Closest national parks to Harrisburg

Written by:
July 13, 2022
Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

Closest national parks to Harrisburg

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 Harrisburg. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Harrisburg-Carlisle, 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.

You may also like: Highest paying jobs in Harrisburg that require a graduate degree

1 / 63
Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#1. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 143 miles
- Driving time: 3.3 hours
- Date founded: December 26, 1935
- 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 199,223.77 acres
2 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 244 miles
- Driving time: 4.9 hours
- Date founded: October 11, 2000
- 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 32,571.88 acres
3 / 63
Steve Heap // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 267 miles
- Driving time: 5.5 hours
- Date founded: December 27, 2020
- 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,021 acres
4 / 63
Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 477 miles
- Driving time: 8.5 hours
- Date founded: June 15, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 522,426.88 acres
5 / 63
Jtmartin57 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 497 miles
- Driving time: 9.6 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 2003
- 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,476.47 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated cheap eats in Harrisburg, according to Tripadvisor

6 / 63
Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#6. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 530 miles
- Driving time: 11.4 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 49,076.63 acres
7 / 63
Delmas Lehman // Shutterstock

#7. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 530 miles
- Driving time: 9.5 hours
- Date founded: February 15, 2019
- 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,349.08 acres
8 / 63
Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#8. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 535 miles
- Driving time: 10.2 hours
- Date founded: July 1, 1941
- 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 54,011.91 acres
9 / 63
Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 712 miles
- Driving time: 12.2 hours
- Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
- 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 192.83 acres
10 / 63
MDuchek // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 782 miles
- Driving time: 17.1 hours
- Date founded: April 3, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 571,790.30 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated breakfast restaurants in Harrisburg, according to Tripadvisor

11 / 63
BlueBarronPhoto // Shutterstock

#11. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 962 miles
- Driving time: 20.2 hours
- Date founded: April 8, 1975
- 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 218,222.35 acres
12 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#12. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 965 miles
- Driving time: 16.8 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1921
- 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 5,554.15 acres
13 / 63
NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,027 miles
- Driving time: 18.5 hours
- Date founded: June 28, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 172,971.11 acres
14 / 63
Simon Dannhauer // Shutterstock

#14. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,059 miles
- Driving time: 19.6 hours
- Date founded: May 30, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres
15 / 63
U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,134 miles
- Driving time: 21.5 hours
- Date founded: October 26, 1992
- 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 64,701.22 acres

You may also like: Biggest sources of immigrants to Harrisburg

16 / 63
Matt Ragen // Shutterstock

#16. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,325 miles
- Driving time: 22.9 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 242,755.94 acres
17 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#17. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,374 miles
- Driving time: 24.3 hours
- Date founded: January 9, 1903
- 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,970.84 acres
18 / 63
Laurens Hoddenbagh // Shutterstock

#18. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 1,392 miles
- Driving time: 24.8 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 70,446.89 acres
19 / 63
Anna Krivitskaya // Shutterstock

#19. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,499 miles
- Driving time: 25.1 hours
- Date founded: January 26, 1915
- 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 265,807.25 acres
20 / 63
Kris Wiktor // Shutterstock

#20. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,535 miles
- Driving time: 26.8 hours
- Date founded: September 24, 2004
- 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 107,341.87 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated dessert shops in Harrisburg, according to Tripadvisor

21 / 63
Doug Meek // Shutterstock

#21. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,622 miles
- Driving time: 27.9 hours
- Date founded: May 14, 1930
- 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 46,766.45 acres
22 / 63
SL-Photography // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 1,637 miles
- Driving time: 29.0 hours
- Date founded: October 21, 1999
- 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 30,779.83 acres
23 / 63
ShuPhoto // Shutterstock

#23. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,652 miles
- Driving time: 29.0 hours
- Date founded: October 15, 1966
- 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 86,367.10 acres
24 / 63
Eric Foltz // Shutterstock

#24. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,666 miles
- Driving time: 30.8 hours
- Date founded: June 12, 1944
- 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 801,163.21 acres
25 / 63
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 1,684 miles
- Date founded: August 2, 1956
- 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,052.53 acres

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

26 / 63
Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#26. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,693 miles
- Driving time: 28.7 hours
- Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
- 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 146,344.31 acres
27 / 63
Sopotnicki // Shutterstock

#27. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,703 miles
- Driving time: 30.6 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1906
- 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 52,485.17 acres
28 / 63
Lane V. Erickson // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 1,722 miles
- Driving time: 31.2 hours
- Date founded: March 1, 1872
- 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres
29 / 63
Manamana // Shutterstock

