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USA NATIONAL PARKS & MONUMENTS

A complete list of every national park and monument in the USA as well as one interesting fact to know about each one. Scroll to see all of the parks - or click on each category to jump to that section.

alaska | hawaii | washington | oregon | california

north dakota | south dakota | minnesota | michigan | missouri | arkansas | indiana | ohio | kentucky | tennessee | w virginia

idaho | nevada | montana | wyoming | colorado

maine | virginia | north carolina | south carolina | florida

arizona | new mexico |

utah | texas

american samoa | us virgin islands

GOOD TO KNOW

HOW MANY PARKS ARE THERE?

Technically, there are 423 units of the National Park System which can be broadly referred to as national parks. But most have other formal designations like monuments, historical parks, etc. You can find the full list here.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS?

While legislatively all units of the National Park System are considered equal with the same mission, National Parks are generally larger and more of a destination. National Monuments on the other hand, are frequently protected for their historical or archaeological significance - as well as natural beauty.

HOW MANY NATIONAL PARKS ARE THERE? 

As of 2021, there are 63 national parks - which are often considered the "crown jewels" of the national park system. Download our full national park checklist here.

(psst... parks that are underlined have specific adventure guides to check out)

THE PACIFIC
 

ALASKA

Denali National Park: is home to the largest mountain in the whole USA: Denali, which sits at 20,310 feet.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve: is the most northern national park in the United States (the whole park is north of the Arctic Circle). Also, more people visit Grand Canyon National Park in a single summer day than visit Gates of the Arctic in an entire year. This makes it one of the least visited national parks in the United States most years.

Glacier Bay National Park: this national park is larger than the U.S. state of Connecticut. Though at the same time, it is still less than 1% of the total area of Alaska.

Katmai National Park: is a highly important habitat for salmon and brown bears. It also hosts the annual Fat Bear competition every year during the fall.

Kenai Fjords National Park: is home to 40 glaciers that flow from the Harding Icefield.

Kobuk Valley National Park: is one of the least visited parks in the whole USA. Similar to Gates of the Arctic, there are no roads or real trails in the park. Instead, it is home to half a million caribou.

Lake Clark National Park: the tallest peak in the park, Mount Redoubt, is an active volcano. Its last eruption was in 2009. 

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park: as the largest national park in the USA, it is the same size as Yellowstone, Yosemite and Switzerland combined.

Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve: is home to a 6 mile wide & 2500 feet deep volcanic caldera.

Cape Krusenstern National Monument: is located north of the Arctic Circle and home to 70 miles of shoreline along the Chukchi Sea.

HAWAII

Haleakala National Park: the only native mammals in Haleakala are bats and seals. All other land mammals were brought in by man, and many have been highly destructive. But there are at least 1,000 native species of flowering plants and 90% are endemic.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: the park encompasses the summits of two of the world's most active volcanoes - Kīlauea and Mauna Loa - and is a designated International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pearl Harbor National Monument: the site is the most visited destination on Oahu.

WASHINGTON

Mount Rainier National Park: the highest mountain in the northwestern Cascade Range, Mount Rainier encompasses 25 named glaciers - the most of any mountain in the continental United States. Also, several Native American tribes called the mountain variations of Tacoma or Tahoma, which means “the source of nourishment from the many streams coming from the slopes.” But when Captain George Vancouver sailed into Puget Sound in 1792 and named the mountain after his friend Peter Rainier, who served as a Royal Navy officer in the Revolutionary War, it stuck instead.

North Cascades National Park: there are over 300 glaciers in the North Cascades Park Complex, more than any other park in the lower 48 states.

Olympic National Park: Olympic’s Hoh Rain Forest receives over 12 feet of rain a year. The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the few remaining temperate rain forests in the United States.

OREGON

Crater Lake National Park: at 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America. Famous for its beautiful blue color, the lake’s water comes directly from snow or rain -- there are no inlets from other water sources. Also, with an annual average of 43 feet of snow, Crater Lake is one of the snowiest places in the United States.

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: paleontologists have been studying the area since 1864 when Thomas Condon, a missionary and amateur geologist, recognized the importance of the area's fossils and made them known globally. Parts of the basin became a National Monument in 1975.

