When we started compiling a list of U.S. national parks by state for this National Parks Service centennial coin, I was finished and dismayed to see how few of the 63 officially designated parks we visited. Fortunately, we are already planning a future family outing with many national parks to visit. The NPS was created by Congress by the National Parks Service Organic Act on August 25, 1916.
The agency, managed by the United States Department of the Interior, was designed to “preserve the landscape and the natural and historical objects and wildlife contained therein, and ensure their enjoyment in a way and by means that leave it intact for the enjoyment of future generations.”
This age-old concept has since been applied to more than 6,OOO national parks in almost 100 different countries around the world. To honor The idea that contributed to the emergence of ecotourism and conservation, we gathered 50 of our travel blogger friends to write mini-guides to national parks and compile a complete list of US national parks By state.
THINGS TO DO NEAR GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE
This 8,472,506-acre park includes part of Alaska’s dynamic Brooks Range and is both the northernmost and the second largest national park in the country. Along with the neighboring Noatak Wilderness area, it includes the largest contiguous wilderness area in the United States.Due to its remote location north of the Arctic Circle and the fact that there are no roads in the park, Gates of the Arctic attracts very few visitors and is the least visited national park – about 11,000 per year. But what he lacks in people makes up for it more than in a beautiful landscape.
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
At the end of High school, My family took an adventurous two-week trip to Alaska. We passed through a lot of beautiful landscapes, but what struck me the most was the Glacier Bay National Park.
The park covers about 3.3 million hectares with majestic mountains, sparkling glaciers, lush tropical forest, wild coasts and beautiful fjords. It is an important highlight of the inner passage in Alaska and is part of one of the largest nature reserves in the world.
KATMAI NATIONAL PARK & RESERVE
Katmai is located in southern Alaska and is one of the most difficult to reach US national parks. But boy, it’s worth it when you get there! After a flight from Anchorage to King Salmon, then a seaplane that landed on Lake Naknek, we had to go to Bear School. Katmai is considered one of the best places to watch grizzly bears in the wild, so the National Park Service makes sure that every visitor is well prepared and safe. We camped for four days at Brooks Camp, where we enjoyed the natural beauty of the Valley of the 10,000 smokers and watched the bears.
KENAI FJORD, THE NATIONAL PARK OF
Located 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, the Kenai Fjords offer the best of Alaska’s natural beauty on a rugged area of 669,984 hectares. The park is crowned by the Harding Icefield, from which 38 glaciers are formed, cutting out cup-shaped wooded valleys on one side and slowly plunging into the bays that feed the Gulf of Alaska on the other. Embark on one of the ranger-guided glacier and wildlife day cruises departing from the town of Seward. Along the way, you can see sea lions, bald eagles and puffins nesting along the rocky islands and, with a little luck, spot a humpback whale or orcas swimming in the water.
KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
This remote 1,750,716-acre park in northwest Alaska, 25 miles above the Arctic Circle, has no roads and can only be reached on foot, by dog sled, snowmobile or air taxi from Nome. It is one of the least visited national parks. Those who are willing to undertake the difficult hike will be rewarded with natural attractions such as the large Kobuk sand dunes, the lush wetlands around the Kobuk River and its tributaries, as well as the Baird and Waring Mountains.