It’s time for another post in our “Park Chasers Profiles” series! Each Q & A interview features a national park traveler who also shares their adventures online like we do. Check out our profiles of National Parks Patch Lady, The National Parks Girl, Not-So-Junior Rangers and Just Go Travel Studios! Whether you are visiting your first park or your 400th, we hope the travel tips help inspire your next national park adventure. Today our post features the incredible story of Mikah Meyer!
From Mikah’s Blog:
With April 29, 2016, marking the 11th anniversary of his father’s passing from cancer, Mikah honored his dad’s love of driving by making life out of death and launching his journey to experience all 400+ units of the U.S. National Park System, attempting to become the youngest person to experience every unit and the sole person to do so in a continuous journey. The project is scheduled to be completed on April 29, 2019.
Total Park Count:
357 of 417 – He’s on track to finish them all!
Most Recent Park: Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Next Park Planning to Visit: Finishing all of Alaska’s National Parks
www.MikahMeyer.com is your one-stop shop for blogs on all 417 sites (as I finish them), maps on reaching all the sites, and links to my social media accounts:
How did your interest in the national parks get started?
My first visit to a site I was conscious as a national park was in my mid-20s hiking to Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon with my Eagle Scout childhood best friend. We’ve taken one trip every year since high school to make sure we stay in touch, and this was the first time we’d secluded ourselves in nature this way. It was so special that I knew I needed to visit more national parks!
What Mikah Loves Most About National Parks
Tell us about your favorite things to do when you visit a national park.
I’d never done an overnight rafting trip until this journey, and perhaps I was a little bit spoiled in that my first was through the Grand Canyon (blog + videos), but I’ve really fallen in love with these multi-day trips. It’s such a special way to connect with our friends, family, and new friends, in an atmosphere that’s away from so much of the noise the regular world distracts us with.
Do you collect anything or have any special traditions you do for each park?
I take pictures with a rainbow flag in front of the most iconic NPS locations I can reach. When I started my nonstop journey to all 417, the National Park Service and a number of outdoor non-profits asked if I could do something to help LGBT visitors feel more safe and welcome in the parks, so this has been my social-media-culture way of sharing that message.
Everyone that travels to a national park has a favorite story or two they like to tell about a trip. What’s one that you’d like to share with us?
In Dinosaur National Monument, a wild Canadian Goose followed my rafting group for 4 days (through rapids, up canyon hikes, and even slept next to our tents!)
We named him George, and someone said it’s the spirit of my late father (who my trip is honoring) joining me for part of the journey.
Check out my story about George The Goose and my #1 Utah Ranked national park here: https://www.mikahmeyer.com/single-post/2017/09/27/Ranking-All-of-Utah%E2%80%99s-National-Parks
Travel Advice from Mikah Meyer
What advice do you have for friends and family who ask about the amount of time and money it takes to travel so much?
It’s way cheaper than a lot of travel options. And there’s no upcharge to take pictures with the Mickey-equivalent of the national parks (Bison!)
The NY Times published an interview by the NPS Public Affairs Specialist and me about “7 Ways to Save on Your Next National Park Trip” with good ideas on how to save.