Highest Points: 20 U.S. National Parks by Elevation [40 PICS]

January 4th, 2012 Permalink

The United States has 58 national parks that are operated by the National Park Service. It takes an act of U.S. Congress to establish a national park and we frequently see these parks listed in some type of ordered list such as number of yearly visitors. This list of 20 parks is by elevation and includes the 20 highest points found among all of the gorgeous U.S. national parks. [40 Photos]

Down the valley towards Denali on this beautiful day, with the one park road winding its way

Denali National Park, Alaska, ranks as the #1 highest point of any U.S. national park. In this valley towards Denali, only the first 15 miles are paved even though the winding road is 92 miles long. Photo #1 by Nic McPhee

Reflections on Denali Mount McKinley, Alaska

Reflections on Denali’s Mount McKinley. This mountain is located in the Alaska Range. The peak of Mount McKinley has an elevation of 20,320 feet, giving it the #1 rating for the highest elevation point of all the national parks. Photo #2 by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire

blue glacial pool can be found at Wrangell -- St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

This blue glacial pool can be found at Wrangell — St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, which is the largest national park covering over 13 million acres. Wrangell-St. Elias includes an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only is it the largest national park in the United States, it is larger than nine U.S. states. It also has the second highest elevation of all national parks within the USA. Photo #3 by Nate Verhanovitz / NPS

Mount Saint Elias -- Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Within Wrangell — St. Elias National Park and Preserve is Mount Saint Elias which has a peak at an elevation of 18,008 feet, making it #2 on the list. It is the 2nd highest mountain in Canada and the USA. Photo #4 by David Sinson, NOAA, Office of Coast Survey

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

#3 is also located in Alaska. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is the 3rd tallest point within all U.S. National Parks. This photo shows a river of ice at Glacier Bay and the John Hopkins Glacier on a clear and sunny day. Photo #5 by NPS

Mount Fairweather -- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Although Mount Fairweather is located within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the mountain range is part of the Saint Elias Mountains — just like the #2 highest ranked elevation among America’s national parks. The elevation at Mount Fairweather’s peak is 15,300 feet, making it the 3rd highest point. Photo #6 by Emily Mount / NPS

Sequoia National Park

This is the Senate Grove of Giant Sequoias in Sequoia National Park, California, where everything seems super-sized &#8212 including the world’s largest trees. Sequoia National Park is ranked the 4th highest elevation within our parks. Photo #7 by Blkutter

Mount Whitney  -- Sequoia National Park

The peak of Sequoia National Park’s Mount Whitney reaches an elevation of 14,505 feet, scoring it at #4. Photo #8 by geographer

Mt. Rainier reflected in Reflection lake

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state has the 5th highest elevation of all U.S. parks. In this photo, Mt. Rainier is reflected in Reflection Lake. Photo #9 by Kelvin Kay

Autumn view of Mount Rainier from Paradise

Mount Rainier National Park #5: Autumn view of Mount Rainier from Paradise. The peak of Mount Rainier is 14,411 feet up. Photo #10 by Daniel Keebler / NPS

Rocky Mountain National Park view from Bierstadt Lake

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is spread out over Larimer, Grand and Boulder counties. The Continental Divide is located within this park as well as 359 miles of trails, 150 lakes and 450 miles of streams. The park contains over 60 named peaks higher than 12,000 feet, but Longs Peak ranks Rocky Mountain National Park as the 6th highest point within USA national parks. This is the view of Rocky Mountain National Park from Bierstadt Lake. Photo #11 by K.lee

Longs Peak -- Rocky Mountain National Park

Longs Peak has an elevation of 14,259 feet, making Rocky Mountain National Park #6. This is the east face of Longs Peak, including The Diamond, showing multiple climbing routes. Photo #12 by Pete Seel

Hiking in the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park

This is what it looks like if you were to take a hike in the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park, California. Kings Canyon has the 7th highest elevation among U.S. parks. Photo #13 by NPS