#29. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,732 miles
- Driving time: 29.7 hours
- Date founded: November 12, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 76,678.98 acres
30 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#30. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 1,740 miles
- Driving time: 30.2 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: Highest-rated Mexican restaurants in Harrisburg, according to Tripadvisor

31 / 63
Manamana // Shutterstock

#31. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,759 miles
- Driving time: 36.7 hours
- Date founded: September 12, 1964
- 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 337,597.83 acres
32 / 63
Felix Lipov // Shutterstock

#32. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 1,819 miles
- Driving time: 29.9 hours
- Date founded: December 9, 1962
- 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 221,390.21 acres
33 / 63
Layne V. Naylor // Shutterstock

#33. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,824 miles
- Driving time: 31.2 hours
- Date founded: December 18, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 241,904.50 acres
34 / 63
ronnybas frimages // Shutterstock

#34. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,889 miles
- Driving time: 33.1 hours
- Date founded: February 25, 1928
- 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 35,835.08 acres
35 / 63
Pung // Shutterstock

#35. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 1,894 miles
- Date founded: May 11, 1910
- 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres

You may also like: Lowest-paying jobs in Harrisburg

36 / 63
Josemaria Toscano // Shutterstock

#36. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 1,920 miles
- Driving time: 33.4 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres
37 / 63
kojihirano // Shutterstock

#37. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 1,936 miles
- Driving time: 33.6 hours
- Date founded: October 14, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 92,867.42 acres
38 / 63
Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#38. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,941 miles
- Driving time: 33.7 hours
- Date founded: November 19, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 147,242.66 acres
39 / 63
Arlene Waller // Shutterstock

#39. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 1,974 miles
- Driving time: 33.7 hours
- Date founded: October 27, 1986
- 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 77,180.00 acres
40 / 63
Bryan Brazil // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 2,162 miles
- Driving time: 36.9 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: Highest paying jobs in Harrisburg for high school graduates

41 / 63
Dennis Silvas // Shutterstock

#41. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,176 miles
- Driving time: 37.1 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 795,155.85 acres
42 / 63
National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#42. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,223 miles
- Driving time: 42.0 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 504,780.94 acres
43 / 63
Patrick Poendl // Shutterstock

#43. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,240 miles
- Driving time: 44.7 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 461,901.20 acres
44 / 63
Virrage Images // Shutterstock

#44. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,255 miles
- Driving time: 43.4 hours
- Date founded: September 25, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 404,062.63 acres
45 / 63
Diane Fetzner // Shutterstock

#45. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,256 miles
- Driving time: 40.7 hours
- Date founded: March 2, 1899
- 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 236,381.64 acres

You may also like: Most common jobs in Harrisburg

46 / 63
Stephen Moehle // Shutterstock

#46. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,267 miles
- Driving time: 42.6 hours
- Date founded: October 1, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 761,747.50 acres
47 / 63
Hank Shiffman // Shutterstock

#47. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 2,311 miles
- Driving time: 41.0 hours
- Date founded: May 22, 1902
- 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 183,224.05 acres
48 / 63
Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#48. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,319 miles
- Driving time: 39.6 hours
- Date founded: August 9, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 106,589.02 acres
49 / 63
f11photo // Shutterstock

#49. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,331 miles
- Driving time: 42.7 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1938
- 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 922,649.41 acres
50 / 63
Ethan Daniels // Shutterstock

#50. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,355 miles
- Date founded: March 5, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 249,561.00 acres

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

51 / 63
Yhelfman // Shutterstock

#51. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,384 miles
- Driving time: 42.1 hours
- Date founded: January 10, 2013
- 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,685.73 acres
52 / 63
Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#52. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,432 miles
- Driving time: 44.5 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 138,999.37 acres
53 / 63
Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#53. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,860 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres
54 / 63
Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 3,029 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
Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,289 miles
- Date founded: February 26, 1917
- 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres
56 / 63
National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,297 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 669,650.05 acres
57 / 63
National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 3,332 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres
58 / 63
Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,410 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres
59 / 63
LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#59. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,490 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres
60 / 63
Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,504 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres
61 / 63
MH Anderson Photography // Shutterstock

#61. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,753 miles
- Date founded: July 1, 1961
- 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,264.62 acres
62 / 63
jo Crebbin // Shutterstock

#62. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,757 miles
- Date founded: August 1, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 325,605.28 acres
63 / 63
Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 7,039 miles
- Date founded: October 31, 1988
- 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,256.67 acres

Trending Now