For the past year I’ve traded in Passport stamps for touring a lot of America including some of our amazing National Parks. I bought a parks pass and there was no turning back, only detouring to the next awesome place. I found it kind of fitting that my first parks pass happened in the centennial year. What better time than now to check off some parks?

National parks have been around for 100 years!?

It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can buy a year long pass for $80 or you can go on one of the free entrance days that are left in the year. Below is an excerpt from the National Parks Service website:

The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and we want everyone to join the party! On 16 days in ’16, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2016:
January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
April 16 through 24: National Park Week
August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
September 24: National Public Lands Day (THIS WEEKEND!)
November 11: Veterans Day

If you are reading this after 2016 fear not, the National Parks Service has free days every year.

Here’s a list of 100 experiences you can have in the National Parks. I’m a huge fan of lists. I’m also a huge fan of travel and experiences. Why not combine the two? Make your own bucket list.

Your passport to National Parks

Did you know that you could even get a stamp for each National Park you visit? I just found that out after I visited a ton of parks and my year pass is almost expired. Opps! I could have been getting stamps after all. Not from countries but from parks. My friend tells me you can write to them and ask for a stamp on a piece of paper to staple into your book. Or better yet, just go back! I’m sure you didn’t get enough of the park when you were there or maybe you just scratched the surface.

What’s your favorite National Park?

Some of my favorites are Crater Lake, Rainer, Yellowstone and Yosemite. I haven’t visited them all but I have been to a lot of the parks and monuments as well as state and local parks.

Respect for National Parks

What would you do if they do away with National Parks and let people do what they want with the land like build houses? It’s a thing they are talking about and it makes me sad. I found a good article talking about it. Please excuse any slant toward elephant or donkey as I try to steer clear of mixing business and politics.

I don’t think America would be as beautiful if we didn’t preserve some of our treasures. Nature is one of our best features in the states. I hope we can preserve a lot of untouched land for everyone to enjoy for as long as we are here on this earth.

If a park is closed for one reason or another please do not leave the park worse than you found it. Just because a park isn’t being manned doesn’t mean you should treat the park any differently. Leave no trace is an excellent practice on any public and private land.

Serendipity: I was writing this post and looked up to see this cool drawing on a chalkboard at my co-working space. It works well as the header, don’t you think!

Fun fact: As this post goes live I’m probably in Denali National Park. A 6 million acre National Park that is not the nation’s largest. This is my 50th state to visit. The end of my quest to visit every state. It’s been fun. I’ve posted a lot about it on the blog over the last two years. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey with me. The adventure won’t stop here though. I still have a really long bucket list.

National Parks are a treasure to the USA