Your National Park Memories

Aug 25, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service!  

We asked, and you provided. Earlier this week we put out a request to our audience to send in their favorite memory from one of the 58 national parks in the U.S. Turns out, ya'll *love* national parks. (Some of us at BSPR even shared our best vacay pics.) 

So without further ado, below are your photos, videos, memories -- and even a painting! -- gratefully shared with the world. Thanks for contributing to our "birthday gift!"

Laura Feeney and her son at Grand Teton National Park.

"Back in July, [my son] and I took a trip to the Grand Teton National Park ... We got caught in a hailstorm/thunderstorm on what should have been a fairly easy hike, we saw bears mating in the woods (from the safety of our car thankfully), we got surrounded by chipmunks at Phelps lake, got soaked to the bone every time we turned around and even got SNOWED on ever so slightly on our last morning there. We even had a huge fox walk RIGHT in front of us on a trail!!!  Traveling with my kid to see such wild and beautiful places is my true passion and watching that same love develop in him is probably the best thing I've ever experienced. I can't wait for the next adventure!!" -- Laura Feeney

"In September 2015 my Sweetheart and I traveled to Yellowstone. It was my first visit to this national park. As I am an artist, Erin felt that I should experience firsthand the beauty that I often paint from photographs. She was right; the first painting was of Yellowstone falls. The photo attached does not do justice to the original photo, but is a good representation of the falls when viewed side by side...Being there is the best. I love and appreciate nature, even in my back yard. The trip to Yellowstone will be forever etched in my mind." -- Michael Rusnack

Painting of waterfall in Yellowstone National Park by Michael Rusnack.

"When I first moved "out west" I ended up in Bozeman, a place that (little to my knowledge) was about an hour and a half drive to the North Entrance to Yellowstone. After realizing that all my family members only came to visit me so they could see the park, I bought a season pass--mostly to save a few bucks. However, after a few visits I was hooked. One of my favorite memories is an early morning trip to the Park in January (talk about being quiet!) to take a dip into the Boiling River. A steaming hot spring enters the Gardner River and pools in an area set apart by rocks where you can find the perfect temperature soaking spot. It is as amazing as it sounds! Surrounded by snow-covered bison, you can watch the sun come up over the mountains. Afterwards, you run as fast as possible to your towel, change into your dry clothes (that are now about 20 degrees, thanks winter in Montana) and marvel at what the heck just happened. If you have the chance to check it out, don't pass it up!" -- Katie John

Yellowstone bison and geyser captured by BSPR's administrative assistant Katie John.

"I just spent last week in Yellowstone National Park and it was awesome. I saw lots of wildlife and got some great pictures. My favorite was probably the Canyon lower waterfall, what a spectacular view from the Lookout." -- Richard Strack 

Photo of the Lower Yellowstone Falls, submitted by BSPR chief engineer Rick Strack.

"My favorite National Park is the Everglades National Park in Florida." -- Laura Audrey

"In the early 1970s I lived at Tecopa, CA, in the Amargosa Valley, SE of Death Valley, which was then a National Monument. We called ours Near-Death Valley. I am struck by the contrasts: What appears a wasteland where nothing could survive in mid-summer flourishes in the spring. Same happens two months later at Idaho's Craters of the Moon, a Monument worthy of Park status." -- Gary Richardson (Watch Gary's video here.) 


"My family lives a few miles from Glacier National Park and this close proximity allows me to explore the park during off hours. During the late evening, the famous Going to the Sun road is closed off to vehicles and opens exclusively to bicycles and skateboards." -- Mark Pemble

"I need to visit more national parks! I loved the Grand Canyon." -- Mary Hutcherson

"Happy Birthday, National Parks! I have been to dozens over the span of my life. Especially wonderful was to visit national parks in Taiwan, who began to set aside beautiful and culturally important landscapes in 1986 inspired by, and with the help of, the US National Park Service." -- Pei-Lin Yu

​"Glacier National Park is my favorite.  The first time I visited the park was July 4, 1959.  Friends took me to see the park.  I became so awestruck that I could not talk." -- Jim Nolan


Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, courtesy of Jim Nolan.

"From the redwoods to the sea, Redwood National Park is my heart home. It was the third national park I worked at, in what has now been a more than 30-year career, working for the National Park Service in a nearly a dozen parks directly and another 30 while at a regional office. My son, now 22, was not yet 2 in this photo taken many years after I worked there.  He worked one summer at Craters of the Moon, where my husband still works." -- Rose Rumball-Petre


Rose Rumball-Petre and her son at Redwood National Park about 20 years ago.

"My family and I had a great time at Arches National Park, Spring Break 2015. It was also the last time we got to travel to a national park with one of the kids' grandmothers , who passed away this summer ... We really enjoyed this little informal play area. We don't know if the rocks placed here next to the Windows Trail were purposefully left for children to play with, or, if the rocks were going to be used for trail building or repair or something else. But we loved it!!!! As a teacher, I was glad for my kids to have an opportunity to learn about science and history in an informal, experimental, experiential and very tactile sort of way." -- Travis Manning


"My twin sons, age 6 at the time, seen in this picture loved this little rock area and played here at least a half an hour building towers, arches, windows and canyons." - Travis Manning

"My favorite so far is Teton National park because in 2014 I summited the Middle Teton (12,806ft)! It's an amazing, diverse landscape that really gives you everything you could ask for from big rock faces, high mountain lakes and streams, and gorgeous wildlife at all altitudes." --Tyler Kelly

"This is one of the better pictures. You can't sum it all up in a picture, even though they may be worth 1000 words." -- Tyler Kelly
"Took a great spring break trip to Southern Utah and hiked in Zion National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (managed by the BLM) and Capitol Reef National Park." - Robin Fehlau

"My favorite national park? An old saw from the marketing research field works here - whatever one I visited last! In this case, Crater Lake NP in 2015!" -- Jim Lyons