Closest national parks to Midland

Written by:
June 12, 2022
Felix Lipov // Shutterstock

Closest national parks to Midland

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 Midland. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Midland, TX 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. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 143 miles
- Driving time: 3.6 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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ShuPhoto // Shutterstock

#2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 169 miles
- Driving time: 4.7 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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Eric Foltz // Shutterstock

#3. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 210 miles
- Driving time: 5.5 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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Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#4. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 249 miles
- Driving time: 6.0 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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Kris Wiktor // Shutterstock

#5. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 437 miles
- Driving time: 9.2 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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Felix Lipov // Shutterstock

#6. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 494 miles
- Driving time: 10.1 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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kojihirano // Shutterstock

#7. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 498 miles
- Driving time: 9.3 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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Sopotnicki // Shutterstock

#8. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 510 miles
- Driving time: 11.9 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

#9. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 544 miles
- Driving time: 9.1 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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SL-Photography // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 551 miles
- Driving time: 12.9 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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Anna Krivitskaya // Shutterstock

#11. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 607 miles
- Driving time: 11.8 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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#12. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 615 miles
- Driving time: 18.6 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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#13. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 623 miles
- Driving time: 13.8 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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Josemaria Toscano // Shutterstock

#14. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 642 miles
- Driving time: 13.2 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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Layne V. Naylor // Shutterstock

#15. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 668 miles
- Driving time: 16.0 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. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 691 miles
- Driving time: 17.3 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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Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#17. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 724 miles
- Driving time: 17.3 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#18. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 796 miles
- Driving time: 15.1 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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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#19. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 804 miles
- Driving time: 13.5 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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#20. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 804 miles
- Driving time: 15.6 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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#21. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 816 miles
- Driving time: 14.4 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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#22. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 839 miles
- Driving time: 18.9 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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#23. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

- Distance: 895 miles
- Driving time: 17.9 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#24. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 935 miles
- Driving time: 18.4 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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#25. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 970 miles
- Driving time: 15.9 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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Lane V. Erickson // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 977 miles
- Driving time: 19.4 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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#27. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 998 miles
- Driving time: 23.6 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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#28. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 999 miles
- Driving time: 22.6 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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#29. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,019 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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#30. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 1,029 miles
- Driving time: 20.1 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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#31. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 1,056 miles
- Driving time: 18.8 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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Stephen Moehle // Shutterstock

#32. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,067 miles
- Driving time: 22.8 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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Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 1,088 miles
- Driving time: 18.4 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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#34. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,135 miles
- Driving time: 20.9 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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#35. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 1,228 miles
- Driving time: 22.1 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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#36. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,230 miles
- Driving time: 25.1 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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Jtmartin57 // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 1,236 miles
- Driving time: 20.2 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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#38. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

- Distance: 1,251 miles
- Driving time: 21.5 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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U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,271 miles
- Driving time: 27.6 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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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#40. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 1,294 miles
- Driving time: 22.4 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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MDuchek // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 1,310 miles
- Driving time: 24.8 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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Pung // Shutterstock

#42. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 1,311 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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#43. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 1,328 miles
- Driving time: 28.7 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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#44. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,358 miles
- Driving time: 25.8 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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Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#45. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 1,372 miles
- Driving time: 29.7 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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NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,398 miles
- Driving time: 24.7 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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#47. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 1,403 miles
- Driving time: 23.6 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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Diane Fetzner // Shutterstock

#48. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,459 miles
- Driving time: 28.8 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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National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#49. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,521 miles
- Driving time: 30.9 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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f11photo // Shutterstock

#50. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 1,571 miles
- Driving time: 32.4 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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Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#51. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 2,005 miles
- Driving time: 36.3 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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Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#52. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,445 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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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

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

- Distance: 2,503 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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Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 2,684 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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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 2,890 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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Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,002 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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Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,036 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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Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,045 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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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 3,196 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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LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,339 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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jo Crebbin // Shutterstock

#61. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 3,396 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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MH Anderson Photography // Shutterstock

#62. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 3,413 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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Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

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

- Distance: 5,547 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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