National Park Photos

Stunning Photos of Every National Park in America

View Slideshow
National Park Photos

American Beauty

The United States is home to 62 stunning national parks spread over 29 states. The oldest, Yellowstone National Park, was created by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. The most recent addition, White Sands National Park, located in New Mexico, joined the club in December 2019. Each of the 60-plus parks offers uniquely awe-inspiring wild places. Individually and collectively, they represent the best of America’s natural beauty, and offer visitors both a place for spiritual renewal and the chance to get lost in the splendor of the great outdoors. Even when we can't visit the parks in person, we can still enjoy stunning photos of them from afar. (Curious to see what our parks looked like decades ago? Be sure to check out 33 Historic National Park Photos for Vintage Views.)

Acadia National Park
Philippe Gratton/istockphoto

Acadia National Park | Maine

One of the most stunning places to visit in the Northeast, Acadia National Park spans ocean shoreline, coastal forests, remote islands and rocky mountains. There are 45 miles of historic carriage roads where visitors can set off on bikes and 125 miles of trails for hiking enthusiasts.

American Samoa National Park
Michael Runkel/Getty Images

American Samoa National Park | American Samoa

Located in the South Pacific and dubbed the islands of sacred Earth, this unique national park is a tropical paradise. The park is 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, making it one of the most remote national parks in the country. Highlights include rare plants and animals, coral sand beaches, and picturesque expanses of land and sea.

Moab, UT

Arches National Park | Utah

Utah is home to some of the country's most striking and unusual landscapes, and Arches National Park is one of the best places to take it all in. Often described as a red-rock wonderland, the park is home to some 2,000 natural stone arches as well as many soaring rock pinnacles and giant balanced rocks. There are also plenty of trails for hiking here. And don't miss sticking around for sunset over this jaw-dropping landscape.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park | South Dakota

A place that contains some of the world's richest fossil beds, Badlands National Park is known for its 244,000 acres of rugged and colorful beauty dominated by mixed-grass prairies where long ago saber-toothed cats roamed but today are home to bison and bighorn sheep.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park | Texas

Big Bend's massive landscape encompasses everything from sea fossils and dinosaur bones to volcanic dikes and meandering rivers. There are also mountain ranges, canyons, and desert to explore.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park | Florida

Within the boundaries of Biscayne National Park, visitors can explore aquamarine waters, coral reefs and islands. Home to four distinct ecosystems, there's a diverse array of wildlife living in the park, including hundreds of species of fish and plants that are unlike anything else in the world. Popular activities at this park include boating, snorkeling, camping, and wildlife observation.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park | Colorado

Get ready for steep cliffs and craggy spires at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. A vertical rock wilderness, the canyon offers a place for visitors to hike, take scenic drives, rock climb and go kayaking. Night sky viewing opportunities are also popular here.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park | Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the largest concentration of hoodoos (eroded columns of rock) anywhere on the planet. The unique and otherworldly landscape of this memorable park includes a variety of canyons, natural amphitheaters and bowls carved along the edge of a high plateau.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park | Utah

Another unforgettable and iconic national park in Utah, Canyonlands showcases more of the unique and dramatic arches, buttes, and expansive desert landscapes that southeastern Utah is so famous for. Its immense desert landscape is home to hundreds of colorful canyons.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park | Utah

One of Utah's lesser known national parks, Capitol Reef is as striking as many of its neighboring national parks in the state. The desert landscape and canyons at Capitol Reef offer countless hiking opportunities that take visitors through narrow canyons and gorges, past natural stone arches and along high cliffs.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park | New Mexico

Perhaps most famous for its 119 caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites, Carlsbad Caverns is also home to an abundance of above-ground treasures in the Chihuahuan Desert including high ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park | California

Channel Islands National Park includes five islands in total as well as their surrounding ocean environment. The landscape and marine spaces here are filled with a variety of unique animals, plants and unique archeological resources whose preservation allows visitors to see and experience a pristine version of coastal southern California.

