National Parks in the Northwest US (List)

National Parks in the Northwest US (List)

Did you know that there are 15 different national parks located in the Northwest US? That’s over 25 percent of the national parks for the entire United States. Magnificent mountains, incredible bodies of water, diverse forests, and unusual geological features are among the significant features found in these Northwest parks. These extraordinary landscapes are great places to enjoy outdoor recreation, to learn about nature and history, or to savor a scenic driving tour.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Northwest US is home to 15 national parks, representing over 25 percent of the country’s national parks.
  • These parks offer stunning landscapes, including mountains, bodies of water, forests, and unique geological formations.
  • Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, learn about nature and history, and take scenic drives in these Northwest parks.
  • Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and California are among the states with notable national parks in the Northwest US.
  • Exploring these parks provides the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature and immerse oneself in breathtaking scenery.

Alaska National Parks

Alaska, the largest state in the United States, is home to some of the most spectacular national parks in the country. From towering mountains to icy glaciers and diverse wildlife, the Alaska National Parks offer a truly unique and awe-inspiring wilderness experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of the remarkable national parks in Alaska:

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is the crown jewel of the Alaska National Parks. Located in the heart of the state, it is home to Denali, the tallest peak in North America. This iconic mountain, formerly known as Mount McKinley, stands at an impressive height of 20,310 feet (6,190 meters). Visitors to Denali National Park can enjoy stunning mountain vistas, hike through alpine meadows, spot wildlife like grizzly bears and moose, and experience the true wilderness of Alaska.

Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park is a remote and untamed wilderness located entirely above the Arctic Circle. With no roads or trails, this park offers a true backcountry experience for adventurous visitors. Here, you can immerse yourself in vast expanses of untouched wilderness, marvel at towering granite peaks, and witness the unique wildlife that calls this rugged landscape home.

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning glaciers and pristine fjords. This park offers visitors the opportunity to witness the dramatic forces of nature as massive glaciers carve their way through the landscape, creating spectacular ice formations. Take a boat tour, kayak along the glaciers, or spot humpback whales and sea otters in the bay.

Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park is famous for its population of brown bears and its incredible volcanic landscape. Here, you can witness one of nature’s most remarkable events—the annual salmon run, where hundreds of bears gather to feast on migrating salmon. Explore the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a dramatic volcanic landscape created by the eruption of Novarupta in 1912.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park showcases the stunning beauty of Alaska’s coastline. Glaciers, icy fjords, and abundant marine life await visitors to this park. Take a boat tour to witness the calving glaciers, spot whales, sea lions, and puffins, or hike through lush coastal forests to experience the park’s remarkable biodiversity.

Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park is located in the remote and rugged Northwest Arctic region of Alaska. This park is characterized by vast sand dunes, caribou migrations, and archaeological sites that provide a glimpse into the history of the indigenous people who have called this land home for thousands of years. Explore the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, go hiking, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park is a hidden gem in the Alaska National Parks system. This park offers a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged mountains and glaciers to tundra and shimmering lakes. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, you can go hiking, fishing, rafting, and even bear viewing in Lake Clark National Park.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States, spanning over 13 million acres. This park is a paradise for wilderness lovers, with towering mountains, expansive glaciers, and abundant wildlife. Embark on a scenic flightseeing tour, go backpacking through the breathtaking landscapes, or explore the historic Kennecott Mines.

These Alaska National Parks showcase the immense beauty and natural wonders of the state. Plan your visit to experience the majestic mountains, icy glaciers, and untamed wilderness that make Alaska a truly unforgettable destination.

Washington National Parks

Washington is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the nation. Within its borders, you’ll find three stunning national parks – Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park. Let’s explore these remarkable destinations and discover the natural wonders they have to offer.

Mount Rainier National Park

Nestled in the heart of the Cascade Range, Mount Rainier National Park showcases the awe-inspiring beauty of Washington’s tallest mountain. With its majestic snow-capped peak, old-growth forests, and cascading waterfalls, this park offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re embarking on a scenic drive, hiking through colorful wildflower meadows, or climbing to the summit, the views are simply breathtaking.

North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades National Park is a hidden gem filled with craggy mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and dense forests. Hiking trails lead adventurous visitors to stunning viewpoints, where you can marvel at the rugged beauty of this untouched wilderness. Camping options abound, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Don’t forget your camera – the panoramic vistas are truly unforgettable.

Olympic National Park

Immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems of Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From lush temperate rainforests to rugged coastlines and towering mountains, this park offers a remarkable range of landscapes. Stroll along the wild beaches, hike through moss-draped forests, or venture into the alpine meadows. With its unique blend of natural wonders, Olympic National Park guarantees a magical experience.

Washington National Parks Location Main Attractions
Mount Rainier National Park Cascade Range Snow-capped peak, old-growth forests, waterfalls
North Cascades National Park North Cascades Craggy mountain peaks, alpine lakes, dense forests
Olympic National Park Olympic Peninsula Temperate rainforest, wild beaches, diverse ecosystems

Washington’s national parks are truly natural wonders that should not be missed. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a connection with nature, these parks offer something for everyone. Plan your visit to Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park, and let the beauty of Washington’s landscapes take your breath away.

Oregon National Park

The state of Oregon is home to the stunning Crater Lake National Park. Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this park offers breathtaking natural beauty and a remarkable geological wonder – Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is a deep blue caldera lake formed by the collapse of Mount Mazama thousands of years ago. With a depth of 1,943 feet (592 meters), it is the deepest lake in the United States.

