Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tallies for 2008 (Parks)

A little more than a year ago, I tallied up all of the U.S. National Parks and related areas that I'd visited. Let's see what I added in 2008.

National Parks: This year I visited Joshua Tree, Glacier Bay, and Denali National Parks. The two in Alaska were new to me. That brings my total to 19 National Parks visited (including 4 visited only cheesily) out of 58 total.

Other National Park System units: I also visited Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, bringing my total to 13 out of 42, including 5 cheesy-only visits. The two new National Parks I visited are also National Preserves, so that brings my count of National Preserves visited to 5 out of 20 total, although I've only visited 2 out of 9 that aren't part of some other unit. I also moved about five miles from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which I've already visited on multiple occasions. My total number of official National Park System Units visited, then, goes up from 62 to 67 out of 391 total.

(Updated 1/5/09)
State Parks: I did visit some state parks outside of California, which is fairly unusual for me. In New York, I visited Niagara Falls State Park and drove through (cheesy visit only) Buckhorn Island State Park. In Indiana, I made a cheesy visit to White River State Park, which I had previously visited more fully. In Washington State, I went through Peace Arch State Park, which I guess only counts as a cheesy visit. Likewise, I passed through British Columbia's Peach Arch Provincial Park. In Alaska I made a full visit to Denali State Park and a drive-through-only visit to Chugach State Park.

Back at home in California, just in the course of going about town, I visited Los Angeles State Historic Park, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Malibu Creek State Park, and Topanga State Park, all of which I've made full visits to at some point. I didn't make any special trips to any local state parks.

National Forests: I didn't tally up the National Forests I've visited on that previous tally post. For those of you who might not know, National Forests are not managed by the National Park Service or even any other agency within the Department of the Interior. The U.S. Forest Service is a branch of the Department of Agriculture, which should be a clue to tell you that the objective of the National Forests is not to preserve natural resources, but to manage them. Historically, you can personify the difference between the two as John Muir vs. Gifford Pinchot.

Anyway, this year I visited Chugach and Tongass National Forests for the first time (both in Alaska), as well as the local Angeles and Los Padres National Forests for the umpteenth times. I think the total number of National Forests I've visited is 37 (out of 155 total), though sometimes it's kind of hard to tell, and the line between a full visit and a cheesy visit is blurry.

Wilderness Areas: Despite a lifetime of camping and hiking, I've really only visited a handful of official Wilderness Areas, which one encounters many more of if one is a more hardcore mountain man like Mike Benedetti. Basically, anywhere it is possible to drive in is not a wilderness area. I did newly enter the Denali Wilderness Area this year. I'm not really sure how many Wilderness Areas I've stepped over the boundary of, but I know I've at least been to these others, all in California:
Golden Trout Wilderness
Mecca Hills Wilderness
Orocopia Mountains Wilderness
San Gabriel Wilderness
San Gorgonio Wilderness


So, as few as only 6 out of 702. I'll bet Benedetti's been in at least 50.

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