National Park Service

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Last update 2Mar14



The National Park Service (NPS) is part of the Department of the Interior and is responsible for care and operation of more than 400 sites. NPS has an overlap of responsibility with local communities, Indian Tribes, and other entities. With 275 million visitors per year, Wazers are going to be visiting these locations.

Park roads are constructed only where necessary, and only as necessary, to provide access for the protection, use and enjoyment of the natural, historical, cultural and recreational resources which constitute our National Park System. National park roadways, where they exist, are planned for leisurely sightseeing and are located with sensitive concern for the environment and designed with extreme care. They are often narrow, winding, and hilly. In some cases they take on the characteristics of interstates or major highways, such as around Washington, D.C.

Waze and National Park Service

Creating accurate and properly represented NPS landmarks and roads:

  • Benefit large numbers of tourists and recreational users of NPS faculties,
  • Allow Wazers to more quickly find important landmarks (points of interest), such as campgrounds, ranger stations, visitor centers...

Functional Classification

NPS Road Classes

For purposes of functional classification, the routes which make up a park road system are grouped based on use into three categories: Public Use Park Roads, Administrative Park Roads, and Urban Parkways and city Streets. Note that federal or state roads may exists within National Park System lands. This section only refers to the roads that are maintained by the NPS.

The assignment of a functional classification to a park road is not based on traffic volumes or design speed, but on the Intended use or function of that particular road or route.

Name Description Suggested
Road Treatment
Principle Park Road, Rural Parkway Roads which constitute the main access route, circulatory tour, or thoroughfare for park visitors. Primary Street, Street
Connector Park Road Roads which provide access within a park to areas of scenic, scientific, recreational or cultural interest, such as overlooks, campgrounds, etc. Street
Special Purpose Park Road Roads which provide circulation within public use areas, such as campgrounds, picnic areas, visitor center complexes, concessioner facilities, etc. These roads generally serve low· speed traffic and are often designed for one-way


Primitive Park Road Roads which provide circulation through remote areas and access to primitive campgrounds and undeveloped areas. These roads frequently

hive no minimum design standards and their use may be limited to specially equipped vehicles.

Trail / 4x4
Administrative Access Road All public roads Intended for access to administrative developments or structures such as park offices, employee quarters, or utility areas. Private Road
Restricted Roads All roads normally closed to the public, including patrol roads, truck trails, and other similar roads. Private Road

The following diagram provides examples of where these road classes might be located in a typical National Park setting.

National Park Service Road Classification2.png

Editing Resources

NPS - Find a Park

The Find A Park page on the NPS website allows you to quick find park-specific resource through a series of interactive maps. Each park web page may have information on landmarks and roads that are important for Wazers visiting these sites.

NPS Transportation

The NPS Transportation maintains the Park Roads and Parkways Program (PRPP) which takes care of roads, parking lots, bridges, and other transportation resources in the National Parks. This site seems primarily internally directed towards NPS staff, but a useful technical resource is a 1984 Park Road Standards document that is still in effect today.

Similar Road Systems

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