In 2016 the National Park Service celebrated its 100 anniversary. Most people are aware of the iconic parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. These are just three of the 59 National Parks found throughout the country. Our next journey, beginning in March 2017, our travels took us to 27 of the U.S. National Parks, over a 4 1/2 month period. The goal in visiting the national parks, similar to our other journeys, was to focus on the cultural and natural significance of what we see. So we visited many of the more obscure and lesser known parks. For example, the number of yearly visitors to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan (where we stopped in June) is less than the number that visits Yellowstone in ONE day.

Also true to our travels, we hiked over 400 miles while visiting the parks and took several overnight backpacking trips. Our mode of transportation was our Toyota 4Runner 4×4 SUV. We outfitted the back of our vehicle with a platform that provided storage space underneath a mattress where we slept those nights when we were not backpacking.

Click on a marker above to learn more about a park on the map.

Watch a short overview of our adventure:

Read more about our journey below:

  • Announcing Our Next Adventure – A Journey to 27 United States National Parks! Our next journey, beginning in March 2017, will take us to 27 of the U.S. National Parks, over a 4 1/2 month period! Most people are aware of the iconic parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. These are just three of the 59 National Parks found throughout the country. Our goal in visiting ...
  • How we converted our 4Runner into a Camper Camping is a main component of our U.S. National Parks journey, as we travel to 27 parks over four-and-a-half months. In fact, we plan to camp over 100 nights while driving round the United States. While planning this trip, Sandy and I discussed whether to buy a motorhome or 5th-wheel trailer. The problem was that ...
  • Tuesday Quiz: Do You Know What are the Most Popular National Parks? This week’s Tuesday Quiz will test your knowledge of America’s most popular national parks. Can you fill in the ten most visited park names in the time alloted?
  • Dueling Plans: Preparing for our National Parks and PCT Adventures If you have been following us for any length of time, you know that we are planners. We like to know where we are going, and what we will be doing for each day of a journey. Our upcoming United States National Parks (TTP NPS) adventure is no different. But what made things more challenging ...
  • Tuesday Quiz: Find the location of the U.S. National Parks NPS QuizAs we begin our travels to 27 U.S. National Parks, this week’s quiz challenges you to identify a national park based on its location on a map. How many can you accurately find?
  • A Tale of Two Deserts: Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National ParkThe focus of our Trekking the Planet NPS journey is to venture to new and lesser known U.S. national parks. However, for our first park we chose a familiar place: Joshua Tree National Park, which is only a one hour drive from our home in Palm Desert, CA. The park is unique in that it ...
  • Tuesday Quiz: Match the National Park to its Picture NPS QuizThis quiz will test your knowledge of the U.S. National Parks in pictures. You will have six minutes to correctly identify 20 parks.
  • A Unique Cactus: Saguaro National Park There are four deserts in North America: the Mojave, Great Basin, Chihuahuan and Sonoran. The Sonoran Desert is the most complex and diverse of its counterparts, with its physical features ranging from mountain ranges to arid plains to grassy plateaus to lava flows. It also contains a cactus found nowhere else: the saguaro.
  • A Walk on the Wild Side: Petrified Forest National Park Although petrified wood can be found in all 50 U.S. States, Petrified Forest National Park has some of the highest concentrations in the world. We spent two days exploring this park as well as taking two overnight backpacking trips in the north and south wilderness areas.
  • Tuesday Quiz: Find the Adjacent U.S. State During our Trekking the Planet NPS journey, we will be traveling through over 30 states! How well do you know what state is adjacent to others in the United States?
  • Where the Colorado and Green Rivers Meet: Canyonlands National Park Canyonlands National ParkThe Colorado River is a major waterway of the western U.S. It is 1,450 miles long and flows through five states. The Green River is the Colorado River’s chief tributary. Beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, the Green meets the Colorado in Canyonlands National Park. We spent three days exploring the park, including ...
  • Tuesday Quiz: U.S. National Parks Map This week we will visit our tenth national park of our journey! Our Tuesday Quiz tests your map knowledge of the U.S. National Parks. You will have four minutes to correctly identify the location of 24 of the 59 U.S. National Parks.
  • Nature’s Windows: Arches National Park Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 arches etched in Entrada sandstone. It also has the highest density of natural stone arches in the world. We had been to Arches 21 years ago when our daughters were 2 and 5. Because of their ages, we didn’t do much hiking, so our goal this ...
  • National Park Panoramic Photos – Series 1 Here are some panoramic photos that we took of the first five parks we visited. Click on any of the pictures for a larger view. Enjoy!