National Park National Park

8 Largest National Parks in the World

National parks aim to protect a country’s flora, fauna, and other valuable resources. Commercial activities are restricted in these areas to protect the environment. There are around 6,555 national parks worldwide.

Forests cover up to 75% of the Earth’s biosphere, and wildlife habitats can’t survive without them. Almost 90% of wildlife and plants depend on this ecosystem, comprising temperate, grasslands, wetlands, drylands, tropical, and deserted regions. To preserve these areas, the government proposed the idea of national parks.

Over 8.7 million species of plants and animals have been discovered, of which 1,57,100 are endangered, and some have become extinct. So, national parks are the only way to protect these animals.

Here is a guide to some of the largest national parks in the world that you must know or visit at least once in your lifetime.

1. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

  • Area: 1,510,000 km²
  • Location: Northwestern island of Hawaii.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is a highly protected area of marine habitat. The monument is closely tied to the origin story of Hawaiian people recorded in the ancient chant; the name means ‘where all life springs.’ Many native Hawaiians have a special connection to this place.

The marine monument has 14 land masses with smaller reefs and shores. The name ‘Papahānaumokuākea’ recognizes the two main progenitors of the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian archipelago.

Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: History in the Making

It is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. The depth of the ocean is about 3,000 meters deep. The ecosystem here is so vulnerable.

The ancient Beaked Whale skull was found in this area. Over 7,000 species are found in the deep waters, and more are yet to be discovered. Marine creatures like Hawaiian sleeper sharks and Hawaiian gold corals are found here, and it is home to 14 million seabirds like Laysan and black-footed albatrosses and other wildlife. Unfortunately, the monument contains many shipwrecks and aircraft sites.

Scientists have noticed coral bleaching due to climate change and fish ingesting the plastic debris, which endangers animals like sea turtles, birds, and seals.

2. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

  • Area: 3,48,700 km²
  • Location: coast of Queensland, Australia.
Great Barrier Reef | BBC Select

The Great Barrier Reef is a coral reef system. The term ‘ coral reef system’ comprises about 3,000 coral reefs that cover up to 2,300km.

The reef is built by billions of tiny organisms called coral polyps, which is why it is called a coral reef. The reef provides shelter to thousands of different animals. There are over 1,600 kinds of fish, like angels, parrots, and butterflies. There are over 130 kinds of sharks and rays. It is one of the largest marine parks.

If you’re a fan of ‘Finding Nemo,’ you can find your Marlin and Nemo, which is Ocellaris Clownfish. When you think of the Great Barrier Reef, you will find six of the world’s seven sea turtles and 14 kinds of sea snakes.

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Source – Pixabay

You will find marine mammals like whales and dolphins, and the largest population is seagrass grazing dugongs. Invertebrates are 3,000 mollusks and 600 echinoderms (starfish and sea cucumbers), and crustaceans are like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters.

Are you a marine enthusiast? Then, this would be a wonderful virtual trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

3. Yellowstone National Park

  • Area: 8,983 km²
  • Location: United States of America.

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the world. It is a primal fortress of the disappearing West. More than 3 million visitors come, but only a handful pass the lookouts. Here, you can witness old battles, new life, and unexpected courage between animals.

This place offers a beautiful trek and is worth every mile. It has spectacular mountain ranges and abundant wildlife.

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Source – Pixabay

Yellowstone is the best of North American wildness. The National Park Service manages it. The land is a whole of untouched humanity. Yellowstone is a geothermal extravaganza on the top of a volcano that erupted 60,000 years ago. I know you might be scared of this disaster, but the seismic activity is monitored daily.

Yellowstone has a prismatic spring. Be careful when jumping in, as the steaming water reaches boiling temperature. Yellowstone has the best-visited geysers in the world. In the past, people placed their garments near the vent, where the steam was blasted into the sky.

The park is not only rich with a handful of views, but it also has the refuge of native American animals. The park has a successful history of restoration of the bison.

The Yellowstone River is about 300 feet deep and continues with lower falls that go to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, considered one of the most dramatic views. You can head to Artist Point to see this.

Yellowstone (Full Episode) | America's National Parks

South of Gardiner is Mammoth Hot Springs, containing minerals solidifying limestone. Heading towards Norris, you will find many geothermal wonders that make the sounds of boiling and bubbling.

The park holds legendary stories and endless nature that consumes your attention. It has inspired all other parks in the world to preserve wildlife.

4. Northeast Greenland National Park

  • Area: 972,000 km²
  • Location: Greenland, Denmark.

Northeast Greenland National Park is one of the world’s largest national parks and the 10th largest protected area. It nestles within vast icy landscapes, displaying white beauty and wilderness. The ecosystem here contains diverse wildlife, from polar bears to arctic foxes.

The park has a vast population of birds with different kinds of species, which is a shoutout to bird watchers and Ornithologists. The park presents breathtaking glaciers, ice caps, and mountains.

