Redwood Makes Sweet 16 in Parks Madness

Parks Madness Sweet 16

A national parks competition

Denali vs. Redwood

No. 7 Seed Redwood Thumps No. 2 Denali While Heavyweights Cruise

Honestly this is one of the hardest challenges because each park is so unique that they each deserve to win.”

— Parks Madness voter

BETHESDA, MD, USA, April 3, 2024 / — If a tree falls on a mountain and everyone sees it, who wins? The 2024 Parks Madness on the Parks Channel settled that question with Redwood National Forest axing Alaska’s Denali National Park & Preserve by a leaf-thin 51-49% online margin, setting up a tantalizing Sweet 16. Top seeds Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia and Zion all moved on, although Zion faced a bitter battle with its Mighty 5 teammate Bryce Canyon. As one anguished voter put it: “My most controversial choice – Bryce is better than Zion .”

The latest round to produce a 2024 National Park Champion produced few upsets, but a couple of real trail-biters, with No. 6 seed Shenandoah just barely elbowing out No. 3 Canyonlands by 51-49% of the votes. No. 5 Mesa Verde called out the spirits to score a comeback 53-47% win over No. 4 Big Bend. After a tight early vote, No. 5 Badlands built a sturdy lead on the Everglades and never looked back.

No. 3 Glacier had no trouble putting No. 6 Olympic on ice, 67-33% – although that matchup too proved hard for voters, with one commenting: “I hate having to pick between Olympic and Glacier, as both are in my top 5 faves, but that winner should be the champion!”

A battle of volcanoes proved less fiery than expected, with No. 2 Mount Rainier easily flowing past Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park by 59-41%. The other Hawai’i competitor, No. 5 Haleakala, fared no better, as No. 4 seeded Sequoia made sure “aloha” meant “goodbye.” Alaska, too, is now out of the competition after Gates of the Arctic crashed against Yellowstone. Only two of Utah’s mighty national parks remain – Zion and No. 3 Arches, which blasted No. 6 Great Sand Dunes by 82-18%, while No. 7 Capitol Reef capitulated to the No. 2. Great Smokies by 62-38%.

Despite their hard choices, several fans pointed out that with U.S. national parks, there are no losers. “Honestly this is one of the hardest challenges because each park is so unique that they each deserve to win,” one said. Another added: “Best parks ever! America park visitors are the winners.” For full results visit

The Sweet 16 sets up some truly epic park battles:

Yellowstone bracket

No. 1 Yellowstone vs. No. 5 Grand Teton

No. 3 Glacier vs. No. 7 Redwood

Yosemite bracket

No. 1 Yosemite vs. No. 4 Sequoia

No. 3 Grand Canyon vs. No. 2 Mount Rainier

Acadia bracket

No. 1 Acadia vs. No. 5 Badlands

No. 3 Arches vs. No. 2 Rocky Mountain

Zion bracket

No. 1 Zion vs. No. 5 Mesa Verde

No. 6 Shenandoah vs. No. 2 Great Smokies

Ballots for the Sweet 16 open today, with a deadline of midnight ET on April 6. Voting is free, and all entrants are eligible for a raffle of prizes from Parks Channel partners: National Park Geek, Anderson Design Group, Bucket List Traveler and Parks Project.

To submit ballots, visit

The remaining schedule for Parks Madness:

• Elite 8 announced on April 7

• Final 4 announced on April 10

• Championship announced on April 13

• 2024 National Park Champion declared on April 16


The Parks Channel is a new platform for “America’s Best Idea” – at home, on the journey and for making memories. Our mobile-optimized website,, features over 500 curated and geotagged videos, enabling visitors to discover amazing places to go, informed by park superfans and others dedicated to public lands. Users can create their own pages, unlock park badges by submitting content and create curated gear checklists for travel based on where they want to go and what they like to do. Coming soon, Parks Channel will be available as an advertising-supported free app on connected TVs.

Alanna Zahn Davis
The Azure Group for Parks Channel
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