I just celebrated my birthday bitching about how much I hate my 40’s. I might not be ok with aging, but there is someone who is. No, I’m not talking about the dancing 106 year old woman who met the President and Mrs. Obama; I’m talking about the US National Park System.
Our National Parks Have Turned 100!
For you trivia geeks – here’s a few important facts:
There are 59 National Parks in the US. Twenty-seven states have national parks. California has the most (9), followed by Alaska (8), Utah (5), and Colorado (4). The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska: at over 8 million acres, it is larger than each of the nine smallest states. The next three largest parks are also in Alaska. The smallest park is Hot Springs, Arkansas, at less than 6 thousand acres. The total area protected by national parks is approximately 51.9 million acres. The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, with over ten million visitors in 2014, followed by Arizona’s Grand Canyon, with over 4.7 million. In contrast, only 12,669 people visited the remote Gates of the Arctic in Alaska in the same year. Fourteen national parks are designated World Heritage Sites.
I thought I’d celebrate the National Parks Centennial by sharing a few of my favorite pictures of parks that I’ve visited through the years (at least since I’ve had a decent camera). Plus, you’ll find my personal park trivia tidbits at the end! Be sure to share yours too!
My Park Trivia
Parks I’ve been to in my lifetime (* means I only visited as a child):
Arches NP, Badlands NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Canyonlands NP, Death Valley NP, Denali NP, Glacier NP*, Grand Canyon NP, Great Smokey Mountains NP, Haleakala NP, Hawaii Volcanoes NP, Kenai Fjords NP, Mammoth Cave NP, Mt. Ranier NP*, Petrified Forest NP, Shenandoah NP, Theodore, Roosevelt NP, Wrangell St. Elias NP, Yellowstone NP*, Yosemite NP, Zion NP
New Parks I’m planning to go to in 2016!
Acadia NP – Maine
Lassen Volcanic NP – California
Redwoods NP- California
Rocky Mountain NP – Colorado
Great Sand Dunes NP – Colroado
Check out #FindYourPark
Find Your Park is about more than just national parks! It’s about state parks, local parks, trails, museums, historic sites, and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries.
Visit FindYourPark.com to sample upcoming centennial events near you, share your stories, and find your park! Participate in Find Your Park Experiences to learn, discover, be inspired, or simply have fun in national parks.