Explorers See Greenland's Glaciers Like Never Before | National Geographic

The ice sheets here serve as a time capsule with invaluable insights into Earth’s climate. Every year, more visitors see the floating icebergs, creating a cold ambiance.

Beyond all this, the park plays a significant role in conservation, and the protected area shows its fragile ecosystem and provides sanctuary for threatened ecosystems.

Greenland National Park helps us cherish its natural wonders and allows researchers to study the biodiversity that has contributed to our planet Earth.

5. Wood Buffalo National Park

  • Area: 44,741 km²
  • Location: Canada
Wild buffalo in Wood Buffalo National Park - Part 1: The Park

The Wood Buffalo National Park is the second largest park in the world. During the UNESCO Heritage Site in 1983, the course was nominated to protect the free-roaming bison where there are hooping plains and nests. You can see them assembled on the roads freely.

You can get a natural spa feeling by walking barefoot on the salt plane, feeling the cold salt beneath your feet. In the second stage of the spa, you will step into the slimy and cold mud.

Many people who come to the park often do dog sledding and skiing as well as see the northern lights, also called the Aurora Borealis, at the higher altitude that beautifully dance across the sky with their green colors; sometimes you might see purple, pink, and red in the night sky that tend to come out during the winter season.

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Source – Pixabay

The park has a cultural history. Eleven diverse aboriginal groups live in and around the park. They participate in community activities, which help them develop fire management and manage the park.

6. Galápagos National Park

  • Area: 7,995 km²
  • Location: El Cascajo, Ecuador.

The Galápagos Island has a population of 25,000 and is made up of 19 smaller islands. The island has more than 15 species of land iguanas and numerous endemic species of birds and fishes. You will find sea lions, penguins, and other wildlife. You can enjoy snorkeling, which the island provides you with its packages.

The Galapagos Islands Are a Pristine Paradise | National Geographic

When you hire a boat to cruise the island, dolphins will swim near your boat. Most people visit this island to explore its wildness and diversity, but it has more than that.

The island has active volcanoes that help us study how the living landmarks continue to shape it. It is known that the island was created by volcanic activity. Almost 13 of the volcanoes are active here.

The most exciting fact about Galápagos Island is that it has one of the giant tortoises that have lived for more than 150 years. The tortoises have adapted to harsh conditions on the archipelago’s islands through natural selection.

Their unique flat shells and thick feet allow them to survive with little food and water. Charles Darwin was also intrigued by these animals, which were different from each other.

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Source – Pixabay

Later, take a visit to the Wall of Tears that was built by the prisoners who were sent to Isabela Island out in the heated conditions. It was said that the prisoners would collect heavy lava rocks placed along the wall. Due to their mistreatment and accidents, many lost their lives, and locals think that this place is haunted.

According to the localities, if you go near the wall, you can hear the sorrow who worked to build this wall.

7. Phoenix Islands Protected Area

  • Area: 408,250 km²
  • Location: Central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati

The Republic of Kiribati governs the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, one of the largest marine protected areas. It comprises eight islands and vast open ocean and deep-sea habitats. The marine protected area is one of the first and most significant marine conservation efforts by a developing country, Carabosse.

The area protects substantial seabird nesting grounds, tropical fauna, and rare traditional plants.

Phoenix Islands Protected Area -- UNESCO Marine World Heritage Site

One of the most valuable assets of this protected area is the virtually untouched coral reefs, which provide a glimpse into the ancient marine ecosystem.

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area was first declared a marine protected area at the 2006 Convention on Biological Diversity. Formal regulations were adopted in 2008, and the area now protects over 120 species of coral, 514 species of reef fish, and more yet to be discovered.

Large fish populations act as a living testimony to the efficacy of this marine habitat. Huge schools of Barracuda, spawning parrot fish, and surgeonfish wonder in this protected area. Sharks and other predators can also be found in these waters.

Unfortunately, the island is not protected from global influences. It is still vulnerable to international factors like climate change. In 2002, news emerged that the coral reefs were highly damaged due to hot waters.

8. Grand Canyon National Park

  • Area: 4,926 km²
  • Location: Arizona, United States

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. It is more than a mile deep into the Earth’s crust; you can see it from space. The Colorado River created this canyon.

The oldest rocks at the bottom of the canyon are named after the Hindu God Vishnu, Vishnu Schist. About 1.8 billion years ago, the area was covered in mountains, and due to erosion, it wore them down.

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Source – Pixabay

There are almost 477 bird species and mammals, such as elk, ringtail cats, bighorn sheep, bison, and mule deer. Over 1,500 types of plants are found, and almost 6 million people visit here yearly. It is known as the second most visited park in the United States.


In conclusion, there are thousands of national parks worldwide, each with its own story and representing its culture. We must help protect these endangered species before they become extinct. Nature was given to us to look after it and ensure that future generations can see what was created. There are more animals and plants yet to be discovered and protected.

Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Pragya Chakrapani