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve

CALIFORNIA

Channel Islands National Park: Painted Cave and other colorful sea caves on Santa Cruz Island were the inspiration for various sets on the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.

Death Valley National Park: this park is home to the lowest point in North America. Sitting at 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is a surreal valley covered in a thick layer of salt.

Joshua Tree National Park: the namesake tree actually got its name after Mormon immigrants made their way across the Colorado River and saw the trees outstretched arms and thought it reminded them of biblical Joshua, who in their eyes was guiding them westward. 

Kings Canyon National Park: western explorers did not actually visit the region until the 1820s, and by the 1850s it was labeled as the roughest land in the country by the military.

Lassen Volcanic National Park: you can find all four types of volcanoes in the world in the park (shield, plug dome, cinder cone, and composite).

Pinnacles National Park: some of the coolest areas in the park exist underground in the Talus-type caves. There you can also find a large variety of bats. In fact, out of the 23 species of bats in California, 14 species call the caves home. 

Redwood National Park: 96% of the original, old-growth redwood trees in the area were tragically logged in a very short amount of time. The national and state parkland protects nearly half of what remains of the trees. 

Sequoia National Parkthis park was the first park created to protect a living organism - the giant Sequoia trees. 

Yosemite National Park: while Yosemite might be our nation’s 3rd national park, it actually helped spark the idea of national parks. Twenty-six years before it was a national park, President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant on June 30, 1864, protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley. It was the first time the government protected land because of its natural beauty so that people could enjoy it.

Cabrillo National Monument: is a memorial to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who in 1542 set out in search of the island of California. Cabrillo is known as the ‘Columbus of California’.

Castle Mountains National Monument

Cesar E. Chavez National Monument: César E. Chávez revolutionized labor participation in our political age by organizing the first agricultural union. The property that makes up the monument served as the former headquarters for the labor movement he helped create – the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

Devils Postpile National Monument: was once part of Yosemite National Park, but the discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes ended up prompting a boundary change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a hydroelectric dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the federal government to stop the demolition and, in 1911, President Taft protected the area as a national monument.

Lava Beds National Monument: this monument boasts 14 different species of bats.

Muir Woods National Monument: this monument was created to protect 240 acres of old-growth coast redwood, which is one of the few remaining areas in the San Francisco Bay area where the trees still exist.

Tule Lake National Monument: at its peak, Tule Lake Segregation Center held 18,700 people - making it the largest of the ten camps holding imprisoned Japanese civilians during WWII.

THE WEST
 
IDAHO

Yellowstone National Park: was the world's first national park.

Craters of the Moon National Monument: this monument is over 1,100 square miles (or 750,000+ acres) which is roughly the size of Rhode Island. The lava flows that make up the bulk of the monument can clearly be seen from space. 

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument: contains the largest concentration of Hagerman horse fossils in North America.

NEVADA

Great Basin National Park: is home to some of the oldest trees on Earth. The rare Great Basin bristlecone pine grows in isolated groves near the tree line, where it can survive for 4,000 years or more under extremely harsh conditions.

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument: this monument is the first National Park Service monument to be specifically dedicated to the preservation, public education, and scientific study of Ice Age fossils.

MONTANA

Glacier National Park: this scenic park is part of the world’s first international peace parks. The vision for the park was to celebrate peace and friendship between the United States and Canada.

Yellowstone National Park: the highest point in the park is 11,358 ft. at Eagle Peak and the lowest point in the park is 5,282 ft. at Reese Creek.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument: preserves the site of the June 25 and 26, 1876, Battle of the Little Bighorn.

WYOMING

Grand Tetons National Park: the Teton Range is thought to be the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains, with its formation beginning between six and nine million years ago.

Yellowstone National Park: has between 1000 and 3000 earthquakes annually. There are also more than 300 active geysers and more than 290 waterfalls within the park.

Devils Tower National Monument: was the first United States national monument. It was established in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Also, the name came about after the first Europeans saw the monument and misinterpreted the native name to mean "Bad God's Tower." In truth, the Native Americans call the monolith “Bear’s House” or “Bear’s Lodge”. There have been pushes recently to rename the monument to its native name. 

