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.

An older version of my National Parks quests map
This (slightly outdated and incomplete) map gives you a sense of the National Parks I’ve visited.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 September 2017, I’ve visited 385 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. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  29. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  30. Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
  31. Blue Ridge Parkway
  32. Bluestone National Scenic River
  33. Booker T. Washington National Memorial
  34. Boston African American National Historic Site
  35. Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
  36. Boston National Historical Park
  37. Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
  38. Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site
  39. Bryce Canyon National Park
  40. Buck Island Reef National Monument
  41. Buffalo National River
  42. Cabrillo National Monument
  43. Canaveral National Seashore
  44. Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  45. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
  46. Canyonlands National Park
  47. Cape Cod National Seashore
  48. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  49. Cape Lookout National Seashore
  50. Capitol Reef National Park
  51. Capulin Volcano National Monument
  52. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
  53. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  54. Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
  55. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  56. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
  57. Castle Clinton National Monument
  58. Castle Mountains National Monument
  59. Catoctin Mountain Park
  60. Cedar Breaks National Monument
  61. Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park
  62. César E. Chávez National Monument
  63. Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  64. Chamizal National Memorial
  65. Channel Islands National Park
  66. Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
  67. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
  68. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  69. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  70. Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
  71. Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  72. Chiricahua National Monument
  73. Christiansted National Historical Park
  74. City of Rocks National Reserve
  75. Clara Barton National Historic Site
  76. Colonial National Historical Park
  77. Colorado National Monument
  78. Congaree National Park
  79. Constitution Gardens
  80. Coronado National Memorial
  81. Cowpens National Battlefield
  82. Crater Lake National Park
  83. Craters of the Moon National Monument
  84. Craters of the Moon National Preserve
  85. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  86. Cumberland Island National Seashore
  87. Curecanti National Recreation Area
  88. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  89. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  90. De Soto National Memorial
  91. Death Valley National Park
  92. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  93. Devils Postpile National Monument
  94. Devils Tower National Monument
  95. Dinosaur National Monument
  96. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  97. Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  98. Effigy Mounds National Monument
  99. Eisenhower National Historic Site
  100. El Malpais National Monument
  101. El Morro National Monument
  102. Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
  103. Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
  104. Federal Hall National Memorial
  105. Fire Island National Seashore
  106. First Ladies National Historic Site
  107. First State National Monument
  108. Flight 93 National Memorial
  109. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  110. Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
  111. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  112. Fort Caroline National Memorial
  113. Fort Davis National Historic Site
  114. Fort Donelson National Battlefield
  115. Fort Frederica National Monument
  116. Fort Laramie National Historic Site
  117. Fort Larned National Historic Site
  118. Fort Matanzas National Monument
  119. Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
  120. Fort Monroe National Monument
  121. Fort Necessity National Battlefield
  122. Fort Point National Historic Site
  123. Fort Pulaski National Monument
  124. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  125. Fort Scott National Historic Site
  126. Fort Smith National Historic Site
  127. Fort Stanwix National Monument
  128. Fort Sumter National Monument  (includes Fort Moultrie)
  129. Fort Union National Monument
  130. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  131. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  132. Fort Washington Park
  133. Fossil Butte National Monument
  134. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  135. Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  136. Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site
  137. Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Historical Park
  138. Friendship Hill National Historic Site
  139. Gateway National Recreation Area
  140. Gauley River National Recreation Area
  141. General Grant National Memorial
  142. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
  143. George Washington Birthplace National Monument
  144. George Washington Carver National Monument
  145. George Washington Memorial Parkway
  146. Gettysburg National Military Park
  147. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
  148. Glacier National Park
  149. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  150. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  151. Golden Spike National Historic Site
  152. Governors Island National Monument
  153. Grand Canyon National Park
  154. Grand Portage National Monument
  155. Grand Teton National Park
  156. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
  157. Great Basin National Park
  158. Great Egg Harbor Scenic & Recreational River
  159. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  160. Great Sand Dunes National Preserve
  161. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  162. Greenbelt Park
  163. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  164. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
  165. Gulf Islands National Seashore
  166. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  167. Haleakalā National Park
  168. Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  169. Hampton National Historic Site
  170. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  171. Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
  172. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument
  173. Harry S Truman National Historic Site
  174. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
  175. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
  176. Hohokam Pima National Monument
  177. Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
  178. Homestead National Monument of America
  179. Honouliuli National Monument
  180. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
  181. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  182. Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
  183. Hot Springs National Park
  184. Hovenweep National Monument
  185. Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
  186. Independence National Historical Park
  187. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  188. Isle Royale National Park
  189. James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  190. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  191. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
  192. Jewel Cave National Monument
  193. Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
  194. John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway
  195. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  196. John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
  197. John Muir National Historic Site
  198. Johnstown Flood National Memorial
  199. Joshua Tree National Park
  200. Kalaupapa National Historical Park
  201. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
  202. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  203. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  204. Keweenaw National Historical Park
  205. Kings Canyon National Park
  206. Kings Mountain National Military Park
  207. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  208. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
  209. Korean War Veterans Memorial
  210. Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  211. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  212. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
  213. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  214. Lassen Volcanic National Park
  215. Lava Beds National Monument
