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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the USA

The 23 sites in the U.S. include 10 cultural, 1 mixed, and 12 natural, with all of the latter being national parks.

The USA has 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of these, ten are cultural, one is mixed, and twelve are natural sites, with most of them being national parks. The country has cultural sites created by the Native Americans like the Taos Pueblo. There are also sites from the rich American history, for instance, the Statue of Liberty and the Independence Hall in Pennsylvania. The country also has the largest collection of natural World Heritage Sites that are vast in size and with varied climate. The World Heritage Sites thus represent the incredible story of America and the remarkable diversity of its people.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

UNESCO listed Cahokia Mounds as a World Heritage Site in 1982. Cahokia started out as a Mississippian city with a broad range of residential homes and monumental public works that have maintained their authenticity as the cultural, economic, and religious center of the natives for centuries. The site exhibits divisions of labor, agriculture, trade and settlement structures indicating a pre-urban society with an exceptional organization. The site is the earliest and largest pre-Columbian settlements in Mexico.

Chaco Culture

UNESCO listed the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The park is a collection of public narrative structures and ceremonial buildings especially the multistory “great houses” indicating that the natives had a sophisticated knowledge. The culture portrays an exceptional civilization that developed high architectural designs with limited resources and in the harsh weather conditions of the Southwest. The Aztec Ruins National Monument, small Chaco sites, and the well-connected towns illustrate advanced settlement of the people.

Everglades National Park

UNESCO designated the Florida National Park as a natural World Heritage Site in 1979 due to its vast subtropical wilderness that is home to rare and endangered animal species like the Manette, the elusive Florida panther, and the American crocodile. It provides a significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds and has the largest mangrove ecosystem. Unlike other national parks that preserve the unique geographical features of the country, the Everglades were created as a network of protective ecosystem of wetlands, and forests with a 0.25mile river flowing into the park. Over a million visitors tour the site annually.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has half of the world’s geothermal features, which are more than 10,000 and the largest concentration of geysers that number almost 300, most notably the Old Faithful Geyser. The Subalpine is the most famous and abundant ecosystem in the park. The Yellowstone is home to hundreds of endangered or threatened species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. It has large megafauna which include wolves, grizzly bears, and free-ranging herds of Bison, and Elks among others. The bison herd is the largest and oldest herd in the country. The natives have lived in the park for over 11000 years. Thus their culture is intensely rooted in the sites sceneries and features. UNESCO named Yellowstone a natural heritage site in 1978.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world as well as a UNESCO site. The Colorado River has fed the canyon for almost 17 million years. The horizontal stratum dates back to 2 billion years. The canyon has an unusual and unique combination of geological features and erosion forms. The canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and 1 mile deep. About 5 million people travel to the Grand Canyon each year.

Redwood National and State Parks

The park is a sanctuary for the tallest and oldest trees on earth over 160 million years. The park is a conservancy for a vast prairie, oak woodlands, wild rivers, and a forty mile coastline. The California State Parks and The National Park Service managed the coastal wilderness and was designated as World Heritage Site in 1980 by UNESCO.

Papahānaumokuākea

Papahānaumokuākenationa is a national monument that covers an area of 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 square kilometers) of ocean waters, which includes some Islands and atolls in the Northwest Hawaii. It was created in 2006 and later the boundary was extended in 2016 to make it the largest protected area in the world. The area has cultural and natural values because of the cosmological and traditional significance for the native Hawaiians. It is the area where the native Hawaiians believe the life started and where the spirits will return after death. The two Islands of Nihoa and Makunamana have archeological remains of the pre-European settlement. The larger part of the monument is made up of deepwater and pelagic habitats. The typical features include submerged banks and seamounts, lagoons and extensive coral reefs.

UNESCO listed the Marine National Monument as a mixed World Heritage Site in 2010. The lush oceanic landscapes of coral reefs cover thousands of squares miles and are one of the most natural, protected, and calm sea life in the world. The site is home to rare, threatened, and endangered flora and fauna species. The diverse culture and historical sites attract millions of people all over the world. The National Park Service protects the parks from the human encroachment and civilization which would otherwise destroy the ancient culture. Each state has rules and regulations to preserve the heritage sites. Tourists visiting the region are treated to a diverse and abundant life of the Native Americans and nature. There are centers and travel and tour agencies that help visitors make their travel arrangement.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In The United States Of America

UNESCO SiteLocationYear of InscriptionType
Cahokia Mounds State Historic SiteMissouri1982Cultural
Carlsbad Caverns National ParkNew Mexico1995Natural
Chaco CultureNew Mexico1987Cultural
Everglades National Park Florida1979Natural
Glacier Vay National Park and PreserveAlaska1979Natural
Grand Canyon National ParkArizona1979Natural
Great Smoky Mountains National ParkTennessee1983Natural
Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkHawaii1987Natural
Independence HallPennsylvania1979Cultural
La Fortaleza and San JuanPuerto Rico1983Cultural
Mammoth Cave National ParkKentucky1981Natural
Mesa Verde National ParkColorado1978Cultural
Monticello and the University of Virginia-CharlottesvilleVirginia1987Cultural
Monumental Earthworks of Poverty PointLouisiana2014Cultural
Olympic National ParkWashington 1981Natural
PapahānaumokuākeaHawaii2010Mixed
Redwood National and State ParksCalifornia1980Natural
San Antonio MissionsTexas2015Cultural
Statue of LibertyNew York1984Cultural
Taos PuebloNew Mexico1992Cultural
Waterton Glacier International Peace ParkMontana1995Natural
Yellowstone National ParkWyoming, Montana, Idaho1978Natural
Yosemite National ParkCalifornia1984Natural

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