When we look back on our year in the national parks, a few big activities stand out. We didn’t take too many long backpacking trips, because there was so much we wanted to see in the frontcountry, but when we did go on multi-day trips, it was pretty epic. Two of those trips always come […]
During our year in the parks, some moments were subtle. There were moments of quiet beauty, soft sunsets, easy strolls in beautiful places. But some moments were loud. We had experiences in the parks that we planned for, dreamed about, and were so happy to execute. We’ll always remember the quiet moments, but the loud […]
Happy Tuesday and happy podcast day! After a Labor Day hiatus from the show (we were climbing mountains instead!) we are back with another episode of Switchbacks. Even though we are happy to talk about these parks, we can’t help but keep our minds on those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which affected […]
We had a lot of experience visiting parks in the off-season during our year in on the road. Because most people visit the parks in the summer (when we were in Alaska), we never felt a true “peak” season. We were happy to not have to deal with the crowds all the time, but we […]
During our year in the parks, we essentially planned and executed 59 back-to-back vacations. For some parks, the method of wing-it-and-show-up-at-the-visitor-center worked just fine. For less popular parks in the lower 48, this laid-back approach was successful. But for other parks, planning ahead was absolutely critical for a visit to the national parks. Without prior […]
Guys, we’re back today with another top ten list! We love these so much because narrowing our list always requires us to go back through our entire year in the parks. We don’t always remember every detail of every park, but when we look back at the highlights, it brings us back. Back to hiking […]
The National Park Service is in the business of a lot more than just beautiful mountain views. Since the existence of national parks, the mission has always been about preserving entire ecosystems, and not just the “end result” beauties like gushing waterfalls or thriving wildlife. Protecting supporting areas — including their trees and plants — […]
Bluest blue. Is that a scientific term? Well today I’ve used it to describe why Crater Lake is a geologic wonder of the country. I think it qualifies. But there are also several other reasons why Crater Lake is special in the realm of geology. And you can hear some of them on our podcast […]
When most people picture a national park, what comes to mind usually fits into the “natural beauty” category of what is protected within the National Park System: mountains, shores, canyons, and giant trees. But there is another half of the NPS’s mission that is often overlooked: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources […]
In the United States, national monuments, preserves, scenic rivers, battlefields, and historic sites come together to create a wide overview of what we deem important in our country. We call these important places “national parks,” and we protect them with the National Park Service. When Cole and I started planning our big national parks trip, […]
In August 2015 we left our jobs and our home to go on a tour of all 59 National Parks across the US during the NPS Centennial year. We spent a year immersing ourselves for about 5 days in each park as we tent camped, hiked, biked, backpacked, kayaked, and climbed our way through the challenge and adventure of our lifetime.
We are Cole and Elizabeth, twenty-something Missourians turned National Parks explorers - constantly seeking to find new adventure and ourselves. Follow our journey for pictures, videos, park tips, and stories - because after all, the Parks are for sharing.