Closest national parks to Topeka

Written by:
July 13, 2022
Anna Krivitskaya // Shutterstock

Closest national parks to Topeka

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 Topeka. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Topeka, KS 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.

You may also like: Metros where people in Topeka are getting new jobs

1 / 63
Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#1. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 304 miles
- Driving time: 4.8 hours
- Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
- 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 192.83 acres
2 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#2. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 348 miles
- Driving time: 7.8 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1921
- 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 5,554.15 acres
3 / 63
Matt Ragen // Shutterstock

#3. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 476 miles
- Driving time: 9.6 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 242,755.94 acres
4 / 63
Delmas Lehman // Shutterstock

#4. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 496 miles
- Driving time: 9.2 hours
- Date founded: February 15, 2019
- 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,349.08 acres
5 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#5. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 507 miles
- Driving time: 10.6 hours
- Date founded: January 9, 1903
- 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,970.84 acres

You may also like: Highest-paying jobs in Topeka that don't require a college degree

6 / 63
Anna Krivitskaya // Shutterstock

#6. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 529 miles
- Driving time: 8.7 hours
- Date founded: January 26, 1915
- 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 265,807.25 acres
7 / 63
Kris Wiktor // Shutterstock

#7. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 534 miles
- Driving time: 9.9 hours
- Date founded: September 24, 2004
- 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 107,341.87 acres
8 / 63
Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#8. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 544 miles
- Driving time: 9.7 hours
- Date founded: July 1, 1941
- 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 54,011.91 acres
9 / 63
SL-Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 644 miles
- Driving time: 12.3 hours
- Date founded: October 21, 1999
- 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 30,779.83 acres
10 / 63
BlueBarronPhoto // Shutterstock

#10. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 669 miles
- Driving time: 11.9 hours
- Date founded: April 8, 1975
- 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 218,222.35 acres

You may also like: Most expensive homes for sale in Topeka

11 / 63
Laurens Hoddenbagh // Shutterstock

#11. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 670 miles
- Driving time: 13.5 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 70,446.89 acres
12 / 63
Doug Meek // Shutterstock

#12. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 678 miles
- Driving time: 12.5 hours
- Date founded: May 14, 1930
- 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 46,766.45 acres
13 / 63
Sopotnicki // Shutterstock

#13. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 703 miles
- Driving time: 13.9 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1906
- 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 52,485.17 acres
14 / 63
ShuPhoto // Shutterstock

#14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 708 miles
- Driving time: 13.6 hours
- Date founded: October 15, 1966
- 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 86,367.10 acres
15 / 63
Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 714 miles
- Driving time: 13.1 hours
- Date founded: June 15, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 522,426.88 acres

You may also like: Highest-paying jobs in Topeka

16 / 63
MDuchek // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 723 miles
- Driving time: 14.8 hours
- Date founded: April 3, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 571,790.30 acres
17 / 63
Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#17. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 723 miles
- Driving time: 13.0 hours
- Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
- 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 146,344.31 acres
18 / 63
Manamana // Shutterstock

#18. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 742 miles
- Driving time: 12.8 hours
- Date founded: November 12, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 76,678.98 acres
19 / 63
Manamana // Shutterstock

#19. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 766 miles
- Driving time: 20.0 hours
- Date founded: September 12, 1964
- 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 337,597.83 acres
20 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#20. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 769 miles
- Driving time: 12.9 hours
- Date founded: October 11, 2000
- 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 32,571.88 acres

You may also like: Lowest-paying jobs in Topeka

21 / 63
Eric Foltz // Shutterstock

#21. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 798 miles
- Driving time: 15.3 hours
- Date founded: June 12, 1944
- 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 801,163.21 acres
22 / 63
Steve Heap // Shutterstock

#22. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

- Distance: 799 miles
- Driving time: 13.5 hours
- Date founded: December 27, 2020
- 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,021 acres
23 / 63
Felix Lipov // Shutterstock

#23. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 819 miles
- Driving time: 14.1 hours
- Date founded: December 9, 1962
- 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 221,390.21 acres
24 / 63
Layne V. Naylor // Shutterstock

#24. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 833 miles
- Driving time: 14.4 hours
- Date founded: December 18, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 241,904.50 acres
25 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#25. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 842 miles
- Driving time: 15.2 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1929
- 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 310,044.36 acres

You may also like: Cities with the most expensive homes in Topeka metro area

26 / 63
Lane V. Erickson // Shutterstock

#26. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

- Distance: 848 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
27 / 63
ronnybas frimages // Shutterstock

