National Park Names

Today, guest blogger SUSAN CHESNEY leads us through the name paths related to America‘s glorious national parks.

My family and I love nothing more than to visit as many National Parks as we can. We’ve been to twenty-six of them, from Acadia in Maine to the Everglades in Florida to Haleakala and Hawaiian Volcanoes. It’s amazing that we didn’t name our children after one–we were only thinking of classic names then (we did name our son Peter, which comes from the Greek Petros, meaning stone, as in Yellowstone)–because they are such a treasure trove of possibilities.  Not only the parks themselves but the waterfalls, mountains and beaches within them have distinctive names. The passion I feel for National Parks is captured so perfectly by the artful names given to these places. Who, for example, can say Shenandoah without crossing into the past, into less complicated times?

So here is a list of National Park-related names:

ACADIA
ALBERTA (falls–Rocky Mountain)
ANSEL (park photographer Ansel Adams)
ARCHER, ARCHIE (Arches)
ASH (mountain–Sequoia and Kings Canyon)
BRYCE
CAMERON (lake–Waterton-Glacier)
CANYON
CARMEN (mountain range–Big Bend)
CRUZ (bay–Virgin Islands)
DENALI
ECHO (lake–Acadia)
ELEANOR (lake–Yosemite)
ELENA (canyon–Big Bend)
ELIAS (Wrangell-St. Elias)
EMERALD (ridge–Mt. Rainier)
EVER (Everglades)
GUADALUPE
HALLE (Haleakala)
ISIS (temple–Grand Canyon)
JASPER (forest–Petrified Forest)
JOSHUA (Joshua Tree)
JUNIPER (canyon–Big Bend)
KATMAI
KENAI (Kenai Fjords)
KING (Kings Canyon)
KOBUK (Kobuk Valley)
LASSEN (Lassen Volcanic)
MARIPOSA (grove–Yosemite)
MESA (Mesa Verde)
MOAB
MUIR (naturalist John Muir who helped save Yosemite)
OLYMPIA (Olympic)
QUINCY (mountain–Gates of the Arctic)
RAINIER
ROYALE (Isle Royale)
SAGE (creek–Badlands)
SEQUOIA
SHASTA (mountain near Lassen Volcanic)
SHENANDOAH
SMOKY (Great Smoky Mountains)
STONE (Yellowstone)
SULLIVAN (bay–Voyageurs)
VERDE (Mesa Verde)
TIRZAH (peak–Mt. Rainier)
ZION

SUSAN CHESNEY, a graduate of Art Center College of Design, was the president of a graphics company for twelve years. She lives near Pasadena, California with her husband Kent, daughter Laura (son Peter lives nearby), dog Roxanne Louise and cat Moses Malone.

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16 Responses to “National Park Names”

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susan Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 3:19 am

I have a tank full of sea monkeys…I might name each of them one of these names…

susan Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 3:20 am

(my son wrote that)

realpraise Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Thanks, Susan! Since you put out that list I have been waiting for this.

Steve Lubin Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

What a great idea! There are some beautiful names here. I love the names Joshua, Isis, Bryce and Juniper. Another name I love for a California State Park is Elsinore (Lake Elsinore).

Christy Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

If only I could name my future grandchildren … the background of Peter’s name is beautiful!

sophia Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Great blog post Susan, this was really enjoyable to read 🙂

Christina Fonseca Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 12:04 am

This was truly an inspired post! I never would have thought of putting together a list associated with Nationa Parks. Do you have your own blog?

Lyndsay Jenness Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 12:09 am

Great list! I’ve toyed with the name Sequoia, I went there all the time as a kid, I love it there! I’m so jealous that you’ve been to so many national parks, how cool!

susan Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 2:45 am

Thanks everyone for your wonderful replies! I even thank my son Peter for wanting to name his sea monkies after my blog. I do not have my own blog, but I should figure out how to do that. I have made many name lists on this website. One of my favorites is Las Vegas Names. If you look up Feather or Rollo or Jack and scroll down you can find it on the User List area. My husband and I hope to go to even more National Parks. It’s funny that we haven’t been to the closest park to where we live-Channel Islands.

Willie Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 3:20 am

I enjoyed reading this. Looking forward to more.
Thank you

Melissa Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 10:06 am

I do love the sounds of some of these names– Denali, Kenai– but am nowhere near courageous enough to attach them to a child. Still, a lovely, thought-provoking list, Susan. Well done!

Anne Says:

January 30th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Great blog! I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks.

lisa hamelton Says:

December 13th, 2009 at 11:14 am

Were not Italians the first Latin Lovers?
What happened? The term Latin Lover was invented for the Italian movie stars like Rudy Valentino. Do Italians not think of themselves as Latin anymore? Or is that title gone over to the Latinos?

beachbody Says:

July 18th, 2010 at 8:01 am

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Monteforte Says:

October 22nd, 2010 at 1:12 am

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niccole Says:

May 12th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I need help choosing a name for a project on national parks.
What is a good name for one? Help!!

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