Palisades from Big Pine Lakes Fourth Lake

#7: The North Palisade peak at Kings Canyon stretches to an elevation of 14,242 feet. This is the Palisades as seen from Big Pine Lakes, the Fourth Lake. Photo #14 by Miguel Vieira

Grand Tetons National Park -- The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Tetons

This gorgeous setting is in the Grand Tetons National Park located in northwestern Wyoming. This is the John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Tetons. Photo #15 by Jon Sullivan, PD

New snow and reflection in String Lake and wooden bridge with Grand Teton in background

Grand Teton in the Teton Range has an elevation of 13,770 feet, ranking it the 8th highest point in a U.S. National Park. This photos shows new snow and the Grand Teton reflection in String Lake. Photo #16 by Kimberly Finch / NPS

Lava erupting from the Pu`u `O`o vent

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii has the 9th highest elevation. View at dusk of the young Pu’u ‘O’o cinder-and-spatter cone. The fantastic fountain on Kilauea is shooting up about 40 meters, over 131 feet, high. Photo #17 by G.E. Ulrich/USGS

Mauna Loa the is world’s most massive volcano with a peak at an elevation of 13,679 feet, making Hawaii Volcanoes National Park #9 on list. The dark areas are the volcano Mauna Loa as seen far above from the ISS. Photo #18 by NASA / ISS

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado is ranked 10th for highest elevation. Within this park are the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet from the floor of the San Luis Valley. Photo #19 by NPS / Patrick Myers

Tijeras Peak in background of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

#10 Tijeras Peak can be seen in the background of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Tijeras Peak has an elevation of 13,604 feet. Photo #20 by NPS / Patrick Myers

Yosemite National Park  -- Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada range of California covers an area of 761,268 acres. Yosemite comes in at #11 for highest point within U.S. national parks. This is Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View. The waterfalls in Yosemite are renowned for their moonbows, also called lunar rainbows. Photo #21 by chensiyuan

Yosemite National Park Mount Lyell

#11: With an elevation of 13,114 feet, Mount Lyell is the highest peak in Yosemite. The photographer noted, “The view looking east, to Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Little Yosemite Valley. Peak on the right horizon, almost 17 miles away, would be Mt. Lyell, at 13,114′ the highest in the park. On the left, Half Dome towers over all.” Photo #22 by Steve Dunleavy

Great Basin National Park

#12 is Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Besides being a playground for campers and backpacking adventurers, Great Basin is known for groves of ancient bristlecone pines and for the Lehman Caves at the base of Wheeler Peak. Photo #23 by Chris Wonderly / NPS

Wheeler Peak Great Basin National Park

Wheeler Peak is the highest point at Great Basin National Park, having an elevation of 13,065 feet and scoring the park a ranking of 12th. Photo #24 by Sarah Thomas / NPS

Yellowstone National Park -- Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park is spread out over three states, primarily located in Wyoming, yet also extending into Montana and Idaho. The sprawling park has the 13th highest point. This is Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone. Photo #25 by Sam Beebe

Eagle Peak -- Yellowstone National Park

#13 Eagle Peak, at an elevation of 11,358 feet, is the tallest spot in Yellowstone. Photo #26 by NPS

Vroom Vroom - Racetrack Playa

Death Valley National Park in Nevada is #14. Playa lakes are some the flattest landforms in the world and the moving, racing rocks are world famous. Vroom! Vroom! – Racetrack Playa. The National Park Service says this about the Racetrack, “Nestled in a remote valley between the Cottonwood and Last Chance Ranges, the Racetrack is a place of stunning beauty and mystery. The Racetrack is a playa–a dry lakebed–best known for it’s strange moving rocks. Although no one has actually seen the rocks move, the long meandering tracks left behind in the mud surface of the playa attest to their activity.” Photo #27 by Arno Gourdol

Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range, as viewed from Devil's Golfcourse in Death Valley, Death Valley National Park, California

