When George Lucas first directed the seminal Star Wars here in 1977, Death Valley was still a national monument, the second highest status in that National Parks Service. Hiking and driving among them is surreal, and times they seem like they might even move. Or you can drive the North Rim Road and stop at the Narrows View overlook to see how Black Canyon got its name – thanks to the knife-thin gouge the river has made over the centuries, just 40 feet wide in some portions of the canyon, parts of the park get only thirty minutes of sunlight a day. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. The sun rises over the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Park, New Mexico—the 62nd national park in the United States, designated in December 2019. Highlighted here are three of the newest national parks you can go to right now and bag a quality adventure. A southern swamp with strange root sculptures from giant old-growth cypress trees – that’s the best way to describe Congaree, which became a national park in 2003 after it was first protected as a National Monument in 1976, and designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1983. Wow. Barrelling down the side of a dune in a plastic snow-saucer (for purchase at the gift shop) is a top activity at White Sands. There are 13 to enjoy and we’ll go through every single one of them in this list of New Zealand national parks. incorporated Saguaro National Monument. Anyone can visit at any time for free. redesignated from Ocmulgee National Monument, Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana Must see: Tackle the Three Dune Challenge by hiking Mount Tom (192 ft), Mount Holden (184 ft), and Mount Jackson (176 ft), an effort you can accomplish on Trail Number 8 while seeing some of the best that Indiana Dunes National Park has to offer. redesignated from Coulee Dam National Recreation Area, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Oklahoma, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Massachusetts, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, District of Columbia Fran Mainella. For what it’s worth, this is a subset of the 419 units managed by the National Park Service — which includes sites under different umbrellas, like National Battlefields, National Historic Sites, National Monuments, and more. incorporated Death Valley National Monument, Saguaro National Park, Arizona Towering slabs of sticky granite towering 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Proposed National Park Reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen; Qausuittuq National Park In the evening, rangers lead sunset strolls, full-moon hikes and meteor shower watching parties. Named by gold-rushers passing through in 1849, the great desert and hottest place on Earth carried its monument designation from 1933 until 1994, when it officially became a national park. Rather it’s a long-standing floodplain, one of the last examples of the old growth bottomland hardwood forests that once covered the southeastern United States. The most recent four were established between 2004 and 2019 (yes, a new national park was added to the list this year!) The national parks of New Zealand are protected areas administered by the Department of Conservation. Although the national parks contain some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery, the first few established were all focused on mountain scenery. redesignated from Honouliuli National Monument, Tule Lake National Monument, California redesignated from a national historic site, Reconstruction Era National Monument, South Carolina, Freedom Riders National Monument, Alabama, Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Alabama, Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, New York, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine, Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, District of Columbia, Castle Mountains National Monument, California, Manhattan Project National Historical Park, New Mexico, Tennessee, & Washington, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, Massachusetts & Rhode Island, Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico, World War I Memorial, District of Columbia, Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada, First State National Historical Park, Delaware List of National Parks in the United States 2020. Here are the four newest national parks. P.L. That provides visitors with a unique opportunity to sandboard down steep dune peaks with snow-capped mountains in the background – an activity you won't find many other places. redesignated from World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hawaii Must see: Playing in Great Sand Dunes National Park's Medano Creek is a nice way to cool off after sandboarding, as is off-roading the Medano Pass Primitive Road. redesignated from a national historic site, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Vermont Fran Mainella. redesignated from Oregon Caves National Monument, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, Maryland, Pinnacles National Park, California In 2015, the NPS established seven new national parks, bringing the total number to 58. Parkasaurus wrote a short post on the proposal for this national park back in August. Once home to the Pinto people and named by Mormon pioneers who likened the tree limbs to outstretched praying arms, the park has inspired visitors ever since, including cultural luminaries like The Eagles, Gram Parsons, U2, Selena, and Childish Gambino, all of whom have written songs about Joshua Tree, shot album artwork or music videos here, or otherwise celebrated a creative connection to the place. Lonely Planet Writer. The parks are all culturally significant and many also contain historic features. Be sure to grab a park pass and go visit. The UK is looking to create new