Your Passport to Exploring America’s National Parks
I’ve always wanted to explore USA National Parks but never really knew where to begin. I planned my first trip, to a Candian National Park actually, and never looked back! With the guides provided on this page, you can easily choose which National Park is best for you and your travel companions. Take it one step further and plan out your whole stay with the help of my guides so that you don’t miss a single thing.
Plan your Next Vacation with Purpose
Under this heading, you will find my experiences as I explore USA National Parks. These experiences will range from travel and trail guides to adventure tips and tricks for a stress-free stay! Be sure to get out there and not only enjoy their beauty but advocate for their existence and help/donate to their cause!
What is the Definition of a National Park?
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. It is most often a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. This land is reserved for the conservation of wilderness, for posterity, as a symbol of national pride, and for the enjoyment of the people! There are nearly 100 National Parks between The United States and Canada and I am determined to make it to each and every one before my time here is done.
Don’t Explore USA National Parks Without Your Map
There are certain things you can’t leave home without, and if you’re exploring USA National Parks, a map is one of them. Plan your adventure with a map in hand. You never know what ‘hidden gems’ you might find on a map! You will probably find lesser-known trails which means they may be more pristine and less crowded which only adds to your experience.
A map and compass are part of the 10 essentials all hikers should carry with them. Topographic maps are used to plan routes and mileage, estimate travel times, find water sources, campsites, and sights. Maps also help you to track your progress on a hike. You increase your risk of getting lost and needing rescue without a map.
How do I Get a National Park Pass?
For $80 annually, you can have unlimited access to all of the National Parks. Purchase your pass online or at visitors’ centers/the main entrance.
A Park Pass …
- allows pass owner and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle to enter Federally operated recreation sites across the country.
- covers the pass owner and three accompanying adults age 16 and older at sites where per person entrance fees are charged. No entry fee charged for children 15 and under.
- photo identification is required to verify ownership.
- passes are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.
- is FREE for current US Military and their dependents
- will be AWARDED to volunteers who contribute 250 or more hours
- is FREE for United States 4th Grade Students
How Can I End Up in National Park Prison?
Rules and regulations can vary from park to park but many of them stay the same. For one, It is always illegal to deface, vandalize, alter, carve, climb on or walk on any natural object, monument or structure in a National Park. You should never feed or approach wildlife, follow all signs and posted warnings, and take only memories while leaving only footprints.
Disobeying authority in a National Park can leave you, at best, with a hefty fine. Rule-breakers can even find themselves behind bars, injured, or worse. Know the expectations in the park you’re visiting. For example, dogs must be kept on a leash and on paved surfaces in most National Parks, however, in Acadia National Park dogs are allowed on all 120 miles of trails. Don’t spend your vacation behind bars, read up on the rules before you go.
Which National Park is Best?
- Acadia National Park is best for families with dogs! Dogs are allowed on trail and everything is fairly accessible for all kinds of adventure families.
- Badlands National Park is best for rock lovers. There’s a decent chance you might find a fossil during your visit!
- Capitol Reef National Park is best for people who want to experience Utah National Parks without all the crowds.
- Grand Teton National Park is best for that “Wow” factor.
- Kings Canyon National Park is best for those seeking seclusion in a popular area. Venture into the wilderness or stay in a road side campsite, you’re not going to see as many visitors as you would next door in Sequoia or Yosemite!
- Yellowstone National Park is best for variety. Hydrothermal features, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, animals… Yellowstone has it all!
How Can I Find National Parks Near Me?
There are opportunities to explore USA National Parks in 30 of 50 states. There are National Parks in each corner of the country and everywhere in between. If you’re looking for a good time, select your state and see which park is nearest you. Prepare to be shocked when you see how close a National Park might just be to you!
If you love USA National Parks and need reading material for your next adventure, Ranger Confidential will hit every emotion you’re capable of feeling. Follow the journey of a retired Park Ranger as she makes arrests, recovers bodies, and loses dear friends throughout her career. I couldn’t put it down! It really inspired me to plan my next big National Park Adventure and it can inspire yours too!