This summer I decided to try to visit every National Park or monument in the state of Utah in one single season. At the time I had already made it to 3 of the “Mighty 5” National Parks in the state so it seemed like an easy job. However I’d find out that some of America’s greatest treasures are pretty remote and difficult to access. But a couple weekends ago I finished the job making a road trip to Golden Spike National Historic Site in the face of a huge incoming storm.
In the early days of the National Park system they would give you a large badge to affix to your car to to prove you had paid for access to the park. Adventurous people would try to collect all them and proudly display that they had visited of the United States greatest treasures.
These days they give away free park maps with info about the park. They’re not as easy to show off on your car but still just as proud carry.
Utah has 5 National Parks, known locally as The Mighty 5:
Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion (don’t pronounce it “Zions” unless you want to look ignorant)
There are 7 National Monuments:
Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, Rainbow Bridge, and Timpanogos Cave
1 National Historic Site:
And 1 National Recreation Site:
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is run by the BLM so their map doesn’t fit the same style as the rest (somebody should get on that). But it’s still a required part of the set. And Flaming Gorge used to be a National Recreation site but it has been given over to the National Forest Service.
I took pictures in each park in the hopes of getting a great shot to go along with each map (although the weather didn’t always cooperate). I’m still trying to think of some fun way of displaying all the maps and pictures I took in them. I also plan on making a quick write-up of each park as I process the pictures I took so anybody else in the area can get a basic overview of the Park, along with scans of the front and backs of the maps given out (because I had a hell of a time finding some of them online).
Now I need to know what goal to set for next year.
Every State Park?
Every National Forest? (I actually did this this year but not deliberately)
Maybe just focus on one park?
Maybe find non-park areas that are just as amazing?