Welcome to your guide to the U.S. National Parks. As a family, we have dreams of traveling extensively throughout the United States. And with travel comes planning, both financial and logistical, so my goal is to create a database of travel bloggers’ reviews of the U.S. National Parks.
The History of the US National Park Service.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act creating the National Park Service that was assigned to protect and maintain 35 national parks and monuments at that time. The very first National Park was Yellowstone and it was created into a national park in 1872.
Since 1916, the NPS has grown and now protects over 400 national parks and monuments. My goal for this post is to become a database of informational posts and reviews of U.S. National Parks by other travel bloggers to get a first hand review of the parks. My husband and I read reviews on most large purchases, and I feel travel destinations should be reviewed too.
Make your trip affordable!
Many of the national parks offer free admittance, but some charge a fee. There are five days in 2019 when all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee offer free admission to everyone. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise. You’ll want to check out the website for specific details as your planning your trip.
Have a 4th grader?
The Every Kid in a Park initiative provides an opportunity for US fourth graders and their families across the country to obtain a FREE pass for to visit federal lands and waters. Visit the Every Kid in a Park website for information on how to obtain a FREE voucher and pass and for tips on planning your trip(s).
Whether you’re creating your bucket list or planning a trip, my goal for this post is to become a database of informational posts and reviews about U.S. National Parks by other travel bloggers to get a first hand review of the parks. My husband and I read reviews on most large purchases, and I feel travel destinations should be reviewed too.
The following list is currently in state order and is a working document that I will be adding to regularly as I find quality reviews and content.
(Bloggers: let me know in the comments if you have an honest review post that you would like me to include in this list.)
U.S. National Parks by State:
- Visit the Petrified Forest National Park from The Cents Able Shoppin
- The Best One Day Itinerary for the Grand Canyon with Kids from Travel with Meraki
- Visit the Saguaro National Park from Went There 8 This.
- 5 Reasons to Visit Yosemite National Park in the Spring from Trekkn
- Hiking Ostrander Lanke in Yosemite National Park from MK Library.
- 8 Tips to Plan an Epic Yosemite Trip from California Unpublished.
- Spectacular Sights in Yosemite National Park from MK Library.
- Joshua Tree National Park from Pink Fortitude
- What to Do in Joshua Tree National Park from Went There 8 This.
- Kayaking Juniper Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park from MK Library
- Things to Do in Sequoia National Park from Meraki Mother
- 1 Day Itinerary at Rocky Mountain National Park from Van Adieu
- Four Lakes Trail Hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park from Van Adieu
- Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Tips from Park Ranger John
- Mesa Verde National Park Travel Tips from Park Ranger John
- Dry Tortugas National Park Travel Tips from Park Ranger John
- Visit the secret Nike Missile Base in the Everglades National Park from Kim and Carrie. (This link is to a YouTube video.) This Cold War relic housed missiles aimed at Cuba without anyone knowing. Take a free tour of this historic monument during a visit.
- Explore the Everglades National Park with Kids from Explore More Clean Less.
- Watch the Sunrise and Sunset Haleakala National Park in Maui – from Three Little Ferns
- Mammoth Cave National Park Travel Tips from Park Ranger John
- 3 Acadia National Park Hiking Trails from Trekkn. Note from Kristia: My husband and I went up to Maine in the 90’s and it remains one of our favorite vacations together. We hope to take our girls up there and this park will be on the itinerary.
- What you need to know about the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park from Trekkn.
- Hike Glacier National Park Highline Trail from Snack Rules
- 25 Travel Tips for Glacier National Park from Kim and Carrie
- Glacier National Park Fall Photo Tour from Montana Happy.
- Tips for Visiting Bandelier National Monument with Kids from Explore More Clean Less
- Visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park from Kim and Carrie.
- Road Trip to Mt. Shasta and Crater Lake National Park from MK Library.
- Travel Tips for Congaree National Park from Kim and Carrie
- Free Fun in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Drug Store Divas
- What to pack for a drive through the Smoky Mountains from Drug Store Divas
- Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN from Life of 2 Snowbirds
- Family Hiking in Big Bend National Park from Running on Balance
- Visit Bryce Canyon Country in Utah from Divine Lifestyle
- Photographing Mesa Arch at Sunrise: What you need to know from The Good Hearted Woman
- 7 Stunning Reasons to Visit the Arches National Park from The Good Hearted Woman
- 10 Tips fro Visiting Zion National Park with Kids from The Joys with Boys
- Utah National Parks Road Trip from Comeback Mama. See 5 National Parks in a week.
- Shenandoah National Park: We toured Luray Caverns (a U.S. Natural Landmark), drove Skyline Drive, rode horseback through the mountains, and zip lined down a mountain.
- What to See and Do at Mount St. Helens National Park from Cook * Eat * Go
- What to Do at Coldwater Lake at Mount St. Helens National Park from Cook * Eat * Go
- Travel Tips to the Olympic Peninsula (home of Olympic National Park) and Sol Duc Hot Springs from My Mini Adventurer
The Smithsonian offers eleven museums and galleries on the National Mall and six other museums and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area.
- National Archives: Visiting and Sleeping Over at the National Archives in Washington D.C. with special needs
- Smithsonian National Zoo
- Devils Tower National Monument from Moneywise Moms. Devils Tower was the nation’s first national monument.
- Tips, Tricks, and Favorites of Yellowstone National Park
- 8 Tips for Visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with Kids
- Best Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park with Kids from Mama Cheaps
More Trip Planning Tips:
- How to Visit The National Parks for Free from Two Kids and a Coupon.
- Printable List of US National Parks from TREKKN.
- 15 Unknown National Parks Everyone Should Visit from ID HIKE THAT
- The Ultimate Planner for your National Parks Adventure from Van Adieu
- Park Ranger John shares National Park travel tips from his 20 years as a park ranger.
- Traveling by car to your National Park destination? Be sure to read the Road-trip Checklist from Van Adieu.
- 10 Ways to Maximize your National Parks Pass from Van Adieu.
Planning a trip out west with your special needs children? Lisa, from A Day in our Shoes, spent two weeks out west visiting Colorado, Utah, and Arizona with her family and shared Tips for Visiting National Parks with your special needs children.
What US National Parks have you visited? Let us know your experiences, tips, and reviews in the comments.