Look who is turning 100! The National Park Service.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the park service creation. The service was created to preserve protected areas of wilderness and wildlife. There are 59 national parks in the United States and its territories.
There are many celebrations and projects planned to mark this special year. My favorite is The Greatest American Road Trip. You can follow Stefanie and Jonathan as they embark on an epic journey to visit each park including those located in American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and my personal favorite, Alaska! They are traveling in an Airstream and camping their way across the country.
Visiting All 59 parks in One Year!
So far, they have visited two parks both in Florida, Everglades and Biscayne. Each park will have a feature on their website including stories, photos and a map of their travels. Sounds like an exciting adventure! Follow their journey as I will be. I hope to meet up with them when they hit my neck of the woods in Alaska.
Did you know 8 of those 59 parks are located in Alaska?
I am personally thankful for the creation of Denali National Park as it has helped provide me with a job for the past two years in my dream destination. Due to the immense amount of visitors that travel to the Denali area in the short time period the park road is open, I have a job at a hotel. Not only am I grateful for the job but the beauty of the park is incredible. The Park Service does a fantastic job maintaining a rustic and almost thoroughly untouched park for visitors to enjoy.
Denali National Park is 6 million acres large, almost the size of Massachusetts. Established in 1917, it is the 11th park created. Although the park is enormous, there is only one road that goes into the park for 92.5 miles. Visitors can take a park bus to venture down the park road or drive their own car but only to the Savage River stop. Otherwise, you have to take the bus. I take many trips into the park as the season change quickly. You can easily see all four seasons in three months time. Fall (late August-early September) is my favorite time as the colors are so vibrant.
Visitors are free to hike and camp within the park. Be sure to use lots of caution and inform the park service desk of your intentions.
Denali National Park hit the news waves last summer when President Obama officially changed the name of Mt. McKinley to the original Athabascan name of Mt. Denali meaning The Great One. It was a long time coming as Alaskans have been lobbying for this name change for many years.
To help commemorate the Park Service centennial, Anderson Design Group published a compilation of their poster art featuring all 59 parks. Per Joel Anderson, “We have produced an award-winning series of poster art rendered in the tradition of the classic WPA (Work Projects Administration) prints from the 1920s and 1930s.” Not only does the book feature art work but stats, travel tips, and historical facts of each park.
It is a beautiful, well-laid out book with loads of information.
Did you know:
- there is a park above the Arctic Circle? Gates of the Arctic National Park is roughly the size of Switzerland.
- what is the first National Park? Yellowstone established in 1872.
- one of our parks is part of the first International Peace park? Glacier in Montana formed a partnership with British Columbia’s Waterton National Park. You need a passport to cross from one to the other so don’t forget it.
- sandboarding is a featured activity at a park in Colorado? With sand dunes as high as 750 feet, adventurers will love Great Sand Dunes National Park.
The book, 18″ x 24″ prints, postcards, and calendars are available on their website at ADG Store.
Many thanks to Joel and Nathan Anderson for sending me a courtesy copy of this wonderful coffee table book.
The Adventure List features many posts on Alaska and more specifically Denali National Park and surrounding area. Please click around to scope them all out. I love the area so much I even wrote a guidebook called Denali, It’s for Everyone from Tourist to Seasonal Worker. Check it out.
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