the US government for the preservation of natural beauty and wildlife. National parks offer visitors the chance to experience stunning scenery and rare wildlife up close.
In addition, national parks play an important role in conservation efforts.
By protecting large tracts of land, national parks help to preserve biodiversity and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the natural world. For all these reasons, national parks are well worth a visit.
How to find national parks near you?
America’s national parks are some of the most beautiful and diverse natural areas in the world. From the majestic mountains of Yellowstone to the rugged coastline of Acadia, national parks offer something for everyone.
And with over 400 national parks to choose from, chances are there’s one near you. So how can you find national parks near you?
One great way is to use the National Park Service’s online search tool. Simply enter your location and the distance you’re willing to travel, and the tool will show you a list of national parks that fit your criteria.
You can also filter the results by activities or features that you’re interested in, such as hiking trails, campgrounds, or scenic views.
Another option is to consult a national park map. Park maps are available for purchase online or at many retail outlets, and they provide an overview of all the national parks in the United States.
This can be a helpful way to get a sense of which parks are located near you and what each one has to offer.
Another great resource for finding national parks is Google Maps. Just type in “national parks near me” and Google will show you a list of parks that are close to your location.
Some interesting facts about national parks
Here are some interesting facts about national parks in no particular order:
- There are more than 400 national parks in the United States.
- National parks receive more than 300 million visitors each year.
- The largest national park is Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska, which covers more than 13 million acres.
- The smallest national park is Hot Springs in Arkansas, which covers just 5,500 acres.
- National parks are home to countless species of plants and animals, including many that are endangered or threatened.
- National parks are managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the Department of the Interior.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that national parks are such popular destinations for Americans and visitors from all over the world.
What to do when you get to the national park?
When you arrive at the national park, there are a few things you should do to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable visit.
First, stop at the visitor center and pick up a map of the area. This will help you to find your way around and avoid getting lost.
Second, be sure to follow all posted signs and trail markers. This will help you to stay on designated trails and avoid dangerous areas.
Finally, be sure to pack out all of your trash when you leave. This helps to keep the national park clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your visit to the national park is a memorable one.
The best national parks for different activities.
There are national parks for every type of activity. Here are some of the best national parks for different activities:
- Zion National Park – Very popular trails that wind through canyons and red rock cliffs.
- Yellowstone National Park – With nearly 1,000 miles of trails, Yellowstone offers visitors the chance to see its amazing geysers and hot springs, 290 waterfalls, the largest high-elevation lake in North America, and the potential to observe its animals, including bears, wolves, and moose.
- Yosemite National Park – On its 1200 acres, the Park is also home to pine trees, serene lakes, vibrant fields of wildflowers, and sun-dappled giant sequoia groves, all of which can be explored on foot along its 37 well-maintained hiking trails, which range in difficulty from simple to difficult.
- Rocky Mountain National Park – When you think of mountain hiking, you think of the thick forest, striking rocky peaks, and alpine lakes of Colorado’s coveted Rocky Mountain National Park. At 415 square miles, Rocky Mountain Park has lots of choices.
- Redwoods National Park – The most memorable hikes in Redwood National Park are frequently short and quite level. The world’s tallest living trees can be found there, along with temperate rainforests, fern-lined valleys, waterfalls, and even rocky coastlines.
- Arches National Park – In Arches, hiking offers little in the way of shade as you move along Slickrock trails that range in length from simple strolls to day-long rustic expeditions that will bring 65 million years of geological development right up close to you. Best to avoid visiting in the summer.
- Slough Creek Campground, Kansas. Slough Creek a popular fishing spot in Yellowstone is where you’ll find the park’s best campground. Slough Creek Campground is small, with only 16 sites and only 14 of these can accommodate an RV, but it is located in the heart of the Lamary Valley, one of the best places for wildlife viewing in the park.
- Fruita Campground, Utah. Capitol Reef National Park is notable for its spectacular cliffs and gorges of bright red rock, making Fruita Campground something of a rare sight. Fed by the Fremont River, which runs along the campground’s edge, Fruita is essentially an oasis in the desert, surrounded by the cool and green shade of historical orchards.
- Wonder Lake Campground, Alaska. This lakeside campsite is under the shadow of Mount McKinley, which has the same name as Denali National Park. The Wonder Lake Campground is completely rustic; flush toilets and potable water are only accessible during the summer when mosquitoes are at their worst.
- Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado. Fifteen group sites and eighty-eight individual sites at the Great Sand Dunes National Park’s campground, which is open from April to October, are all located on the surrounding dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. Each camping area has a fire pit, and a picnic table is available. Reservations are required.
