map of the national parks system

My National Parks quest

I’m on a personal quest to visit all of the National Parks in the country. Not just the ones that have the words “national park” in their names, but all of the special places managed as the National Park System—including the national monuments, seashores, historical sites, recreation areas, battlefields, and so forth…all of them.

My national parks quest was begun years ago after Kim and I started taking some national park road trips as our vacations. After a few years of hitting most of the national parks, monuments, and historic sites, we decided to simply “see them all.” From then on, just about every trip included visits national park units. We created several traditions for these trips—traveling in our Forester, our traveling companion Brownie, our ubiquitous self shots from my outstretched hand—but the most important was probably getting a national parks passport stamp.

It’s an incredible way to see and better understand America, and I highly recommend it. I’ve continued the quest on my own since then.

incomplete map of my National Park visits
This (slightly outdated and incomplete) map gives you a sense of the National Parks I’ve visited.

There are currently 417 national park units. As of January 2017, I’ve visited 374 of them. This is a long list, so feel free to jump to the next section.

Parks I’ve visited

 

  1. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park
  2. Acadia National Park
  3. Adams National Historical Park
  4. African Burial Ground National Monument
  5. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
  6. Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
  7. Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
  8. Amistad National Recreation Area
  9. Andersonville National Historic Site
  10. Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  11. Antietam National Battlefield
  12. Apostle Island National Lakeshore
  13. Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  14. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
  15. Arches National Park
  16. Arkansas Post National Memorial
  17. Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
  18. Assateague Island National Seashore
  19. Aztec Ruins National Monument
  20. Badlands National Park
  21. Bandelier National Monument
  22. Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
  23. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
  24. Big Bend National Park
  25. Big Hole National Battlefield
  26. Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
  27. Big Thicket National Preserve
  28. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  29. Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
  30. Blue Ridge Parkway
  31. Bluestone National Scenic River
  32. Booker T. Washington National Memorial
  33. Boston African American National Historic Site
  34. Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
  35. Boston National Historical Park
  36. Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
  37. Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site
  38. Bryce Canyon National Park
  39. Buck Island Reef National Monument
  40. Buffalo National River
  41. Cabrillo National Monument
  42. Canaveral National Seashore
  43. Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  44. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
  45. Canyonlands National Park
  46. Cape Cod National Seashore
  47. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  48. Cape Lookout National Seashore
  49. Capitol Reef National Park
  50. Capulin Volcano National Monument
  51. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
  52. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  53. Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
  54. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  55. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
  56. Castle Clinton National Monument
  57. Castle Mountains National Monument
  58. Catoctin Mountain Park
  59. Cedar Breaks National Monument
  60. Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park
  61. César E. Chávez National Monument
  62. Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  63. Chamizal National Memorial
  64. Channel Islands National Park
  65. Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
  66. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
  67. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  68. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  69. Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
  70. Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  71. Chiricahua National Monument
  72. Christiansted National Historical Park
  73. City of Rocks National Reserve
  74. Clara Barton National Historic Site
  75. Colonial National Historical Park
  76. Colorado National Monument
  77. Congaree National Park
  78. Constitution Gardens
  79. Coronado National Memorial
  80. Cowpens National Battlefield
  81. Crater Lake National Park
  82. Craters of the Moon National Monument
  83. Craters of the Moon National Preserve
  84. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  85. Cumberland Island National Seashore
  86. Curecanti National Recreation Area
  87. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  88. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  89. De Soto National Memorial
  90. Death Valley National Park
  91. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  92. Devils Postpile National Monument
  93. Devils Tower National Monument
  94. Dinosaur National Monument
  95. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  96. Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  97. Effigy Mounds National Monument
  98. Eisenhower National Historic Site
  99. El Malpais National Monument
  100. El Morro National Monument
  101. Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
  102. Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
  103. Federal Hall National Memorial
  104. Fire Island National Seashore
  105. First Ladies National Historic Site
  106. First State National Monument
  107. Flight 93 National Memorial
  108. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  109. Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
  110. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  111. Fort Caroline National Memorial
  112. Fort Davis National Historic Site
  113. Fort Donelson National Battlefield
  114. Fort Frederica National Monument
  115. Fort Laramie National Historic Site
  116. Fort Larned National Historic Site
  117. Fort Matanzas National Monument
  118. Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
  119. Fort Monroe National Monument
  120. Fort Necessity National Battlefield
  121. Fort Point National Historic Site
  122. Fort Pulaski National Monument
  123. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  124. Fort Scott National Historic Site
  125. Fort Smith National Historic Site
  126. Fort Stanwix National Monument
  127. Fort Sumter National Monument  (includes Fort Moultrie)
  128. Fort Union National Monument
  129. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  130. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  131. Fort Washington Park
  132. Fossil Butte National Monument
  133. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  134. Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  135. Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site
  136. Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Historical Park
  137. Friendship Hill National Historic Site
  138. Gateway National Recreation Area
  139. Gauley River National Recreation Area
  140. General Grant National Memorial
  141. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
  142. George Washington Birthplace National Monument
  143. George Washington Carver National Monument
  144. George Washington Memorial Parkway
  145. Gettysburg National Military Park
  146. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
  147. Glacier National Park
  148. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  149. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  150. Golden Spike National Historic Site
  151. Governors Island National Monument
  152. Grand Canyon National Park
  153. Grand Portage National Monument
  154. Grand Teton National Park
  155. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
  156. Great Basin National Park
  157. Great Egg Harbor Scenic & Recreational River
  158. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  159. Great Sand Dunes National Preserve
  160. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  161. Greenbelt Park
  162. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  163. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
  164. Gulf Islands National Seashore
  165. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  166. Haleakalā National Park
  167. Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  168. Hampton National Historic Site
  169. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  170. Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
  171. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument
  172. Harry S Truman National Historic Site
  173. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
  174. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
  175. Hohokam Pima National Monument
