Ah, the fresh air feels nice today. It is wonderful to be outside and in the country. Nothing could make this day more perfect. It is quite marvelous. The trees’ little leaves flutter like monarchs’ wings in the wind. A bird grasps a branch above and sings a melody, a tune to the times. Life is a lot more enjoyable when you have 10 Interesting US National Parks Facts to keep you busy.
With these facts in hand, you are sure to impress your friends and swamp everyone else at trivia night at the bar. You will be walking away from the Jeopardy game like you just robbed the bank!
Let’s get started.
1. Yellowstone is the World’s Oldest National Park
Founded in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park. It is quite old. The whole National Parks system started with President Theodore Roosevelt who created one of the best inspirations for conservation all around the world. You probably already knew that though. Don’t worry. This fact was just a warm up.
Now let’s get into the meat of this post.
2. California and Alaska Have the Most Parks
Each of these states have eight national parks. That’s quite a lot. It surely is wonderful to live in California. There is so much to explore and see. If you live here, you won’t be lacking in things to do. That’s for sure. You can always find something to explore.
The same goes with Alaska. It might be far and cold, but it is stunning and beautiful. You can see a lot of different things up north. The bears will keep you busy.
3. Mount Denali is the Highest Point in North America
Speaking of Alaska, at 20,302 feet, Denali stands like a giant above all the others in Denali National Park. No other mountain in North America is even close to it in height. If you are a mountaineer, then this is definitely a park you want to go see. Nothing beats finishing a rigorous hike on top of a mountain. The view will be incredible.
You will be busy for quite a while.
4. Fossil Hunters Should Come to Badlands
Located in South Dakota, Badlands National Park contains the world’s richest fossil records. If you are a paleontologist, then this is a must see. Not enough people travel to South Dakota. Home to the Great Plains and plenty of bison, South Dakota offers plenty for you to see and explore.
5. General Sherman is the Largest Living Thing
I’m not talking about General Sherman of the Civil War, but General Sherman of Sequoia National Park. This General Sherman stands 275 feet (84 m) tall and weighs 1,900 metric tons. That’s a lot of sequestered carbon! If you want to help fight against climate change, then plant a tree. It really does go a long way and General Sherman has been at it for hundreds of years.
6. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is Big
The park is 13.2 million acres, fitting nearly six ‘Yellowstones’ inside of it. You can spend a lifetime in this park and not see it all. The magnitude of this park is just massive. Needless to say, there is a lot to see. You can be sure you won’t see everything here in just one visit.
7. 286 of the 412 Parks Do Not Ever Charge Admission
That is right. You do not have to always go to the heavy hitters like Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Crater Lake. You do not even have to pay an entrance fee for the vast majority. There are 286 parks you can see without ever paying an entrance fee. The cheap vacation is a real thing. You can explore the world on a budget and see all the United States has to offer.
8. Kentucky Has the World’s Longest Cave System
Mammoth Cave National Park has 3,454 miles of mapped tubes and caverns for you to explore. And the more time the spelunkers spend down there, the longer the network gets! They keep on finding new parts to this cave. It just goes on and on and on. The network is quite extensive.
Because of the Karst geology, water has eroded limestone, dolomite, and gypsum to create the cave system you see today. When most people think of Karst landscapes, they think of the mountains of Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province. You don’t have to travel to China to see a Karst landscape. You can see America’s very own Karst in Kentucky! That’s all it takes.
9. Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt Have the Most
These two presidents have the most number of parks named after them, four each. The former is best remembered as the grand hero of the civil war, forging an unlikely cabinet to keep the country together. Teddy is best remembered as the founder of the National Parks system. All the trails you trek through and all the peaks you mountaineer were made possible, in large part, because of his actions.
It is no wonder so many parks are named after the two of them.
10. There are Over 18,000 Miles of Trails for You to Explore
You can spend a lifetime exploring them and not see them all. 18,000 miles (28,968 km) will keep you busy for quite a while. Be sure to stretch your legs and warm up because you have a long hike ahead of you. If you want to see even a fraction of them all, it starts with a single step. Get to it!
Are You Ready to Get Wet?
Wow! Those were some incredible facts. I do not know about you, but I am satisfied. It was a delight to take you on this wonderful journey. Be sure to check out a national park near you. There is probably one close by you do not even have to pay an entrance fee for.
If one thing is for certain, it is the rain. It happens. You do not have to be caught off guard though. When you have a proper jacket, then the water does not seem so bad after all. If you want a solid one, then you should check out my previous article, The Top 10 Best Men’s Backpacking Rain Jackets of 2019 (do not fret if it is 2099 and this article still reads 2019; I update the ‘best of’ articles on annual basis :)). If you want to stay dry and fine through the storm, then you are going to need a rain jacket. There is no way around it. Check out the article!
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!