The Park System Made Simple

Escape the Crowds

Get a jump on the tour busses. Explore our favorite hidden corners, empty spaces, and wild places in ten iconic National Parks. Read more.

(Chris Burkard)

Where to Go When You Have 24 Hours

Cramming a National Park visit into just one day can involve a stressful amount of guess-based planning and/or a dose of luck-infused spontaneity. But you can take charge with this list of carefully curated day plans. Read more

National Parks
(Tom Babich)

Make it an Adventure

Jump on a paddleboard, hike around a volcano or cast out in pristine waters—these trips put the parks in a whole new light. Read more.

(Noah Couser/Aurora)

Get Off the Beaten Path

From wolf tracking to sand-dune shredding, these nine trips will get you far beyond the ranger station. Read more.

(Kim Heacox/Getty)

9 State Parks that Are National Treasures

Love Acadia, the Tetons, and the Grand Canyon? Wait until you meet their crazy little cousins. Read more.

(Dawn Kish/National Geographic St)

The Darkest Parks in the U.S.

There are 11 Dark Sky Parks in the United States; seven have been designated as "gold tier" parks, the highest possible rating, based on a comprehensive technical scale that considers things like artificial light, skyglow, and observable sky phenomena. Read more.

Hit the road and hit the lights—these state parks and national monuments will bring out your inner astronomer.

The Newest National Parks

Good news for anyone who loves high-heart-rate recreation, brilliant scenery, and a little bit of history—The National Park Service is starting 2015 off by establishing seven new national parks in eight different states and the District of Columbia. Read more.

New National Parks 2015 parks
(Larry Lamsa)

Filed To: National Parks
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