Fossil Butte National Monument: preserves the best paleontological record of Cenozoic aquatic communities in North America and possibly the world.

COLORADO

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: standing 2,250 feet tall from the river to rim, Black Canyon’s Painted Wall is the tallest cliff in Colorado and the third tallest in the lower 48, after El Cap and Notch Peak.

Great Sand Dunes National Park: protects the tallest sand dunes in North America, including the legendary Star Dune which rises to 755 feet.

Mesa Verde National Park: there are over 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people within the park. It remains the only cultural park in the National Park System.

Rocky Mountain National Park: is one of the nation’s highest national parks. Within the park’s boundaries, there are 77 mountain peaks over 12,000 feet high. Also, the famous Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the nation -- it is so high that drivers will climb 4,000 feet in a matter of minutes!

Colorado National Monument: the monument's area was first explored by John Otto, who settled in Grand Junction in the early 20th century. Soon Otto began building trails on the plateau and into the canyons. As word spread about his work, the city of nearby Grand Junction sent a delegation to investigate. The delegation returned praising both Otto's work and the scenic beauty of the wilderness area, and the local newspaper began lobbying to make it a National Park.

Dinosaur National Monument: this monument contains over 800 paleontological sites. 

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument: the Florissant Formation is known for its fossilized leaves and the impressions they made. There are also specimens of fruits, seeds, cones, and flowers.

Hovenweep National Monument: while the monument is largely known for the six groups of Ancestral Puebloan villages, there is also evidence of occupation by hunter-gatherers from 8,000 to 6,000 B.C. until about AD 200.

Yucca House National Monument: Yucca House is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site. 

THE SOUTHWEST
 
ARIZONA

Grand Canyon National Park: the Grand Canyon is a mile deep, 277 miles long, and 18 miles wide (it is bigger than the state of Rhode Island). 

Saguaro National Park: Saguaro cacti, despite their great size, are very slow growing. It is estimated that they grow only 1 to 2 inches during the first 8 years of their life.

Petrified Forest National Park: the park protects one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world. It is also the only national park that closes at night (there are no lodging facilities).

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: is one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America. The monument preserves ruins of the indigenous tribes that lived in the area, from the Ancestral Puebloans (formerly known as Anasazi) to the Navajo.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument: preserves a group of Hohokam structures dating to the Classic Period (1150-1450 C.E.), and consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall.

Chiricahua National Monument: 85% of the monument is protected as the Chiricahua National Monument Wilderness. Several species, such as the coatimundi and the Chiricahua fox squirrel, have limited range in the United States, but are a fairly common sight at the monument. 

Hohokam Pima National Monument: is an ancient Hohokam village within the Gila River Indian Community. There is no public access to the Hohokam Pima National Monument.

Montezuma Castle National Monument: protects a set of well-preserved dwellings located in Camp Verde, Arizona, which were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam and other indigenous peoples of the southwestern United States.

Navajo National Monument: was established to preserve three cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people. The Betatakin ruins are the only ruins that can be seen by hiking to an overlook along Betatakin Canyon. 

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: is a UNESCO biosphere reserve located in extreme southern Arizona. The monument shares a border with the Mexican state of Sonora. The park is the only place in the United States where the senita and organ pipe cactus grow wild.

Pipe Spring National Monument: had the first telegraph office in Arizona. Its main purpose was to serve as a way station for people traveling across the Arizona Strip, the part of Arizona separated from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880s and 1890s. 

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: in 1928, a Hollywood film company planned to detonate large quantities of explosives on the side of Sunset Crater in order to create an avalanche for the motion picture 'Avalanche.' But public outcry over this plan led in part to the proclamation of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument by President Herbert Hoover in 1930.

Tonto National Monument: contains well-preserved cliff dwellings that were occupied by the Salado culture during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. The Salado were fine craftspeople and produced some of the most flamboyant polychrome pottery and intricately woven textiles in the Southwest.

Tuzigoot National Monument: preserves a 2- to 3-story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge. Tuzigoot is the largest and best-preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo ruins in the Verde Valley. 

