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United States (USA) Parks

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United States (USA) Parks
Welcome to US state and national parks. With nearly 400 national parks, that include world renowned Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and a number of other popular parks, there is plenty of opportunity to explore and experience the rich landscape, heritage and history.

Your starting point when researching is the National Park Service government website. The visitor centres throughout the country can also supply you with information.

For information on the United States, including a listing of all the states in the US, visit the USA Home page where we have also included links to a number of Tourism Information sites.

National Parks
National Park Service
Your first stop to discover, research and plan for your visit to any of the nearly 400 national parks in the USA. You can search by name, location, activity, topic and state.
Grand Canyon National Park
The world renowned Grand Canyon is a powerful and inspiring landscape, an iconic destination for Americans and international visitors. Carved by the Colorado River, the national park is located in the north western corner of Arizona, near the borders of Nevada and Utah. Managed by the parks services and the Hualapai Tribal Nation and the Havasupai Tribe, the main attraction within the park, known as the ‘Grand Canyon’ is entirely within the state of Arizona.

The Grand Canyon is immense, 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, and over a mile (1.6 km) deep. For those planning to visit the national park, the canyon separates the park into the South Rim and North Rim. Although the canyon may have an average distance of 10 mile (16 km) across, to get from point A to point B takes considerable time. The distance between the South Rim Village and the North Rim Village is a distance of 215 miles (346 km), a five hour drive. For those planning to camp in the Grand Canyon, visit the national parks website for current information on camping in either the South Rim and the North Rim.
Yellowstone National Park
Some 640,000 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption spewed forth an immense volume of ash that covered what is now all of the western US, including much of the midwest, northern Mexico and some areas of the eastern Pacific region. The legacy of that eruption today is a caldera some 30 mile wide and 45 mile long now known as the Yellowstone National Park. With bubbling mud and roaring geysers sending plumes of steam into the sky, these geothermal wonders attract visitors from all around world. There is more information on the official website by the National Park Service.
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National Parks by State
Whilst you may see that the United States of America has 388 national parks (this figure may change with changes in designation or new locations added), this figure encompasses all National Park Services properties. Of these properties they can be further grouped into national parks (of which there are 58), national monuments, national historic sites, etc.
Acadia National Park - Maine
Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, the park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the US Atlantic coast. Visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, enjoy the beautiful scenery whilst exploring woodlands, lakes and the ocean shoreline.
National Park of American Samoa - American territory of American Samoa
This US southernmost national park is across three separate Samoan islands - Tutuila, Ofu-Olosega, and Ta‘ū. The park protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches. The primary purpose of the park is the preservation of Samoa's unique natural resources. Visitors can enjoy hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. It is home to three species of bats, a number of bird species, native reptiles and diversity of marine life in the surrounding waters.
Arches National Park - Utah
Featuring over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, the most famous being ‘Delicate Arch’, and many other unusual rock formations. The forces of nature over millions of years have created a landscape of unique beauty, contrasting colours, landforms and texture. Other geologic formations include stone columns, spires, fins, and towers.
Badlands National Park - South Dakota
Visitors are drawn to the rugged beauty of the Badlands, a geological landscape of buttes, pinnacles, spires, and rolling grasslands. Here is one of the world’s richest fossil beds, records of a time when ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse and saber-toothed cat once roamed. Today, the park also protects the prairie grassland the sustains bison, bighorn sheep, deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets.
Big Bend National Park - Texas
Named for the Bend of the Rio Grande along the US–Mexico border, this national park is sometimes considered ‘three parks in one’, as Big Bend includes mountain, desert, and river environments. An hour’s drive can take you from the banks of the Rio Grande to a mountain basin nearly a mile high, where you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States. The park includes part of the Chihuahuan Desert, as well as a variety of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils, and cultural artefacts of Native Americans. The park is also known for its birds, some found only in the Chisos Mountains or just within the border country of Texas to Arizona.
Biscayne National Park - Florida
This beautiful region is within sight of downtown Miami. The Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejewelled coral reefs. Located in Biscayne Bay, this park at the north end of the Florida Keys protects four primary ecosystems: the long stretch of mangrove forest along the mainland shoreline, the shallow southern portion of Biscayne Bay, the northernmost Florida Keys and a portion of the world's third-longest living coral reef. With evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates, shipwrecks, through to pineapple farmers and presidents, there is plenty to see, do and explore… or simply relax whilst gazing out over the bay.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Colorado
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's protects a section of the Gunnison River, dark canyon walls from the Precambrian era. Within the park itself are the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, narrow opening, combined with sheer walls made of gneiss and schist giving the appearance of black walls when in shadow. This unique landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. The canyon continues upstream into the Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. Because of the steep descents, the canyon is popular for river rafting and rock climbing.
Bryce Canyon - Utah
Despite the name, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon, but a giant naturally formed amphitheatre along the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Created by erosion, there are hundreds of tall geological structures called hoodoos, formed by the action of wind, water and ice erosion of the sedimentary rocks that form the river and lake bed. There is nothing similar to Bryce Canyon anywhere else in the world. Attempts at description lead to paradoxes. Cave without a ceiling? Forest of stone? Even canyon is misleading since Bryce is carved by freeze-thaw cycles, and not a river.
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