So Many National Parks so Little Time – Visit one today

Travel Tips: Make National Parks part of your travels

Driving without a plan is my idea of a Road trip except when you are on limited time. First cross country trip had not time limit other than funds. Camping with a tent and learning to drive my first stick shift car better before tackling the hills of the West. The further West I went the more relaxed I became. As the idea of camping and being alone sunk in, I was comfortable. The first three weeks was a battle in my head between the very practical me and the very adventurous athletic me – polarized. Yes, I have that demon to deal with on a daily basis and have learned to tame it over the years.

National Parks I have visited on many trips

I am sure some will be missing but just looking at the map and locating many of them was a trip down memory lane. A must do at every Park is go to the Ranger programs and watch the slideshows and find out more about the park. Even if you are not going to hike, there is so much you can experience with the films, campfires, and incredible programs.


Grand Canyon – Each time I visit it is like it is all new. Been there on several occasions both camping and staying in one of their cabins. Once a day trip from Flagstaff with a friend who had come on the trip and we met her brother here who was going on the rafting trip down the Colorado. He was a park ranger. It was a very serendipity trip.

Grand Canyon Sunset Red Rock Photographer Eileen LudwigGrand Canyon Photographer Eileen Ludwig


Petrified Forest National ParkFlickr When I traveled to the Petrified forest National Park, my expectations were of a standing forest not all these rocks on the ground. There they were just spread over the land.

Petrified Forest National Park Keystone Arch Photo by National Park Service

Petrified Forest – Photo Belongs to National Park Service

Once I found National Parks they became an obsession, cities were hard to stay in with a budget. Most National Parks are out West.  As I left Denver Area and Aspen to head north into Wyoming, the adventure truly began. Yellowstone National Park is big and enormous – yes I said it twice. I must go back to many of these parks because there is so much I missed or don’t remember. I will be using some of my own photos and since my negatives and slides are still in storage some photos from Creative Commons of some parks I have visited over the years. Links to Flickr Accounts  or their image page for individual Parks

New Mexico

Carlsbad CavernsImages Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad Caverns are like a light up christmas tree inside. The lighting shines on the rocks. I can not image being the first into this dark place and discovering it. Journey to the Center of the Earth type of thoughts cross my mind.

Carlsbad Caverns Photograph by Eileen LudwigCarlsbad Caverns Photographer Eileen Ludwig

Those following my travels wondered if I would ever make it to the Pacific Ocean. It was incredible. I have been back several times. I would fly, pack one suitcase with a tent and sleeping bag and the other with clothes and go for two or three weeks, that was when it was the friendly skies. Much easier to travel then. No extra charge for baggage.

North Carolina

Wright Brothers National Monument – Fort Raleigh Historic Site – Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Blue Ridge Parkway


Gettysburg Military Park


Hot Springs National Park

Getting a bath, steam, massage treatment while here is very refreshing. Drinking the hot spring water is so very cleansing and I can taste it whenever I think about it. Must go back for the water.

Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas Ken Lund PhotographerFordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Photo by Ken Lund under the Creative Commons License See Flickr for details

National Parks have a long history and Ken Burns Series is a great way to see the fight to create and expand the National Park system over the years with Staunch advocate for and against making public lands available to the masses. The fight over the parks is not new. Funding them and keeping them open is not new. Check your local Public Library for the Series or buy it. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea


Great Sand Dune National Park

Mesa Verde When you walk through here and see the pits for cooking and listen to ranger stories, it is incredible people lived here and then just left. These are so well preserved

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park Photographer Ken LundCliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park Photographer Ken Lund Creative Commons see flickr for license



Washington State

Mt Rainer – North Cascade National Park – Olympic National Park


Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park Photograph Property of Oregon Attractions

Crater Lake National Park Photograph Property of Oregon Attractions see flickr for license


Redwood Forest – Yosemite National Park – Kings Canyon National Park Sequoia National Park – Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Point Reyes National Seashore

Yosemite National Park Half Dome Creative commons  SLDdigital see flickr for details on license

Yosemite National Park Half Dome Creative commons  SLDdigital see flickr for details on license

New Mexico

Santa Fe National Historic Trail


Bryce  Canyon Traveled thorough Bryce and Zion on my way to Las Vegas to meet up with a friend who was there on a business trip. Vegas had not been on radar and neither were these National Parks but they were so fabulous.

Bryce Canyon National Park Photographer Redeo Pascal



This spot was amazing and my photo of the Organ was the beginning of my selling my photographs. Several people suggested selling my photographs. Crafts Fairs, consignment shops, Gift Shops all carried my work for several years. My negative of this is locked in storage for now.

The Organ - Arches National Park, Moab, Utah Photographer Jim TrodelThe Organ – Arches National Park, Moab, Utah Photographer Jim Trodel see Flickr for License under Creative Commons


Washington DC

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts – Washington Monument – The Mall – National Capital Parks – National Mall & Memorial Parks

Washington DC Capital Photographer Eileen LudwigWashington DC Capital Photographer Eileen Ludwig

New York

Statue of Liberty National Monument – Governors Island National Monument

A visit here is amazing. Taking the ferries. Enjoying the NYC view. One time, I went up for the schooner races and out on a boat in the middle of the races. It was so exhilarating, breath taking, amazing to be in the middle of New York Harbor.

Statue Liberty Screen Capture from Web CamStatue Liberty Screen Capture from Web Cam

Web Cam Views


Cape Cod National Seashore – John F Kennedy National Historic Site – Boston Harbor Islands Recreation Area


Arcadia National Park


Canaveral National Seashore

The National Parks are amazing. There are National Parks all over the world. People love the land, the public access. Make sure to see Ken Burns series for Americas Best Idea – the National Park System.

Bucket List

Be able to visit the National Parks and stay in the lodges


Budget Travel Adventures

Solo Travel Girl


Eileen Lud­wig, travel writer of  Free­lance Tourist brings to the world insights about places to travel, dis­counts, Stay­ca­tions, Restau­rant Reviews, movie reviews, and fas­ci­nat­ing tibits. She is owner of three other sites: Pho­tog­ra­phy, Web Design School, and Social Media School Each are in dif­fer­ent stages of devel­op­ment and evolution.



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