The 10 largest national parks in the United States
The largest national parks in the United States are almost all in the largest and northernmost state of the United States, Alaska. There are endless forests, mountain ranges, hills and lakes. It is therefore not surprising that 7 of the 10 largest national parks in the USA can be found here.
Number 1 to 5 of the 10 largest national parks in the USA
The largest national park in the United States with 53,320 km² is the Wrangell-St.-Elias National Park in Alaska. Here is the largest coastal mountain range in the world, the Saint Elias Mountains, with Mount Saint Elias (5489 m) and numerous glaciers, such as the Bering Glacier, which is the largest glacier in North America with an area of 5,200 km². The park is easily accessible by car from Anchorage and offers numerous outdoor opportunities, such as mountain hiking or mountain biking.
With an area of 34,287 km², the Gates-of-the-Arctic National Park is the second largest national park in the USA. It is located north of the Arctic Circle in the Brooks Range and consists of rugged mountains and wide tundra. There are no roads, hiking trails, visitor center or camping site in the park. So this remote park is only for real wilderness professionals!
The Denali National Park in Alaska is the third largest national park in the USA with an area of 24,585 km². There is the largest mountain in the USA, Mount McKinley (6194m). With 432,000 visitors annually, Demali is the most visited national park in Alaska. The park itself is home to countless different types of wild animals, such as moose, caribou, wolves and grizzly bears. The park is easily accessible by car.
The Katmai National Park in Alaska ranks fourth. Over 2,000 bears live here on 19,122 km². Highlight for visitors: in summer you can watch the bears stand in the Brooks River and fish for salmon with their paws. The national park offers rafting or kayaking tours as well as mountain hiking or sport fishing for outdoor athletes. The park is not connected to the road network.
The fifth largest national park in the USA is also located in Alaska: Lake Clark National Park with an area of 16,300 km². The highlights of the park include the eponymous Lake Clark, a 67 km long turquoise mountain lake, and 200 km of rough sea coast. The park can only be reached by plane or boat. In the park itself, it is best to move forward on one of the rivers for rafting, kayaking or fishing.
6th to 10th place in the 10 largest national parks in the United States
The Death Valley National Park is in sixth place. The driest national park in the USA is approximately 13,628 km² in size and is located on both California and Nevada. In this hot, inhospitable area there are wild canyons, sand dunes and a lot of wasteland. The park is easily accessible by car from all directions and can also be used by vehicles.
The seventh largest national park in the United States is back in Alaska. The Glacier Bay National Park has an area of 13,300 km² and a fifth consists of marine areas. Whales and dolphins as well as sea lions, seals and otters frolic here. The park can be reached by car and offers opportunities for hiking, kayaking or so-called “whale watching tours” by boat.
The eighth largest national park in the United States is also the oldest national park. Founded in 1872, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming covers an area of 8,987 km². As part of the Rocky Mountains, the park offers fascinating geysers, mud pots and hot springs. Bears, wolves and bisons live in the park. The park is easily accessible and offers opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, kayaking or fishing.
Ninth of the 10 largest national parks in the United States is another park from Alaska: the Kobuk Valley National Park with an area of 7,084 km². The highlight of the park are the Great Kobuk sand dunes, the largest sand dune deposit in the Arctic, with some up to 35 m high dunes. Huge herds of caribou live in the park, which consists largely of tundra. Bagpacking or boat tours and fishing trips are popular with visitors. The park cannot be reached by car, there are no paths or campsites in the park itself, the visitor center is outside the park.
The Everglades National Park in Florida is at number 10. On an area of 6,104 km² you can experience an extremely striking tropical swamp area. There are alligators and crocodiles in the park as well as many different rare bird species. The park is easily accessible by car and open all year round. Visitors can go hiking or boat tours through the swamps and mangroves.