Closest national parks to San Jose

Written by:
June 12, 2022
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Closest national parks to San Jose

Approximately 237 million people visited American national parks in 2020, representing a 28% year-over-year decrease attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Many parks were forced to close to combat the spread of the virus, but that’s not the whole story—when the parks were open, many of them saw record crowds as throngs of people desperate to safely enjoy nature descended onto parks when they reopened.

President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed the act creating the National Park Service to leave natural and historic phenomenons “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Since then, our national parks have welcomed visitors from around the world to experience some of the best the country has to offer and showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Today, the country's 63 national parks contain at least 247 species of endangered or threatened plants and animals, more than 75,000 archaeological sites, and 18,000 miles of trails.

Stacker compiled a list of the closest national parks to San Jose. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metro Area and each national park. Estimated driving times are from Here and are only available within the lower 48 states. All featured distances and driving times are estimated using representative locations from the center of each metro and national park—for some places within the metro area, the actual distance may be slightly shorter or longer to reach the closest entryway to a park.

Be sure to check with individual parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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#1. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 32 miles
- Driving time: 0.8 hours
- Date founded: January 10, 2013
- 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,685.73 acres
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Stephen Moehle // Shutterstock

#2. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 121 miles
- Driving time: 4.2 hours
- Date founded: October 1, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 761,747.50 acres
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#3. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 153 miles
- Driving time: 6.3 hours
- Date founded: September 25, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 404,062.63 acres
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#4. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 157 miles
- Driving time: 6.4 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 461,901.20 acres
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#5. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 228 miles
- Date founded: March 5, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 249,561.00 acres

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#6. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 247 miles
- Driving time: 5.2 hours
- Date founded: August 9, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 106,589.02 acres
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Bryan Brazil // Shutterstock

#7. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

- Distance: 257 miles
- Driving time: 7.7 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres
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Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#8. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 334 miles
- Driving time: 9.8 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 138,999.37 acres
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#9. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 376 miles
- Driving time: 7.6 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 795,155.85 acres
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#10. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 412 miles
- Driving time: 10.9 hours
- Date founded: October 27, 1986
- 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 77,180.00 acres

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#11. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 418 miles
- Driving time: 8.1 hours
- Date founded: May 22, 1902
- 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 183,224.05 acres
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#12. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 460 miles
- Driving time: 10.6 hours
- Date founded: November 19, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 147,242.66 acres
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#13. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 509 miles
- Driving time: 12.7 hours
- Date founded: February 25, 1928
- 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 35,835.08 acres
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Josemaria Toscano // Shutterstock

#14. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 517 miles
- Driving time: 11.0 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres
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#15. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 567 miles
- Driving time: 13.4 hours
- Date founded: December 18, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 241,904.50 acres

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#16. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 634 miles
- Driving time: 19.1 hours
- Date founded: September 12, 1964
- 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 337,597.83 acres
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#17. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 657 miles
- Driving time: 14.3 hours
- Date founded: November 12, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 76,678.98 acres
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#18. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 661 miles
- Driving time: 11.8 hours
- Date founded: December 9, 1962
- 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 221,390.21 acres
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#19. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 686 miles
- Driving time: 14.4 hours
- Date founded: March 2, 1899
- 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 236,381.64 acres
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#20. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 697 miles
- Driving time: 13.5 hours
- Date founded: October 14, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 92,867.42 acres

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#21. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 712 miles
- Driving time: 15.5 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1906
- 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 52,485.17 acres
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#22. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 729 miles
- Driving time: 16.0 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1929
- 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 310,044.36 acres
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#23. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 756 miles
- Driving time: 16.2 hours
- Date founded: October 21, 1999
- 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 30,779.83 acres
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#24. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 771 miles
- Driving time: 16.0 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1938
- 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 922,649.41 acres
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#25. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

- Distance: 778 miles
- Driving time: 16.3 hours
- Date founded: March 1, 1872
- 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres

