National Parks and License Plates

Utah Plate : Arches National ParkOur National Parks are tied to our national identity. The places we choose to protect say a lot about who we are, and about what we think is important. As a nation, we are proud of these places. And while there are plenty of political issues tied to how parks are managed, the love of National Parks has remained politically neutral. Democrats, Republicans, the elderly, the young, the rich, the poor, everyone loves the parks. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that something so universally treasured should appear on our money and on things like license plates. As I was driving around recently, I noticed Utah's colorful plate with a depiction of Delicate Arch. I wondered what other states around our country had also put National Parks on their plates. With a little digging, I found a total of ten plates (pictures and descriptions follow) ....Alaska Between the years 2000 and 2004, this state license plate depicted treasure seekers climbing over Chilkoot Pass, sometimes called the "golden staircase" during the Klondike Gold Rush. Park: Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park.
Alaska State License Plate : Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

Arizona The state logo is "Grand Canyon State" and it has been reflected on their license plates for years. Park: Grand Canyon National Park.
Arizona License Plate : Grand Canyon National Park

Colorado The Rocky Mountains dominate the horizon for much of Colorado. They are honored with their own National Park and on the license plate. Park: Rocky Mountain National Park.
Colorado License Plate : Rocky Mountain National Park

North Carolina An historic event of national consequence is captured in North Carolina, the first flight of the Wright Brothers. Park: Wright Brothers National Memorial.
North Carolina License Plate : Wright Brothers National Memorial

New York The Statue of Liberty is an important national icon. Between 1986 and 2001 it was featured on New York plates. Park: Statue of Liberty National Monument.
New York License Plate : Statue of Liberty National Monument

Oregon While this isn't the official plate issued to everyone, residents of Oregon can choose to pay a little bit extra to place this license with Crater Lake on their car. Park: Crater Lake National Park.
Oregon License Plate : Crater Lake National Park

South Dakota The unmistakable profile of the presidents in Mount Rushmore is featured on the state plates for South Dakota. Park: Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
South Dakota License Plate : Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Utah A very colorful and large graphic of the Delicate Arch dominates the license plates from Utah. Park: Arches National Park.
Utah License Plate : Arches National Park

Washington On a clear day Mount Rainier can be seen my millions of people rising to 14,492 feet above the sea level of most cities near Puget Sound. It is a dominating sight. Park: Mount Rainier National Park.
Washington License Plate : Mount Rainier National Park

Wyoming The state includes our nation's first National Park (Yellowstone) and first National Monument (Devil's Tower). It is the monument that is featured on the license plates. Park: Devil's Tower National Monument.
Wyoming License Plate : Devil's Tower National Monument

Special thanks to David Nicholson at for allowing me to use the images of these state license plates from his own collection.

Special thanks to readers Mike and Jim for passing along some information I had missed. Within 9 different states there is a program that has specialty license plates that are very specific to National Parks. The extra money spent on these plates is used for programs within their associated parks. I've written a new post about this which can be read here: "Park License Plates: Take II".


New Jersey also has a NPS plate - the Pinelands National Reserve -
Texas also has a NPS plate for Big Bend National Park. For info see