Whether you’re seeking solace and solitude, space for healing and reflection, or just a little “leg room” after months of social distancing, the parks are ready to welcome us back with open arms. Thankfully, the Midwest national parks offer all of us an opportunity to find some comfort and quiet space to continue the conversations we’re only just beginning.
Home to the mightiest and most iconic cacti on the planet, Saguaro National Park is a veritable wonderland of whimsical desert flora and fauna. Sandwiching Tucson, Arizona, on its east and west sides, the park’s namesake cactus is the center of life in this part of the Sonoran desert, acting not only as a source of food and water, but as towering apartment towers for birds. And of course, majestic eye candy for hikers in the Rincon and Tucson Mountains.
Reigning over the National Mall in the heart of America’s capital, the Lincoln Memorial ranks right up there with the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore as one of the most pivotal of patriotic memorials. It’s the kind of place that’s so deeply etched in American lore that even if you haven’t witnessed it in person, you’ve surely felt its might in movies and history books.
While visiting the parks with children is a lot different than an all adult trip, the experiences, memories, and chance to take in national parks through a child’s eyes are immeasurable. It can be intimidating to plan a family trip to a national park, but I look forward to sharing many lessons learned.
The Intermountain Region is home to a staggering 20 national parks. These lands, once belonging to indigenous people, all yield a different experience. From the Canadian border to the Mexican border, these parks invite exploration.
The Midwest Region spans 11 different states and 57 of the more than 400 different units in the NPS. Of those 57 units, nine have the official national park designation. Among these, you’ll find one of our newest, one of our oldest, and one of the least visited national parks in the National Park Service.
Alaska is big, wild, and powerful. The state boasts some of the most beautiful and remote national parks in the country, each with its own unique characteristics. I’ve lived in Alaska on-and-off for seven years, and it’s my pleasure to introduce you.
All across the US, from the floodplain forests of South Carolina to the Arctic tundra of Alaska, I’m constantly in awe of the diversity represented within the National Park Service. These magnificent lands, monuments, memorials, and historical havens represent the very best of America, and they inspire me like nothing else can.
The Passport to Your National Parks, in all its simplicity, represents the ultimate American bucket list for adventurers and nature-lovers, and it’s shocking this thing isn’t more ubiquitous than it is.
At its core, a national park is a place that’s been set aside for conservation and preservation. These are often places of iconic natural beauty, like Yosemite and Grand Canyon, but national parks can also be in urban areas, historic battlefields, and beyond. You might be surprised by the breadth of parks, and the fact that there might be one in your own backyard.