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park | South Carolina

Congaree National Park is famous for being home to the largest intact old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern U.S. There are more than 25 miles of hiking trails here and 2.4 miles of boardwalk allowing visitors to explore the Congaree floodplain.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park | Oregon

Created some 7,700 years ago through an eruption that caused the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama, Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the country and one of the most unspoiled in the world. Its stunning jewel-blue waters are simply unforgettable.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park | Ohio

In addition to protecting 22 miles of the Cuyahoga River, this national park includes forests, rolling hills, waterfalls, wetlands, and even a few historic buildings. There are more than 900 plant species to be found in Cuyahoga, 194 species of birds, 32 mammals, 22 amphibians, and no less than 20 species of reptiles.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park | California and Nevada

Death Valley's three main claims to fame are that it's the hottest, driest and lowest national park in the country. Located below sea level, and famous for not only its brutal summer heat but also its non-stop droughts, Death Valley is also a place where visitors will find expanses of wildflowers after a rain and even a rare oasis.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park | Alaska

Spread over 6 million acres, Denali's natural beauty includes taiga forest, high alpine tundra and snowy mountains. Oh, and it's also home to the continent's tallest peak. Visitors are also awed by the many wild animals that live freely here.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park | Florida

The remote Dry Tortugas National Park, located about 70 miles west of Key West, is a 100-square mile park made up primarily of open water. There are also seven small islands. This park can only be explored by boat, or perhaps seaplane. Its highlights include Fort Jefferson, coral reefs, and a variety of bird life.

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park | Florida

The special place is the most expansive subtropical wilderness in the United States. Everglades National Park provides critical habitat for many rare and endangered species including the beloved manatee and the rare Florida panther. This park also has the distinctions of being a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.

Gates of the Arctic National Park
Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park | Missouri

Nicknamed the "Gateway to the West," St. Louis' Gateway Arch was constructed as a memorial to honor Thomas Jefferson's role in opening up America's western frontier. It is the tallest manmade monument in the country.

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park | Alaska

A 3.3 million-acre park typically explored by cruise ship, Glacier Bay features some of the planet's most impressive remaining tidewater glaciers. In fact, the bay has experienced about four major glacial advances and also four major retreats. There are more than 50 named glaciers here. As impressive as they are, glaciers aren't the only thing to see here. There are also rugged mountains, rainforest, and fjords.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park | Montana

Named a national park in 1910, there are about 25 active glaciers dispersed among the 1 million acres here. Glacier National Park is also home to "Going-to-the-Sun Road," a 50-mile drive that's said to offer some of the most unforgettable views in Montana. Other park highlights include pristine forests, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes.

Related: 23 Scenic Roads You Can Drive Only in the Summer

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park | Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the country. By some accounts, the Colorado River began carving the Grand Canyon about 6 million years ago. Though other studies suggest this stunning canyon, which is 6,093 feet deep in some places, may date back as far as 70 million years.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park | Wyoming

Often visited in conjunction with nearby Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton offers 310,000 sweeping acres made up of meadows, lakes, and, of course, the namesake Teton Range, which will take your breath away. There are also 200 miles of trails here and the Snake River, offering yet another way to take-in this unforgettable landscape.

Great Basin National Park
Elizabeth M. Ruggiero/istockphoto

Great Basin National Park | Nevada

With its alpine lakes, limestone caverns, and some of the oldest trees on the planet, Great Basin National Park is a nature lover's dream. Park visitors will also find some of the darkest night skies in the country.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park | Colorado

Spread over 30 square miles in southern Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park has the unique claim of being home to the tallest sand dune in North America, which is 750-feet high and takes five hours to hike round-trip. This diverse park also contains grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and even tundra.

North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park | Texas

Within the boundaries of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, visitors will find the four highest peaks in the state of Texas. There's also a diverse array of flora and fauna here, as well as canyons, desert, and dunes.

