Are you looking for the year’s best national park podcasts?
You’ve come to the right place! For the 2nd year in a row, we’ve put together an A-Z list of our favorite travel and park-themed podcasts for the year. These include some of the best entertainment and information value to help you plan your next #parkchasing trip (or just pass the time on a road trip).
Many of these amazing podcast hosts have become our friends and supporters. If you enjoy their shows, be sure to subscribe and write reviews. Along with sharing this post, it’s the best way to help these podcasts create new content AND for more people to find and enjoy our national parks!
America’s National Parks Podcast
In their second year on our list, America’s National Parks podcast continues to be popular among national park fans of all ages. Sponsored by L.L. Bean, the weekly podcast episodes are carefully curated, researched, and always full of new facts we didn’t know about the parks.
Each episode listens more like an audiobook, with strong storytelling and a well-crafted narrative. This year they also added a monthly “News” segment which helped keep us informed about recent park happenings.
Everybody’s National Parks
Bryan and Danielle, hosts of the Everybody’s National Parks podcast bring so much travel expertise and energy to the airwaves. This is the 2nd year their family-oriented podcast has made our “Best of” list. We love the informative episodes, we promise you’ll learn something each and every time you listen! This year our favorites were the episodes on Saguaro National Park and listened to them during our own Arizona road trip this year.
Bryan and Danielle were also featured in our Park Chaser Profile series. It’s a great way to learn more about what inspires their trips and where to find them online.
Gaze at the National Parks
Of all of the podcast hosts on our list this year, Dustin Ballard and Michael Ryan from Gaze at the National Parks have had us laughing to tears the most. It’s the second year their witty and informative podcast has made it on our “Best of” list. They were also featured in our Park Chaser profile series this year.
Each week Dusty and Mike share their adventures hiking the trails and traveling to one of America’s National Parks. We also love the commercial breaks, trail games (Jeopardy is our favorite) and trail mix shows which toss in some unique park history and trivia. Mike also designs gorgeous ‘landmark badges’ for each of the parks they visit, worth checking out on their Instagram feed. This season’s highlights for us included shows on Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Park in Maui.
National Parks Traveler Podcast
Whenever we want to know the latest news and press releases from the NPS, we always look to National Parks Traveler. As the top-rated, editorially independent media organization dedicated to the parks, the daily content they produce (including the National Parks Traveler podcast) represents some of the best in the business.
The podcasts tend to fall more in the ‘News’ category rather than share the same entertainment value. You’ll always find a brief news update of happenings around the park, an interview or two from park experts about relevant news in the parks. If you’re new to the National Parks Traveler podcast, their re-cap episode at the end of 2019 is a good place to get started.
“Sure, getting physical mail is a tedious hassle, WiFi can be nonexistent in certain places, and collecting change for laundromats is a headache, but it’s all worth it for this adventure of a lifetime,” is what cohost Matt Kirouac recently said of national park RV travel, in a piece for Travel + Leisure Magazine about his hit new podcast Parklandia.
In Season 1 of the show, Matt and husband Brad teamed up with the folks at iHeartRadio to produce one of the best travel podcasts of the year. Along with sharing the beauty and culture of each national park, the show’s lighthearted humor and honesty about the ups and downs of living full-time in an RV make it some of the best national park podcasting we’ve heard to date.
Also new on our list of Best National Park Podcasts for 2020, the Park Leaders podcast has been a fun addition to our road trips and commutes. Although we think it has appeal for a broader national park audience, Park Leaders is geared directly toward park administration and management.
Hosted by Jody Maberry, the episodes feature former park rangers, superintendents and park volunteers. They cover topics like getting a job in a national park, work-life balance for park ranger staff, and managing parks in a changing park landscape. All the behind-the-scenes things we don’t necessarily think of when we visit a state or national park!
Switchbacks: Our Year in the National Parks
In 2015, Cole and Elizabeth Donalson quit their jobs and spent the next year traveling to all of the–then 59–national parks. Since then, the Switchbacks podcast has shared budget travel advice, national park info, and been a mainstay in our iTunes feed. In the past year, their podcast has expanded to include an international focus, as they traveled through Europe and Africa.
Looking for more places to find National Park travel info?
Like this list of national park podcasts? Check out our list of the Best Instagram Feeds to follow or download our free .pdf list of 400+ units in the National Park Service.