Our National Park System is a true treasure. First it creates a fantastic backdrop for the type of iPhone-less family vacations, the real reasons to hop in the car and visit are easier to see in photo form. National Parks our most protected lands—and the dramatic drives that give access to them—are all too often conga lines of taillights and tourists, an experience you would not want to miss.
Last week we visited Mesa Verde National Park, which on June 29, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established this park to “preserve the works of man”. Remains the 1st and only U.S National Park of its kind. At first I thought with a 19 and 11 yr. old they would be board. There first thought was WOW…you can actually walk through the ancient ruins. Awesome adventure, I was surprised to see the questions they had about how past generations lived over a thousand years ago. They enjoyed crawling through Balcony Palace up a 35 foot latter, that was on the side of the cliff. I was one with the wall, but the girls shot right up, and never looked back.
The best part of a National Park Adventure is the Military Pass:
- Available to US military members and their dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as most members of the US Reserves and National Guard. Proper military ID is required (CAC Card or DoD Form 1173).
- Obtained in person at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.
- Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge Entrance Fees, and Standard Amenity Fees at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites.
- Admits the pass owners and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults at sites that charge per person.
Make sure and get a National Park Passport Book if you have not already. My girls have enjoyed traveling the United States and Collecting Passport Stamps in their books. Enjoy the rest of summer with all the National Parks in the US.