#27. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 895 miles
- Driving time: 16.5 hours
- Date founded: February 25, 1928
- 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 35,835.08 acres
28 / 63
Jtmartin57 // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 911 miles
- Driving time: 17.2 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 2003
- 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,476.47 acres
29 / 63
Josemaria Toscano // Shutterstock

#29. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 919 miles
- Driving time: 17.7 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres
30 / 63
Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#30. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 941 miles
- Driving time: 17.1 hours
- Date founded: December 26, 1935
- 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 199,223.77 acres

You may also like: Highest paying jobs in Topeka that require a bachelor's degree

31 / 63
Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#31. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 945 miles
- Driving time: 17.0 hours
- Date founded: November 19, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 147,242.66 acres
32 / 63
kojihirano // Shutterstock

#32. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 949 miles
- Driving time: 17.9 hours
- Date founded: October 14, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 92,867.42 acres
33 / 63
Arlene Waller // Shutterstock

#33. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 994 miles
- Driving time: 17.0 hours
- Date founded: October 27, 1986
- 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 77,180.00 acres
34 / 63
Pung // Shutterstock

#34. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 1,126 miles
- Date founded: May 11, 1910
- 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres
35 / 63
Bryan Brazil // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 1,166 miles
- Driving time: 20.2 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres

You may also like: People from these metros are finding new jobs in Topeka

36 / 63
Dennis Silvas // Shutterstock

#36. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,174 miles
- Driving time: 21.4 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 795,155.85 acres
37 / 63
U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,248 miles
- Driving time: 26.3 hours
- Date founded: October 26, 1992
- 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 64,701.22 acres
38 / 63
Patrick Poendl // Shutterstock

#38. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,249 miles
- Driving time: 28.1 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 461,901.20 acres
39 / 63
Virrage Images // Shutterstock

#39. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,262 miles
- Driving time: 26.9 hours
- Date founded: September 25, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 404,062.63 acres
40 / 63
Simon Dannhauer // Shutterstock

#40. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,282 miles
- Driving time: 24.4 hours
- Date founded: May 30, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres

You may also like: Cities with the fastest growing home prices in Topeka metro area

41 / 63
Stephen Moehle // Shutterstock

#41. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,285 miles
- Driving time: 27.0 hours
- Date founded: October 1, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 761,747.50 acres
42 / 63
NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,299 miles
- Driving time: 23.4 hours
- Date founded: June 28, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 172,971.11 acres
43 / 63
Ethan Daniels // Shutterstock

#43. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,355 miles
- Date founded: March 5, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 249,561.00 acres
44 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#44. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,368 miles
- Driving time: 24.8 hours
- Date founded: August 9, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 106,589.02 acres
45 / 63
Yhelfman // Shutterstock

#45. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,395 miles
- Driving time: 25.5 hours
- Date founded: January 10, 2013
- 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,685.73 acres

You may also like: Highest-earning zip codes in Topeka metro area

46 / 63
Hank Shiffman // Shutterstock

#46. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 1,395 miles
- Driving time: 25.9 hours
- Date founded: May 22, 1902
- 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 183,224.05 acres
47 / 63
Diane Fetzner // Shutterstock

#47. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,414 miles
- Driving time: 25.9 hours
- Date founded: March 2, 1899
- 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 236,381.64 acres
48 / 63
National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#48. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,424 miles
- Driving time: 28.6 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 504,780.94 acres
49 / 63
Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#49. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 1,466 miles
- Driving time: 27.5 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 49,076.63 acres
50 / 63
Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#50. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,494 miles
- Driving time: 29.3 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 138,999.37 acres

You may also like: Highest paying jobs that require a 2 year degree in Topeka

51 / 63
f11photo // Shutterstock

#51. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,511 miles
- Driving time: 29.0 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1938
- 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 922,649.41 acres
52 / 63
Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#52. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,257 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres
53 / 63
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 2,345 miles
- Date founded: August 2, 1956
- 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,052.53 acres
54 / 63
Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 2,475 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 16,655 (#57 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,323,146.48 acres
55 / 63
National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,716 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 669,650.05 acres
56 / 63
Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,780 miles
- Date founded: February 26, 1917
- 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres
57 / 63
Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,852 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres
58 / 63
Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,898 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres
59 / 63
National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 2,921 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres
60 / 63
LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,074 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres
61 / 63
jo Crebbin // Shutterstock

#61. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 3,764 miles
- Date founded: August 1, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 325,605.28 acres
62 / 63
MH Anderson Photography // Shutterstock

#62. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 3,764 miles
- Date founded: July 1, 1961
- 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,264.62 acres
63 / 63
Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 6,050 miles
- Date founded: October 31, 1988
- 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,256.67 acres

Trending Now