National parks are sprinkled from coast to coast in the US. There are 61 national parks in all, covering more than 52 million square miles (211,000 square kilometers) of natural wonders. Yellowstone was the first, in 1872.
You’ll find national parks in 29 states, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. California has the most at 9; 7 of them are within a 4 hour drive of Los Angeles. Alaska has 8, including the largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. There are 5 national parks in Utah and 4 in Colorado. The smallest is Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis.
These epic natural wonderlands have been photographed by some of the world’s best photographers. But pictures don’t compare to the awe-inspiring wonder of seeing these pristine lands in person.
Get tips for taking the kids to national parks, a complete guide to junior ranger badges and more!