Goal - Visit all 58 (now 61) National Parks

Puget Sound and Olympic National Park in the distance.

Puget Sound and Olympic National Park in the distance.

Many people ask Tom and me, “How did you come up with your goal to visit all 58 (now 61)National Parks?”  Before I answer that question I am compelled to answer the next two questions which are, “Does this include monuments and seashores?” and “Do you have any rules?” 

The goal only includes the 58 (now 61) National Parks. The Park Service manages 391 sites – too many for us to visit. The rules are fairly simple. To count a Park we must spend time in and enjoy the Park together - no drive in and out. (And, we must get an official stamp in my National Park Passport book.) Tom and I got together as older adults and have both visited Parks on our own. So, if we both haven’t been to the Park together, it does not count. One of us has to go again.

Some special visionaries had the foresight, long before enviornmentalism, to save the most unique natural, geological and cultural wonders for all of us to enjoy.

Now back to the original question, “How did we come up with this goal?”. We were both intrigued by Ken Burns Documentary about the National Parks formation.  It’s incredible to me how our land has changed so much in the last 150 years due to settlement and industrialization.  Some special visionaries had the foresight, long before environmentalism, to save the most unique natural, geological and cultural wonders for all of us to continue to enjoy. We both love the outdoors and nature so we found ourselves especially drawn to these cherished and preserved wonders!

Infamous Yosemite National Park!

Infamous Yosemite National Park!

In addition, my family has the good fortune of owning a small condo at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort - at the northern entrance to Mt Rainer National Park. We get to enjoy this spectacular place often for hiking and cycling. Washingtonians can all see and enjoy “the mountain” from most anywhere in the State. Knowing that there are 58 (now 61) comparable places out there, we just had to go see them. We began with Yosemite, one of the most historic. During this trip in May of 2010 is when we made our goal official.

We are 50 parks down with 11 to go, as of September 2019, to reach our goal of visiting all, now 61, National Parks! Click below.

Parks 48-50 Exploring the Datokas - Wind Cave, Badlands and Theordore Roosevlt National Parks

Parks 44-47 Arches, Capitol Reef and Grand Canyon National Parks - an Adventure!

Park 43 Shenandoah National Park via our Nation’s Capital!

Parks 40-42 Parks Voyaguers, Isle Royale and Cuyahoga Valley National Parks - the Great Lakes and the Great North Woods!

Park 39 Acadia National Park - the Other Coast

Parks 36-38 Biscayne, Everglades and Dry Tortugas Naitonal Parks - the Water Parks of Florida

Park 35 Petrified Forest National Park - What Makes it Petrified?

Park 31-34 Congaree, Great Smokey Mountains, Mammoth Caves and Hot Springs National Parks - our Southeastern Tour

Parks 28-30 Bryce, Zion and Great Basin National Parks - a Road Trip Home

Parks 26-27 Haleakala and Volcanoes National Parks - the Hawaiin Parks

Parks 16 & 23-25 Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountain National Parks - Our Tour de Colorado

Park 22 Pinnacles National Park - the New One

Park 3 Glacier Bay National Park and the Inside Passage via Ferry - Skip the Cruise Ship

Park 21 Waterton - Glacier National Peace Park - In and Around the Four Historic Lodges

Park 20 Saguaro National Park for the New Year!

Parks 17-19 What is Big Bend National Park? Where is Quadalupe Mountains National Park? And, Who first explored Carlsbad Caverns National Park?

Park 13-15 Where is Channel Islands National Park? How Big are the Trees in Sequoia National Park? And, What is Kings Canyon National Park?

Park 12 The North Cascades National Park, North America’s Alps

Parks 1 & 10 Is that a Cactus in Joshua Tree National Park? Will I Die in Death Valley?

Park 11 Olympic National Park - a Clockwise Tour

Parks 8 & 9 Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks via Bozeman, MT and Wallace, ID

Parks 4-7 Redwoods, Yosemite, Mt Lassen and Crater Lake National Park - Our First Four

Park 2 Cycling in Mt Rainer National Park

We like to give back to the National Parks through the National Park Foundation.