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 Huntsville. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Huntsville, AL 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.

#1. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

– Distance: 169 miles
– Driving time: 3.2 hours
– Date founded: July 1, 1941
– 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 54,011.91 acres

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

– Distance: 192 miles
– Driving time: 4.5 hours
– Date founded: June 15, 1934
– 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 522,426.88 acres

#3. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

– Distance: 327 miles
– Driving time: 6.3 hours
– Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
– 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 192.83 acres

#4. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

– Distance: 348 miles
– Driving time: 7.5 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 2003
– 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 26,476.47 acres

#5. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

– Distance: 360 miles
– Driving time: 6.5 hours
– Date founded: March 4, 1921
– 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 5,554.15 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated Chinese restaurants in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

#6. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

– Distance: 388 miles
– Driving time: 7.7 hours
– Date founded: December 27, 2020
– 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 7,021 acres

#7. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

– Distance: 474 miles
– Driving time: 8.6 hours
– Date founded: February 15, 2019
– 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 15,349.08 acres

#8. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

– Distance: 527 miles
– Driving time: 9.3 hours
– Date founded: October 11, 2000
– 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 32,571.88 acres

#9. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

– Distance: 532 miles
– Driving time: 9.9 hours
– Date founded: December 26, 1935
– 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 199,223.77 acres

#10. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 737 miles
– Driving time: 16.8 hours
– Date founded: October 26, 1992
– 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 64,701.22 acres

You may also like: Highest paying jobs in Huntsville that require a bachelor’s degree

#11. Everglades National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 738 miles
– Driving time: 14.7 hours
– Date founded: May 30, 1934
– 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres

#12. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 744 miles
– Driving time: 13.8 hours
– Date founded: June 28, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 172,971.11 acres

#13. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

– Distance: 924 miles
– Driving time: 17.3 hours
– Date founded: April 3, 1940
– 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 571,790.30 acres

#14. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

– Distance: 998 miles
– Driving time: 18.4 hours
– Date founded: April 8, 1975
– 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 218,222.35 acres

#15. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

– Distance: 1,037 miles
– Driving time: 18.0 hours
– Date founded: May 14, 1930
– 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 46,766.45 acres

You may also like: Dogs available for adoption in Huntsville

#16. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

– Distance: 1,040 miles
– Driving time: 20.9 hours
– Date founded: June 12, 1944
– 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 801,163.21 acres

#17. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

– Distance: 1,045 miles
– Driving time: 19.7 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 1978
– 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 242,755.94 acres

#18. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

– Distance: 1,066 miles
– Driving time: 19.1 hours
– Date founded: October 15, 1966
– 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 86,367.10 acres

#19. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,066 miles
– Driving time: 19.4 hours
– Date founded: September 24, 2004
– 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 107,341.87 acres

#20. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

– Distance: 1,081 miles
– Driving time: 20.8 hours
– Date founded: January 9, 1903
– 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 33,970.84 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated Asian restaurants in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

#21. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,102 miles
– Driving time: 19.8 hours
– Date founded: January 26, 1915
– 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 265,807.25 acres

#22. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

– Distance: 1,125 miles
– Driving time: 19.6 hours
– Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
– 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 146,344.31 acres

#23. Acadia National Park (Maine)

– Distance: 1,185 miles
– Driving time: 23.4 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 49,076.63 acres

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

– Distance: 1,192 miles
– Driving time: 23.2 hours
– Date founded: October 21, 1999
– 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 30,779.83 acres

#25. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

– Distance: 1,209 miles
– Driving time: 23.0 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 1978
– 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 70,446.89 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated things to do in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

#26. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,228 miles
– Driving time: 22.6 hours
– Date founded: June 29, 1906
– 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 52,485.17 acres

#27. Arches National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,292 miles
– Driving time: 24.0 hours
– Date founded: November 12, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 76,678.98 acres

