More than 424 parks make up The National Parks system. The first, Yellowstone National Park, was created in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Parks can be found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and many US Territories.  Included in the legislation for the first park, and I believe an unofficial motto for Parks, is a beautiful reminder for us all – 

“For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”

Shenandoah National Park

Park Stats Location: Western Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains Park #: 22 Park established: December 26, 1935 President in office: Franklin D. Roosevelt Park size: 198,000 acres Highest elevation: 4,050 ft - Hawksbill Mountain Lowest elevation: 550 ft Visitors: 1,449,300 in 2022 Fun facts: One of the parks that utilized the Civilian Conservation Corps in its creation More than [...]

Hot Springs National Park

Park Stats Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas Park established: March 4, 1921 Park #: 18th National Park President in office: President Woodrow Wilson Park size: 5000 Acres Visitors: 2.6 million in 2022 Fun facts: The hot springs were believed to have healing properties and was turned into a spa town in 1832 It is the oldest park having been established as [...]

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Park Stats Location: Little Rock, Arkansas Park established: November 6, 1998 President in office: Bill Clinton Park size: 28 Acres Visitors: 92,108 in 2022 Fun fact: It is the only National Park Sight unit with a functioning high school as its focal point I spent much more time at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site than I expected.  [...]

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park Park established: February 26, 1919 President in office: Woodrow Wilson Park number: 15th I visited in early March, long before the busy season. The benefit of this timing was I arrived before spring break trips and before the summer busy season. The risk is winter weather. I stayed at Mather Campground. It was my first solo [...]

Yellowstone National Park

I am so lucky to have gotten to visit Yellowstone quite a bit over the years. During my 2021 adventures, I used Big Sky, MT as my home base. It's about an hour from the West Yellowstone entrance. During the off-season I would pop into the park for a few hours. It afforded me the opportunity to see the Park [...]

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Park Stats Park established: October 31, 1941 President in office: Franklin D. Roosevelt Mount Rushmore is a must-see as you drive through South Dakota. The view is really impressive. Turn off I-90 at Rapid City. If you need gas, a place to stay, or some food, this is your best option. Follow signs and your GPS to Mount Rushmore. Parking [...]

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon was one of my first stops.  I was headed to the Grand Canyon and decided to make a pit stop for a few hours.  It was early spring and snow dusted some of the park. It was beautiful! I drove to the furthest point and spent a few hours visiting the overlooks. It wasn't very busy so I [...]

Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower was one of the first stops on my trip. I took the detour off of I-90 with my fingers crossed that it was even open. I lucked out. Right off of the parking lot is a visitors center and toilets. While the visitors center was closed, they still had a stand for stamping your National Parks Passport. A [...]