When you start visiting the U.S national parks the list of 63 national parks can be daunting.  There are a lot of national parks and they are spread out across 29 states and 2 US territories.  The best way to keep track of your process thru the United States National Parks is with a United States National Park Checklist. Get your FREE downloadable copy of this list of National Parks by state HERE.

This printable list of national parks was updated on December 2020, to included the elevation of New River Gorge National River to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

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How many National Parks are there in United States?

If you are talking about places with “National Park” in their name, there are 63 National Parks in the United States. If you are talking about sites managed by the National Park Service (NPS) there are 424 National Park Service Units. The National Parks Service Units have titles like National Monuments, National Historical Parks, National Memorials, National Battlefields, and about a half dozen other titles.

What is the difference between a National Park and National Parks Service Unit? The short story is nothing other than a name and how it was created. According to NPS, all units managed by them are the same and they consider there to be 422 national parks under their control.

The long story is that a unit’s title comes down to how it is created. The Antiquities Act of 1906, gives the United States President enormous powers for “… the protection of objects of historic and scientific interest.” They have the right to declare by proclamation any land owned or controlled by the federal government a National Monument. But this act doesn’t give the President the power to created National Parks or any other designation. The other designations such as National Park take an act of Congress.

Take for example White Sands National Park, in 1933 President Herbert Hoover created White Sands National Monument. In 2019, it was elevated to a National Park via the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

Every unit within the National Parks Service system is a gem in its own right and well worth a visit. That being said, the National Parks are the massive central gemstones of collections (with a few exceptions, I’m looking at you Gateway Arch).

I personally consider there to be 63 National Parks and 424 national parks. When I am talking about those parks with the designation National Park, I capitalize the words National Park. When I am talking to the system as a whole, I use national parks. This is my personal opinion and my personal choice.

Why more than one National Park Checklist?

There are currently 63 National Parks according to the National Park Service, but the 60th is rather controversial.  The 60th National Park is Gateway Arch National Park in Saint Louis, Missouri.  This park is a 90-acre park in the middle of a city that is mostly made of concrete.  Due to politics, this hunk of concrete has the same status as Denali, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.  For this reason, I, Jennifer the founder of National Park Obsessed, refuse to consider Gateway Arch a real national park.  It does belong in the National Park system but as a National Memorial.

Since I and many others don’t consider this a park, we are offering printable list of the national parks without Gateway Arch National Park.  One checklist included Gateway Arch National Park and one does not. When you sign up for our monthly newsletter, you will be emailed a link to both of these checklists.  You are welcome to download and print as many copies as you would like.

Here at National Park Obsessed, we are offering newsletter subscribers several checklists US National Park Checklists.  The National Parks Checklists PDF’s will be delivered to your email box.

Checklists offered:

  • 63 National Parks Checklist
  • 62 National Parks Checklist
  • 61 National Parks Checklist (with Indiana Dunes but without Gateway Arch)
  • 60 National Parks Checklist

Map of 63 National Parks

Alphabetical National Park Checklist

  1. Acadia
  2. American Samoa
  3. Arches
  4. Badlands
  5. Big Bend
  6. Biscayne
  7. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  8. Bryce Canyon
  9. Canyonlands
  10. Capitol Reef
  11. Carlsbad Caverns
  12. Channel Islands
  13. Congaree
  14. Crater Lake
  15. Cuyahoga Valley
  16. Death Valley
  17. Denali
  18. Dry Tortugas
  19. Everglades
  20. Gates of the Arctic
  21. Gateway Arch
  22. Glacier
  23. Glacier Bay
  24. Grand Canyon
  25. Grand Teton
  26. Great Basin
  27. Great Sand Dunes
  28. Great Smoky Mountains
  29. Guadalupe Mountains
  30. Haleakala
  31. Hawaii Volcanoes
  32. Hot Springs
  1. Indiana Dunes
  2. Isle Royale
  3. Joshua Tree
  4. Katmai
  5. Kenai Fjords
  6. Kings Canyon
  7. Kobuk Valley
  8. Lake Clark
  9. Lassen Volcanic
  10. Mammoth Cave
  11. Mesa Verde
  12. Mount Rainier
  13. New River Gorge
  14. North Cascades
  15. Olympic
  16. Petrified Forest
  17. Pinnacles
  18. Redwood
  19. Rocky Mountain
  20. Saguaro
  21. Sequoia
  22. Shenandoah
  23. Theodore Roosevelt
  24. Virgin Islands
  25. Voyageurs
  26. White Sands
  27. Wind Cave
  28. Wrangell – St. Elias
  29. Yellowstone
  30. Yosemite
  31. Zion

