Journals: The National Parks - A Personal Goal

We all have goals. Some goals can be accomplished daily while others take a lifetime. As a nature photographer, I set out decades ago to visit and photograph every National Park in the United States. Visiting all National Parks is quite a challenge, as it requires travel to almost every corner of this beautiful country. Some of these areas are quite remote and difficult to access. But I know it will be a rewarding life-long journey. Here is one image I captured at Mt. Rainier National Park during this adventure.

Heaven On Earth
Heaven On Earth - The Neowise Comet at Reflection Lake, Mt. Rainier National Park

Limited Edition Prints Available

There are 62 National Parks scattered over 29 states and 2 territories. So where are the 62 National Parks? They stretch from north Alaska to southern Florida, from the California coast to the eastern seaboard. The list of National Parks I have visited is viewed on this map, as well as those I have not been to. Please follow me as I cross off these national treasures one by one.

The blue dots represent the United States National Parks I have visited, plus a few National Parks in other countries. The red dots are United States National Parks still remaining on the bucket list.


National Parks Visited (32)

Acadia National Park - Maine
Arches National Park - Utah
Badlands National Park - South Dakota
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Colorado
Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah
Canyonlands National Park - Utah
Carlsbad Caverns National Park - New Mexico
Crater Lake National Park - Oregon
Death Valley National Park - California
Denali National Park - Alaska
Everglades National Park - Florida
Glacier National Park - Montana
Glacier Bay National Park - Alaska
Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming
Haleakala National Park - Hawaii
Hawaii Volcano National Park - Hawaii
Joshua Tree National Park - California
Lake Clark National Park - Alaska
Katmai National Park - Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park - Alaska
Lassen Volcano National Park - California
Mt. Rainier National Park - Washington
North Cascades National Park - Washington
Olympic National Park - Washington
Saguaro National Park - Arizona
Shenandoah National Park - Virginia
White Sands National Park - New Mexico
Wind Cave National Park - South Dakota
Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming
Yosemite National Park - California
Zion National Park - Utah


National Parks Remaining (30)

Big Bend National Park - Texas
Biscayne National Park - Florida
Capitol Reef National Park - Utah
Channel Islands National Park - California
Congaree National Park - South Carolina
Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Ohio
Dry Tortugas National Park - Florida
Gates of the Arctic National Park - Alaska
Gateway Arch National Park - Missouri
Great Basin National Park - Nevada
Great Sand Dunes National Park - Colorado
Great Smokey Mountains National Park - Tennessee, North Carolina
Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Texas
Hot Springs National Park - Arkansas
Indiana Dunes National Park - Indiana
Isle Royale National Park - Michigan
Kings Canyon National Park - California
Kobuk Valley National Park - Alaska
Mammoth Cave National Park - Kentucky
Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
America Samoa National Park - American Samoa
Petrified Forest National Park - Arizona
Pinnacles National Park - California
Redwood National Park - California
Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado
Sequoia National Park - California
Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Dakota
Virgin Islands National Park - Virgin Islands
Voyageurs National Park - Minnesota
Wrangell St. Elias National Park - Alaska


Other National Parks Visited

Banff National Park - Canada
Jasper National Park - Canada
Yoho National Park - Canada
Arenal Volcano National Park Costa Rica
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio - Costa Rica


Final Notes

So I'm often asked what is the best National Park? What is your favorite National Park? That's like asking someone who your favorite child is. Each National Park is so unique and each has their own special characteristics and beauty. I suppose if pressured, I would choose Denali or Yellowstone because they have that unique combination of grandiose scenery and spectacular wildlife. But ask me again tomorrow and I might give you a different answer. A few more fun facts:

First National Park Visited - Yellowstone
Last National Park Visited (outside my home state) - Badlands
Most Frequented - Mt. Rainier National Park

Posted in Travel.