  176. Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
  177. Homestead National Monument of America
  178. Honouliuli National Monument
  179. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
  180. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  181. Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
  182. Hot Springs National Park
  183. Hovenweep National Monument
  184. Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
  185. Independence National Historical Park
  186. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  187. Isle Royale National Park
  188. James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  189. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  190. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
  191. Jewel Cave National Monument
  192. Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
  193. John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway
  194. John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
  195. John Muir National Historic Site
  196. Johnstown Flood National Memorial
  197. Joshua Tree National Park
  198. Kalaupapa National Historical Park
  199. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
  200. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  201. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  202. Keweenaw National Historical Park
  203. Kings Canyon National Park
  204. Kings Mountain National Military Park
  205. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
  206. Korean War Veterans Memorial
  207. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  208. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
  209. Lassen Volcanic National Park
  210. Lava Beds National Monument
  211. Lewis & Clark National Historic Park
  212. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
  213. Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  214. Lincoln Memorial
  215. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  216. Little River Canyon National Preserve
  217. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  218. Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
  219. Lowell National Historical Park
  220. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
  221. Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
  222. Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
  223. Mammoth Cave National Park
  224. Manassas National Battlefield Park
  225. Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  226. Manzanar National Historic Site
  227. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  228. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  229. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
  230. Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  231. Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  232. Mesa Verde National Park
  233. Middle Delaware National Scenic River
  234. Minidoka National Historic Site
  235. Minute Man National Historical Park
  236. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  237. Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
  238. Missouri National Recreational River
  239. Mojave National Preserve
  240. Monocacy National Battlefield
  241. Montezuma Castle National Monument
  242. Moores Creek National Battlefield
  243. Morristown National Historical Park
  244. Mount Rainier National Park
  245. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  246. Muir Woods National Monument
  247. Natchez National Historical Park
  248. Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  249. Natchez Trace Parkway
  250. National Capital Parks
  251. National Mall
  252. Natural Bridges National Monument
  253. Navajo National Monument
  254. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  255. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  256. New River Gorge National River
  257. Nicodemus National Historic Site
  258. Ninety Six National Historic Site
  259. Niobrara National Scenic River
  260. Obed Wild & Scenic River
  261. Ocmulgee National Monument
  262. Olympic National Park
  263. Oregon Caves National Monument
  264. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  265. Ozark National Scenic River
  266. Padre Island National Seashore
  267. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park
  268. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  269. Pea Ridge National Military Park
  270. Pecos National Historical Park
  271. Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
  272. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
  273. Petersburg National Battlefield Park
  274. Petrified Forest National Park
  275. Petroglyph National Monument
  276. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  277. Pinnacles National Monument
  278. Pipe Spring National Monument
  279. Pipestone National Monument
  280. Piscataway Park
  281. Point Reyes National Seashore
  282. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  283. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  284. Poverty Point National Monument
  285. President Willaim Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site
  286. Prince William Forest Park
  287. Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
  288. Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
  289. Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  290. Redwood National Park
  291. Richmond National Battlefield Park
  292. Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
  293. River Raisin National Battlefield Park
  294. Rock Creek Park
  295. Rocky Mountain National Park
  296. Roger Williams National Memorial
  297. Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park
  298. Russell Cave National Monument
  299. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  300. Saguaro National Park
  301. Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
  302. Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
  303. Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site
  304. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
  305. Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  306. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
  307. Salt River Bay National Historical Park & Ecological Preserve
  308. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  309. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  310. San Juan National Historic Site
  311. Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  312. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  313. Saratoga National Historical Park
  314. Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
  315. Scotts Bluff National Monument
  316. Sequoia National Park
  317. Shenandoah National Park
  318. Shiloh National Military Park
  319. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  320. Springfield Armory National Historic Site
  321. Statue of Liberty National Monument (includes Ellis Island)
  322. Steamtown National Historic Site
  323. Stones River National Battlefield
  324. Stonewall National Monument
  325. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  326. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
  327. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  328. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
  329. Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  330. Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial
  331. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  332. Thomas Edison National Historic Park
  333. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  334. Thomas Stone National Historic Site
  335. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
  336. Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve
  337. Tonto National Monument
  338. Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
  339. Tumacacori National Historical Park
  340. Tupelo National Battlefield
  341. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  342. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
  343. Tuzigoot National Monument
  344. Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
  345. Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River
  346. Valles Caldera National Preserve
  347. Valley Forge National Historical Park
  348. Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
  349. Vicksburg National Military Park
  350. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  351. Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
  352. Virgin Islands National Park
  353. Voyageurs National Park
  354. Walnut Canyon National Monument
  355. Washington Monument (National Memorial)
  356. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
  357. Weir Farm National Historic Site
  358. Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
  359. White House, The
  360. White Sands National Monument
  361. William Howard Taft National Historic Site
  362. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
  363. Wind Cave National Park
  364. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
  365. Women’s Rights National Historical Park
  366. (National) World War II Memorial
  367. World War I Memorial
  368. World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
  369. Wright Brothers National Memorial
  370. Wupatki National Monument
  371. Yellowstone National Park
  372. Yosemite National Park
  373. Yucca House National Monument
  374. Zion National Park