Although most famous for its below sea level desert, Death Valley also has soaring mountains. Telescope Peak is the highest point in Death Valley and the 14th highest of all U.S. national parks. The peak was named by Dr. Samuel George in 1861. After climbing the 11,049 foot peak, Dr. George said that he could see so far that it reminded him of looking through a telescope. This is Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range, as viewed from Devil’s Golfcourse in Death Valley National Park, California. Photo #28 by Wilson44691

Glacier National Park -- St Mary Lake

#15 is Glacier National Park in Montana. It has over 1,000,000 acres, 130 named lakes and varied climates since the park spans the Continental Divide. This Glacier scene is St. Mary Lake. Photo #29 by Ken Thomas

Glacier National Park, Montana. Mount Cleveland and Stoney Indian Peaks

Within Glacier National Park is Mount Cleveland which has an elevation of 10,466 feet, bringing it in at the 15th highest point in a U.S. national park. Photo #30 by U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

One of the hydrothermal areas Lassen Volcanic National Park, in California. Cool water pool with algae near Bumpass Hell

#31: This is one of the hydrothermal areas in #16 Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. The cool water pool is mixed with algae near Lassen’s Bumpass Hell. Photo #31 by Russell Virgilio / NPS

Lassen Peak at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak, elevation 10,457 feet, gives Lassen Volcanic National Park the 16th highest elevation in our national parks. Photo #32 by Eric Baetscher

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve -- Upper Twin Lake

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska has volcanoes, glaciers, wild rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. This shows the turquoise waters of Upper Twin Lake. This park has the 17th highest elevation among all American parks. Photo #33 by NPS

Lake Clark National Park -- Mt. Redoubt's active lava dome

The highest point in Lake Clark National Park is 10,197 feet up on the active volcano Mt. Redoubt. Mount Redoubt has been active for millennia, having erupted five times since 1900: in 1902, 1922, 1966, 1989 and 2009. This shows Mount Redoubt’s active lava dome in 2009. Photo #34 by Chris Waythomas, the Alaska Volcano Observatory, and the US Geological Survey

The Oheo Pools at Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is located on the island of Maui, Hawaii. In Hawaiian, the name Haleakalā means “house of the sun.” This is the Oheo Pools. The park has the 18th highest elevation of national parks. While the park covers coastal areas with a sub-tropical rain forest, it also has volcanic landscapes. Photo #35 by Ted (bobosh_t)

Haleakala National Park

#18: This volcanic mountain summit is Haleakala; its peak is 10,023 feet up on Haleakala National Park. Photo #36 by Dave Townsend

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is located in Washington state and is the 19th highest point. Thornton Lakes fill glacier-carved basins near Mount Triumph. In this photo, you can view Thornton Lakes including Upper Thornton Lake at 5040 feet (1536 m), and Middle Thornton Lake at 4700 feet (1433 m). Photo #37 by Walter Siegmund

Mt Goode, North Cascades National Park -- Goode Mountain

#19 for highest points of U.S. national parks can be found on the summit of Mount Goode which has an elevation of 9,206 feet. While it’s the tallest, Goode Mountain is only one of the major North Cascades peaks. Photo #38 by Jono Hey

Storm over Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park comes it at the 20th highest point of all U.S. National Parks. Photo #39 by Kerry Randolph

The Transept, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

The highest point at the Grand Canyon is located at the lookout tower near the North Rim’s main entrance with a elevation of 9,165 feet. This shot is of the Transept on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The photographer wrote, “A nice 10 mile ramble on the North Rim is the Widforss Trail, which offers up stunning views like this looking down into the Transept and the depths of Bright Angel Canyon beyond. I worked my way out on some of these ledges, but the two pictured here were too scary. Big drop. The Grand Canyon Lodge is perched on the nearest point to the left, across the Transept.” Photo #40 by Steve Dunleavy

24 Responses to “Highest Points: 20 U.S. National Parks by Elevation [40 PICS]”

Leave a Reply