- Lost Creek Campground, Oregon. Closed for the 2022 season.
- Lower Pines Campground, California. Lower Pines Campground is one of two campgrounds that offer paved RV parks at Yosemite National Park. It has paved roads and parking lots, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, and lockers for dry storage. Each of these campsites has an electrical plug and potable water.
Fishing is a popular activity in the national parks and there are many great locations for fishing throughout the United States. Here are five of the best locations for fishing in the national parks:
1. Yellowstone National Park – Yellowstone National Park is home to many different species of fish, including trout, bass, and pike. There are many great locations for fishing in Yellowstone, such as the Firehole River and Lewis Lake.
2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Great Smoky Mountains National Park is another great destination for fishing. The park is home to many different types of fish, including trout, bass, and catfish. There are many great spots for fishing in the park, such as streams and rivers.
3. Glacier National Park – Glacier National Park in Montana has over 700 miles of streams and rivers, making it a paradise for anglers.
4. Lake Superior in Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is also a great place to fish.
The 5 most popular locations for climbing at national parks are:
- Joshua Tree National Park, California.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California.
- Yosemite National Park, California.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado.
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
The national parks are some of the best places in the United States to go bird watching. There are many different types of birds that can be seen in the national parks, and each park has its own unique bird-watching opportunities. Here are some of the best national parks for bird watching:
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – This park is home to more than 200 species of birds, making it one of the best places in the country to go bird-watching. Some of the most popular birds to look for in this park include warblers, finches, and bald eagles.
2. Yellowstone National Park – Yellowstone is another great national park for bird watching, as it is home to more than 280 different species of birds. Some of the most popular birds to look for in this park include ospreys, hawks, and eagles.
3. Cape May County Park & Zoo in New Jersey is another great spot for bird watching.
The best times of the year to visit national parks
Generally speaking, national parks are busiest during the summer months and holidays. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, try visiting during spring or fall. These shoulder seasons offer more moderate weather and smaller crowds. No matter when you visit, national parks are sure to provide a memorable experience.
Here are the best times of year to visit some of America’s most popular parks:
- Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the best time to visit is in the summer when the wildflowers are in bloom. The aspens will also be changing color, making for a beautiful landscape.
- Yosemite National Park in California, summer is also a great time to visit. The waterfalls are at their peak and the temperature is comfortable.
- Acadia National Park in Maine, fall is an excellent time to go. The leaves change color and there are usually fewer crowds.
- Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, winter is the best time to go if you’re looking for solitude.
The best national parks for families
To help narrow things down, here are five of the best national parks for families.
Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see for any family looking to experience the majesty of nature. With its towering cliffs and vibrant sunsets, the Grand Canyon is sure to take your breath away. There are also plenty of activities for families to enjoy, such as hiking, rafting, and horseback riding.
Yellowstone National Park is another great option for families looking to explore the great outdoors. Home to geysers, waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife, Yellowstone provides endless opportunities for discovery. Families can also enjoy camping, fishing, and boating in the park.
If you’re looking for a beach vacation with a difference, consider visiting Acadia National Park. Located on Maine’s coast, Acadia offers beautiful scenery and ample opportunity for hiking, biking, and kayaking. Families can also spend time exploring the park’s many tide pools and beaches.
For a truly unique national park experience, head to Joshua Tree National Park in California. Here you’ll find strange and wonderful Joshua trees, as well as an array of cacti and other desert plants. Families can hike through the park or go rock climbing among the towering boulders.
Finally, Glacier National Park in Montana is a great option for families who love snow activities like skiing and snowboarding. In the summer months, families can enjoy hiking and camping amidst Glacier’s stunning scenery. No matter what time of year you visit, Glacier National Park is sure to create lasting family memories.
The best national parks for wildlife viewing
Many national parks across the United States offer visitors the chance to see wildlife in their natural habitats. While each park has its unique ecosystem, there are a few that stand out as being particularly well-suited for wildlife viewing.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places in the country to see grizzly bears, elk, bison, and wolves.
Everglades National Park
In the Everglades National Park, visitors can see alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and a variety of bird species.
Channel Islands National Park
For those who want to see marine life, the Channel Islands National Park is home to seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is a great place to see caribou, Dall sheep, moose, and bears.
These national parks offer visitors the chance to see some of the most majestic creatures on earth in their natural habitats.
National parks offer a variety of experiences for visitors, from hiking and camping to wildlife viewing and sightseeing. No matter what your interests are, there is sure to be a national park that fits the bill.
In this article, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite national parks for different activities. We hope you’ll get the chance to visit them all!
Sources: THX News & Adventure.