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Largest National Parks in the United States

List of the Top 20 Largest National Parks in the United States

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Photomosaic Map of Alaska

Photomosaic of Alaska: The four largest national parks in the United States are all located in Alaska.

StockTrek/Getty Images
Updated June 02, 2014

The United States is one of the world's largest countries based on area with a total of 3,794,100 square miles (9,826,675 sq km) spread out over 50 different states. Much of this land is developed into large cities or urban areas like Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois, but a large portion of it is protected from development via national parks and other federally protected areas that are monitored by the National Park Service that was created in 1916 by the Organic Act. The first national parks to be founded in the U.S. were Yellowstone (1872) followed by Yosemite and Sequoia (1890).

In total the U.S. has almost 400 different nationally protected areas today that range from large national parks to smaller national historic sites, monuments and seashores. The following is a list of the 20 largest national parks out of the 55 in the U.S. For reference their locations and date of founding have also been included.

1) Wrangell-St. Elias
• Area: 13,005 square miles (33,683 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

2) Gates of the Arctic
• Area: 11,756 square miles (30,448 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

3) Denali
• Area: 7,408 square miles (19,186 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1917

4) Katmai
• Area: 5,741 square miles (14,870 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

5) Death Valley
• Area: 5,269 square miles (13,647 sq km)
• Location: California, Nevada
• Year of Formation: 1994

6) Glacier Bay
• Area: 5,038 square miles (13,050 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

7) Lake Clark
• Area: 4,093 square miles (10,602 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

8) Yellowstone
• Area: 3,468 square miles (8,983 sq km)
• Location: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
• Year of Formation: 1872

9) Kobuk Valley
• Area: 2,735 square miles (7,085 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

10) Everglades
• Area: 2,357 square miles (6,105 sq km)
• Location: Florida
• Year of Formation: 1934

11) Grand Canyon
• Area: 1,902 square miles (4,927 sq km)
• Location: Arizona
• Year of Formation: 1919

12) Glacier
• Area: 1,584 square miles (4,102 sq km)
• Location: Montana
• Year of Formation: 1910

13) Olympic
• Area: 1,442 square miles (3,734 sq km)
• Location: Washington
• Year of Formation: 1938

14) Big Bend
• Area: 1,252 square miles (3,242 sq km)
• Location: Texas
• Year of Formation: 1944

15) Joshua Tree
• Area: 1,234 square miles (3,196 sq km)
• Location: California
• Year of Formation 1994

16) Yosemite
• Area: 1,189 square miles (3,080 sq km)
• Location: California
• Year of Formation: 1890

17) Kenai Fjords
• Area: 1,047 square miles (2,711 sq km)
• Location: Alaska
• Year of Formation: 1980

18) Isle Royale
• Area: 893 square miles (2,314 sq km)
• Location: Michigan
• Year of Formation: 1931

19) Great Smoky Mountains
• Area: 814 square miles (2,110 sq km)
• Location: North Carolina, Tennessee
• Year of Formation: 1934

20) North Cascades
• Area: 789 square miles (2,043 sq km)
• Location: Washington
• Year of Formation: 1968

To learn more about National Parks in the United States, visit the official website of the National Park Service and the National and State Parks site on About.com.

References

Briney, Amanda. (24 November 2010). "Geography of National Parks." Geography at About.com. Retrieved from: http://geography.about.com/od/culturalgeography/a/nationalparks.htm

Wikipedia.org. (2 May 2011). List of National Parks of the United States - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Parks_of_the_United_States

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