Discover a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms, and textures unlike any other. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive rock fins, and giant balanced rocks. This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.
Bryce Canyon, UT
Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) exist on every continent, but here is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth. Situated along a high plateau at the top of the Grand Staircase, the park's high elevations include numerous life communities, fantastic dark skies, and geological wonders that defy description.
National Historic Trail
Various States CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY
Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure.
Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.
Cedar City, UT
Crowning the grand staircase, Cedar Breaks sits at over 10,000 feet and looks down into a half-mile deep geologic amphitheater. Come wander among timeless bristlecone pines, stand in lush meadows of wildflower, ponder crystal-clear night skies and experience the richness of our subalpine forest.
Vernal, Utah & Dinosaur, Colorado, CO,UT
Dinosaurs once roamed here. Their fantastic remains are still visibly embedded in the rocks. Today, the mountains, desert, and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.
National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, AZ,UT
Encompassing over 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.
National Historical Park
Brigham City, UT
One of the greatest technological achievements of the 19th century, the completion of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States. Visitors to the park can see the location of the Last Spike Site, 1869 railroad construction features, walk or drive on the original railroad grade, and get an up close view of Victorian era replica locomotives.
Blanding, Utah & Cortez, Colorado, CO,UT
Once home to over 2,500 people, Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Explore a variety of structures, including multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. The construction and attention to detail will leave you marveling at the skill and motivation of the builders.
National Historic Trail
Various States IL,IA,NE,UT,WY
Explore the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail across five states to see the 1,300-mile route traveled by Mormons who fled Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1846-1847.
Three majestic natural bridges invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named "Kachina," "Owachomo" and "Sipapu" in honor of the ancestral Puebloans who once made this place their home.
National Historic Trail
Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to exchange for mules and horses.
National Historic Trail
Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY
It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument, UT
Rainbow Bridge is one of the world's largest known natural bridges. The span has undoubtedly inspired people throughout time--from the neighboring American Indian tribes who consider Rainbow Bridge sacred, to the 85,000 people from around the world who visit it each year. Please visit Rainbow Bridge in a spirit that honors and respects the cultures to whom it is sacred.
American Fork, UT
Cave tours are closed for the 2022 winter season. Hike your way past stunning vistas to explore a hidden underground world. Taste the thrill of caving as you twist and bend to enter beautifully decorated rooms. Learn the science behind formations and hear stories of cave exploration and preservation. Experience and discover as you go – geologic mysteries await.
Follow the paths where native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.
By The Numbers
- 13 National Parks
- 11,091,898 Visitors to National Parks
- $1,340,000,000 Economic Benefit from National Park Tourism »
- $52,149,295 of Land & Water Conservation Fund Appropriated for Projects (since 1965) »
- $1,834,455 in Historic Preservation Grants (since 1969) »
- 97 Certified Local Governments »
- 86,416 Hours Donated by Volunteers »
- 2 National Heritage Areas »
- 1 Wild & Scenic Rivers Managed by NPS »
- 4 National Trails Administered by NPS »
- 1,872 National Register of Historic Places Listings »
- 14 National Historic Landmarks »
- 4 National Natural Landmarks »
- 680 Places Recorded by Heritage Documentation Programs »
- 2,872,260 Objects in National Park Museum Collections »
- 6,880 Archeological Sites in National Parks »
- 2 Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans »
- 5 Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries »
- Print the summary »
These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/2020.