National Parks

The National Park Service was created on 25th August 1916 by an act of Congress, the National Park Service Organic Act. The agency was charged with a dual purpose for the places entrusted to them - to make them available for public access and enjoyment, whilst also ensuring they are preserved and protected.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill which mandated the agency to “leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”. We like to think that we are simply borrowing the National Parks from future generations - we owe it to them to leave these places in better condition than we found them.

Today, the National Park Service manages 419 areas - these are technically called units. But these aren’t all National Parks - they include National Monuments, National Battlefields, National Rivers and many more!

We’re on a journey to visit all 419 National Park Units in the US. The map below shows how we’re doing - parks we’ve been to are shown in green while those still to go are yellow!


Parks We’ve Visited

In summer of 2018, we left our home and hit the road full-time in our RV. After a few months of adjusting to life on the road, we made it to our first National Park Unit, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in October 2018.

Since then, we’ve continued our journey, and we’ve now visited 39 National Park Units - still a long way to go to visit them all!

Here are all the National Park Units we’ve visited on this journey, with the most recent first.

  1. Big Thicket National Preserve
  2. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  3. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  4. Yucca House National Monument
  5. Golden Spike National Historical Park
  6. Dinosaur National Monument
  7. Colorado National Monument
  8. Great Sand Dunes National Preserve
  9. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  10. Mesa Verde National Park
  11. Curecanti National Recreation Area
  12. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  13. Rocky Mountain National Park
  14. El Malpais National Monument
  15. El Morro National Monument
  16. Petrified Forest National Park
  17. Walnut Canyon National Monument
  18. Tuzigoot National Monument
  19. Montezuma Castle National Monument
  20. Wupatki National Monument
  21. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  22. Mojave National Preserve
  23. Channel Islands National Park
  24. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  25. Cabrillo National Monument
  26. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  27. Hohokam Pima National Monument
  28. Tonto National Monument
  29. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  30. Saguaro National Park
  31. Tumacácori National Historical Park
  32. Coronado National Memorial
  33. Chiricahua National Monument
  34. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  35. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
  36. White Sands National Monument
  37. Chamizal National Memorial
  38. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  39. Carlsbad Caverns National Park