Part of our move to Denver was to be closer to some of the big national parks/etc. There are several places we want to see in our motorhome.
I can count the national places I’ve seen; it’s not nearly enough. And most of the ones I’ve seen aren’t any of the “big” ones.
During a conversation with C, our camping meetup host at Sugarite, I realized that some of the places I’ve seen (and hadn’t counted) are part of the national system. In looking them up, I learned that there are a lot more national designations than I had realized.
I’m also going to add tribal Reservations and Parks to this list as we run across them.
Big Bend National Park – I was 4-ish, so I don’t remember much other than being tired of being in the car. My parents loved to stay in the car for vacations, so we didn’t hike or camp or “do” anything while there. — E&I tried to see Big Bend and Fort Davis again before we left Texas, but with the move and buying/selling, we couldn’t plan far enough in advance to get reservations.
Fort Davis National Historic Site – same “too little” trip.
Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River – same trip, but I remember that one better, I remember seeing Mexico, too, but like hell my parents were going there
South Padre National Seashore – a few times
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – but with my parents, so again it was just from the car
Mammoth Cave National Park – we took the tour of this one…and now most other caves can’t compare
San Antonio Missions National Historic Park – we did walk around each of these
I must have been to/through some reservations in Oklahoma, but I can’t name them.
Everglades National Park – in college. We hiked, kayaked, camped, volunteered, and more.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, George Washington, and Jefferson National Forests – hiking during Alternative Spring Break, but only a mile or two in and back to Damascus, VA
Miccosukee Indian Reservation – in college, I volunteered for a week on this reservation working with young students, and learning about the tribe and their traditions. It was nothing short of amazing.
Sam Houston National Forest – Sosta kitty and I camped there
As a couple
Gila National Forest and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument – with the Alternative Spring Break trips we advised
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail – twice; once with Alternative Spring Break where we worked on the trail (not yet complete) and again in the Carson National Forest
Pearl Harbor National Memorial – formal tour (and hopefully, the Pandemic forced them to fix their tickets/entry problems)
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge – hiking on the boardwalks of the swamp and birding
Carson National Forest – twice, with my last job for the annual corporate vacation.
Hot Springs National Park – really good hiking
Ouachita National Forest – hiking, picnicking, and chasing waterfalls
Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park – a self-guided drive-through experience
Rita Blanca and Kiowa National Grasslands – but just driving through them two of the three times we went from Texas to Trinidad, CO
Since moving to Denver
Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests – driving through these is a unique experience no matter which route you take
Rocky Mountain National Park – hiking, picnicking, and looking for critters
White River National Forest – on our way to Palisade, CO
Grand Mesa National Forest – Jeepin’ Around to the top, picnicking, the views
Gunnison National Forest – Jeepin’ Around from Crested Butte to Taylor Park
Rio Grande National Forest – Driving the MH and Jeep from Gunnison to Howard by way of Saguache; the pass we took was less intense than Monarch Pass
San Isabel National Forest – Jeepin’ Around central Colorado
Wind River Reservation – on our way to the Tetons
Shoshone National Forest and Teton National Forest – on our way to the Tetons
National Elk Refuge – while driving through the Tetons National Park
Targhee & Bridager-Teton National Forests – on our way to Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve – one of the most unique places on Earth
Challis National Forest – while near Challis ID and the nearby hot springs
[Shoshone Falls – a former National Park]
Sawtooth National Forest – the southern/separate piece
Cache National Forest and Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest – a gorgeous drive to Bear Lake and Garden City and back
Ashley National Forest – driving from Brigham City to Vernal UT
Flaming Gorge (& Dam) National Recreation Area – another former National Park
Dinosaur National Monument – on the west side of Dinosaur National Park
Arches National Park
[Dead Horse Cliff State (UT) Park; this one isn’t a national park, but it should be. It’s that good.]
Canyonlands National Park – north half
Dinosaur National Park – east side
Colorado National Monument – driving through in the north-to-south direction; we need to do this one again and maybe go the other direction
Capitol Reef National Park – both before and after a Flash Flood
Manti-La Sal National Forrest – on our way to Natural Bridges and Monument Valley
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – Jeepin’ through the park, and a 4×4 is best for that road!
Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park – “the only place where four states meet, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.”
Mesa Verde National Park –
Great Sand Dunes National Park –