Mount Rainier appears in this 1931 autochrome image, made using tinted glass plates. At an elevation of 14,410 feet, the Washington state landmark presides over a park area first defined in 1899.
Visitors drive through a deceased, tunneled-out tree in Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park, in 1922. The Tuolumne, which contains about 25 mature sequoias, is one of three groves of giants at Yosemite.
National parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite seem like they’ve always been part of the American experience, but they were still a relatively new concept 100 years ago. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, giving shape and oversight to a movement that began only a few decades earlier, with the official creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.
Since then, the system has grown to encompass 59 national parks and more than 84 million acres of public land. Beyond designated national parks, the National Park Service also oversees monuments, battlefields, and other sites across all 50 states. It’s marking its 100th birthday with special events and free admission to all 412 areas under its purview between August 25 and August 28.
Source: National Geographics
24 Photos Show the Enduring Wonder of U.S. National Parks
Published on Aug 25, 2016
NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams shares his photos and personal stories as he celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Jeff’s affection for the National Parks began when he was a child. His father was a seasonal park ranger serving at Devils Tower National Monument. Now, his unique vantage point on the International Space Station provides an endless panorama of the natural beauty and awesome grandeur that is found in the National Parks.