NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT IN 2016
My NPS obsession is being fueled by next year's centennial. I've been to 15/60 so far and next year I want to double that. Here's the 15 on my list:
- 1.Hawaii's Volcanoes National ParkTechnically I'll visit in 2015 with our Thanksgiving visit to the BIG ISLAND but whatever. I can't wait to do the junior ranger program and learn all about lava and poi.
- 2.Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National ParkI can't believe there's a national park in my home state where I lived growing up and haven't visited. What an idiot. All to be resolved soon enough. I heard there's a train that goes through that has beer tastings. Plus my Grandma's nearby. Bonus!
- 3.Oregon's Crater Lake National ParkThis park seems so close. Oregon and Washington are next door to each other, right???! But man it's a long ass drive from Seattle. The plan is Seattle to Portland. Portland to Bend. Bend to Crater Lake. Eating and drinking all the way!
- 4.California's Sequoia National Park"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." - John Muir
- 5.Arizona's Saguaro National ParkI should've hit this park last year when I was in Tucson for work. Doy! February I'll head back down to AZ to hang with my friend, Janice, run some race in Phoenix and then see some cactuses in Saguaro. Trifecta!
- 6.Alaska's Denali National ParkNow that we're out in Seattle, it seems like we should do all of the Alaska things while we're here. Going up to see the Northern Lights is on the list, so why not hit Denali on a side trip from Fairbanks?
- 7.Alaska's Gates of the Arctic National ParkCARIBOU MIGRATION!!!!
- 8.Maine's Acadia National ParkMy mom's annual vacation plans always include a summer rental in Rye, NH. I kind of wish it was like the movie, Summer Rental, but it's usually more like 5 million visits to HomeGoods. Anyway my mom is still quite generous and extends an invitation for us to go. Acadia is like a hop, skip and a jump north so 2016 might just be the year to go.
- 9.Utah's Arches National ParkWe've hit the west side of UT - Zion and Bryce Canyon have been 2 of our favorites. Arches, Canyonlands & Capitol Reef are all waiting for us on the other side. Time to round out The Mighty 5.
- 10.Utah's Canyonlands National Park
- 11.Utah's Capitol Reef National Park
- 12.Colorado's Mesa VerdeSeems like a waste to be down by Arches and not pop over to Mesa Verde and do some Four Corners action along the way. Road trip, yo!
- 13.Virginia's Shenandoah National ParkI haven't seen my girlfriend Shaba in years - YEARS! I'm such an asshole friend. It's time to make the trip to Washington DC to visit with her and hit the trails in Shenandoah. She'll be the most glamorous hiker out there.
- 14.California's Kings Canyon National Park"Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. " -Ansel Adams
- 15.Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National ParkSo close to the Buckeye State - this seems like an easy trip when we're back in Ohio. Plus stalagmites!!!!