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Wupatki National Monument: the monument's name means "Tall House" in the Hopi language, which is fitting since it contains a multistory Sinagua pueblo dwelling comprising over 100 rooms. It also contains the northernmost ballcourt ever discovered in North America. 

NEW MEXICO

Carlsbad Caverns National Park: at present, there are 117 known caves in the park, though it is likely that more will be discovered. The Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns (which is only one of the caves), is 8.2 acres big - making it the largest accessible cave chamber in North America.

White Sands National Park: the park is surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range and due to this, sometimes it closes for short periods when the missile range is in use by the military. Also, the sand dunes the park is famous for are actually composed of gypsum crystals and it is the largest area of its kind on the planet.

Aztec Ruins National Monument: consists of preserved structures constructed by the Pueblo Indians. The Puebloan-built ruins were dubbed the "Aztec Ruins" by 19th-century American settlers who misattributed their construction to the Aztecs.

Bandelier National Monument: the monument protects Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites, a diverse and scenic landscape, and the country's largest National Park Service Civilian Conservation Corps National Landmark District.

Capulin Volcano National Monument: protects an extinct cinder cone volcano that is part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. In the 1970s Apollo 16's John Young and Charlie Duke did some of their geologic training at the monument.

El Malpais National Monument: the name El Malpais is from the Spanish term Malpaís, which means badlands. The name comes from the extremely barren and dramatic volcanic field that covers much of the park's area.

El Morro National Monument: the monument preserves the remains of a large prehistoric pueblo atop a great sandstone promontory with a pool of water at its base. This spot subsequently became a landmark where many centuries of explorers and travelers left historic inscriptions that survive today. The oldest historic inscription at El Morro was left by Juan de Oñate, the first Spanish governor of the colony of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, in 1605.

Fort Union National Monument: the site preserves the second of three forts constructed on the site beginning in 1851, as well as the ruins of the third. Also visible is a network of ruts from the Mountain and Cimarron Branches of the old Santa Fe Trail. Famous residents at the fort include Davey Crockett. 

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: the monument was created to protect Mogollon cliff dwellings in the Gila Wilderness. The first European contact with the Gila Cliff Dwellings was by Henry B. Ailman, a local resident. In the summer of 1878, Ailman and several friends were summoned to serve for jury duty, and in an effort to avoid the summons, they organized a prospecting trip to the Gila River, where they subsequently came upon the site. Several mummified bodies have been found at the Gila Cliff Dwellings location, though most have been lost to looters or private collectors.

Petroglyph National Monument: protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites, and an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; though others are more complex.

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument: early in the 17th century Spanish Franciscans found the local area ripe for their missionary efforts. But by the late 1670s the entire Salinas District, as the Spanish had named it, was depopulated of both Indians and Spaniards. What remains today are austere yet beautiful reminders of this earliest contact between Pueblo Indians and Spanish Colonials: the ruins of three mission churches, at Quarai, Abó, and Gran Quivira and the partially excavated pueblo known today as the Gran Quivira pueblo.

UTAH

Arches National Park: has the highest concentration of natural stone arches in the world.

Bryce Canyon National Park: the park is not technically a canyon. Instead, it is a series of about a dozen natural amphitheaters, eroded into an escarpment of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Canyonlands National Park: contains some of the most remote land remaining in the continental United States. The park is divided into three districts: Island in the Sky, Needles and the Maze. While paved roads provide limited access to the Island in the Sky and Needles Districts, the Maze District is remote in the extreme, and special preparation is required for a visit.

Capitol Reef National Park: large fruit orchards may be one of the more unexpected features of Capitol Reef. Early Mormon pioneers planted these trees in the Fruita area starting in the 1880s. Today, visitors are allowed to pick the fruit in the right season.

Zion National Park: the park was first protected in 1909 when President Taft designated it Mukuntuweap National Monument. In the 10 years, until it became a national park, it was expanded and its name was changed to Zion.

Bears Ears National Monument: this controversial monument is co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service (through the Manti-La Sal National Forest), along with a coalition of five local Native American tribes: the Navajo Nation, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni, all of which have ancestral ties to the region. 

Dinosaur National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: the land is among the most remote in the country, so much so that it was the last to be mapped in the contiguous United States. It is also the largest national monument managed by the BLM.

