Friday, August 12, 2016

Five Things Friday: The National Parks Service

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana
  If you've been reading our blossoming blog for very long then you probably know that we like to learn things as we travel. Sure the destinations we visit are fun regardless of where it is but to us, knowing the history of a location is just as important. I for one have a ball researching a location prior to our arrival because I think it helps me to appreciate what it is that I'm visiting. Knowing the backstory brings you closer to the location and makes just a little more special to be there.
  So keeping in mind that I like to learn and I also like to inform, we're going to try to pass on a little information from our travels that hopefully help teach or inspire you to follow in the footsteps of our adventures. We're calling this Five Things Friday. The idea is to pass on to you five things that we learned or experienced that we find interesting and hope you do too. To start it off I'm revisiting the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System that is being celebrated this year. We have a few ideas for Five Things Friday to sprinkle throughout the weeks and we'll see how you good folks like it. So let's get to it.

1. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary the United States Mint has created three limited edition coins for people to collect. A five dollar gold coin, a silver dollar and a half dollar featuring images from the NPS logo to famous park scenes are represented on the coins and proceeds from the coin sales will go to the National Parks Foundation to help fund projects in the future.
  I just learned about these coins literally two days ago and I may just have to pick some of these up. If you want to learn more about the coins click here.

2. There are 58 national parks in the U.S. scattered throughout 27 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Somoa. The first was Yellowstone National Park Created in 1872 by President Grant.

3. According to the NPS, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park with 10,099,276 in 2014. They also totaled the total amount of visitors from all the parks since 1904 and came up with a whopper of a number-12,949,516,004. It's easy to say that national parks have always been pretty popular.

4. Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska stands as the largest National Park boasting 13,005 sq miles. What makes this park unique is that this park seems to be tailored for the true outdoors man. You won't find organized campgrounds here but you will find opportunities to kayak, hike, hunt, fish, ATV trails and more. If you make it to this park make sure to stop in the town of Kennecott where the remnants of one of the world's richest copper mines resides. I've seen this in documentaries and television shows and it is a place I plan to visit if I can ever manage a road trip through Alaska. Learn more here.

5. Crowded. After visiting Yellowstone over the 4th of July it is my opinion that the Find Your Park campaign and the heavy advertising for the 100th anniversary have been a massive success. We have visited Yellowstone over the 4th multiple times over the years and I have never seen it as busy at it was this year. I've been hearing a lot of grumbling coming out of Yosemite over the last month as well and I'd be lying if I wasn't a little nervous about our trip there next week. But that's okay. It turns out I'm about four hours away from my temporary home here in California which is like me going to Moab from Salt Lake. So, when the crowds leave in the fall I can go back and experience the park when it's a little quieter.

  Well I hope you liked the first edition of Five Things Friday. Let us know if you want to see more articles similar to this in the comments or you can let us know on Facebook or Twitter if you'd prefer. Don't forget to get out there and find your own adventure this weekend. Stay safe. If you need help finding your park visit


Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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