My National Parks Bucket List!

Happy National Park Week! If you are a regular reader here, then you already know that our family really enjoys the outdoors. We have been daydreaming about trips since the pandemic started, with National Parks at the top of our list. Billy and I have visited a few – Shenandoah (my favorite), Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Mackinac Island, Mammoth Cave, as well as a National Battlefield (Gettysburg), and a National Seashore (Chincoteague) Wyatt has yet to visit one; he has visited a National Lakeshore (Sleeping Bear Dunes), but not a National Park. Yet. And we have a few quick and easy National Park visits lined up for the summer – Cuyahoga Valley NP, Indiana Dunes NP, and a National Battlefield, River Raisin. But we have some pretty big bucket list parks on our list as well. This is my list – Billy and I have some crossover dream parks, but he has a few that are not on mine, and I have some not on his. But anyway, these are the parks on mine!

Acadia National Park, Maine:

Photo from

Why I want to go: Puffins and whales! I realize I have to get on a boat to do this, and honestly I am terrified of boats, but to see a puffin I will jump onboard one in a second. Also, seriously how beautiful does Acadia look? Mountains, rocky coastlines, forests, all of that calls my name. I took a trip to Maine and the East Coast as a kid and I loved it. I have never forgotten it and have always wanted to go back.

Carlsbad Cavern National Park, NM:

NPS / Nick Hristov

Why I want to go: The bat flight of course!!! I would love to see the bats leaving for the night! The caverns themselves are tricky for our family; they are not wheelchair accessible in a lot of areas due to the steepness of the grading, but there are a few parts that we could visit if Wyatt needs his wheelchair long term. The bat flight is accessible though, and that is my main motivation for going.

Congaree National Park, South Carolina:

Photo from

Why I want to go: Oo, the trees. So moody. So atmospheric. That old growth forest. The floodplains. And we can canoe right through it! As far as accessibility, canoeing is a good one. And there is a short boardwalk trail so bonus!

Zion National Park, Utah:

Photo from

Why I want to go: The beauty. The sunsets. The stargazing. And it seems to be a very disability friendly national park, with lots of opportunities and ways to view this park. Billy and I drove across the country one time (in a Uhaul truck, helping a friend move to Vegas) and we didn’t get to spend any quality time visiting the western states that we drove through. We have lots of crazy stories about that trip, and it was fun, but we need a proper visit.

Yellowstone (particularly in winter!)

Why I want to go: It’s Yellowstone!! I want to visit in summer, but if I had to pick just one time to go, I would choose a trip in the winter. First, bears are hibernating. I don’t need to see bears. Especially after listening to the podcast National Park After Dark and all the bear episodes.. no thank you. I also think it would be breathtakingly beautiful! All the snow, everything so pristine and sparkly and magical. Exploring during the day via warm snowcoach, then going back to the lodge at night and being all cozy, looking out at the wilderness. Seriously, this would be a dream trip for me. Huge. I need to do it. A bonus – far less people. And dang it, we want to see wolves!

I would love to visit as many National Parks as possible, but right now, these are the big ones on my list.

What about you? I would love to hear about your trips to any of these parks, or any national park! Or your own bucket list!


19 thoughts on “My National Parks Bucket List!

  1. We have been to Acadia National Park…the Thunder Hole was not thundering the day we were there, but the park is spectacular! I love Mackinac Island and would live there if I could afford it! Gettysburg is amazing…I had no idea it would be so big! We went to Yellowstone when I was a kid (so many, many decades ago), and I would love to go back. I really want to go to Zion National Park as well as Crater Lake. Sleeping Bear Dune is also on my list…those beaches look amazing! Good luck on your journeys…whenever they happen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places in Michigan! I used to dream of living there lol. When I was in college I almost took a summer job there. šŸ™‚ And Sleeping Bear Dunes – such views and the beaches are beautiful. šŸ™‚

      I think I am going to start actually putting some more concrete details together for these trips!


  2. When we started traveling in our RV in 2017, my goal was to see all the National Parks. I doubt I’ll really get to do that, but it’s a fun goal and I’ve enjoyed tracking all of the ones we have visited. Acadia is high my list, as is Zion. I really want to see Glacier, Grand Teton, Arches, Denali. So far I’ve been to Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite, Badlands, Crater Lake, Olympic, Petrified Forest, Pinnacles, Redwood, Saguaro, Gateway Arch, and the Grand Canyon. Some were before rving and some were more recently. Honestly, when I first stepped out of the rv and saw the Grand Canyon, I cried. It far exceed my expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is an awesome goal, whether you meet it or not. You will have fun along the way!

      Now that you mention it, I may have been to Kings Canyon as well, because we saw the General Grant tree. So I guess I should add that to my list!

      I can only imagine how the Grand Canyon must be in person. I can certainly understand having tears there – I have been moved by many a landscape as well. šŸ™‚

      The Badlands and the Grand Canyon are tops on my husband’s list.


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  4. Molly's Book Nook

    My family used to go to Yellowstone a lot! Back then, it was beautiful! I can’t speak of it now – tourism and development and all that. Now we go up to northern california, Yosemite area. But we never go fully into the national park. We stay a little down the mountain, near lee vining and mono lake. It’s too much to go to those popular areas sometimes when you’re trying to go fishing lol Good luck completing your bucket list!

    Liked by 1 person

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