Parks

Parks

59* parks to visit! 31 down, 28 to go!

Next up: Alaska National Parks

Current Rankings (Click to see my personal rating system)

  1. Congaree (SC)
  2. Smoky Mountains (TN/NC)
  3. Grand Teton (WY)
  4. Hawaii Volcanoes (HI)
  5. Mammoth Cave (KY)
  6. Everglades (FL)
  7. Black Canyon of the Gunnison (CO)
  8. Great Sand Dunes (CO)
  9. Badlands (SD)
  10. Wind Cave (SD)
  11. Theodore Roosevelt (ND)
  12. Guadalupe Mountains (TX)
  13. Hot Springs (AR)
  14. Bryce Canyon (UT)
  15. Acadia (ME)
  16. Shenandoah (VA)
  17. Rocky Mountain (CO)
  18. Yellowstone (WY)
  19. Crater Lake (OR)
  20. Glacier (MT)
  21. Big Bend (TX)
  22. North Cascades (WA)
  23. Carlsbad Caverns (NM)
  24. Canyonlands (UT)
  25. Arches (UT)
  26. Capitol Reef (UT)
  27. Cuyahoga (OH)
  28. Mesa Verde (CO)
  29. Zion (UT)
  30. Haleakala (HI) 
  31. Grand Canyon (AZ)

*There are currently 61 National Parks – but two are on American territories that we will not be visiting. At least not until we have a lotttt more money. Also, did you know that the St Louis Arch and Indiana Dunes were just promoted to National Parks a few months ago??


  • Yellowstone National Park - After I got my Junior Ranger badge from the Grand Tetons, we headed back up to Yellowstone National Park! Mike decided to bike from Flagg Staff in Grand Teton to Grant Village in Yellowstone. We were originally going to meet at Old Faithful which is a little further than Grant Village. However, I drove there and was beyond overwhelmed with the sheer number of people and madness. It felt like I was at Disney World. So, I drove back a...

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  • Grand Teton National Park - We entered Grand Teton National Park from the North entrance which meant we had to do a quick drive through Yellowstone first.  Woof…. both these parks are poppin with thousands of people. Luckily, this helped remind us to get back into our good system; early evening activities, sleep a little, and get back at it around sunrise. Best way to avoid the crowds! When we arrived, we stopped at Flagg Ranch first for information. From there, Mike biked to Colter...

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  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park - I didn’t know much about this park and wasn’t expecting much because…. it’s North Dakota. Boy, did it surprise me. For hours, during our drive there, it was the typical mostly flat plains, grassland, farms…. your basic midwest scenery. I was definitely not getting excited for Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But then BAM! We drove over an itty bitty midwest hill and it hits you. It’s a rugged landscape, full of badlands type rocks under all these open hills. It’s...

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  • Wind Cave National Park - After Badlands, we stopped by Mt Rushmore for a quick $10 selfie and then on our way to Wind Cave. Not really worth it to us… especially since someone ran into us and ruined Mike’s bike rack.  Either way, we got to Wind Cave early afternoon, and drove to the visitor center. Being only a hop away from Badlands, it’s not surprising that the landscape was prettyyyy similar.  Once we got to the visitor center, we grabbed my Jr Ranger...

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  • Badlands National Park - We’re back at it! After about 7 months of grinding and saving in Fort Collins, we are off to finish this thing! The plan is to head northwest up to Alaska, hitting up the parks we haven’t done yet along the way. We tried to visit South Dakota a few times while we were in Colorado since it wasn’t a bad drive, but the weather always foiled our plans. Thus, Badlands National Park became our first stop in Adventure: Part...

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  • Rocky Mountain National Park - We’ve been living in Colorado for about six months working away. And we FINALLY made it to the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. And to be honest, we still didn’t give it the time it deserves. It’s been pretty tough with our work schedules, but I still didn’t want to give up the one day we had to explore. We went on the first day of National Park Week, which was also National Junior Ranger Day (4/20/19), so OBVIOUSLY we...

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  • Acadia National Park - Acadia National Park holds a special place in my heart. My dad’s side of the family all live in Maine so I’ve been lucky enough to visit this park quite a few times. Due to a ridiculous amount of van issues caused by a cotton headed ninny muggins dealership This time, I was #blessed that I got to see Acadia in three different seasons this time; summer, fall, and pre-winter! Summer If you have never been to Acadia, and want the...

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  • Shenandoah National Park - After my friend-venture week, Mike and I headed to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia! It was a perfect place to spend our first anniversary together! We were a little nervous to be there during Labor Day weekend and expected it to be crazy busy, but it turns out most people visit during October to look at the foliage. Shenandoah is an extremely long and narrow park. It’s main road, Skyline Drive, is over 100 miles from North to South. We entered...

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  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Cuyahoga Valley National Park is nestled between Cleveland and Akron, following 22 miles of the Cuyahoga River. While this park did not blow me away in terms of the scenery or wildlife (it reminded me a lot of my local state and city parks), it certainly deserves our respect. It’s part in our American history is bigger than the river itself, but what is most impressive to me is how it came to be a National Park. The local residents...

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  • Grand Canyon National Park - After Zion National Park, Mike and I headed to the Grand Canyon! We were meeting our friends there the next day, so we spent the evening at the North Rim to see the canyon from the less viewed side. It was wonderful to relax on the beautiful lodge deck with a delicious Grand Canyon beer.  We also met an amazing Park Ranger that majored in geology that typically works on the South Rim side, but was visiting this side with...

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