The National Park Service turns 100 tomorrow (Aug. 25. 2016), and the old girl is as beautiful as ever! Today, she is responsible for the protection of over 84 million acres of land comprised of 410 sites.
To celebrate a century of preservation and service, here is a list of some of the remarkable things you can find in national parks:
National parks contain:
- At least 247 species of threatened or endangered plants and animals.
- More than 75,000 archeological sites.
- Nearly 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures.
- More than 167 million museum items, including George Washington’s inaugural coat and Carl Sandburg’s typewriter.
- 18,000 miles of trails.
- The world’s largest carnivore, the Alaskan brown bear.
- The world’s largest living things, Giant Sequoia trees.
- The highest point in North America, Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet), in Denali National Park.
- The longest cave system known to the world, Mammoth Cave National Park, with more than 400 mapped miles of caves.
- America’s deepest lake, Crater Lake in Crater Lake National Park, at 1,943 feet.
- The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, at 282’ below sea level.
— via the National Park Service
Inspired to join the celebration? #FindYourPark! The service is hosting a number of special events and offering free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28.
What are your favorite national parks? Which ones are on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments!