Geography Trivia: National Parks in the United States

In the United States, a National Park is a federally protected area of land set aside for conservation purposes.  The first National Park created was Yellowstone National Park by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.  This act set aside over two million acres of land from Wyoming and Montana.  The National Park system was created by an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.  The National Park system now includes 413 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

How Many National Parks are there in the United States?

Within that system, there are currently 58 areas specifically designated as National Parks.  These are ares specifically chosen for conservation and natural recreation.  National Monuments, in contrast, are typically selected for architectural or historical significance.

How Many States Have a National Park?

There are currently 27 states which have a National Park. In addition, the territories of American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands also have National Parks.

Which States Have the Most National Parks?

With nine National Parks, California has the most:  the Channel Islands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Redwood National and State Parks, Sequoia National Park. and Yosemite National Park. Alaska has eight, Utah has five, and Colorado has four National Parks.

Which State Has the Largest National Park?

The largest National Park in the United States is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska which contains over 8 million acres (32,000 km2).  Alaska is home to the next three largest National Parks: Gates of the Arctic (7,523,897.74 acres, 30,448.1 square kilometers), Denali (4,740,911.72 acres, 19,185.8 square kilometers), and Katmai (3,674,529.68 acres, 14,870.3 square kilometers).

map_alaska_nps

Which State Has the Smallest National Park?

With an area of  less than 6 thousand acres (24 square kilometers), the smallest National Park in the United States is Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.

Which National Parks are the Most Visited?

According to the National Park Service,  10.7 million people visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, making it the most visited National Park.  The Grand Canyon was the second most visited National Park in 2015 with 5.5 million visitors.

The Grand Canyon is the second most visited National Park in the United States. Wintery scene: Canyon Rim Trail near Grandeur Point, January 2016 NPS/Clayton Hanson.

The Grand Canyon is the second most visited National Park in the United States. Wintery scene: Canyon Rim Trail near Grandeur Point, January 2016 NPS/Clayton Hanson.

References

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