Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: Every National Park I’ve Visited

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The National Park Service turned 100 in 2016. That marked not just the diamond anniversary of what writer and historian Wallace Stegner famously called “the best idea we ever had,” but also the evolution and growth of that idea from a handful of parks created in the early days to a system in many ways without parallel, that protects 52 million acres of mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, deserts, prairies, caves, islands, bays, fjords, badlands, natural arches, and seashores in 59 parks. Without that protection, these places that draw visitors from around the world would otherwise almost certainly have been exploited and destroyed.

After the designation of Yellowstone in 1872 (lead photo, above) as the world’s first national park, several more followed before the NPS was born in 1916, many of them now legendary names: Sequoia, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, Glacier, Haleakalā, Hawaii Volcanoes, Wind Cave, Lassen Volcanic, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain. During the same time period, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed 18 national monuments (a number exceeded by only one president, Barack Obama, who has designated 19 monuments), many of which later became national parks, including Grand Canyon and Olympic.

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At The Big Outside, you’ll find numerous stories about national parks. The photo gallery below includes images from nearly all of the national parks I’ve visited (close to half of the 59, so I have more work to do), and some National Park Service-managed national monuments.

See the All National Parks Trips page for a menu of all stories about national parks adventures at The Big Outside, or click on the name of any park in the list for stories I’ve posted at this blog about that park.

Find a national park and more information about the National Park Service at

Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Death Valley National Park
Everglades National Park
Glacier National Park
Glacier Bay National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
North Cascades National Park
Olympic National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sequoia National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park

Click directly to these stories for ideas for your next trip:

Photo Gallery: 10 Amazing National Park Adventures (and How to Pull Them Off)
“5 Classic (Age-Appropriate) National Park Adventures For Families
“Photo Gallery: 11 National Parks, One Year
10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

Read about my National Outdoor Book Award-winning book, Before They’re Gone—A Family’s Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks, which chronicles the year my family spent taking wilderness adventures in 11 parks threatened by climate change.


Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by a USA Today Readers Choice poll and others. Get email updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story or in the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

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Click on any picture in the photo gallery to view it in slideshow mode.


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4 Responses to Photo Gallery: Every National Park I’ve Visited

  1. Michael Lanza   |  December 26, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Rich.

  2. Rich   |  December 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Some inspiring photos there Michael.

  3. Michael Lanza   |  December 20, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Good luck with your project, Matt.

  4. Matt   |  December 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Once I finally leave the road and move into a place that is actually mine I hope to do a similar gallery but on the wall. I’m at 43/59 but honestly don’t know if I have any good pictures from Hot Springs, Wind Cave or Mammoth Cave.

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