Hovenweep National Monument: in July 2014, the International Dark Sky Association designated Hovenweep an International Dark Sky Park.

Cedar Breaks National Monument: this monument is a natural amphitheater that stretches across 3 miles (4.8 km), with a depth of over 2,000 feet (610 m).

Natural Bridges National Monument: this monument features the thirteenth largest natural bridge in the world (the largest one, Sipapu). There is evidence of at least two collapsed natural bridges within the monument.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument: Rainbow Bridge is often described as the world's highest natural bridge. It was reported in 1974 by the Bureau of Reclamation to be 275 feet (84 meters) high - though there is some dispute about that measurement.

Timpanogos Cave National Monument: the three caves, though naturally made, are connected by man-made tunnels that were blasted in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. 

TEXAS

Big Bend National Park: in 2012, the national park was named an International Dark Sky Park. It has been said that Big Bend NP has the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states. 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park: the highest peak in the Guadalupe Mountains is appropriately named Guadalupe Peak. At 8,751 feet it is the highest point in the entire state of Texas.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: for thousands of years, people came to the present-day park for flint, which was vital to their existence. Indians of the Ice Age Clovis culture used Alibates flint for spear points to hunt the Columbian mammoth before the Great Lakes were formed. 

Waco Mammoth National Monument: is a paleontological site and museum in Waco, Texas, where fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch have been uncovered. The site is the largest known concentration of mammoths dying from a (possibly) recurring event, which is believed to have been a flash flood.

THE MIDWEST
 
NORTH DAKOTA

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: common native mammals in the park include bison, elk, prairie dogs, coyotes, and badgers. Wild horses and longhorn steers in the park reflect the historic landscape as Theodore Roosevelt would have experienced it in the 1880s.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Badlands National Park: resident black-tailed prairie dogs are highly social creatures that live in large colonies across the Badlands, called “towns.” Towns are made up of one to two dozen “families” that interact by grooming and kissing each other. A great place to see these critters is at Roberts Prairie Dog Town. 

Wind Cave National Park: Wind Cave is among the largest mapped caves in the world. 143 miles have been mapped to date, making it the third-largest cave in the United States, and the seventh-largest in the world.

Jewel Cave National Monument: sitting nearby is the third-longest cave in the world - Jewel Cave, the centerpiece of Jewel Cave National Monument. As of 2015, the cave measured 175 miles long - though it is believed to be much longer.

MINNESOTA

Voyageurs National Park: the main body of the park is actually only accessible by boat or, in the winter, by snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe.

Grand Portage National Monument: the monument's present area was once one of the British Empire's four main fur trading centers in North America. The Grand Portage itself is an 8.5-mile (13.7 km) footpath that bypasses a set of waterfalls and rapids on the last 20 miles (32 km) of the Pigeon River before it flows into Lake Superior. This path is part of the historic trade route of the French-Canadian voyageurs between their wintering grounds and their depots to the east.

MISSOURI

Gateway Arch National Park: this is the world's tallest arch. It stands at 630 feet tall - which also makes it the tallest man-made monument in the United States and Missouri’s tallest accessible building.

George Washington Carver National Monument: the monument is the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver, the distinguished African American scientist, educator, and humanitarian who became known for his work at Tuskegee Institute.

OHIO

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: the name “Cuyahoga” is a Native American word meaning “crooked river”. The river in question runs for 85 miles despite covering very little overall distance. It feeds into Lake Erie.

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument: commemorates the life of Charles Young (1864-1922), an escaped slave who rose to become a Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army and its first African-American colonel. He was also the third African American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. national park superintendent, the first African American military attaché, and the highest-ranking black officer in the United States Army until his death in 1922.

MICHIGAN

Isle Royale National Park: this is the only national park in the United States that completely closes in the off-season (November through mid-April). Also, the most common large mammals in the park are moose and gray wolves. Their interaction has been extensively studied by scientists. On rare occasions, Lake Superior completely freezes over - which allows animals from the mainland to access the island.

ARKANSAS

Hot Springs National Park: it is estimated that the water emanating from the hot springs is first heated a mile below the Earth’s surface, and then slowly rises through a fault. Also, the park was a common place for baseball spring training from the late 1800s to the 1940s. The players would use the many bathhouses and the water’s reported curative powers to get ready for the season.

