Oldest national parks in America

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.

The idea was simple and conceived in earnest: preserve these lands so that they might flourish and feed the human spirit of every generation to come.

Oldest national parks in America

25. Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon resides in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, adjacent to Sequoia National Park. Its dramatic geography—with glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, and expansive meadows

24. Olympic Olympic 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 

Just over an hour's drive away from D.C., Shenandoah offers a stunning perspective on East Coast wilderness, including 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

23. Shenandoah

22. Great Smoky Mountain

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.

21. Everglades

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