National Park Names

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:

ALBERTA (falls–Rocky Mountain)

ANSEL (park photographer Ansel Adams)


ASH (mountain–Sequoia and Kings Canyon)


CAMERON (lake–Waterton-Glacier)


CARMEN (mountain range–Big Bend)

CRUZ (bay–Virgin Islands)


ECHO (lake–Acadia)

ELEANOR (lake–Yosemite)

ELENA (canyon–Big Bend)

ELIAS (Wrangell-St. Elias)

EMERALD (ridge–Mt. Rainier)

EVER (Everglades)


HALLE (Haleakala)

ISIS (temple–Grand Canyon)

JASPER (forest–Petrified Forest)

JOSHUA (Joshua Tree)

JUNIPER (canyon–Big Bend)

KATMAIKENAI (Kenai Fjords)

KING (Kings Canyon)

KOBUK (Kobuk Valley)

LASSEN (Lassen Volcanic)

MARIPOSA (grove–Yosemite)

MESA (Mesa Verde)


MUIR (naturalist John Muir who helped save Yosemite)

OLYMPIA (Olympic)

QUINCY (mountain–Gates of the Arctic)


ROYALE (Isle Royale)

SAGE (creek–Badlands)


SHASTA (mountain near Lassen Volcanic)


SMOKY (Great Smoky Mountains)

STONE (Yellowstone)

SULLIVAN (bay–Voyageurs)

VERDE (Mesa Verde)

TIRZAH (peak–Mt. Rainier)


About the Author

Susan Chesney

Susan Chesney

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 MosesMalone.