A national park can be defined as a place that can be used for conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. The United States of America is one of the largest countries in the world by land area covering around 9,833,517 square kilometres. Now, the question is how many national parks are there in the USA? The country has created 63 protected areas in the form of national parks. All of them has been operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior and all of them established by an act of the United States Congress. Yellowstone national park was the first one established in 1872 and the next one is Mackinac National Park in 1875, however, it was decommissioned in 1895, Here is the list of national parks in the USA with the date established and total area,
List of National Parks In The USA
1.Acadia National Park- Date established as park- (February 26, 1919)- Area: 49,076.63 acres (198.6 km2)
- Acadia National Park is a beautiful park situated in the U.S. state of Maine.
- The national parka also covers the area of surrounding islands and a peninsula, the greater part of the park is on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine.
- It was initially created as the Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916, later the name was changed to Lafayette National Park in 1919 and finally, it is known as Acadia National Park since 1929.
- It is known for its diversity of its landscape and it includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes.
- Schoodic Peninsula is only part of a national park located in the mainland of Maine.
- The largest island on the Acadia National Park is Mount Desert Island with an area of 12,300 hectares (30,300 acres) is the largest island off the coast of Maine.
- Mount Desert Island has been discovered in the year 1604 by French explorer Samuel Champlain.
2.National Park of American Samoa-Date established as a park- (October 31, 1988)- Area: 8,256.67 acres (33.4 km2)
- The National Park of American Samoa is a beautiful territory in American Samoa and also includes areas of Tutuila, Ofu, and Tau.
- The park mainly preserves coral reefs, tropical rainforests, fruit bats, and the Samoan culture.
- The national park is popular among tourist for hiking and snorkelling.
- Out of the total area, almost 2,500 acres has been covered with coral reefs and ocean.
- The National Park of American Samoa is the only park that has an American National Park Service system unit south of the equator.
Image Source: Wikimedia
3.Arches National Park- Date established as park- (November 12, 1971)- Area: 76,678.98 acres (310.3 km2)
- Arches National Park is a beautiful national park situated in eastern Utah.
- The park has been shaped by weathering and erosion.
- It consists of 2,000 natural stone arches along with soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.
- The highest elevation of the park is Elephant Butte with an elevation of 1,723 meters (5,653 feet) and the lowest is 1,245 meters (4,085 feet) at the visitor centre.
- US congress changed the status of Arches to National Park in order to recognize over 10,000 years of human history that has flourished in the landscape.
- The longest arch in the park is the Landscape Arch situated in the Western hemisphere.
4.Badlands National Park- Date established as park- (November 10, 1978)- Area: 242,755.94 acres (982.4 km2)
- Badlands National Park situated in southwestern South Dakota.
- The park is known for preserving eroded buttes and pinnacles, along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States.
- Red Shirt Table is a table mountain that is the highest point in the park with an elevation of 3,340 feet (1,020 m).
- Badlands National Park has been redesignated a national park on November 10, 1978.
5.Big Bend National Park- Date established as park- (June 12, 1944)- Area: 801,163.21 acres (3,242.2 km2)
- Big Bend National Park is also a beautiful national park located in West Texas, bordering Mexico.
- The park is the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States.
- The national park is protecting 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.
- The other popular activities in the park are scenic drives, programs led by Big Bend park rangers, and stargazing.
- There are archaeological sites in the park dating back to nearly 10,000 years to more recent pioneers, ranchers, and miners.
- The only mountain range in the national park is the Chisos Mountains that is fully contained within the boundary of a national park.
6.Biscayne National Park- Date established as park- (June 28, 1980)- Area: 172,971.11 acres (700.0 km2)
- Biscayne National Park is a beautiful national park situated in southern Florida, south of Miami.
- The national park is unique in such a way that 95% is water and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest.
- Elliott Key is the largest island in the park located northernmost of the true Florida Keys, formed from the fossilized coral reef.
- Florida reef is the largest coral reefs in the world which are situated in the northernmost region of the park.
- The national park is known for protecting distinct ecosystems that include the shoreline mangrove swamp, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestone keys and the offshore Florida Reef.
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7.Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park-Date established as park- (October 21, 1999)- Area: 30,779.83 acres (124.6 km2)
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a park situated in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service.
- The national park has 12 miles of the 48-mile long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River.
- It has two entrances, first is from the south rim which is situated 15 miles (24 km) east of the Montrose entrance and the second one is the north rim entrance in the south of Crawford and is closed in the winter.
- According to the author of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Duane Vandenbusche stated, “Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon.”
8.Bryce Canyon National Park- Date established as park- (February 25, 1928)- Area: 35,835.08 acres (145.0 km2)
- Bryce Canyon National Park is in southwestern Utah.
- The area of the park has been settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and later it was named after Ebenezer Bryce who homesteaded in the area in 1874.
- It was designated as a national park in 1928 and as a National Monument in 1923.
- The highest point is the Rainbow Point at an elevation of 2,775 meters (9,105 feet) and Yellow Creek is the lowest part of the park at 2,020 meters (6,620 feet).
- The major and popular portion of the park is Bryce Canyon which is not formed from erosion initiated from a central stream.
- Bryce Canyon is a collection of giant natural amphitheatres situated on the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
9.Canyonlands National Park- Date established as park- (September 12, 1964)- Area: 337,597.83 acres (1,366.2 km2)
- Canyonlands National Park situated in southeastern Utah.
- It was established as a national park on September 12, 1964, by President Lyndon B. Johnson who signed law 88-590.
- The national park is popular for its colourful landscape that has eroded into countless canyons by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries.
- It has two main portions, the first is the main portion that consists of the main park area and the second one is a considerably smaller Horseshoe Canyon unit.
- The main portion of the park has been divided into three sections such as the Island in the Sky, the Needles, and The Maze.
- It is in the list of national parks in the USA with the date established and total area.
10.Capitol Reef National Park- Date established as park- (December 18, 1971)- Area: 241,904.50 acres (979.0 km2)
- Capitol Reef National Park is a beautiful park situated in south-central Utah.
- The park has been established in 1971 conserving 241,904 acres of desert landscape where the best season to visit is May through September being the highest visitation months.
- The Capitol Reef National Park was designated a national monument on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The purpose is to conserve colourful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths.
- The park was named for its whitish Navajo Sandstone cliffs with dome formations which is similar to the capital buildings and hence the name.
This is the list of national parks in the USA. Kindly share and do post your comments.