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National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#26. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 814 miles
- Driving time: 16.5 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 504,780.94 acres
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#27. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 874 miles
- Driving time: 19.0 hours
- Date founded: September 24, 2004
- 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 107,341.87 acres
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#28. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 886 miles
- Driving time: 19.6 hours
- Date founded: January 26, 1915
- 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 265,807.25 acres
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#29. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 901 miles
- Date founded: May 11, 1910
- 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres
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#30. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 908 miles
- Driving time: 16.4 hours
- Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
- 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 146,344.31 acres

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#31. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,002 miles
- Driving time: 18.3 hours
- Date founded: October 15, 1966
- 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 86,367.10 acres
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#32. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,018 miles
- Driving time: 18.5 hours
- Date founded: May 14, 1930
- 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 46,766.45 acres
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#33. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,049 miles
- Driving time: 20.7 hours
- Date founded: January 9, 1903
- 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,970.84 acres
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#34. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,099 miles
- Driving time: 22.0 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 242,755.94 acres
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#35. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 1,151 miles
- Driving time: 22.8 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 70,446.89 acres

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#36. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,174 miles
- Driving time: 22.5 hours
- Date founded: June 12, 1944
- 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 801,163.21 acres
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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#37. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 1,595 miles
- Driving time: 27.6 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1921
- 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 5,554.15 acres
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#38. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 1,643 miles
- Driving time: 31.9 hours
- Date founded: April 8, 1975
- 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 218,222.35 acres
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Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 1,651 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres
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#40. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 1,703 miles
- Driving time: 29.5 hours
- Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
- 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 192.83 acres
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MDuchek // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 1,827 miles
- Driving time: 36.8 hours
- Date founded: April 3, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 571,790.30 acres
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#42. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 1,856 miles
- Driving time: 32.0 hours
- Date founded: February 15, 2019
- 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,349.08 acres
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Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 1,893 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 16,655 (#57 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,323,146.48 acres
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#44. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 1,938 miles
- Driving time: 33.4 hours
- Date founded: July 1, 1941
- 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 54,011.91 acres
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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,022 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 669,650.05 acres
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Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

- Distance: 2,100 miles
- Driving time: 35.6 hours
- Date founded: June 15, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 522,426.88 acres
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Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,124 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres
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#48. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 2,143 miles
- Driving time: 36.6 hours
- Date founded: October 11, 2000
- 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 32,571.88 acres
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Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,169 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres
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Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,198 miles
- Date founded: February 26, 1917
- 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres
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#51. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

- Distance: 2,198 miles
- Driving time: 38.1 hours
- Date founded: December 27, 2020
- 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,021 acres
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Jtmartin57 // Wikimedia Commons

#52. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 2,286 miles
- Driving time: 38.4 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 2003
- 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,476.47 acres
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Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#53. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 2,338 miles
- Driving time: 41.7 hours
- Date founded: December 26, 1935
- 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 199,223.77 acres
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MH Anderson Photography // Shutterstock

#54. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 2,368 miles
- Date founded: July 1, 1961
- 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,264.62 acres
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#55. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 2,373 miles
- Date founded: August 1, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 325,605.28 acres
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U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 2,422 miles
- Driving time: 46.9 hours
- Date founded: October 26, 1992
- 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 64,701.22 acres
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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,466 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres
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Simon Dannhauer // Shutterstock

#58. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 2,505 miles
- Driving time: 44.9 hours
- Date founded: May 30, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres
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NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#59. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 2,541 miles
- Driving time: 43.9 hours
- Date founded: June 28, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 172,971.11 acres
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LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,578 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres
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Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#61. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 2,791 miles
- Driving time: 51.0 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 49,076.63 acres
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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#62. Virgin Islands National Park (U.S. Virgin Islands)

- Distance: 3,644 miles
- Date founded: August 2, 1956
- 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,052.53 acres
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Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#63. National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa)

- Distance: 4,762 miles
- Date founded: October 31, 1988
- 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,256.67 acres

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