Yellowstone National Park

States: Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Established: March 1, 1872 Area: 2,221,766 acres (898,318 ha) History of Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone National Park (Arapaho: Henihco’oo‘ or Héetíhco’oo) is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law…

Grand Teton National Park

State: Wyoming Established: February 26, 1929 Area: 309,994 acres (130,000 ha) History of Grand Teton National Park: Human history of the Grand Teton region dates back at least 11,000 years, when the first nomadic hunter-gatherer Paleo-Indians began migrating into the region during warmer months pursuing food and supplies. In the early 19th century, the first White explorers encountered…

Saguaro National Park

State: Arizona Established: October 14, 1994 Area: 91,445 acres (37,005 ha) History of Saguaro National Park: Saguaro National Monument was created on March 1, 1933 by President Herbert Hoover. On October 14, 1994, Congress elevated Saguaro to National Park status. Saguaro National Park is composed of two distinct districts: The Rincon Mountain District and the Tucson…

Canyonlands National Park

State: Utah Established: September 12, 1964 Area: 337,598 acres (136,621 ha) History of Canyonlands National Park: Canyonlands National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab and preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries.…

Mesa Verde National Park

State: Colorado Established: June 29, 1906 Area: 52,074 acres (21,240 ha) History of Mesa Verde National Park: On June 29, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park to „preserve the works of man,“ the first national park of its kind. Today, the continued preservation of both cultural and natural resources is the focus of…

Petrified Forest National Park

State: Arizona Established: December 9, 1962 Area: 135,000 acres History of Petrified Forest National Park: Petrified Forest National Park contains one of the best Late Triassic fossil assemblages in the world. The forces of deposition and erosion have shaped this strangely beautiful landscape. The park also contains one of the best native grassland ecosystems in…

Joshua Tree National Park

State: California Established: October 31, 1994 Area: 794,000 acres (319,959 ha) History of Joshua Tree National Park: Humans have occupied the area encompassed by Joshua Tree National Park’s nearly 800,000 acres for at least 5,000 years. The first group known to inhabit the area was the Pinto Culture, followed by the Serrano, the Chemehuevi, and the…

Redwood National Park

State: California Established: October 2, 1968 Area: 131, 983 acres, including 3 state parks History of Redwood National Park: In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of the California coast. The northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a…

Crater Lake National Park

State: Oregon Established: May 22, 1902 Area: 183,224 acres (74,148 ha) History of Crater Lake National Park: A trio of gold prospectors: John Wesley Hillman, Henry Klippel, and Isaac Skeeters were the first whites to visit the lake. On June 12, 1853, they stumbled upon the long, sloping mountain while hunting for provisions. Stunned by vibrant…

Arches National Park

State: Utah Established: November 12, 1971 (the area was originally created as a National Monument on April 12, 1929) Area: 76,359 acres (30,901 ha) History of Arches National Park: The park contains more than 2,000 natural arches (the greatest concentration in the country). It is located on the Colorado River 6 km North of Moab, Utah. Some…