It never crossed my mind to write about all the National Parks I’ve visited and I have one in my own backyard! As a kid my parents took me and my sister to see a lot of the parks in the Southwest of the United States, my husband and I have continued the tradition and love seeing these special places & now I want to share them with you! Obviously, I can’t write on all the National Parks & Monuments in the US but I do want to share the ones I’ve visited most recently & my favorites! This comes at a great time since we are planning a trip to a California park later this year!
Before we begin I wanted to tell you what the difference is between a National Park (NP) and a National Monument (NM).
Both are part of the National Park Service and open to everyone to come and visit. They both can have fees to enter, (although most are free) but if you plan your trip early enough you might be able to catch visiting on a fee free day! HERE
A National Park is designated by Congress.
A National Monument is designated by a President through the Antiquities Act (1906) passed by Theodore Roosevelt. Many of our premiere NPs started as NM.
A couple things to keep in mind when visiting or planning to visit a National Park:
Check out the NPS.gov site to help plan your visit
Be responsible with your trash & place in designated containers. Many National Parks and Monuments have a lot of wildlife, like bears that will get into trash.
Come prepared! Bring a backpack, a water bottle & comfy shoes for exploring. (Don’t forget a jacket for cooler parks & especially caves!)
Stop at the Visitor Center to get a map & maybe a souvenir!
Check to see if the parks you are visiting have any limitations or are pet friendly when traveling with your pets.
Have kids? Be sure to ask about the Junior Ranger program at each park. (We enjoy doing these even thought we’re adults!)
NPs & NMs we will be exploring during this series: (Not necessarily in this order)
Yosemite National Park
Redwoods National Park
Pinnacles National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit)
Lava Beds National Monument
Devil’s Tower National Monument
Denali National Park
What is your favorite National Park?