s/y Nine of Cups
U.S. National Parks, Monuments, Sites and Landmarks
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American Odyssey 2012
Since 1916, the US National Park Service has been
entrusted with the care of America's national parks. With the
help of volunteers and park partners, they safeguard nearly
400 places and share their stories with more than 275
million visitors every year.

Once we began visiting the US National Parks, Monuments,
Landmarks and Historical Sites, we became addicted. They
provide so much information about our country's history,
culture and geography that it's absolutely amazing and
inspiring. Our new goals: visit all the parks. And then revisit,
because there's no doubt they're different each time.
American citizens, 62 years and older, are able to
purchase a Senior Pass for $10 which allows the
passholder and all occupants of the vehicle, free entry into
all US National Parks. What a deal! Even without a pass,
the $20 entry fee per vehicle is good for a week.
Definitely not prohibitively expensive.
The 395 "official" units of the National Park Service  
are found in 49 States, the District of Columbia, and 5
Territories or Protectorates. The most in any one of
these is the 31 units located in Washington DC.

The 50th state -- the one without an official NPS unit
-- is Delaware. Although Delaware was the first State
in the USA, it will be the last to receive a National
Parks site when and if it ever does.

The actual classifications, and numbers, are as follows.
International Historic Site: 1 (Saint Croix IHS,
National Battlefields: 11
National Battlefield Parks: 3:
National Battlefield Site: 1 (Brices Cross Roads NBS,
National Historic Sites: 77
National Historical Parks: 41
National Lakeshores: 4
National Memorials: 29
National Military Parks: 9
National Monuments: 74
National Monument and Shrine: 1 (Fort McHenry)
National Parks: 58
National Parkways: 4
National Preserves: 18
National Recreation Areas: 18
National Reserve: 2
National Rivers: 5
National Scenic Trails: 3
National Seashores: 10
National Wild and Scenic Rivers: 10
Other Parks: 11 (e.g. Catoctin Mountain Park)

Note: This list changes fairly often and may already be
obsolete when you read it.
Come along with us and share our enjoyment of these awe-inspiring places:
National Parks vs. National Monuments

National parks are areas set apart by Congress for
the use of the people of the United States generally,
because of some outstanding scenic feature or
natural phenomena.  The principal qualities
considered in studying areas for park purposes are
their inspirational, educational, and recreational

National monuments, on the other hand, are areas
reserved by the National Government because they
contain objects of historic, prehistoric, or scientific
interest. Ordinarily established by presidential
proclamation under authority of Congress,
occasionally these areas also are established by
direct action of Congress. Size is unimportant in the
case of the national monuments.
Death Valley National Park (2012)

Sequoia / King's Canyon National Parks (2012)

Yosemite National Park (2012)

Great Basin National Park (2012)

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument (2012)

Craters of the Moon National Monument (2012)

Yellowstone National Park (2012)

Grand Teton National Park (2012)

Fossil Butte National Monument(2012)

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge(2012)

Dinosaur National Monument(2012)

Rocky Mountain National Park(2012)

Little Bighorn National Monument(2012)

Pompey's Pillar National Monument(2012)

Devils Tower National Monument(2012)

Jewel Cave National Monument(2012)  

Wind Cave National Park(2012)

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial(2012)

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site(2012)
National Park Factoids...

  • 27 states have national parks, as do the
    insular areas of American Samoa and the
    United States Virgin Islands. Alaska and
    California have the most, each with eight,
    followed by Utah with five and Colorado
    with four.
  • The largest national park is Wrangell–St.
    Elias, at over 8 million acres (32,000 km2),
    followed by three more in Alaska; the
    smallest is Hot Springs, at less than 6
    thousand acres (24 km2).
  • The total area protected by national parks
    is approximately 51.9 million acres
    (210,000 km2).
  • The most-visited national park is Great
    Smoky Mountains followed by the Grand
  • 14 national parks are designated World
    Heritage Sites.
Roadside America
America's Wildflowers
Birds of North America
Badlands National Park(2012)

Pipestone National Monument(2012)

Minute Man National Historical Park(2012)

Springfield Armory National Historic Site(2012)

Grey Towers National Historic Site(2012)

National Capital Parks & Monuments(2012)

Shenandoah National Park (2012)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park(2012)

Fort Smith National Historic Site (2012)

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument(2012)

Muir Woods National Monument(2012)
We recommend:
Ken Burns:  
The National Parks -
America's Best Idea
is a 6-episode PBS series on the history of
the national parks.