There are remains of whaling stations and graves from the 17th century. In addition there are remains of several Arctic expeditions, for instance in Virgohamna, Danskøya, the launching point for Swedish engineer S. A. Andrée's failed 1897 attempt to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. The park was established by royal resolution on 1 June 1973.
The Troll and Jotun hot springs in the park along the edge of the Bockfjorden are the northernmost documented terrestrial hot springs on earth at almost 80 degrees north latitude. The first documentation of these springs was in the late 1800s. Hoel and Haltedahl studied these two hot springs in some detail. They reported that the Jotun hot spring has a temperature of 24.5°C and the Troll hot spring has a temperature of 28.3°C.