Visitors to Crater Lake National Park can enjoy a variety of scenic drives that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The Rim Drive, a 33-mile (53-kilometer) road that encircles the lake, provides access to numerous overlooks where visitors can marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of the lake.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy in the park, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park’s diverse ecosystems support a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, black bears, and eagles.

Crater Lake National Park Highlights:

  • Explore the Rim Drive and take in the breathtaking views of the lake
  • Hike along the park’s picturesque trails, including the popular Garfield Peak Trail
  • Enjoy camping under the stars in one of the park’s scenic campgrounds
  • Embark on a boat tour to Wizard Island, a cinder cone within the lake
  • Learn about the park’s natural and cultural history at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook and visitor center
Park Information Details
Location Southern Oregon, United States
Established May 22, 1902
Area 183,224 acres (74,148 hectares)
Visitors in 2020 580,499
Main Features Crater Lake, Rim Drive, Wizard Island, Garfield Peak

Visiting Crater Lake National Park is a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re captivated by the deep blue hues of the lake, in awe of the surrounding landscapes, or searching for adventure in the great outdoors, this national park offers something for everyone.

Montana National Parks

Montana is a major vacation destination for many reasons, with its famous national parks high on the list. Two of the most iconic national parks in Montana are Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Glacier National Park is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, encompassing snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, and awe-inspiring glaciers. With over a million acres of wilderness, it offers abundant opportunities for hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and scenic drives. The park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road provides access to some of the most spectacular vistas in the region.

Yellowstone National Park is a true gem of the Northwestern US. Although primarily located in Wyoming, this incredible park extends into Montana, offering visitors a diverse range of natural wonders. Yellowstone is best known for its dynamic and colorful thermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. The park is also home to a vast array of wildlife, such as grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison. Exploring Yellowstone’s vast wilderness is an unforgettable adventure.

Visiting these Montana national parks allows you to immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the Northwestern US. Whether you seek breathtaking vistas, outdoor adventures, or encounters with wildlife, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are must-see destinations for nature enthusiasts.

Glacier National Park Yellowstone National Park
Location: Located in northwestern Montana Primarily located in Wyoming, extends into Montana
Area: Over 1 million acres 2.2 million acres
Main Attractions: Glaciers, snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, hiking trails Geothermal features, wildlife, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Wildlife: Mountain goats, grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, black bears Grizzly bears, wolves, herds of bison, elk
Notable Features: Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier, Lake McDonald Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone River

California National Parks

When it comes to natural wonders, California is truly blessed. Among its many treasures are the magnificent Redwood National and State Parks. These parks are home to the iconic coastal redwoods, which are not only the tallest trees in California but also the tallest trees on the planet.

Exploring the ancient forests of Redwood National and State Parks is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. As you wander through these towering giants, you’ll feel a sense of wonder and reverence for the natural world. The peace and tranquility that envelops you in these majestic surroundings is unlike anything else.

One of the best ways to fully appreciate the grandeur of the redwoods is by taking a hike along one of the park’s scenic trails. The Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail is a popular choice, offering a leisurely stroll through a grove of old-growth redwoods.

Don’t miss the opportunity to drive along the famous Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile scenic highway that winds its way through some of the most spectacular redwood groves in the parks. Keep your camera handy, as you’ll definitely want to capture the beauty that surrounds you.

Aside from the awe-inspiring redwoods, Redwood National and State Parks also offer a wealth of outdoor activities. From camping and fishing to wildlife watching and kayaking on the scenic rivers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in these incredible parks.

If you’re planning a trip to California, make sure to include a visit to Redwood National and State Parks. It’s an experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Conclusion

The Northwest US is a treasure trove of breathtaking national parks that highlight the region’s mesmerizing natural beauty. From the awe-inspiring mountains in Alaska to the lush old-growth forests in Washington and the majestic redwoods in California, these parks offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration. Whether you’re in search of awe-inspiring views, pristine wilderness, or unique ecosystems, the national parks in the Northwest US should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

With diverse landscapes and a wide range of activities, these parks cater to all nature enthusiasts. Marvel at the towering peaks of Denali National Park in Alaska or immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wilderness of Glacier National Park in Montana. Indulge in the beauty of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington or immerse yourself in the tranquility of Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Whatever your interests, there’s a national park in the Northwest US waiting to captivate your senses.

So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a journey through the Northwest US’s pristine nature parks. Discover the wonders of the Pacific Northwest National Parks and create memories that will last a lifetime. Explore the diverse landscapes, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and embrace the serenity of these magnificent natural wonders. The national parks in the Northwest US are calling. Are you ready to answer?

FAQ

How many national parks are located in the Northwest US?

There are 15 different national parks located in the Northwest US, which accounts for over 25 percent of the national parks in the entire United States.

Which state in the Northwest US is home to the most national parks?

Alaska is home to more national parks than any other state in the nation.

What are some notable national parks in Alaska?

Some notable national parks in Alaska include Denali National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

What are some national parks in Washington?

Some national parks in Washington include Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park.

Which state in the Northwest US is home to Crater Lake National Park?

Crater Lake National Park is located in the state of Oregon.

What are some national parks in Montana?

Some national parks in Montana include Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Where can you find the Redwood National and State Parks?

The Redwood National and State Parks are located in the state of California.

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