#28. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 1,306 miles
– Driving time: 20.8 hours
– Date founded: December 9, 1962
– 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 221,390.21 acres

#29. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,309 miles
– Driving time: 29.2 hours
– Date founded: September 12, 1964
– 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 337,597.83 acres

#30. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,377 miles
– Driving time: 25.6 hours
– Date founded: December 18, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 241,904.50 acres

You may also like: Highest-paying jobs in Huntsville that don’t require a college degree

#31. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 1,380 miles
– Driving time: 24.0 hours
– Date founded: October 14, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 92,867.42 acres

#32. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

– Distance: 1,424 miles
– Driving time: 25.8 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1929
– 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 310,044.36 acres

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

– Distance: 1,429 miles
– Driving time: 26.8 hours
– Date founded: March 1, 1872
– 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres

#34. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,431 miles
– Driving time: 27.6 hours
– Date founded: February 25, 1928
– 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 35,835.08 acres

#35. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 1,432 miles
– Driving time: 24.4 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated cheap eats in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

#36. Zion National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,479 miles
– Driving time: 27.9 hours
– Date founded: November 19, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 147,242.66 acres

#37. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

– Distance: 1,548 miles
– Driving time: 28.2 hours
– Date founded: October 27, 1986
– 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 77,180.00 acres

#38. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,664 miles
– Driving time: 28.1 hours
– Date founded: October 31, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 795,155.85 acres

#39. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

– Distance: 1,692 miles
– Driving time: 28.6 hours
– Date founded: October 31, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres

#40. Glacier National Park (Montana)

– Distance: 1,694 miles
– Date founded: May 11, 1910
– 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated restaurants in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

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

– Distance: 1,764 miles
– Date founded: August 2, 1956
– 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 15,052.53 acres

#42. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,784 miles
– Driving time: 35.2 hours
– Date founded: March 4, 1940
– 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 461,901.20 acres

#43. Sequoia National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,794 miles
– Driving time: 34.2 hours
– Date founded: September 25, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 404,062.63 acres

#44. Yosemite National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,831 miles
– Driving time: 34.2 hours
– Date founded: October 1, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 761,747.50 acres

#45. Channel Islands National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,860 miles
– Date founded: March 5, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 249,561.00 acres

You may also like: Highest-rated fine dining restaurants in Huntsville, according to Tripadvisor

#46. Pinnacles National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,931 miles
– Driving time: 32.8 hours
– Date founded: January 10, 2013
– 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 26,685.73 acres

#47. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

– Distance: 1,934 miles
– Driving time: 35.6 hours
– Date founded: August 9, 1916
– 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 106,589.02 acres

#48. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

– Distance: 1,972 miles
– Driving time: 36.4 hours
– Date founded: May 22, 1902
– 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 183,224.05 acres

#49. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 1,994 miles
– Driving time: 36.4 hours
– Date founded: March 2, 1899
– 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 236,381.64 acres

#50. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 2,000 miles
– Driving time: 39.1 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 504,780.94 acres

You may also like: Metros sending the most people to Huntsville

#51. Redwood National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,065 miles
– Driving time: 40.0 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 138,999.37 acres

#52. Olympic National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 2,091 miles
– Driving time: 39.7 hours
– Date founded: June 29, 1938
– 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 922,649.41 acres

#53. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 2,801 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres

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

– Distance: 3,008 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 16,655 (#57 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 8,323,146.48 acres

#55. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,259 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 669,650.05 acres

#56. Denali National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,304 miles
– Date founded: February 26, 1917
– 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres

#57. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,390 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres

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

– Distance: 3,415 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres

#59. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,449 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres

#60. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,571 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres

#61. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

– Distance: 4,271 miles
– Date founded: August 1, 1916
– 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 325,605.28 acres

#62. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

– Distance: 4,281 miles
– Date founded: July 1, 1961
– 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 33,264.62 acres

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

– Distance: 6,440 miles
– Date founded: October 31, 1988
– 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 8,256.67 acres