KENTUCKY

Mammoth Cave National Park: the park has more than 390 miles of cave passages mapped, making Mammoth Cave by far the longest known cave in the world.

Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument: this American Civil War era camp was established in 1863 as a depot for the Union Army during the Civil War. It became a recruiting ground for new soldiers from Eastern Tennessee and enslaved people, many of whom had fled their living conditions to be soldiers.

Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument

TENNESSEE

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: parts of Disney's hit 1950s TV series, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier was filmed inside the park.

INDIANA

Indiana Dunes National Park: the park includes approximately 25 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.

WEST VIRGINIA

New River Gorge National Park: this park is home to some of the country's best whitewater rafting, mainly from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out. It is also one of the most popular climbing areas on the East Coast.

THE EAST
 
MAINE

Acadia National Park: it is said that Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to get sunlight in the morning. Also, in addition to the hiking trails, there are 45 miles of carriage roads within the park.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument: Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of the US company Burt's Bees, began purchasing land near Baxter State Park in 2001 before formally announcing plans in 2011 that the land would one day become part of a national park. After much in-state governmental fighting, it became a national monument.

VIRGINIA

Shenandoah National Park: the park is home to the first Civilian Conservation Corps camps in a national park. The first one was in the Skyland area in 1933. The work they did can still be seen today all over the park.

Booker T. Washington National Monument: the monument preserves portions of the 207-acre tobacco farm on which educator and leader Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856. Congress authorized the Booker T. Washington Memorial half dollar to fund the purchase of the site. This commemorative half dollar was the first US coin to feature an African American and was minted from 1946 to 1951. 

Fort Monroe National Monument: the monument and the City of Hampton is a former military installation on the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula. Along with Fort Wool, Fort Monroe originally guarded the navigation channel between the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument: the site is an old colonial tobacco plantation developed by Englishman John Washington in the mid-17th century. John Washington was the great-grandfather of George Washington, general of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States of America. George Washington was born in the house in 1732. He lived here until age three and then again as a teenager.

NORTH CAROLINA

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: the park has several operating grist mills, as well as a number of historical areas containing log cabins, barns, and churches.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Congaree National Park: the park preserves the largest area of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States.

FLORIDA

Biscayne National Park: 95% of the park’s nearly 173,000 acres are underwater. Other than the Convoy Point area near the visitor center, a boat is needed to access the park.

Dry Tortugas National Park: the explorer Ponce de Leon was the first European on the islands, which are situated in the Gulf of Mexico, during his fabled quest for the elusive fountain of youth. The abundant sea turtle population inspired the name Las Tortugas, and the scarcity of freshwater prompted the Dry Tortugas park designation.

Everglades National Park: this park is home to one of the largest wetlands in the world. It is also the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument: the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States; it is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida (the oldest city in the USA).

Fort Matanzas National Monument: the monument consists of a 1740 Spanish fort and about 100 acres of salt marsh and barrier islands along the Matanzas River on the northern Atlantic coast of Florida.

THE ISLANDS
 
AMERICAN SAMOA

American Samoa National Park: this is the only U.S. national park south of the equator. Because land ownership is communal on the territory of American Samoa the National Park Service entered into a 50-year lease with local officials for the parkland.

US VIRGIN ISLANDS

Virgin Islands National Park: one of the most unique national park trails can be found at Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands – it is a 225-yard long underwater snorkeling trail. Also, more than half of the land on the island of St. John lies within the park boundaries.

Buck Island Reef National Monument: is a small, uninhabited 176-acre island about 1.5 miles north of the northeast coast of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. It was first established as a protected area by the U.S. Government in 1948, with the intention of preserving “one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea.”

Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument: within the park, you can find 30 of the 45 coral species in the Virgin Islands, which is an astonishing diversity for the small area. This is also the first known occurrence of corals in a mangrove ecosystem.

NATIONAL MONUMENTS
 
ALABAMA

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument: was established in 2017 to preserve and commemorate the work of the Civil Rights Movement. Birmingham was the site of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, the Children's Crusade with its images of students being attacked by water hoses and dogs, the bombing of the A.G. Gaston Motel (the movement's headquarters) and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

Freedom Riders National Monument: was established to preserve and commemorate the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement.

