Hey there! 👋 In this blog post, we're diving into the amazing world of he US national park system! To truly embrace the experience, immersing yourself in the environment is an absolute must. That's where a good map of national parks comes in, serving as a trusty companion to safely guide you through the vast expanses and uncover hidden treasures along the way. Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Let's get started! 🌲🗺️
Understanding National Park Maps
Maps have a language, so it is important to understand the legends and symbols that will help you decipher them before you head off on your national park adventure. Icons and symbols on a map can help you locate visitor centers, facilities, trails, points of interest, scenic spots, and off-limits areas.
A map legend, or map key, includes symbols and colors representing various areas, objects, and locations on a map. The legend provides crucial information on how to read the map for which it was created. Each map will have its legend or key. Map legends also show the relationship between objects on a map. Maps will have information about topography and detailed descriptions of the natural features of an area—for example, dense forest vs. vast open plains.
The National Park Service has an app, the NPS App, that includes interactive maps with real-time updates about weather conditions, road closures, and other helpful information for visiting the parks. All Trails is another useful app when visiting national parks.
Map Of Every National Park
Te 63 US National Park Maps
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Acadia National Park has a rugged coastline and diverse ecosystems. It is made up of a cluster of islands and a section of the Schoodic Peninsula. Visitors can enjoy the coastline in addition to mountains, woodlands, lakes, and ponds.
American Samoa National Park (American Samoa)
America Samoa National Park is set on three separate islands. 9,100 acres are on loan from seven Samoan Villages to make up the park. The area includes lush rainforests, beaches, and coral reefs.
Arches National Park (Utah)
Arches National Park is aptly named because it has over 2,000 documented natural stone arches. The stone arches in the park make up the densest concentration of natural stone arches found anywhere in the world. The park has many other interesting geological formations, including pinnacles, balanced rocks, and fins.
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Badlands National Park spans 244,000 acres, including one of the richest fossil beds in the world. The landscape includes prairie lands blended with rugged canyons and towering spires. Known for dramatic sunsets and abundant wildlife that includes some of North America’s most endangered species.
Big Bend National Park (Texas)
Big Bend National Park is an extensive wilderness on the Rio Grande and the Chihuahuan Desert. The diverse landscape includes elevations ranging from less than 1,800 feet along the river to almost 8,000 feet in the Chisos Mountains. The park also features massive canons, large desert expanses, and forested mountains.
Biscayne National Park (Florida)
Biscayne National Park is set in South Florida, within sight of Miami, but visitors feel worlds away. The park conserves a beautiful combination of deep blue waters, islands, and coral reefs with abundant marine life. Perfect for snorkelers, divers, and boaters. The area showcases a unique blend of land and sea exploration for visitors.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is home to the tallest cliff in Colorado, standing 2,250 feet tall. It is also home to the fastest bird known to man, the Peregrine Falcon, estimated to reach aerial dive speeds of over 200mph. Along with excellent hiking trails and scenic views during daylight, the park is also an International Dark Sky Park perfect for stargazing.
Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
Bryce Canyon National Park has distinctive rock formations called hoodoos. The park also has unique, naturally formed horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters. Bryce Canyon offers excellent stargazing, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks.
Canyonlands National Park (Utah)
Canyonlands National Park is uniqe as it is divided into four distinct districts carved out by the rivers. The districts include Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers. The park is famous for mountain biking terrain but also offers visitors ample hiking, stargazing, camping, and technical rock climbing opportunities.
Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)
Capitol Reef National Park located in red-rock country. It is full of cliffs, canyons, bridges, and domes, creating a beautiful mix of landscapes, scenic hikes, and historical landmarks.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is infamous for its extensive complex of well-preserved, accessible caves. Over 120 caverns are used for scientific study and public access. They are full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites viewable through self-guided or park ranger-led tours.
Channel Islands National Park (California)
The Channel Islands National Park has one of the most extensive sea caves in the world. The park encompasses unique flora and fauna in a remote, rugged island landscape. It comprised islands void of the touristy hustle and bustle of restaurants, lodging, or vehicles. When visiting the park, travelers must travel by ferry and pack their food and water.
Congaree National Park (South Carolina)
Congaree National Park is home to some of the tallest trees in the eastern US. Set inside the Congaree River floodplain, the park is a hidden gem of forest and wetlands with a unique ecosystem of diverse wildlife. Visitors immerse themselves in the landscape through hiking, canoeing, and boardwalk trails.
Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)
Crater Lake National Park holds a unique, extremely deep lake. The lake is 1,943 deep, the deepest lake in America. It is fed only from snow or rain and is famous for its gorgeous pure blue color. It is one of the clearest, cleanest lakes in the world because it lacks polluted water sources.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park includes over 33,000 acres of forests, rivers, wetlands, and grasslands, creating eclectic ecosystems full of diverse plants and animals.
Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)
Death Valley National Park covers 3.4 million acres, 93% of which is protected land. It is the largest national park in the US outside of Alaska. The park has almost 1,000 miles of dirt and paved roads traveling through a vast wilderness expanse.
Denali National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to Alaska’s “big five.” The “big five” found in Denali and often spotted by visitors include bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and wolves. In addition to active wildlife, the park is home to America’s tallest peak.
Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)
Dry Tortugas National Park is located near the Florida Keys. It comprises mostly open water and seven small islands and is accessible only by seaplane or boat. In addition to natural beauty and abundant ocean wildlife, Dry Tortugas is home to Fort Jefferson.
Everglades National Park (Florida)
Everglades National Park is home to thirteen endangered species, ten threatened species and holds the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere. The park offers hiking, boating, canoeing, bird watching, camping, fishing, and many more outdoor activities for visitors.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve offers visitors pristine, remote wilderness containing no roads or trails. Adventurers will find mountains, wild rivers, and vast tundra full of untouched landscapes and active wildlife.
Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)
Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis is home to the iconic stainless steel arch, a symbol of American history and a tribute to the westward expansion. Visitors can indulge in the history and symbolism of the arch in the museum, enjoy panoramic views from the top of the arch and walk along the Mississippi Riverfront.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve cover 3.3 million acres of land, including glaciers, coastlines, deep fjords, and temperate rainforests. Known as a marine park perfect for boating into inlets, coves, and hidden harbors, it is also a land park full of beautiful terrain.
Glacier National Park (Montana)
Glacier National Park is known for snow-capped peaks, beautiful lakes, and sprawling glaciers, creating a beautiful landscape for hiking, wildlife viewing, and scenic drives. Fishing, biking, horseback riding, and white water rafting are some of the activities available in the park.
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Grand Canyon National Park showcases the infamous Grand Canyon.
Formed from arid-land erosion the canyon averages 4,000 feet deep and is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point. The park is perfect for hiking, rafting, and helicopter tours.
Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
Grand Teton National Park covers almost 500 square miles of wilderness including glacial lakes, winding rivers and the famous Teton Ridge. It is home to diverse, active wildlife and excellent hiking trails.
Great Basin National Park (Nevada)
Great Basin National Park is known as being a place of extremes. The park has 77,100 acres of land, including rugged mountain peaks and expansive underground caverns.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Colorado)
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a surreal desert experience of towering sand dunes set among gorgeous mountain landscapes.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is set in the cherished Appalachian mountains, full of lush forests and cascading waterfalls.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has untamed beauty, including ancient fossils, scenic trails, and rugged peaks.
Haleakala National Park (Hawaii)
Haleakala National Park is a volcanic wonderland boasting a stunning crater, gorgeous landscapes, and breathtaking sunrises visitors can view from above the clouds.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park allows visitors to see active lava flows and unique landscapes created by volcanic, fiery forces.
Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)
Hot Springs National Park is an urban oasis full of scenic trails leading visitors to relax in natural thermal springs set among historic bathhouses.
Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)
Indiana Dunes National Park is a beautiful escape set on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The park includes sandy shores, a diverse ecosystem, and soaring dunes.
Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)
Isle Royale National Park is set on a remote island. It is an isolated sanctuary where visitors can hike, kayak, and spot wildlife like moose or wolves.
Joshua Tree National Park (California)
Joshua Tree National Park is where iconic Joshua Trees dot the landscape throughout the desert. The park is also well-known as an excellent stargazing location.
Katmai National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Katmai National Park and Preserve is the perfect place to encounter brown bears, explore the remote wilderness and take in volcanic landscapes.
Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)
Kenai Fjords National Park has glaciers, fjords, and abundant marine life. It is perfect for wildlife cruises and scenic hikes.
Kings Canyon National Park (California)
Kings Canyon National Park is found in the stunning Sierra Nevada wilderness. Visitors will see towering sequoias, roaring waterfalls, and rugged canyons.
Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)
Kobuk Valley National Park is a remote wilderness area showcasing sand dunes, caribou migrations, and the famous Onion Portage archeological site.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is excellent for outdoor adventurers. Set among a pristine landscape that includes lakes, rivers, mountains, bears, and an intact ecosystem boasting the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.
Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a geologically active park with hydrothermal areas, volcanic peaks, and bubbling mud pots.
Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)
Mammoth Cave National Park is the world’s longest-known cave system. Visitors can experience impressive underground chambers and geological formations.
Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)
Mesa Verde National Park is known for the archaeology of the ancestral Puebloan people. Visitors can explore ancient cliff dwellings once home to a thriving community. The park protects the cultural heritage of 2 Pueblos and Tribes.
Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)
Mount Rainier National Park includes old-growth forests and glaciers. Mount Ranier towers 14,410 feet above sea level and is an active volcano.
New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)
New River Gorge National Park is a top rock climbing destination in the US, with over 1,400 climbing sites. The park has a deep river gorge, breathtaking vistas, and many outdoor activities.
North Cascades National Park (Washington)
North Cascades National Park is known as “The American Alps”. The park is full of glacial mountain peaks, emerald-green lakes, and untouched wilderness, perfect for hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Olympic National Park (Washington)
Olympic National Park encompasses a diverse ecosystem, including temperate rainforests, gorgeous mountain peaks, and rugged coastlines.
Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)
Petrified Forest National Park invites visitors to walk among ancient fossilized trees and the vibrant badlands that create a seemingly frozen prehistoric landscape.
Pinnacles National Park (California)
Pinnacles National Park includes dramatic rock formations, vast caves, and active wildlife. The park offers outdoor activities, including hiking and rock climbing.
Redwood National and State Parks (California)
Redwood National and State Park is a northern, coastal California dram full of old-growth redwood forests, including the world’s tallest trees.
Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
Rocky Mountain National Park includes lofty mountain peaks and many hiking trails leading to alpine lakes and waterfalls with a good chance for wildlife sitings. The park also offers visitors a scenic drive on one of the highest roads in the US.
Saguaro National Park (Arizona)
Saguaro National Park is full of protected, towering saguaro cacti. The park features camping, hiking, and backpacking adventures.
Sequoia National Parks (California)
Sequoia National Park showcases massive Sequoia trees and expansive views of the Sierra Desert. Visitors can explore trails and hidden caves while visiting the park.
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
Shenandoah National Park includes the expansive scenic Skyline Drive, hiking to beautiful waterfalls, and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park includes rugged badlands, active bison herds, and other wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition to bison, visitors often see mule deer, feral horses, bull elk, badgers, and tons of prairie dogs.
Virgin Islands National Park (US Virgin Islands)
Virgin Islands National Park includes pristine beaches, lush tropical forests, and stunning coral reefs teeming with ocean life.
Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)
Voyageurs National Park is named to commemorate French-Canadian fur traders, the first European settlers to frequent the area. The park includes vast waterways perfect for canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing. It also provides a home to diverse wildlife, including wolves, black bears, beavers, moose, and bald eagles.
White Sands National Park (New Mexico)
White Sands National Park is full of interconnected waterways excellent for fishing and taking in stunning landscapes. The park also has the world’s most extensive collection of ice-age fossilized footprints.
Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)
Wind Cave National Park is home to a large, complex cave well-known for its unusual cave formations composed of thin calcite that resembles honeycombs. The park is also home to mixed-grass prairie land, creating a home to various native wildlife, including bison, elk, coyotes, pronghorn, mule deer, and prairie dogs.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Wragell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve includes massive glaciers and towering peaks in a vast wilderness. Visitors explore rugged, remote land in America’s largest national park.
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)
Yellowstone National Park, famous for being America’s first national park, offers amazing hiking trails, beautiful views, and iconic natural masterpieces like Old Faithful. The park is full of geysers, waterfalls, forests, and lakes.
Yosemite National Park (California)
Yosemite National Park boasts towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient sequoia groves. The park spans almost 1,200 square miles full of preserved natural wilderness.
Zion National Park (Utah)
Zion National Park is home to Zion Canyon, averaging 2,000 feet deep and offering adventurous hiking opportunities for visitors. The park is well-known for The Narrows, a 20-30 foot wide area. Other challenging hiking areas include The Subway, a 9.5-mile hike requiring repelling and route-finding skills.