Interactive Map: America's Public Lands

Being American makes you part owner of some of the finest terrain in the world. Better get a handle on your portfolio.

Map Key

One million square miles: That’s how much federal land is in the United States. But that number alone doesn’t do justice to the parks, forests, deserts, and trails that backpackers call home. Use our interactive map to browse BACKPACKER’s coverage of America’s public lands—or find out what’s outside your door.

Tip: See your location by pressing the geolocate button underneath the zoom controls.

Public Lands By The Numbers

aniakchak national monument and preserve
Aniakchak National Monument and PreserveKatmai National Park/NPS

Busiest NPS Site: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 15,638,777 visits (2016)
Least Busy NPS Site: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, 100 visits (2016)
Highest Percentage of Federal Ownership: Nevada, 81%
Lowest Percentage of Federal Ownership: Connecticut, 0.2%

Who Runs Public Lands?

Bureau of Land Management

  • Land: 383,000 square miles
  • Budget: $1.3 billion

Forest Service

  • Land: 300,000 square miles
  • Budget: $6.2 billion

Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Land: 156,000 square miles
  • Budget: $3 billion

National Park Service

  • Land: 132,000 square miles
  • Budget: $3 billion

Other Agencies

  • Land: 29,000 square miles

Most Controversial Public Lands

Bears Ears under milky way
Bears Ears National MonumentJohn Fowler

Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, diminished in December 2017

Most Vulnerable Public Lands

Gold Butte National Monument
Gold Butte National MonumentBureau of Land Management

Cascade-Siskiyou and Gold Butte National Monuments, earmarked for reduction