America’s ‘best idea’ turns 100

The U.S. national park system has been called “America’s best idea” because it represents the first decision by any nation to conserve land in this way — both for the enjoyment of the public and for its own sake.

There are 59 designated national parks that boast everything from coral reefs and alpine peaks to salt flats and rain forests. They’re managed by the National Park Service, which was created on August 25, 1916. To celebrate its 100th birthday, the service is inviting you to Find Your Park.

Wondering which parks are the most popular? Here are the top 10 by number of visitors:

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

2. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

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3. Yosemite National Park (California)

4. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

5. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

6. Olympic National Park (Washington)

7. Zion National Park (Utah)

8. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

9. Acadia National Park (Maine)

10. Glacier National Park (Montana)

Ready to plan your trip and visit one of America’s iconic national parks? Check out “Travel to the U.S.” to learn about all 50 states.