The 2024 Parks Madness Round One on the Parks Channel featured hard-fought battles from coast to coast and some tight contests, but there were no Cinderella shockers for the top seeds, who dominated their competitors. Yosemite, Zion
and Acadia all defeated their first-round opponents by at least 90% of the votes. With Yellowstone getting a first-round bye, our competition still has all four of the iconic parks whose names are on the brackets, along with perennial powerhouses the Great Smokies and the Grand Canyon.

The No. 2 seeds also breezed through, although Mount Rainier faced a scrappier-than-
expected Petrified Forest, whose eXort proved anything but fossilized. No. 3 seed the Grand

Canyon also had a tough matchup. Despite an annual visitation advantage of 5 million to under 400,000, the “Mountain Lying Down” gave upstart Kenai Fjords a fighting chance.

Round One saw a handful of upsets. The famed Fat Bears of No. 7 seeded Katmai National Park scuttled into early hibernation, unable to overcome the powerful geologic forces of No. 10 seed Hawai’i Volcanoes. The sun-kissed beaches of another No. 10 seed, Virgin Islands National Park, proved too alluring for No. 7 seed Guadelupe Mountains. No. 9 seed Gates of the Arctic, despite “no roads, no trails and no established camping sites” (per NPS) managed to upset No. 8 seed Lake Clark, which can at least boast 7 miles of trails and great bear-watching. In matchups of sibling biospheres the top seeds prevailed, with No. 3 seed Glacier easily putting No. 14 seed Glacier Bay on ice and No. 6 seed Death Valley oXing No. 11 Kobuk Valley. Eighth-seeded Carlsbad Caverns buried No. 9 Mammoth Caves and No. 6 Great
Sand Dunes made No. 11 White Sands bite the dust. Among the narrow escapes, No. 6 seed Shenandoah faced an august challenge from Michigan’s No. 11 Isle Royale, and No. 4 Everglades had to swim for its life against No. 13 Dry Tortugas.

As Round Two of Parks Madness opens today, there are several marquee matchups to look out for:

To submit Round two ballots, visit

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