Saturday, December 22, 2007

National Park Tallies

Last week's Flagstaff trip let me visit two National Monuments I hadn't been to before, and last weekend my wife and I went out to the Palm Springs area (I'm milking the last days before I start work) and visited another National Monument (Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains) and a National Park (Joshua Tree), both of which I'd been to before.

So it seemed as good a time as any to tally up the number of different U.S. National Parks, other National Park Service units, and other similar areas I've visited. When tallying up National Parks and such, I'm always careful to note which areas I've had "full" visits to versus those to which I've only had "cheesy" visits. A cheesy visit is where in the technical sense I'd been within a park's boundary, but hadn't really experienced the features that make the park what it is. For the most part, what this means is that I'd maybe made a perfunctory visit to a visitors' center or drove through on a highway and missed the points of interest. With National Parks this is usually pretty clear, but with other units it can be a little fuzzy, since a good amount of the experience may just be driving through a unique scenic landscape or taking a look at a single feature rather than the more diverse attractions of full-fledged National Parks.

On to the lists...
National Parks
There are 58 full-fledged National Parks in the U.S.; I've visited 17, including 4 cheesy visits. Asterisks indicate cheesy visits, and I've also noted which states they're in:
Bryce Canyon (UT)
Channel Islands* (CA)
Death Valley (CA/NV)
Everglades* (FL)
Grand Canyon (AZ)
Haleakala (HI)
Hawaii Volcanoes (HI)
Joshua Tree (CA)
Kings Canyon (CA)
Lassen Volcanic* (CA)
Mammoth Cave (KY)
Olympic* (WA)
Petrified Forest (AZ)
Redwood (CA)
Sequoia (CA)
Yosemite (CA)
Zion (UT)

National Monuments are a little tricky. The National Park Service has 57 National Monuments, but there are 23 other National Monuments owned and/or administered by other government agencies, like the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Game Service, etc. I've visited 7 NPS Monuments (none cheesily) and 6 others, including 2 cheesy-only. That's 13/80 total.

National Monuments (National Park Service):
Cabrillo (CA)
El Malpais (NM)
Lava Beds (CA)
Montezuma Castle (AZ)
Pinnacles (CA)
Sunset Crater Volcano (AZ)
Wupatki (AZ)

National Monuments (other agencies):
California Coastal (CA)
Carrizo Plain (CA)
Giant Sequoia (CA)
Grand Staircase-Escalante* (UT)
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains (CA)
Vermilion Cliffs* (AZ)

Beyond that, it gets a little weird. National Historical Parks are self-explanatory, but if anyone can explain the difference between a National Battlefield Park, a National Military Park, a National Battlefield, and a National Battlefield Site, I'd like to hear it. Then when you get to the National Memorials, you have to wonder about things like "affiliated sites" that aren't actually owned by the Park Service and confusing things like whether the individual parks in Washington are separate units, or part of larger catch-all units like the National Mall. Here's the rundown, as best as I can figure it:

National Preserves (that aren't also parts of other parks): 2/11
Big Cypress (FL)
Mojave (CA)

National Historical Parks: 12/42 (incl. 5 cheesy visits)
Boston (MA)
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal* (MD/DC/WV)
Colonial (VA)
Harpers Ferry* (WV)
Independence (PA)
Jean Lafitte* (LA)
Lewis and Clark (WA/OR)
Lyndon B. Johnson (TX)
Minute Man (MA)
New Orleans Jazz* (LA)
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (HI)
San Francisco Maritime* (CA)

National Historic Sites: 7/79 NPS units, incl. 1 cheesy, plus 1/10 affiliated sites
Ford's Theatre (DC)
Fort Point (CA)
Golden Spike (UT)
Jamestown (VA) (affiliated)
Manzanar* (CA)
Pennsylvania Avenue (DC)
San Juan (PR)

National Battlefield Parks: 0/3
National Battlefields: 0/11
National Battlefield Site: 0/1

National Military Parks: 1/9
Vicksburg (MS)

National Memorials: 7/29 NPS units, plus 1/15 affiliated sites
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (DC)
George Mason (DC) (affiliated)
Korean War Veterans (DC)
Lincoln (DC)
Lincoln Boyhood (IN)
Thomas Jefferson (DC)
Vietnam Veterans (DC)

World War II (DC)

National Recreation Areas: 4/20 (incl. 1 cheesy)
Golden Gate (CA)
Lake Mead (NV/AZ)
Santa Monica Mountains (CA)
Whiskeytown* (CA)

National Seashores: 2/10
Gulf Islands (FL/MS)
Point Reyes (CA)

National Lakeshores: 0/4
National Rivers: 0/15
National Reserves: 0/3
National Scenic Trails: 0/3 that are actually units of the NPS system. 2/5 cheesy visits to non-NPS-unit routes (i.e., brief walks along tiny portions of the trails):
Pacific Crest* (in CA)
Continental Divide* (in NM)

National Historic Trails: None of these are actually NPS units, and a lot of them basically just follow major highways for much of their length. I'll count anything I've driven or walked along, but I'll count as cheesy anything where I didn't do any activity or see any sight specifically associated with the trail in question. I've been on 9/17, although 6 of those were cheesy.
Ala Kahakai (HI)
California* (CA/NV)
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro* (NM)
Juan Bautista de Anza (CA/AZ)
Lewis and Clark (in WA/OR)
Mormon Pioneer* (in UT/WY)
Old Spanish* (in CA)
Oregon* (in OR)
Pony Express* (in CA/NV/UT/WY)

National Parkways: 2/5 NPS, plus 2/4 affiliated
Baltimore-Washington (DC/MD) (affiliated)
Colonial (VA) (part of Colonial NHP)
George Washington Memorial (VA/MD/DC)
Rock Creek and Potomac (DC) (affiliated, part of Rock Creek Park)

Other Units: 4/7, incl. 1 cheesy
National Mall (DC)
National Capital Parks (DC)
Rock Creek Park (DC)
President's Park* (DC)

Total National Park Service official units visited: 62 out of 391, including 12 cheesy visits. For this count, I'm using this list of "official units," which has its own idiosyncrasies, and doesn't include any affiliated areas.


At Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 5:39:00 PM PST, Anonymous doafy said...

I'm pretty sure I've been to eight national parks. Care to guess which ones?

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 11:55:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Lemme think...

Redwood, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Zion... those ones I'm pretty sure of. I can't remember if you've ever been to the other big parks in California -- Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon, but I seem to remember the answer is no. You're talking about fullblown National Parks, right? Maybe you hit some of the others around the four corners area ... how about Mesa Verde and Bryce Canyon?

If that's correct, we've only got five NPs in common.

At Monday, December 24, 2007 at 10:19:00 AM PST, Anonymous doafy said...

Grand Canyon National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Redwood National and State Parks
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Zion National Park

We meant to go to Bryce, but that was one of those "Mom and Dad plan to go this far, but only get this far" trips.

We did petrified forest together I thought, on the way back from Florida when I was eight.

At Monday, December 24, 2007 at 7:40:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Oh yeah, Petrified Forest! I'd forgotten about that. I got 7/8 right. You've been to three I haven't: Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, and Great Smoky Mountains.


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