The official end of World War II occurred on September 2, 1945 on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri (now docked at Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawai‘i). To celebrate the 75th anniversary of this event we previously assembled our Top 10 National Park Service (NPS) units dedicated to the war. This list ranks the best sites within our 62 National Parks. Click here to see all our Top 10 lists, including our favorite WWII books and films.
For more information on visiting all 62 National Parks, check out our travel guidebook, A Park to Yourself: Finding Adventure in America’s National Parks (available on Amazon).
10. Yosemite National Park (California)
The “U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital Yosemite National Park, California” opened in 1943.
9. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)
Soldiers were sent to recreate at the caverns from Hobbs Air Field, located 100 miles away.
8. Olympic National Park (Washington)
Two of the park’s coast guard and aircraft warning stations still exist.
7. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)
In 1942, the U.S. military established a weapons testing range in the Tularosa Basin that still functions today.
6. Denali National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Denali’s rugged terrain was a great place to test soldiers and equipment.
5. Redwood National Park (California)
The Klamath River Radar Station B-71 is a rare early-warning radar station.
4. Haleakalā National Park (Hawai‘i)
The numerous antennas atop Red Hill led locals to dub this WWII radar station “Haleakalā National Forest.”
3. Acadia National Park (Maine)
The park’s Big Moose Island was home to a U.S. Navy radio station during WWII.
2. National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa)
These islands hosted soldiers and provided essential communications operations in the Pacific.
…and finally, our #1 National Park dedicated to World War II:
1. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)
The 10th Mountain Division tested their mountaineering skills and equipment at Mt. Rainier.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (Hawai‘i)
After Pearl Harbor, this federal land on the largest of the Hawaiian Islands held several military installations.
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