Last year I asked for an annual U.S. National Parks Pass for Christmas, and it ended up being one of the most useful things I could have put on my list!
I wanted to make the most out of having it. As we were plotting our travel plans for the year, we prioritized destinations where we could add on a side trip to a national park and trips designed entirely around visiting a national park.
Throughout 2019, we ended up rediscovering a few favorites as well as exploring a few new ones, including:
- Yosemite National Park
- Olympic National Park
- Mt. Rainier National Park
- Klondike Gold Rush National Park
- North Cascades National Park
- Muir Woods National Monument (not a park, but accessible via pass)
The pass allows for two signatories and provides access to 2,000+ federal recreation sites, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and grasslands, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This means we can use it wherever a Northwest Forest Pass is required, including many of the places we go hiking. It covers a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle, and so long as Brian and I each sign it, it allows both of us access on our motorcycles (as well as anyone riding with us).
I really want to prioritize time outdoors again in 2020 so I asked for an annual parks pass for Christmas once again (thanks, Santa/Danny!). With pass in hand, we’ve already booked and started planning for several trips to new parks this year, including:
- Channel Islands National Park
- Pinnacles National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (not a park, but accessible via pass)
I’ll try to sneak in a few others, of course!
If you have any tips for the national parks on our 2020 list, I would love to hear them! We have two of them already booked and dates in mind for the others, but we haven’t solidified anything beyond flights just yet so I’m completely open to suggestions.
Here’s to spending more of 2020 outdoors!