These are the oldest National Parks in the United States. The United States was the first country in the world to establish a National Park when Yellowstone was created in 1872. The Grand Canyon, the National Park that probably pops into most people's minds first, does not make this list as it was the 14th National Park in the United States when it was created in 1919.
The ten oldest National Parks in the United States, listed by the dates they were created on. I am a big fan of the National Parks System in the United States and have personally been to each and every one of the parks listed here. Each park offers visitors and tourists unique things to see, and I enjoyed visiting each one of these parks.
10 Oldest National Parks in the United States
1. Yellowstone- March 1, 1872
Image Source by Brocken Inaglory
Not only was Yellowstone National Park the first National Park in the United States when it was created on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone was also the first National Park in the world. Yellowstone is a fantastic place filled with animals, waterfalls, geysers, mountains, canyons, forests, plains, and probably the most colorful and beautiful hot springs in the world like the Grand Prismatic Spring.
2. Sequoia- September 25, 1890
Sequoia National Park became the second National Park in the United States when it was created on September 25, 1890 to protect the giant sequoia trees in California. If you have never seen a giant sequoia tree in person you owe it to yourself to do so. You cannot fathom the size of a giant sequoia until you see one in person. They are magnificent trees.
3. Yosemite- October 1, 1890
Yosemite National Park was created on October 1, 1890. What a fantastic place Yosemite is. It can get crowded in the summer though, as almost 4 million people a year visit here. In February, Yosemite is not crowded when you can see a waterfall seemingly catch fire at sunset as it pours over a granite cliff. Quite a sight to see that will thrill any world traveler or tourist.
4. Mount Rainier- March 2, 1899
Mount Rainier National Park became the fifth National Park in the United States when it was created on March 2, 1899. The park protects the stratovolcano Mount Rainier, which stands 14,410 feet high in the state of Washington. Another great place to visit and see a beautiful sight.
5. Crater Lake- May 22, 1902
Crater Lake lies in a caldera that was created almost 8,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted and then collapsed inward. Today, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and one of the deepest lakes in the world. Crater Lake National Park was created on May 22, 1902. A beautiful place, but it can get chilly here most times of the year. Crater Lake Lodge right along the rim road is a great place to stay.
6. Wind Cave- January 9, 1903
Image Source(Boxwork in Wind Cave)
When Teddy Roosevelt created Wind Cave National Park on January 9, 1903, he created the first the first National Park in the world that was a cave. Located below beautiful prairie land in South Dakota, Wind Cave is full of boxwork and frostwork formations. Not the most spectacular cave I've ever been in, but I'd say Wind Cave is well worth a visit for anyone traveling to South Dakota.
7. Mesa Verde- June 29, 1906
Filled with over 4,000 archaeological sites, including the famed cliff dwellings of the Anasazi, Mesa Verde was made into a National Park on June 29, 1906. The park preserves ancient wonders like the Cliff Palace, which gives visitors and tourists a glimpse into how people lived in the past in the western United States. Great place to visit.
8. Glacier- May 11, 1910
Glacier National Park contains 26 glaciers and well over a 100 lakes set among the Rocky Mountains in northwestern Montana. Taking the Going-to-the-Sun Road through Glacier National Park is a ton of fun filled with great sites as it winds up and around the mountains, lakes and glaciers. Staying at one of the lodges in the park is a lot of fun too.
9. Rocky Mountain- January 26, 1915
Rocky Mountain National Park was created on January 26, 1915 to protect a beautiful section of the Rocky Mountains located north of Denver, Colorado. Like Glacier, Rocky Mountain is another great park to drive through for mountain scenery. Staying at any of the lodges or hotels in the area is also great fun. For more see National Parks in Colorado.
10. Tie between Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes- August 1, 1916
On August 1, 1916, Congress created the Hawaii National Park which included both Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks. Haleakala was split into its own park in 1961, and contains the dormant volcano Haleakala, which is 10,023 feet high. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains the active volcano Kilauea on the Big Island. For more see National Parks in Hawaii.
For more see States in the United States with Most National Parks
Largest National Parks in the Continental United States
Beautiful National Parks in Mexico
Beautiful National Parks in Argentina