Closest national parks to New York City

Written by:
July 13, 2022
Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

Closest national parks to New York City

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 New York City. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 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. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 284 miles
- Driving time: 5.9 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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Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#2. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 380 miles
- Driving time: 8.2 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 402 miles
- Driving time: 7.1 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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#4. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

- Distance: 428 miles
- Driving time: 8.5 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

#5. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 614 miles
- Driving time: 12.1 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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Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 631 miles
- Driving time: 11.6 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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Delmas Lehman // Shutterstock

#7. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 689 miles
- Driving time: 11.7 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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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#8. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 703 miles
- Driving time: 13.2 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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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 881 miles
- Driving time: 15.0 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

#10. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 882 miles
- Driving time: 19.2 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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#11. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 1,074 miles
- Driving time: 22.2 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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NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,102 miles
- Driving time: 20.3 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#13. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 1,134 miles
- Driving time: 20.0 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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#14. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,140 miles
- Driving time: 21.3 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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U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,228 miles
- Driving time: 23.2 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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#16. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,474 miles
- Driving time: 25.0 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#17. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,524 miles
- Driving time: 26.3 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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#18. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 1,528 miles
- Driving time: 27.0 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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#19. Virgin Islands National Park (U.S. Virgin Islands)

- Distance: 1,639 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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#20. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,659 miles
- Driving time: 27.2 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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#21. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,700 miles
- Driving time: 29.8 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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#22. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,792 miles
- Driving time: 30.5 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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#23. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,800 miles
- Driving time: 31.2 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. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,822 miles
- Driving time: 31.6 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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#25. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,834 miles
- Driving time: 33.8 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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Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#26. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,862 miles
- Driving time: 31.3 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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#27. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

- Distance: 1,868 miles
- Driving time: 32.9 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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#28. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,868 miles
- Driving time: 33.4 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#29. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 1,889 miles
- Driving time: 32.4 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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#30. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,894 miles
- Driving time: 31.8 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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#31. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,922 miles
- Driving time: 38.8 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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#32. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 1,986 miles
- Driving time: 32.9 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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#33. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,987 miles
- Driving time: 33.3 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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#34. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 2,024 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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#35. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 2,052 miles
- Driving time: 35.3 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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#36. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 2,085 miles
- Driving time: 36.1 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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#37. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 2,104 miles
- Driving time: 35.8 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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#38. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 2,105 miles
- Driving time: 36.3 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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#39. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 2,133 miles
- Driving time: 35.9 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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#40. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

- Distance: 2,325 miles
- Driving time: 39.1 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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#41. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,342 miles
- Driving time: 39.8 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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National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#42. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,353 miles
- Driving time: 44.3 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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#43. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,392 miles
- Driving time: 42.5 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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#44. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,401 miles
- Driving time: 46.9 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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#45. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,417 miles
- Driving time: 45.7 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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#46. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,426 miles
- Driving time: 44.9 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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#47. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 2,458 miles
- Driving time: 43.2 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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#48. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,463 miles
- Driving time: 44.8 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#49. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,473 miles
- Driving time: 41.8 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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Ethan Daniels // Shutterstock

#50. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,520 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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Yhelfman // Shutterstock

#51. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,545 miles
- Driving time: 44.3 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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Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#52. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,582 miles
- Driving time: 46.7 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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Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#53. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,953 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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Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 3,112 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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Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,362 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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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,382 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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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 3,388 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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Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,490 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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LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#59. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,546 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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Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,591 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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MH Anderson Photography // Shutterstock

#61. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,912 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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jo Crebbin // Shutterstock

#62. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,918 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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Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 7,208 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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