Established in 1992, it spreads over an area of 160.ooo hectares of which 135.000 in Abruzzo, on the territory of 44 towns divided among the provinces of L’Aquila, Teramo, Pescara Ascoli Piceno and Rieti.
Inside this area totally envelops the mountain chains of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga.
Gran Sasso is situated between the Vomano river basin in the north and that of the Aterno-Pescara river in the south. Corno Grande is the highest peak of the Apennine, at 2912 metres.
Below the northern face of the Corno Grande there is the Calderone, the only glacier of the Apennine and the most southern of Europe.
South of the massif the endless plain of Campo Imperatore spreads out at a height of 1600 metres.
In the Monti della Laga, the main ridge, above 2000 metres, is formed by the Monte Gorzano (2458 m.), the Monte della Laghetta and the Pizzo di Svevo peaks.
The National Park of Gran Sasso and the Monti della Laga offers an extremely valuable patrimony of fauna and vegetation. The woods are essentially made up of beech along with, even though more rarely, holly, various species of maple, mountain ash and silver fir trees. The undergrowth is crowded with large numbers of anemones, ranuncoli, red lilies and different species of wild orchids.
The Park’s fauna is rather varied and is represented by uncommon species, such as the Apennine wolf, the wild cat, wild boars, squirrels, foxes and the chamois, only recently brought back into the area. Among the birds of prey we can point out the peregrine, the goshawk, the golden eagle. The amphibians are also common with three species of newt, the paddled salamander, the Italian newt and the spectacled salamander.