Travel By Numbers: US national parks

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

As a week celebrating America's protected landscapes begins, Ben Ross adds up the appeal


The percentage of the US surface area that is designated as national park. The 58 parks range in size from Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, which is two-and-a-half times the size of Wales, to Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania, an 80 sq m plot commemorating the life of the Polish patriot and hero of the American Revolution. All are operated by the National Parks Service, which is running National Parks Week from today until 25 April.


The amount of rain in inches that falls annually on the foothills of the Olympic National Park, Washinton, making this the wettest place in mainland North America. The park also contains 73km of coastline for visitors to make a splash in. AT Kayaking offers half-day mountain biking or kayaking tours of the park from $75 (£50) per person.


The distance in miles travelled each day by the vast, slow-moving body of water that runs south west from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. The marshland and mangroves of Florida's Everglades National Park is the result, providing habitats for alligators, manatee and vast numbers of wading birds. Virgin Holidays offers week-long fly-drive packages to Orlando for around £540 per person in May.


The number of people who enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, making it the most visited national park in the US. The park lies on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, and the 3,500 mile Appalachian Trail (one of the great US long-distance hikes) passes through it.


The depth below sea level in feet of Death Valley, which forms part of one of nine national parks in California, and is the lowest point in the US. Summer temperatures are also extreme: the highest temperature in the western hemisphere (56.7C) was recorded here at Furnace Creek. The luxury Furnace Creek Resort operates year round, with a pool to keep you cool. Cabin rooms from $128 (£86) in the heat of the low season (May-Oct).


The average height in feet of the eruptions of water from Old Faithful Geyser, which lets off steam every 65-90 minutes in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the first US national park. Visitors can stay at the Old Faithful Inn (open May-October), part of the "Old Faithful Historic District" which includes the geyser. Doubles from $96 (£64) per night.

20, 320

The height in feet of Mount McKinley, which lies within Denali National Park, Alaska. The highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley can be seen (though not climbed) during Exodus's 16-day small-group "Alaskan Hike" trip, which costs from £2,649 per person. The next departure is 10 July.


The volume in cubic feet of "Grizzly Giant", the 25th-largest giant sequoia tree in the world and the oldest tree in Yosemite National Park, California. The park is also known for its dramatic scenery, waterfalls and population of black bears. Extranomical Adventures offers two-day Yosemite tours from San Franscisco from $210 (140) per person, including bus transport and overnight accommodation.


The age of Theodore Roosevelt when he died in 1919. The 26th US president had a lifelong interest in nature, and is commemorated in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands of North Dakota, an area Roosevelt described as being "so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in colour as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth." The park is divided into two main areas approximately 70 miles apart, with the remains of Roosevelt's own Elkhorn Ranch between them.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
    Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

    Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

    Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

    Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

    Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

    In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)