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park | Hawaii

This 34,000-acre landscape includes everything from subtropical, coastal rain forest to volcanoes, and there are animal species in Haleakalā National Park that are not found anywhere else on the planet including the Hawaiian hoary bat and the Haleakalā flightless moth.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park | Hawaii

As the name indicates, this unique and fascinating national park offers a place to experience volcanoes up close (if you're bold enough). There's also a variety of other striking geological, biological, and cultural landscapes to be seen in this sprawling, 335,259-acre preserve that begins at sea level and rises to 13,677 feet. Scalded deserts, rainforests, and petroglyphs are also among the diverse highlights here.

Hot Springs, AR
Indiana Dunes National Park
Delmas Lehman/istockphoto

Indiana Dunes National Park | Indiana

A natural wonder created by glacial sand from the east and west sides of a 300-mile-long Lake Michigan, the Indiana Dunes have been carved over time by a combination of wind and waves that are nearly as powerful as those generated by an ocean. The 15,000-acre park is home to rare birds, sandy beach and 50 miles of trails that wind through rugged dunes, wetlands, prairies, and forests.

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park | Michigan

This national park has the unique distinction of being both the least visited and the most revisited national park. Located in Lake Superior and accessible only by boat or plane, the park's landscape was created by glaciers and the world's largest lava flow.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park | California

Named after the odd, prickly wonder that is the Joshua Tree, this southern California park encompasses both the Colorado and Mojave deserts. Within its striking and vast expanses (the park is some 800,000 acres), there's a variety of plants and animals as well as sand dunes, dry lakes, and rugged mountains.

Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park | Alaska

A national park that dates back to 1918, Katmai was created to protect a volcanically devastated region. Today, it is perhaps best known for being an important habitat for salmon and brown bears.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park | Alaska

If there's any place left on the planet where the Ice Age can be said to still survive, it is perhaps Kenai Fjords National Park. About 40 glaciers are found within this park. There are also lush forests and thriving wildlife. However, even here, the glaciers are shrinking, as global warming takes its toll.

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park | California

Home to the deepest canyon in the country, Kings Canyon is more than just valleys. There are also towering sequoia trees and striking rock outcroppings. By some accounts, it is a park that rivals Yosemite in its offerings.

Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park | Alaska

Twice a year, nearly a half-million caribou pass through the Great Kobuk region. Kobuk Valley National Park includes the Kobuk River, the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, and the Little Kobuk and Hunt River dunes.

Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park | Alaska

Named after a dramatic turquoise-colored lake that's fed by glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and streams, this national park also includes volcanoes, mountains, tundra, forest, and meadows.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park | California

As its name implies, Lassen Volcanic National Park includes a number of volcanic features ranging from fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents), to thumping mud pots, boiling pools, and steaming ground. Perhaps its most famous feature is Lassen Peak, a volcano that last erupted in 1914 and continued showing its fury for three long years.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park | Kentucky

Mammoth's more than 400-mile cave system is the longest on Earth. The park is also home to an expansive 53,000 acres of forest that is crisscrossed by 70 miles of trails. As an added bonus, there are more than 20 miles of river to be explored here, too.

Mesa Verde National Park
Branson Reynolds/istockphoto

Mesa Verde National Park | Colorado

One of the finest examples in the country of how the ancestral Pueblo people lived, Mesa Verde National Park protects some 5,000 archeological sites tied to a people who made their homes in the region from the years 600 to 1300.

Mount Rainier National Park
Camila Picolli/istockphoto

Mount Rainier National Park | Washington

Mount Rainier rises more than 14,410 feet above sea level and has spawned five major rivers. Mount Rainier National Park is also famous for its picturesque subalpine meadows of wildflowers. There's also an abundance of wildlife here and ancient forests.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park | Washington

North Cascades National Park, established in 1968, is another national park famous for its glaciers, and there are more than 300 here. Visitors will also find forested valleys, steep mountains, and waterfalls.

Olympic National Park
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Olympic National Park | Washington

Spread amongst its nearly 1 million acres are several distinct eco-systems to explore at Olympic National Park. The stunning variety includes glacier-capped mountains, old-growth rainforest, and in excess of 70 miles of coast.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park | Arizona

Some of the petrified trees within this park are as much as 218 million years old. Located about 110 miles east of Flagstaff, this unique place was designated a national park in 1962. Beyond petrified wood, there are also 13,000 years of human history on display here and a protected stretch of Route 66.

Related: Route 66: Then and Now

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park | California

Born of volcanoes a staggering 23 million years ago, this national park is dominated by towering rock spires, chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Among the wildlife that calls this unique place home are golden eagles, prairie and peregrine falcons, and even the California condor.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park | California

Sure, Redwood National Park is home to some of the tallest trees on Earth. But visitors will also find expansive prairies, oak woodlands, and even spectacular coastline.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park | Colorado

The majestic natural beauty within Rocky Mountain National Park's 415 square miles includes subalpine and alpine forests, tundra, alpine lakes, forested valleys, and a variety of wildflowers and wildlife.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park | Arizona

A national park dedicated to the unique cacti that are found here, the giant saguaro has long been associated with the American West. Saguaro National Park, created in 1994, includes some 91,327 acres spread over the Eastern Rincon Mountain District, which rises to more than 8,000 feet, and the Western Tucson Mountain District, home to the saguaro forest.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park | California

Known for the towering redwood trees found within its boundaries, Sequoia National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. Created in 1890, the park spans more than 400,000 acres. The park also includes the underground Crystal Cave, where there are streams and striking rock formations.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park | Virginia

Less than 100 miles from the nation's capital, nature lovers will find 200,000 acres of protected land that features waterfalls, expansive vistas, and peaceful woodlands. It's famed Skyline Drive, punctuated by panoramic views from overlooks, runs for 105 miles. The park's expansive and uninterrupted swath of nature is also a haven for deer and is home to everything from bears to songbirds.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park | North Dakota

Located in Badlands of western North Dakota and named in honor of the 26th president, this park is famous for its diversity of wildlife, but particularly the bison and elk that call the region home. There are also nearly 100 miles of hiking trails and Roosevelt's own ranch, which dates back to the 1880s.

MSC: Eastern Caribbean

Virgin Islands National Park | U.S. Virgin Islands

A paradise for beach lovers, Virgin Islands National Park also includes ruins of a sugar plantation, ancient petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians, and coral reefs teeming with marine life. A full two-thirds of the island of St. John is part of this national park.

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park | Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park is a park made up of water highways, so exploring here requires bringing along your own watercraft or perhaps reserving one ahead of time. Yet another way to explore this park is to participate in a ranger boat tour. While water makes up more than one-third of the park's 218,000 acres, there are also more than 27 miles of scenic trails, hidden waterfalls, and ancient petroglyphs.

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Park | New Mexico

One of the most recent additions to our national park system, White Sands National Park is made up of 275 square miles of blindingly white gypsum sand dunes. The largest gypsum dunefield on the planet, this unique park is also home to many plants and animals that have adapted to survive in such a harsh environment.

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park | South Dakota

Known for its 33,581 acres of rolling prairie grasslands and forested hillsides above ground, Wind Cave National Park is also home to the first cave to be named a national park. The cave is notable for being one of the longest and most complex in the world. It also contains unique web-like boxwork formations not found in many other places in the world.

Wrangell—St. Elias National Park

Wrangell—St. Elias National Park | Alaska

Known as America's largest national park, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park boasts a whopping 13.2 million acres. Looked at another way, this park is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined.

Yellowstone National Park
XIN WANG/istockphoto

Yellowstone National Park | Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

In the nation's first national park, there's a fascinating variety of geologic wonders, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Covering some 3,450 square miles — the park is so large it includes parts of three states within its boundaries — visitors can find lakes, geysers, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park | California

One of the most famous tourist destinations in California and the location of some of the most iconic pictures taken by famed photographer Ansel Adams, Yosemite offers everything from waterfalls to meadows and ancient sequoias within its vast and unforgettable wilderness.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park | Utah

The first national park to be created in Utah, Zion is also among the most memorable. There are massive sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and a diverse array of plants and animals to be seen here.