19 Jun
2011

#24: Visit 3 National Parks – 30 before 30 list

This goal had me singing “from sea to shining sea…” I love national parks and thought I should check a few more off my list before I turn thirty. My goal was to visit three new (to me) national parks.

Last year, I started scoping out the National Park Service’s handy find a park map, because I’m a huge nerd who plans out each national park siege in great detail. Oregon has a five national parks, sites, monuments and historic places, but I think the only real national park is Crater Lake National Park. I knew I’d be heading out of state to tackle this goal!

  1. Haleakala National Park (April 2011)
    We missed a sunrise at the crater this year, but we did drive around the entire mountain. After the road to Hana, we continued on the Hana/Piilani Highway and enjoyed the transition between lush rainforest and harsh volcanic landscape. It was like driving from paradise to the moon! We even found some adorable little mountain goats scampering up the cliffs. Bliss.
  2.  

  3. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (May 2011)
    Highlight of my year – sleeping at a National Park. We spent a weekend in San Francisco during May and were able to stay at Cavallo Point Lodge, which is the site of the historic Fort Baker. I also fell in love with the Golden Gate Bridge during our stay (who doesn’t?). Other than the typical city touring, we spent a day biking from downtown San Francisco to Sausalito and spent another morning exploring the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands and Point Bonita Lighthouse.
  4.  

  5. San Juan Island National Historic Park (May 2011)
    I checked this off during an amazing Memorial Day bicycling trip to the San Juans. We spent two days riding around the island, exploring Friday Harbor, relaxing and checking out eye candy yachts.
  6.  

That wraps up my national parks trek. This is definitely something I’d like to keep doing, maybe I’ll try to hit at least one new national park each year. Love!

So, what do you think?