100 Years of National Parks

Photos taken at the following National Parks: Arches, Congaree, Death Valley, Grand Canyon,
Great Smoky Mountains, Mammoth Cave, Petrified Forest, Shenandoah, Yosemite, and Zion.
Zion National Park tee is from Huckberry.

By the time you’re reading this, then I’m taking advantage of this Free Admission Weekend at the National Parks and I’m preparing to go away for the weekend on a trip exploring the Badlands and Wind Cave in the Black Hills of South Dakota with my husband. Today is the day of the National Park Service Centennial and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate then by taking a road trip with Austin to visit two National Parks that I’ve never been to before.

Personally, I’ve visited fifteen of the fifty-eight National Parks and it’s my one day future hope to be able to say that I’ve explored them all. Over the course of many family road trips and now married life travels, I’ve been to Arches, Badlands (this weekend!), Congaree, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Mammoth Cave, Petrified Forest, Redwoods, Rocky Mountains, Sequoia, Shenandoah, Wind Cave (this weekend!), Yosemite, and Zion.

There are so many stories to be told from those trips and yet so many more adventures to be had! Yosemite is where I spent my honeymoon and Austin and I are already looking forward to the day we can go back. Zion is one of first National Park that I vividly remember going to as a child and I can’t wait to hike the Narrows and Angel’s Landing one day. My grandparents took me on a special weekend trip to Shenandoah to hike part of the Appalachian Trail and I have fond memories of road trip detours in the desert with my parents and siblings to stop at Petrified Forest, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. Those were days of family hikes, glorious morning sunrises, and sitting together, huddled around a campfire. (Oh, and Death Valley is HOT. In case you were curious.)

This post is my thank you to the National Park Service for protecting these lands and giving them back to the people for us to enjoy. These gorgeous places are here for us so be sure to #FindYourPark, get out there, explore, and leave no trace.

For any upcoming camping and hiking adventures for the National Park Service Centennial, be sure to check out Huckberry for all of your exploration essentials.

What’s your favorite National Park?

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  • That’s so awesome that national parks have been around for 100 years. I really wished I lived close to one so I could go for a visit but the nearest one to me is about a 10 hour drive. I have been to only 2 I think but I too want to see them all one day 🙂

    • 10 hours is a long drive, but hopefully you’ll be able to go one day! We’ve made pretty long drives to visit the Parks and it’s always been worth it.

  • Taylor Smith

    My husband and I LOVE national parks. We live really close to Yellowstone and go all the time 🙂

    • We’ve never been to Yellowstone, but we’d love to one day! It looks beautiful from all the photos I’ve seen.

  • Awesome! I have not been to as many National Parks as I would like. I definitely want to make a road trip to Yellowstone one day!

    • Yellowstone is on my must-visit list too!

  • Many of my fondest childhood memories came from family vacations to the national parks (CA, AZ, UT, CO, and WY). Protecting these great, wild public lands is so important, and it’s one of the things that I think is done so well in the United States. I recently moved to New England and though I know I’m close to many new places to visit, I do feel a sense of loss for the great American West.

  • I love national parks. I have visited the Great Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave in the past, but I wouldn’t mind visiting them again! Also, I’d love to visit Yosemite someday. 🙂

    • Yosemite is one of my favorites! It’s so gorgeous and I can’t wait to go back! The Great Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave are so fun. I went for the first time just a few months ago. 🙂

  • Abby Grajewski

    I love the Badlands and Black Hills. I spent a lot of time there this summer. They really are beautiful places. 🙂

    • Awesome! I’m excited to go for the first time. Anything you’d recommend doing or seeing while we’re there?

  • OMG I am dying to go to Zion! Seriously national parks are my favorite vacations

    • They are mine too! And Zion is stunning.

  • Shannon

    Grand Teton is my happy place. We have gone in March the last several years and I want to go in the summer at some point. We’re moving back to Colorado, so planning on enjoying Rocky Mountain and Great Sand Dunes again!

    • I’ve never been to Grand Teton, but I’d love to one day! Colorado is an amazing National Park State! We’re taking a road trip next weekend to the Rocky Mountains and I can’t wait!

  • Cassandra, I am SOO jealous!! I was just talking to a friend about national parks, and I feel like that should be our next vacation. 🙂 It is so neat that your goal is to visit every single National Park: i love that idea! We are only a couple hours from the badlands (we live in Nebraska), and I really need to take my hubby to see them (he’s from Maui, and has never been). Thanks for the inspiration!

    • My husband and I actually just moved to Nebraska! (We’ll be living in Omaha until the end of October) and we’re driving to the Badlands tonight (about an 8 hour drive) and next weekend, we’ll be taking a similar trip to Colorado. I love how close Nebraska is to everything! It makes it so easy to take spontaneous weekend getaways. So you’ve been to the Badlands before? Anything we should be sure to see while we’re there? or anything you recommend for our time in Nebraska?

  • I live up in Canada but there are definitely a few US national Parks I want to visit. BUT next year is Canada’s 150th birthday so they are opening up the National parks (and some of the provincial ones as well) for Free Admission for the WHOLE YEAR.

    So if you love some good parks come visit 🙂

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • This is the excuse I’ve finally needed to visit Canada!

  • I love this post! National parks are the absolute best and I wish I could only go to more of them. Rocky Mountain National Park was the prettiest I’ve been to so far. The mountains!

    • They are so beautiful! I’ll be going with my husband to the Rocky Mountains next weekend and I’m so excited for him to see them for the first time.

  • Ivanna

    I just read it was national parks day. We love them we want to start taking family trips and explore them all.

    • Family trips to the National Parks are some of my favorite childhood memories. It’s wonderful that you’re going to start exploring the parks together!

  • Such beautiful nature! I’m excited to be visiting the Rockies later this year!

  • LiviaRachelle

    I’ve visited Arches, Zion, Petrified Forest (we saw the Painted Desert, but I am not sure we got to the Petrified Forest part although we did see small amounts of petrified wood), Grand Canyon,
    Great Smoky Mountains, and Mammoth Cave. Prior to our Western Trip this past May, I had only been to the last two mentioned (we live in the South). I am not sure if I’ve visited or driven through Shenandoah or not. I have seen red redwoods (Muir Woods in San Francisco, I believe), and we drove through the foothills of the Rockies and visited the Petroglyph National Monument during our big trip. I need to make a list of parks in my travel plans and journals. I listed all the states, but I need to list all the parks (and historical sites). I really love your posts about travel, that is something I want to work on.

  • I love visiting National Parks. I hope to do all the 58 U.S. ones in my lifetime. I loved Zion and hiking Angels landing and the narrows. Those have been my favorite. The first time I went to Zion we were there when there was a flash flood. It was awesome! Seeing the fury of Mother Nature! I’ve also done Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite. Yellowstone is next on my list 🙂

  • I love visiting National Parks and can’t wait to visit more. I most recently went to Sequoia National Park and it was gorgeous!

  • Emily | emilybogner.com

    I love nature and being able to enjoy God’s creations. Your pictures are beautiful — thank you for sharing!

    Xx, Emily

  • I am fortunate enough to live right next to a Valley Forge National Historical park. I just went for a jog there on Monday!