Seen from the International Space Station, the vibrant blue waters of Oregon's Crater Lake fill a dormant volcano.

Crater Lake National Park

Seen from the International Space Station, the vibrant blue waters of Oregon's Crater Lake fill a dormant volcano.
Photograph by NASA

See extraordinary photos of national parks from space

It might be hard to resist planning a trip to these parks once you see them from above.

There are plenty of things you cannot see from outer space: your home, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal. Most man-made structures are hard to enjoy from beyond the edges of low Earth orbit (save for, debatably, the Great Wall of China). Nature, on the other hand, takes on a whole new kind of beauty from the edges of our atmosphere.

In 2017 the National Park Service saw over 330 million visitors across its 84 million acres. On the ground level, those numbers are huge. From space, the numbers seem a bit more manageable. While considering your next trip, explore some of these iconic sights the way our national bird might: from above.

Check out some of the most popular parks or our favorite lesser-known parks.
"Aerial view of Autumn in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. I love driving on these roads during fall. I used a drone to capture the fall colors that cannot be seen from the road." This photo was submitted to the Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2017.

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

"Aerial view of Autumn in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. I love driving on these roads during fall. I used a drone to capture the fall colors that cannot be seen from the road." This photo was submitted to the Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2017.
Photograph by Manish Mamtani, National Geographic Your Shot

Read This Next

These ants can shrink and regrow their brains

How to stop discarded face masks from polluting the planet

‘Tiger King’ stars’ face scrutiny in court

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet