Even today, the parks' grandeur can only fully be comprehended in person. But the majesty of Yosemite, Sequoia, and Yellowstone proved all too real, prompting a radical idea; some say it was America's best idea ever.
24. OlympicOlympic National Park, located on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, is defined by its geographic isolation. Olympic contains three distinct ecosystems—temperate rainforests, Pacific coastline, and glaciated mountains, the most famous of which is Mount Olympus
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is regularly among the most-visited parks in the nation. It is also the most biodiverse park in the national park system—over 19,000 species have been documented and scientists believe up to 100,000 undocumented species may live there.
Everglades National Park—established thanks to the efforts of former-land-developer-turned-conservationist Ernest F. Coe—is the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. It was also the first national park created to protect an ecosystem at risk.