land near national parks

The United States’ National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th anniversary on August 25th, with the federal agency having grown from President Woodrow Wilson’s original decree in 1916 to protect 35 national parks and monuments to today’s total of over 400 NPS-administered park areas covering some 52 million acres. Ranging from soaring mountain peaks to lush forestland to remote desert canyons, these national parks represent the country’s most iconic landscapes, and provide space for habitat protection, wildlife preservation and boundless outdoor adventure. While the majority of NPS land is publicly owned, there are a reported 11,640 private parcels of land, called inholdings, that sit inside park boundaries. The landowner rights for these private land “islands” typically predate the creation of the various parks and often trace back to old mining rights and farming activities.

To celebrate NPS’ big centennial bash, here are some properties for sale on Lands of America that sit on the doorstep of the country’s most beautiful national parks.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Glacier National Park

FLATHEAD COUNTY | MONTANA | $1,290,000 | 37 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3180936
This 37-acre parcel of recreational land overlooks the North Fork Flathead River, which demarks the northwest boundary of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Beyond outstanding views of the park’s Rocky Mountains skyline, the property offers access to a river that’s run by cutthroat trout and frequented by big-game species including moose, elk and grizzlies. The small, off-the-grid town of Polebridge is your entry point for camping and hiking trails around Glacier’s Kintla and Bowman lakes, as well as the popular Apgar visitor area at Lake McDonald (also start of the jaw-dropping Going-to-the-Sun Road).

Yosemite National Park, California

Land Near National Parks: Yosemite National Park

Wagner Valley Ranch occupies a peaceful setting of meadows, fir trees and mountain creeks that’s just 15 minutes from the northern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Enter through the park’s Big Oak Flat entrance for access to the Yosemite Valley area, home to El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and the tiered Yosemite Falls. The 149-acre ranch itself features three well-appointed homes as well as an historic 100-year-old barn.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Olympic National Park

Tumbling west out of the mountains of Olympic National Park and out towards the Pacific Ocean, Bogachiel River forms the centerpiece of its namesake ranch. Cast for steelhead, salmon and rainbow trout, or saddle up for a ride along the riverbanks. Adventure is never far from hand throughout Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, which is also home to Olympic National Park’s Hoh Rain Forest and what’s been designated as the quietest soundscape in the country.

Zion National Park, Utah

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Zion National Park

WASHINGTON COUNTY | UTAH | $2,799,000 | 14 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3146676
Located in the shadow of Zion National Park’s 7,285-foot Kinesava Peak, Zion River Retreat is a strikingly modern compound amidst an ancient landscape of weathered rocks, petroglyphs and high-desert canyons. The sprawling three-bedroom, 6,465-square-foot home—complete with indoor football arena—overlooks the Virgin River, which famously flows through Zion’s verdant and stunning Zion Canyon.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Big Bend National Park

Let’s be honest: this 20-acre parcel deep in the Texas borderlands doesn’t have mass-market appeal, but where else can you purchase land adjoining a national park for less than ten G’s? Located about eight miles due west as the crow flies from Big Bend National Park’s northern entrance at Persimmon Gap, the land here is rugged, remote—and staggeringly beautiful for all its brutal, barren austerity.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sitting out on the wraparound balcony of this luxurious mountain home enjoying your morning coffee and a tranquil view of the Smokies, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country’s most visited park (almost 11 million visitors in 2015). The grand, five-bedroom mansion somehow manages to meld into the green ocean of hardwood forest and rolling hills, located on the northern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Grand Teton National Park

TETON COUNTY | WYOMING | $39,000,000 | 1,848 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 997271
Walton Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming, is a stunning working cattle ranch that also boasts its own resident herd of elk, as well as numerous other wildlife species including deer, eagles and grizzly and brown bears. The property was developed by oil-industry geologist Paul Walton and his wife Betty, and has been under conservation easement since 1983 with the Jackson Hole Land Trust. The couple’s easement gift of Walton Ranch is the second largest private conservation effort in Teton County history, second only to John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s  35,000-acre  gift toward Grand Teton National Park in 1949.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Everglades National Park

Dangling like a teardrop at the northwestern tip of Florida’s Everglades National Park, 150-acre Chokoloskee Island is quite literally the launchpad for fishing, sea-kayaking and other aquatic adventures among the park’s mangroves and coastal waterways. Six parcels of land, totaling five acres, are currently listed for sale at the southern end of the island, a mere angler’s cast from the keys and inlets of the Ten Thousand Islands archipelago and Everglades beyond.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Crater Lake National Park

DOUGLAS COUNTY | OREGON | $1,499,000  | 80 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 2999078
Lemolo Lake Resort is a year-round retreat in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, less than 20 miles north of Crater National Park. Summer adventures here unsurprisingly center around the lake, including fishing, swimming, and water skiing. Winter activities number snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, as well as downhill skiing and snowboarding at nearby Diamond Lake Resort. Along with easy access to Crater National Park, the property is only a few miles from a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that threads between Mount Thielsen and Willamette Pass.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Shenandoah National Park

Get a jump on gridlocked Washington, D.C., metro area leaf-peepers with the purchase of your own slice of Shenandoah Valley area land and real estate. A rustic yet contemporary log home, the property sits beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway as it snakes between Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to the north and Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. A great year-round destination for outdoor adventure and exploration, the fall colors here are particularly sublime.

 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Yellowstone National Park

PARK COUNTY | MONTANA | $7,800,000 | 2,954 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3371065
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the country’s first national park. Touching three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho), the unique 3,468-square-mile geothermal landscape is also bigger than countries including Luxembourg and Puerto Rico. Emigrant Peak Ranch is a pristine recreational property that sits about 30 minutes north of Yellowstone’s north entrance near Gardiner, Montana, and represents the area’s beautiful mix of snow-capped Rocky Mountains summits, aspen- and fir-covered slopes, and blue-ribbon fishing streams and lakes.

Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska

Land for Sale Near National Parks: Katmai National Park & Preserve

KODIAK ISLAND | ALASKA | $1,200,000 | 1.5 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3102417
Kodiak Island’s Larsen Bay township numbers fewer than 100 year-round residents and looks out over the Shelikof Strait toward the volcanic landscape of Alaska’s 6,395-square-mile Kodiak National Park and Preserve. Here, Kodiak Lodge is an existing fishing operation where anglers from around the world come to cast for sockeye salmon and steelhead trout in rivers like the Karluck and Zachar, or for saltwater species including king salmon and halibut. Beyond its epic landscape, Katmai is renowned for its population of brown bears. A popular viewing spot is at the Brooks River near Brooks Camps, located in the interior of the park, where bears congregate in the summer months to gorge on leaping sockeye salmon.


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