List of All 63 National Parks By State

Alaska

American Samoa

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

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Florida

Hawaii

Indiana

Kentucky

Maine

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Montana

Nevada

New Mexico

North Dakota

North Carolina / Tennessee

Ohio

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Utah

Virgin Islands

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wyoming

List of National Park by Creation Date

  • Yellowstone – March 1, 1872
  • Sequoia – September 25, 1890
  • Yosemite – October 1, 1890
  • Mount Rainier – March 2, 1899
  • Crater Lake – May 22, 1902
  • Wind Cave – January 9, 1903
  • Mesa Verde – June 29, 1906
  • Glacier – May 11, 1910
  • Rocky Mountain – January 26, 1915
  • Hawaii Volcanoes – August 1, 1916
  • Lassen Volcanic – August 9, 1916
  • Denali – February 26, 1917
  • Acadia – February 26, 1919
  • Grand Canyon – February 26, 1919
  • Zion – November 19, 1919
  • Hot Springs – March 4, 1921
  • Bryce Canyon – February 25, 1928
  • Grand Teton – February 26, 1929
  • Carlsbad Caverns – May 14, 1930
  • Everglades – May 30, 1934
  • Great Smoky Mountains – June 15, 1934
  • Shenandoah – December 26, 1935
  • Olympic – June 29, 1938
  • Kings Canyon – March 4, 1940
  • Isle Royale – April 3, 1940
  • Mammoth Cave – July 1, 1941
  • Big Bend – June 12, 1944
  • Virgin Islands – August 2, 1956
  • Haleakala – July 1, 1961
  • Petrified Forest – December 9 , 1962
  • Canyonlands – September 12, 1964
  • Guadalupe Mountains – October 15, 1966
  • North Cascades – October 2, 1968
  • Redwoods – October 2, 1968
  • Arches – November 12, 1971
  • Capitol Reef – December 18, 1971
  • Voyageurs – April 8, 1975
  • Badlands – November 10, 1978
  • Theodore Roosevelt – November 10, 1978
  • Channel Islands – March 5, 1980
  • Biscayne – June 28, 1980
  • Gates of the Arctic – December 2, 1980
  • Glacier Bay – December 2, 1980
  • Katmai – December 2, 1980
  • Kenai Fjords – December 2, 1980
  • Kobuk Valley – December 2, 1980
  • Lake Clark – December 2, 1980
  • Wrangell – St. Elias – December 2, 1980
  • Great Basin – October 27, 1986
  • American Samoa – October 31, 1988
  • Dry Tortugas – October 26, 1992
  • Saguaro – October 14, 1994
  • Death Valley – October 31, 1994
  • Joshua Tree – October 31, 1994
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison – October 21, 1999
  • Cuyahoga Valley – October 11, 2000
  • Congaree – November 10, 2003
  • Great Sand Dunes – September 13, 2004
  • Pinnacles – January 15, 2013
  • Gateway Arch – February 22, 2018
  • Indiana Dunes – February 15, 2019
  • White Sands – December 20, 2019
  • New River Gorge – December 27, 2020

Final Thoughts on this National Parks List

Visiting all 63 National Parks is a wonderful journey and a worthy adventure but don’t get so obsessed with marking parks off your National park Checklist that your forget to stop and enjoy the view.

If you are in need of any gear suggestions check out our gear guides below.

If you are looking for advice on other types of outdoor gear specific guides:

Here are some other National Park gear you might like:

Pin it to Share: United States National Park Checklist (Updated with all 63 National Park)

Jennifer is a long time national park blogger and the founder of National Park Obsessed. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 62 US National Parks. She has currently been to 53 of the National Parks. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the Parks with others and helping them learn to love the parks as much as she does.

3 Thoughts on “United States National Park Checklist (Updated 63 National Parks and 2021)”

    • I hope your journey goes well. Please share your photos with us on Instagram using #NationalParkObsessed

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