Exploring the National Parks

Next week my husband Dave and I will be exploring Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. We love exploring this country's unique and gorgeous natural settings and have been to 13 of the 59 national parks. Here's a photo recap of the ones we've visited. (Note that Dave took most of the pics; he's an awesome photographer! If a pic is ho-hum, it's probably one that I took.)

Denali, Alaska
Out of all the places we've visited, Alaska is my favorite.
Mt. McKinley, aka Denali
There are bears everywhere in the park!

Mountain goats too!

Me hiking through Denali, which is a trail-less park.
Hawaii Volcanoes, Hawaii's Big Island
The lava flow when we were there was too far away to get to. These pics are from the KÄ«lauea Iki hike, which goes through the still-steaming crater floor.

Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio
Yes, dogs are allowed in this park. Each park's pet rules vary, so check before you visit.

Badlands, South Dakota

 Shenandoah, Virginia
Along the drive through Shenandoah, looking toward the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Acadia, Maine

Kenai Fjords, Alaska
You have to take a boat out to get to this park; this is a view of glaciers.

Pinnacles, California
Pinnacles is the newest national park, receiving the designation in 2013. When we visited, it wasn't a national park. We only hiked one trail, and it wasn't that exciting but I think we just didn't pick the right trail.

Zion, Utah
The scariest hike I've ever done was in Zion-- the Angels Landing Trail. At the end you have to scramble along the side of a sheer rock face while holding onto a chain fastened to the rock then have to walk out onto a narrow rock bridge that's 1,488 high. I got too scared at the first part, where I was holding onto a chain and looked down to see the ground 1,400+ feet below me. I was nearly in tears and had to turn back, but Dave went ahead and got these great shots.
Looking 1,488 feet down from Angels Landing

From Angels Landing looking out at Zion Canyon

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Everglades, Florida

Mt. Rainier, Washington
This was the first national park we visited together 13 years ago.

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