Where We Are #Parkchasing in 2019

January has always been our favorite month for vacation planning. The weather at our base camp in Minnesota is unpredictable and not the greatest for outdoor time. We’ve made it through the busyness of the holidays. The shorter days leave evenings wide open for planning and online reservations.

This past weekend we drafted the last of our vacation plans for the year. Nothing finalized, but we sketched out how many days off we need to request from work and set a budget for how much we need to save to cover the trips.

Today we’re excited to share all about where we are #parkchasing in 2019.

Park Chasing Abroad in 2019

You can read about our 2018 plans in our planning post from last year,  however last year we visited 15 new national park units and 1 affiliated site. 6 vacations to 8 different states with stops in California and Washington twice. We brought our total park count to 70 of the 418 national parks.

This year’s planning map looks quite a bit different. (Hint: It includes another continent!)

We’re changing gears in a big way, stepping out for the first time to do some #parkchasing abroad. In February we’ll be joining friends for 14 days in South Africa, including visits to three national parks (Table Mountain NP, Royal Natal NP, and Kruger NP). This will be the first international trip we’ve taken together since 2005 and a major step out of our vacation planning comfort zone. We’re looking forward to new adventures and to experience how other parts of the world view protected spaces.

Where (Else) Are We Headed in 2019

Trip #2: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

After Africa, we’ll be settling a little bit closer to home for the spring. In May, we’ll be visiting Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore during a stay in Chicago. We missed it on our last trip to Indiana and hope to time some early spring hiking in the park.

Trip #3: Colorado Road Trip

Bull Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Jump ahead to September and we’re planning another Colorado road trip. There’s something about the Colorado Rockies that keeps pulling us in again and again. Rocky Mountain National Park continues to top our list of favorite national park trips ever. Mid-to-late September means we’re also likely to catch the elk in rut.

So far we are split 50/50 between two different routes. One through Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The other route travels more northernly and includes Dinosaur National Monument. Stay tuned (or hop over to Facebook and weigh in on what we should chose!)

Trip #4: Christmastime in New York City

In 2016 we had our first visit to New York City’s national parks. While we were there we made a promise to come back and see some of our favorite spots in a different season. Ice Skating in Central Park. Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty with the chilly winter breeze. We’re also looking forward to catching some of the park units we missed last time (African Burial Ground National Monument, Governor’s Island National Monument, Lower East Side Tenement Museum).

Where are YOU heading in 2019?

Now that we’ve shared our vacation plans for 2019, we’d love to hear more about your trips. Where are you traveling this year? Which parks are you looking forward to visiting the most?

Scroll to the bottom and leave us a reply with your own #parkchasing plans for the year. We’d love to help you plan!



Greg & Amy
Chasing a visit to all 400+ units in the NPS
Current Count: 130/423
Next Stop: @hawaiivolcanoes


2 thoughts on “Where We Are #Parkchasing in 2019”

  1. Just as an FYI, Governor’s Island is either closed or limited in the winter. I think the Tenement museum may be a National Historic Trust site, not NPS, but could be wrong. These are the sites included in the 418 within the state of NY: African Burial Ground NM
    Appalachian NST
    Castle Clinton NM
    Eleanor Roosevelt NHS
    Federal Hall NMEM
    Fire Island NS
    Fort Stanwix NM
    Gateway NRA
    General Grant NMEM
    Governors Island NM
    Hamilton Grange NMEM
    Harriet Tubman NHP
    Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS
    Martin Van Buren NHS
    Sagamore Hill NHS
    Saint Paul’s Church NHS
    Saratoga NHP
    Statue of Liberty NM
    Stonewall NM
    Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS
    Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS
    Upper Delaware S&RR
    Vanderbilt Mansion NHS
    Women’s Rights NHP

    The Hyde Park sites (FDR, Vanderbilt and Eleanor Roosevelt) are doable by train from the city, though I think the free shuttle between sites only operates in the summer.

    1. Thanks for posting this list! We missed African Burial Grounds on our last visit and Stonewall had just opened. Looks like for some of these we’ll need to plan another visit in the summer!

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