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  • Writer's pictureAmy Trudell

Amy's Angle>

Let's Chat About...National Parks



Randy and I enjoy traveling and we especially like visiting National Parks. We purchased a small motor home last year and look forward to using it while we explore what these grand parks have to offer. We were fortunate this past Christmas to receive an "Annual National Park Pass" from our son and a beautiful "National Parks Book" from our daughter!




Many National Parks were put in place to preserve the land and historic sites once occupied by American Indian Tribes and the first settlers that homesteaded the land. Other Parks were developed to protect nature and wildlife.


The "Father of National Parks" is John Muir, born in Scotland in 1838. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 11 years. Throughout his 20's, he spent much of his time exploring the North American Wilderness. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln assigned Yosemite Park to the state of California. This was the first-time land had been set aside by the government for protection and public use. Muir spent the rest of his life campaigning to protect it and was a passionate advocate for America's National Parks.



The National Parks Service (NPS) was created in the early 20th century to protect our beautiful lands. In 1872 Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant established the world's first National

Park - Yellowstone! We as citizens also have a role to play in preserving the parks by being respectful and following park guidelines. There are currently 62 National Parks in the United States and I have them listed in order of establishment below:


  1. Yellowstone (1872) - Wyoming

  2. Yosemite (1890) - California

  3. Sequoia (1890) - California

  4. Mount Rainier (1899) - Washington

  5. Crater Lake (1902) - Oregon

  6. Wind Cave (1903) - South Dakota

  7. Mesa Verde (1906) - Colorado

  8. Glacier (1910) - Montana

  9. Rocky Mountain (1915) - Colorado

  10. Lassen Volcanic (1916) - California

  11. Hawai'i Volcanoes (1916) - Hawaii

  12. Denali (1917) - Alaska

  13. Grand Canyon (1919) - Arizona

  14. Zion (1919) - Utah

  15. Acadia (1919) - Maine

  16. Hot Springs (1921) - Arkansas

  17. Bryce Canyon (1928) - Utah

  18. Grand Teton (1929) - Wyoming

  19. Carlsbad Caverns (1930) - New Mexico

  20. Great Smoky Mountains (1934) - Tennessee / North Carolina

  21. Shenandoah (1935) - Virginia

  22. Olympic (1938) - Washington

  23. Kings Canyon (1940) - California

  24. Isle Royale (1940) - Lake Superior

  25. Mammoth Cave (1941) - Kentucky

  26. Big Bend (1944) - Texas

  27. Everglades (1947) - Florida

  28. Virgin Islands (1956) - The Caribbean

  29. Haleakala (1961) - Hawaii

  30. Petrified Forest (1962) - Arizona

  31. Canyonlands (1964) - Utah

  32. North Cascades (1968) - Washington

  33. Redwood (1968) - California

  34. Capitol Reef (1971) - Utah

  35. Arches (1971) - Utah

  36. Guadalupe Mountains (1972) - Texas

  37. Voyageurs (1975) - Minnesota

  38. Theodore Roosevelt (1978) - North Dakota

  39. Badlands (1978) - South Dakota

  40. Channel Islands (1980) - California

  41. Biscayne (1980) - Florida

  42. Katmai (1980) - Alaska

  43. Glacier Bay (1980) - Alaska

  44. Gates of the Arctic (1980) - Alaska

  45. Kenai Fjords (1980) - Alaska

  46. Kobuk Valley (1980) - Alaska

  47. Lake Clark (1980) - Alaska

  48. Wrangell - St. Elias (1980) - Alaska

  49. Great Basin (1986) - Nevada

  50. National Park of American Samoa (1988) - Pacific Ocean

  51. Dry Tortugas (1992) - Florida

  52. Death Valley (1994) - California

  53. Saguaro (1994) - Arizona

  54. Joshua Tree (1994) - California

  55. Black Canyon of the Gunnison (1999) - Colorado

  56. Cuyahoga Valley (2000) - Ohio

  57. Congaree (2003) - South Carolina

  58. Grand Sand Dunes (2004) - Colorado

  59. Pinnacles (2013) - California

  60. Gateway Arch (2018) - Missouri / Illinois

  61. Indiana Dunes (2019) - Indiana

  62. White Sands (2019) - New Mexico



Randy and I have only begun to scratch the surface of visiting these parks. We have been to Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt, Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, Saguaro, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Arches. Next on our bucket list include the parks on the west coast such as Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite and the Redwoods.



Some of the benefits to being an annual National Park Pass holder include:

  • Valid for one year from the month of purchase.

  • Covers entrance fee for driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle up to 4 adults (children 15 years and under are free).

  • Honored at all National Parks and Monuments as well as most sites managed by the Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Covers Park admission only. Does not include extras such as parking, camping, boat launches, shuttles or guided tours.




So, if you have a spirit for adventure and enjoy exploring our National Parks as we do, please share your experiences in the comments below!


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