Russell Cave National Monument: this cave has an exceptionally large main entrance, which was used for thousands of years as a shelter by cultures of prehistoric Indians, from approximately 6500 BCE to 1650 CE and the period of European colonization.

GEORGIA

Fort Frederica National Monument: preserves the archaeological remnants of a fort and town built by James Oglethorpe between 1736 and 1748 to protect the southern boundary of the British colony of Georgia from Spanish raids. About 630 British troops were stationed at the fort. The town was named Frederica, after Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II.

Fort Pulaski National Monument: construction of a fort to protect the port of Savannah began in 1829 under the direction of Major General Babcock and later Second Lieutenant Robert E. Lee, a recent graduate of West Point.

IOWA

Effigy Mounds National Monument: preserves more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by Native Americans. Numerous effigy mounds are shaped like animals, including bears and birds.

ILLINOIS

Pullman National Monument: was the first planned industrial community in the United States. The district had its origins in the manufacturing plans and organization of the Pullman Company and became one of the most well-known company towns in the United States, as well as the scene of the violent 1894 Pullman strike.

LOUISIANA

Poverty Point National Monument: is a prehistoric earthwork constructed by the Poverty Point culture. The site contains earthen ridges and mounds, built by indigenous people between 1700 and 1100 BC.

MARYLAND

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine: is a historical American coastal fort on Locust Point, now a neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay. It was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U.S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. 

NEBRASKA

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument: the site is best known for a large number of well-preserved Miocene fossils, many of which were found at dig sites on Carnegie and University Hills.

Homestead National Monument of America: commemorates the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any qualified person to claim up to 160 acres of federally owned land in exchange for five years of residence and the cultivation and improvement of the property. The Act eventually transferred 270,000,000 acres from public to private ownership.

Scotts Bluff National Monument: this site protects over 3,000 acres of historic overland trail remnants. The namesake bluff served as an important landmark on the Oregon Trail, California Trail and Pony Express Trail, and was visible at a distance from the Mormon Trail. Over 250,000 westward emigrants passed by Scotts Bluff between 1843 and 1869 and it was the second-most referred to landmark on the Emigrant Trails in pioneer journals and diaries.

NEW YORK

African Burial Ground National Monument: was a 17th- and 18th-century cemetery, which was unearthed in 1991 during the construction of the Ted Weiss federal building, located in lower Manhattan.

Castle Clinton National Monument: previously known as Castle Garden, this monument is a circular sandstone fort located in Battery Park in New York City. Built from 1808 to 1811, it was the first American immigration station (predating Ellis Island), where more than 8 million people arrived in the United States from 1855 to 1890. Over its active life, it has also functioned as a beer garden, exhibition hall, theater, and public aquarium.

Fort Stanwix National Monument: was a colonial fortress whose construction commenced on August 26, 1758. Fort Stanwix is historically significant because of its successful defense by American troops during an August 1777 siege. 

Governors Island National Monument: in October 1995 the United States Coast Guard announced it would close its largest base, at Governors Island, as a cost savings measure. The Coast Guard had established the base on the island in 1966 after the U.S. Army closed Fort Jay, an Army post that had been in operation since 1794.

Statue of Liberty National Monument: the copper statue, a gift from the people of France, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.

Stonewall National Monument: is located directly across the street from the Stonewall Inn—the site of the Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, which are widely regarded as the start of the modern LGBT rights movement in the United States.

NEW JERSEY

Statue of Liberty National Monument: is officially known as Liberty Enlightening the World. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed July IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

WASHINGTON DC

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument: is a historic house and museum of the U.S. women's suffrage and equal rights movements located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Since 1929 the house has served as the headquarters of the National Woman's Party, a key political organization in the fight for women's suffrage.

Washington Monument: the first monument design featured a rotunda and a Roman-like George Washington. The initial winning bid came from architect Robert Mills, who designed a flat-topped obelisk with a statue of Washington in a chariot, along with statues of the 30 Founding Fathers. The current obelisk design was proposed in 1876.