These are the 20 closest national parks to Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN/Stacker.com) — With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, many Americans are choosing vacations to outside destinations rather than inside. The national parks around the country have been popular destinations over the last two years.

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 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 phenomena “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 Portland, Oregon. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 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.

circa 1938: Shadow lake in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

#1. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 93 miles
– Driving time: 3.0 hours
– Date founded: March 2, 1899
– 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 236,381.64 acres

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the Olympic Mountains are seen beyond a forest from Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, near Port Angeles, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

#2. Olympic National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 171 miles
– Driving time: 4.9 hours
– Date founded: June 29, 1938
– 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 922,649.41 acres

National Parks 100 Years Photo Gallery_341227

#3. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

– Distance: 185 miles
– Driving time: 4.9 hours
– Date founded: May 22, 1902
– 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 183,224.05 acres

388423 14: The snow appears deep on Washington Pass, April 15, 2001, near the North Cascades National Park, WA, but the snowpack is low and scant rain is keeping the region’s hydroelectric plants scrambling to produce enough energy for their own state’s needs, leaving no extra electricity to bail California out of its energy crisis this summer. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

#4. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 222 miles
– Driving time: 5.2 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 504,780.94 acres

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY UTE MEHNERT A woman stands amongst a grove of a Giant Sequoia trees in the Sequoia National Park in Central California on October 11, 2009. The Redwood trees which are native to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains are the world’s largest by volume reaching heights of 274.9 feet (84.2 metres) and a ground level girth of 109 feet (33 metres). The oldest known Giant Sequoia based on it’s ring count is 3,500 years old. The Redwood trees can be used to capture CO2 emissions. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

#5. Redwood National Park (California)

– Distance: 307 miles
– Driving time: 6.8 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 138,999.37 acres

#6. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

– Distance: 356 miles
– Driving time: 8.8 hours
– Date founded: August 9, 1916
– 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 106,589.02 acres

WEST GLACIER, MONTANA – SEPTEMBER 16: New pine trees grow up from the forest floor among the gray skeletons of trees killed by the 2003 Robert Complex fire that burned the mountain sides along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park September 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. According to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment, the annual average temperatures in the state has increased 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950 and is projected to increase by approximately 3.0 to 7.0 degrees by midcentury. As climate change makes summers hotter and drier in the Northern Rockies, the annual forest fire season has nearly tripled since the mid-1970s, from 49 to 135 days. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

#7. Glacier National Park (Montana)

– Distance: 456 miles
– Date founded: May 11, 1910
– 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres

A view of Yosemite Valley from the Tunnel View lookout point in the Yosemite National Park, California on July 08, 2020. – After closing for 2½ months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the wildlife is taking over of areas used by the public. The park is open with limited services and facilities to those with day-use reservations, reservations for in-park lodging or camping, and wilderness or Half Dome permits. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

#8th. Yosemite National Park (California)

– Distance: 558 miles
– Driving time: 13.0 hours
– Date founded: October 1, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 761,747.50 acres

The Grand Teton mountain range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, on June 13, 2019. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

#9. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

– Distance: 590 miles
– Driving time: 12.8 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1929
– 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 310,044.36 acres

Old Faithful geyser erupts in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on June 11, 2019. – Old Faithful has erupted every 44 to 125 minutes since 2000. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

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

– Distance: 590 miles
– Driving time: 13.2 hours
– Date founded: March 1, 1872
– 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres

#11. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

– Distance: 620 miles
– Driving time: 14.8 hours
– Date founded: October 27, 1986
– 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 77,180.00 acres

#12. Pinnacles National Park (California)

– Distance: 633 miles
– Driving time: 12.4 hours
– Date founded: January 10, 2013
– 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 26,685.73 acres

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park Superintendent Clay Jordan kneels for a photograph at the base of the tree after unwrapping the General Sherman giant sequoia tree during the KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California on October 22, 2021. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

#13. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

– Distance: 641 miles
– Driving time: 16.7 hours
– Date founded: March 4, 1940
– 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 461,901.20 acres

TOPSHOT – The General Sherman giant sequoia (C) is inspected by National Park Service public information officers during a tour of the KNP Complex fire burn area around Giant Forest on September 30, 2021 in Sequoia National Park, California. (Photo by ERIC PAUL ZAMORA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

#14. Sequoia National Park (California)

– Distance: 663 miles
– Driving time: 16.5 hours
– Date founded: September 25, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 404,062.63 acres

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA – JULY 11: People pose for a photograph at the park entrance sign on July 11, 2021 in Death Valley National Park, California. An excessive heat warning was issued for much of the Southwest United States through Monday. Climate models almost unanimously predict that heat waves will become more intense and frequent as the planet continues to warm. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

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

– Distance: 710 miles
– Driving time: 15.9 hours
– Date founded: October 31, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres

The scenic road winds through Zion National park, in Utah on August 26, 2020. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

#16. Zion National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 753 miles
– Driving time: 15.9 hours
– Date founded: November 19, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 147,242.66 acres

TOPSHOT – The Temple of Osiris, a rock formation, is seen in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah on August 26, 2020. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

#17. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 768 miles
– Driving time: 15.7 hours
– Date founded: February 25, 1928
– 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 35,835.08 acres

** ADVANCE WEEKEND FEB. 25-26 FILE ** Late afternoon shadows cast by Chimney Rock appear Feb. 26, 2005 inside Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. Empty parking lots, deserted trails and the full attention of park personnel belong to off-season visitors to any national park, but especially Capitol Reef. (AP Photo/Deseret Morning News, Kersten Swinyard, File) -UTSAC, – UTPRO, Salt Lake Tribune Out, Provo Daily Herald Out, Mags Out

#18. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 774 miles
– Driving time: 15.1 hours
– Date founded: December 18, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 241,904.50 acres

View of the Delicate Arch at sunset in the Arches National Park near Moab, Utah on April 21, 2018. – The park which has over 2000 arches that were formed over 100 million years by a combination of water, ice, extreme temperatures and underground salt movement. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

#19. Arches National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 816 miles
– Driving time: 15.0 hours
– Date founded: November 12, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 76,678.98 acres

#20. Channel Islands National Park (California)

– Distance: 816 miles
– Date founded: March 5, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 249,561.00 acres

Editors note: This story was edited with data from Stacker.com.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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