  216. Lewis & Clark National Historic Park
  217. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
  218. Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  219. Lincoln Memorial
  220. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  221. Little River Canyon National Preserve
  222. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  223. Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
  224. Lowell National Historical Park
  225. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
  226. Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
  227. Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
  228. Mammoth Cave National Park
  229. Manassas National Battlefield Park
  230. Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  231. Manzanar National Historic Site
  232. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  233. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  234. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
  235. Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  236. Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  237. Mesa Verde National Park
  238. Middle Delaware National Scenic River
  239. Minidoka National Historic Site
  240. Minute Man National Historical Park
  241. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  242. Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
  243. Missouri National Recreational River
  244. Mojave National Preserve
  245. Monocacy National Battlefield
  246. Montezuma Castle National Monument
  247. Moores Creek National Battlefield
  248. Morristown National Historical Park
  249. Mount Rainier National Park
  250. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  251. Muir Woods National Monument
  252. Natchez National Historical Park
  253. Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  254. Natchez Trace Parkway
  255. National Capital Parks
  256. National Mall
  257. Natural Bridges National Monument
  258. Navajo National Monument
  259. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  260. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  261. New River Gorge National River
  262. Nez Perce National Historical Park
  263. Nicodemus National Historic Site
  264. Ninety Six National Historic Site
  265. Niobrara National Scenic River
  266. North Cascades National Park
  267. Obed Wild & Scenic River
  268. Ocmulgee National Monument
  269. Olympic National Park
  270. Oregon Caves National Monument
  271. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  272. Ozark National Scenic River
  273. Padre Island National Seashore
  274. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park
  275. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  276. Pea Ridge National Military Park
  277. Pecos National Historical Park
  278. Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
  279. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
  280. Petersburg National Battlefield Park
  281. Petrified Forest National Park
  282. Petroglyph National Monument
  283. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  284. Pinnacles National Monument
  285. Pipe Spring National Monument
  286. Pipestone National Monument
  287. Piscataway Park
  288. Point Reyes National Seashore
  289. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  290. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  291. Poverty Point National Monument
  292. President Willaim Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site
  293. Prince William Forest Park
  294. Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
  295. Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
  296. Pullman National Monument
  297. Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  298. Redwood National Park
  299. Richmond National Battlefield Park
  300. Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
  301. River Raisin National Battlefield Park
  302. Rock Creek Park
  303. Rocky Mountain National Park
  304. Roger Williams National Memorial
  305. Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park
  306. Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  307. Russell Cave National Monument
  308. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  309. Saguaro National Park
  310. Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
  311. Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
  312. Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site
  313. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
  314. Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  315. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
  316. Salt River Bay National Historical Park & Ecological Preserve
  317. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  318. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  319. San Juan National Historic Site
  320. San Juan Island National Historical Park
  321. Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  322. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  323. Saratoga National Historical Park
  324. Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
  325. Scotts Bluff National Monument
  326. Sequoia National Park
  327. Shenandoah National Park
  328. Shiloh National Military Park
  329. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  330. Springfield Armory National Historic Site
  331. Statue of Liberty National Monument (includes Ellis Island)
  332. Steamtown National Historic Site
  333. Stones River National Battlefield
  334. Stonewall National Monument
  335. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  336. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
  337. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  338. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
  339. Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  340. Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial
  341. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  342. Thomas Edison National Historic Park
  343. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  344. Thomas Stone National Historic Site
  345. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
  346. Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve
  347. Tonto National Monument
  348. Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
  349. Tumacacori National Historical Park
  350. Tupelo National Battlefield
  351. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  352. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
  353. Tuzigoot National Monument
  354. Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
  355. Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River
  356. Valles Caldera National Preserve
  357. Valley Forge National Historical Park
  358. Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
  359. Vicksburg National Military Park
  360. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  361. Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
  362. Virgin Islands National Park
  363. Voyageurs National Park
  364. Walnut Canyon National Monument
  365. Washington Monument (National Memorial)
  366. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
  367. Weir Farm National Historic Site
  368. Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
  369. White House, The
  370. White Sands National Monument
  371. Whitman Mission National Historic Site
  372. William Howard Taft National Historic Site
  373. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
  374. Wind Cave National Park
  375. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
  376. Women’s Rights National Historical Park
  377. (National) World War II Memorial
  378. World War I Memorial
  379. World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
  380. Wright Brothers National Memorial
  381. Wupatki National Monument
  382. Yellowstone National Park
  383. Yosemite National Park
  384. Yucca House National Monument
  385. Zion National Park

Whew, that’s a lot of parks!

What I have left to visit

As you can see, of the 32 parks I have left to visit, most of them are in Alaska. I have planned trips to complete Guam in November and the remaining parks in the Contiguous US (the four southern Florida parks plus some recently added units in Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas) in December. That will leave me with just American Samoa and Alaska left to complete. It’s likely to take the next three summers to knock out all of the Alaskan parks, but I hope to mark off American Samoa in December 2018.

National Trails

national trails system screenshot

While not specifically part of my quest, I have also visited 24 of the 25 national historic or scenic trails, missing only Iditarod National Historic Trail in Alaska. 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. Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
  21. Pony Express National Historic Trail
  22. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  23. Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  24. Selma to Mongomery National Historic Trail
  25. 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

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