Fun Fact!: The Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited national park.
In 1827, the United States congress passed an act that established Yellowstone National park beginning a rich tradition of preserving land for the recreation and enjoyment of the people.
(For more information about the history of national parks please visit the National Park Service Page)
Parks I've visited
I've had the privilege to visit several parks so far in my life:
- Painted Desert/Petrified Forest
- Joshua Tree
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Rocky Mountain
- The Grand Canyon
- Mammoth Cave
Fun Fact!: Yosemite and the Great Smokey Mountains I've been to more than once.
This list is significantly shorter than I'd like it to be. The NPS has almost 400 properties and while it may be impossible for me to visit all of them it is one of my more lofty goals in life to try.
My Personal Favorites
When I was 12 years old my family visited Yosemite National Park. I'd never experienced such a sense of awe and wonder at nature before and I was hooked. This visit instilled in me a love and desire to see as much of our country's national beauty as possible. It maybe impossible for another park to dethrone Yosemite as my favorite, but those I visited in Utah, Zion and Arches, came close. I was fortunate to visit these parks with my older sister and value the experience we were able to enjoy together.
Zion was particularly striking because of the vast array of colors that stretched from ground to sky. It has several waterfalls that were still melting in October when I visited. The park converges at a deep canyon and if you're brave enough, you can hike through it. As a native Floridian, it was just too cold for me! This park is just full of picturesque overlooks.
Arches has rock formations unlike anywhere else in the world. It is such a surreal experience to be able to walk under bright red stone as if you should be passing into another world. This park is not wooded, but instead has a vast landscape dotted with mountains, almost as if the mountains were pieces on a chess board. When you look closely, you can see striations showing how the rocks have changed over thousands of years.