Ever since the first national park was established in the United States, they've been a getaway for relaxation and adventure for humans, and a safe haven for wildlife. Take a journey through America's national parks.
A scenic view in Acadia National Park in Maine. Head west through the rest of this gallery to see the highlights of America's national parks.
Springtime in Virginia: Skyline Drive twists along the mountain ridgeline in Shenandoah National Park. Cruise down the Appalachian Mountains to the Smokies next.
Sunrise peeks over Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
Cades Cove is an old farmstead lying in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The next stop is the tip of Florida.
Everglades National Park in Florida is the third largest in the country and an important biological resource. The characteristic swamps, marshes and lakes are home to 14 endangered species, many wading birds and the famous alligators.
You might not think of Ohio when you think of wilderness, but it has some treasures like Blue Hen Falls. It cascades in a forest in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.
A park ranger gives a cave tour to boy scouts in Booth's Amphitheater in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. Head north to the Minnesota for the next park.
A paddler takes his canoe out at sunrise in Voyageur's National Park in Minnesota. The next photo shows a much drier landscape.
Badlands National Park in South Dakota is known for the strange rock formations and bleak landscape. See another desert scene in the next photo.
The sun sets in Big Bend National Park in Texas, casting its fading light on an agave plant with the Chisos Mountains in background. The next few photos are up in Colorado.
Colorado's Longs Peak is the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.
A visitor stands on a sand dune in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Head north to Wyoming for the next parks.
The Moulton barn is one of the most-photographed sites in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
The Teton mountain range rises above the Snake River and an aspen grove in this photo. The Teton-Yellowstone ecosystem is one of the wildest in the lower 48. See Yellowstone next.
These bison drink and graze near a river in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Old Faithful, a geyser in Yellowstone National Park, is one of the park's most popular attractions because of its regular, large eruptions. The next stop is at the U.S.-Canada border.
St. Mary's Lake lies in a scooped-out glacial valley characteristic of Glacier National Park, which stretches across the border from Montana into Canada. The highlights in Utah are next.
This hiker takes a breather at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah. The next photos show some of the West's dramatic canyons up close.
A tree stretches up from the canyon floor in Bryce Canyon National Park.
A man stops to take a photograph in Zion Narrows, part of Zion National Park in Utah. See the most famous canyon of them all in the next photos.
The Colorado River courses through Grand Canyon at sunrise seen from Toroweap Overlook, over 3000 feet above the Colorado River. See what it's like down on the river in the next photo.
A guide and two boys brave the Colorado River rapids in a dory in Grand Canyon National Park. It's easy to get wet here, but not in Death Valley. Take a look in the next photo.
A group of tourists explores the salt flats in Death Valley National Park in California. See another desert landscape in the following image.
Joshua trees and wildflower meadows are typical of Joshua Tree National Park in California. California's most popular park is Yosemite, which you can see in the next few photos.
Half Dome as seen from Sentinal Dome in Yosemite National Park.
A rainbow mingles with the cascading waters of Bridal Veil Falls during the spring runoff -- just one of the splendors of Yosemite National Park in California. Head north for the next national park in California.
A family rides through the redwoods in Redwood National Park, California. The next park is over the state line in Oregon.
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon was formed as water pooled in the crater left by a volcano's eruption. See another park volcano in the next photo.
Mount Rainier looms over flower-filled meadows in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The next stop is across the ocean.
Tourists are silhouetted by flames as lava burns during an eruption of Kilauea in Volcanoes National Park. The last stop in the national park tour is in Alaska.
This aerial view in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park shows Russell Glacier snaking between 15,638 foot Mount Churchill and 16,421 foot Mount Bona in Alaska.
Kayakers brave the chilly waters in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. See some of America's most forbidding wilderness in the next photos.
This is one of the six designated Wild and Scenic Rivers within the enormous Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
A pair of caribou antlers frames a twinkling midnight sun in Alaska's Gates of the Arctic National Park. Learn more about How National Parks Work.