national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (Getty Images/iStockphoto) UK will get new national parks as part of … Great American Outdoors Act The act, signed by President Trump on August 4, will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and restore our national parks. Creating national parks doesn't happen every day. Chances are, many of those mind-blowing pictures have been taken in the New Zealand national parks. The United States has 62 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the … redesignated from a national historic site, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Alaska, California, and Hawaii incorporated Fort Clatsop National Monument, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado redesignated from Edison National Historic Site, Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, Texas The national park covers an area of 51 square miles and is under the management ofthe National Park Service. People live and work in the UK’s National Parks. 107-219. redesignated from Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, Oregon That’s unique. Today it remains the driest and lowest place in North America, not to mention the hottest place on Earth with a 134 degree temperature recorded in the shade. The first of the two new national parks is Pullman National Monument in Chicago, located south and west of Chicago’s downtown. Must see: Badwater Basin is the lowest point on land in the western hemisphere at 277 feet below sea level, and can be reached via a quarter-mile long board walk from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. It should be hard-boiled after ten minutes. National parks are also engines of economic activity and sources of local and national pride. redesignated from World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Golden Spike National Historical Park, Utah A new 2,543-acre Jurassic national monument will rename and protect the area known as the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry, currently overseen by the … No. Proposals and feasibility studies. New Mexico's White Sands have long been a stop on any landscape photographer's itinerary for their otherworldly hues, especially at sunrise or sunset. Cuyahoga Valley preserves and reclaims some of the rural landscape along the banks of Cuyahoga River. For all notifications, please visit our noticeboard. These new parks include a desert on the edge of Las Vegas, a supervolcano and the birthplace of America's 16th president. This fifty mile waterway runs from the West Columbia Riverwalk to the Bates Bridge landing in-park, with numerous put-ins and take-outs along the way. To view a map showing current progress on completing the national park system, see Map of Completing Canada's National Parks System. 20 new parks added; 1 park deauthorized. Rivers and epic waterfalls galore. redesignated from a national recreation area, First Ladies National Historic Site, Ohio, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, South Dakota, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado Tongariro National Park is one of the World Heritage Sites that Note: Not all of these national parks are in states bordering the west coast, but rather grouped in the west coast national parks category because they are generally located in the western United States. Like Cuyahoga and Gateway Arch, Indiana Dunes is a decidedly urban park, replete with industrialized surroundings including a power plant, a steel mill, and all of Gary, Indiana. Officially known since 1999 as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the namesake rock walls drop a dizzying 2600 feet below to the titular river. Check park alerts and visit COVID-19 updates for more information before visiting any park. Genevieve National Historical Park, Missouri, Margaret Everson (Counselor to the Secretary, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director), Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument, Kentucky, Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, District of Columbia, White Sands National Park, New Mexico Like Cuyahoga Valley, the second newest National Park’s designation might seem odd to some. After being designated a monument in 1908, it didn’t become a National Park until 2013. redesignated from Reconstruction Era National Monument, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, South Carolina Yes. For day visitors, please avoid busy parks between 11am and 2pm on weekends and during school holidays to avoid congestion. The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series produced by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan and written by Dayton Duncan. redesignated from Minidoka Internment National Monument, African Burial Ground National Monument, New York, Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, District of Columbia, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Oregon and Washington But Pinnacles had to wait a long time for its limelight. It’s expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors a year to its 260 acres once completed. redesignated from a national historic site, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Kentucky You can see Chicago from across the lake, and while you probably won't need bear spray here, you will find incredible biodiversity that has made Indiana Dunes attractive to ecologists for over a century. It is the only established national park in Ohio and was established in 1974 as a recreational area but was upgraded into a national park in 2000. Coltsville National Historical Park in Hartford Connecticut is awaiting land acquisitions. To keep visitors safe ALL camping in NSW national parks now requires a booking. All rights reserved. Some of those reminders of the region's former industrial heyday, though, are also what make it such a fun place