Inspired by friends who climbed 52 Peaks in Year, my husband and I came up with the idea to visit 12 National Parks in 2014 during a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in November 2013. Maybe it was the lack of sunlight and oxygen in the deep caverns 1,600 feet underground why we came up with such a feat, or perhaps it was our somewhat-developed sense of adventure. Either way, it was a memorable way to spend the year!
Now 12 months, 6 states, what seems like 1,000 pictures, and 13 parks/monuments later, we’ve achieved our “monumental” goal and wanted to share our our favorites.
This list was scientifically developed after each making individual rankings, and then through skillful and emotional negotiations … discussions ranged from the impacts of weather, expectations (lacking vs. exceeding), and our moods when when we visited each site. Finally, we were able to reach a consensus that resulted in this ranking and I will provide here before it changes again …
First, I will share the list in photos for our visual friends/readers. Second, you will see the list, well, in list form. If you’d like to reminisce about each trip and re-experience the insights and pretty pictures I provided, please click on each link.
If you have questions/comments/concerns about this ranking, we look forward to reading to your thoughts.
- Canyonlands National Park (Utah) :: THE “I WANT TO GO THERE SOMEDAY” DAY
- Saguaro National Park (Arizona) :: MISTER PERFECT AND OUR OTHER NEW PRICKLY FRIENDS
- Arches National Park (Utah) :: EVOLVING ROCKSCAPE
- Grand Tetons National Park (Wyoming) :: MOUNTAIN MAJESTY
- Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado) :: MESA TOP WONDERS
- Chaco Canyon National Historic Park (New Mexico) :: MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE OF AN ANCIENT CULTURE
- Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) :: THE FIRST NATIONAL PARK
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (New Mexico) :: HOODOO YOU LOVE
- El Malpais National Monument (New Mexico) :: A GOOD DAY IN THE BAD LANDS
- Petrified Forest / Painted Desert National Park (Arizona) :: A DAY IN THE PAINTED DESERT
- Joshua Tree National Park (California) :: WILD CALIFORNIA
- White Sands National Monument (New Mexico) :: A SEA OF WHITE SAND
- Pecos National Historic Park (New Mexico) :: PANORAMIC PECOS