Whew, that’s a lot of parks!

What I have left to visit

As you can see, of the 40 parks I have left to visit, most of them are in Alaska. I have tentative plans for the next three summers to knock out all of the Alaskan parks and to complete Guam/American Samoa in December 2017 and southern Florida in April 2018. That just leaves one big road trip to the Pacific Northwest and a few weekend trips.

That leaves a roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest (I’ve purposefully held off doing this), plus a few weekend trips to Chicago, Waco, Alabama, South Carolina and Montana. I’ve done by best to avoid “orphaning” parks when planning trips, though I managed to miss Bighorn Canyon in Montana as my trip there was prior to adopting the full national parks quest (I wasn’t counting NRAs in the original quest). Waco and Pullman were added to the system after I completed those areas. I’ve also “previsited” a few sites I expect to become national park units soon, so that I don’t get stuck returning to an area I’ve already completed.

National Trails

national trails system screenshot

While not specifically part of my quest, I have also visited 23 of the 25 national historic or scenic trails (I’m only missing Iditarod National Historic Trail in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail in Montana/Idaho/Washington). Here’s the listing:

  1. Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
  2. Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  3. California National Historic Trail
  4. Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
  5. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  6. El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail
  7. El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
  8. Florida National Scenic Trail
  9. Ice Age National Scenic Trail
  10. Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
  11. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  12. Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  13. Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  14. Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail
  15. North Country National Scenic Trail
  16. Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  17. Oregon National Historic Trail
  18. Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
  19. Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
  20. Pony Express National Historic Trail
  21. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  22. Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  23. Selma to Mongomery National Historic Trail
  24. Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Be sure to check out my other personal quests.

4 thoughts on “My National Parks quest”

  1. If you’re interested in starting your own national parks quest, please drop me a line. I’d love to chat about it. In addition, you should check out the National Park Travelers Club at parkstamps.org.

    1. That’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad NM, Alan. hehe. There was serious talk of including a site in Rochester, NY, in the monument, and it may yet be added.

      I would urge legislators to also include Salem Chapel National Historic Site in the monument, making the group an International Monument–which would be a unique designation in the system. Alternatively, it might be named an International Historical Park, making it only the second in the US system (the only one currently is Klondike Gold Rush IHP).

      Salem Chapel NHS, in St. Catharines, Ontario, was Tubman’s center of operations. She is memorialized there with plaques and statuary, and is designated a Person of National Historic Significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. Take a peek here:

      http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Niagara108.html

      http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Niagara44.html

      http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Niagara112.html

      -Wayne

Leave a Reply