for outdoor recreation - like hiking and biking the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, for example. The National Parks of New Zealand are protected … redesignated from Longfellow National Historic Site, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, Arkansas, River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Michigan, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, California, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, New Jersey The last time citizens mounted such a nationwide new parks campaign, it resulted in the passage of the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Act, which doubled the size of our National Park System. National parks safeguard native wildlife, clean air and water, geological wonders, intact ecosystems, and historic sites. Blueprints for Green Futures. redesignated from White Sands National Monument, Honouliuli National Historic Site, Hawaii deauthorized as a park, Congaree National Park, South Carolina Must see: The powdery white sands are perfect for sledding. redesignated from Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, Georgia Try boiling an egg in it as a test. US national park itineraries: how to see the best of 5 epic parks in one day each, 10 off-the-beaten-track US national parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 13 cities across Europe will be linked with new night train routes, "It's a COVID-free Christmas in Australia and I'll be on the beach", Sleep in an epic Times Square Airbnb with Mariah Carey as your host. Craters of the Moon National Preserve, Idaho. But given its proximity to both Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga is also crisscrossed by roads, city parks, private homes, and other human developments that might disappoint those seeking truly untouched land. The USA's newest national park, White Sands National Park © Matthew Liteplo / 500px. However, new parks are few and far between. redesignated from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri August 21, 2002. Discover parks, campgrounds, walking tracks, native plants, animals and more. redesignated from Wolf Trap Farm Park, Craters of the Moon National Preserve, Idaho, Governors Island National Monument, New York, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands, Minidoka Internment National Monument, Idaho, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, Colorado, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, California, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio Those include the Integratron (a curiosity built by a UFOlogist that is now used for sound baths), a teeny tiny Crochet Museum, the Noah Purifoy outdoor museum and sculpture park,  and the Krblin Jihn Kabin (an art installation dedicated to an alternate reality that runs parallel to our world). Technically speaking, the 27,000 acre park isn’t really a swamp. Like Death Valley, the Saguaro-filled Sonoran desert was protected as a National Monument in 1933 before becoming an official Park in 1994. A Acadia American Samoa Arches B Badlands Big Bend Biscayne Black Canyon of the Gunnison Bryce Canyon Check out this list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States. New Zealand's national parks cover more than 30,000 square kilometres, full to the brim with beautiful, natural scenery ready to explore. The variety of flora and fauna here surprisingly rivals the state of Hawaii, and thanks to its city-adjacent location and its newly elevated status Indiana Dunes now sees almost the same number of visitors each year as such classics as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Visitors can go backcountry camping among the glistening dunes, or check out the area's rich flora, such as Dr Seussian soaptree yucca, in the Native Plant Garden. Pinnacles National Monument in California was signed into law as the United States' 59th and newest national park, now bearing the name Pinnacles National Park. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. Since the 1980s the focus has been on developing a more diverse representation of New Zealand landscapes. 107-213. First designated a national recreation area in 1974 until it achieved Park status in 2000, the sanctuary is admittedly peaceful and waterfall-filled. redesignated from Pinnacles National Monument, César E. Chávez National Monument, California, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, New Jersey, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, District of Columbia, Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, Massachusetts redesignated from Jefferson Expansion Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Georgia First protected as “Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in 1935” but more commonly called the St. Louis Arch for being smack dab in the middle of the city, Gateway Arch is utterly moving. Cyclists and bikepackers will also appreciate the ability to hop on the train with their gear after riding the Towpath Trail, rather than having to turn around and retrace their progress. © 2020 Lonely Planet. Although highly-rated by regular visitors, Cuyahoga Valley is more of an urban oasis than traditional national park. As you can see, 30 percent of the newest national parks are located in California, one of the most disproportionately beautiful and scenic states in the entire country. Button to close the announcement bar. Four of the new national parks are still in the pending status. A new pass program grants U.S. military veterans and Gold Star Families free access to national parks. Must see: Several whimsical roadside attractions are sprinkled just around the edges of Joshua Tree National Park. Just eighty miles from San Francisco, it's no wonder Pinnacles is popular for its excellent camping, hiking, and rock climbing. 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