If you’re planning a road trip out west to visit the national parks, you probably want to see Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion. Other popular destinations include Arches, Joshua Tree and Grand Tetons. But don’t sleep in Oregon’s national parks.
From Crater Lake to Lewis and Clark to Nez Perce, Oregon has nearly a dozen sites worth seeing. Dive in and learn more!
A wilderness area may be given national park status for a variety of reasons. These include its historical or scientific significance or its scenery, wildlife, and ecosystems.
Most plants and animals in a national park are protected, and the landscape is preserved in its natural state.
How many national parks are there?
There are 63 national parks in the United States, spread across the country from California to Maine and also including protected areas in Alaska and Hawaii. California and Alaska have the most national parks, with eight each.
The National Park Service manages more than just national parks, however. Across the country, there are over 424 individual units with varying designations. They cover over 85 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
These parks range from national battlefields to monuments to seashores. The NPS has about 19 name designations outside the national park system.
How many national parks are there in Oregon?
Oregon has 10 protected areas under the National Park System, but only one national park, Crater Lake. However, others have different designations. Many of these areas are protected by the federal government for their historic value.
In addition to Crater Lake National Park, there are four historic and geologic trails in Oregon: California National Historic Trail, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Oregon National Historic Trail, and Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
You can also visit three historic parks and sites: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and Nez Perce National Historical Park.
Or go exploring at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve.