If you ask us, it ought to be National Park Year but, for now, we’re happy to be celebrating the annual National Park Week (April 21-29, 2012) put on by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the National Parks (see the story we did about park funding for National Geographic Traveler to learn more about why our national parks need an official charity).
The locations included in the United States National Park System represent some of the most spectacular and largest (87 million acres) tracts of protected land on the planet. During National Park Week (April 21-29) entry to all 397 national parks, monuments and historic sites across the United States (and Puerto Rico) is totally free. So, there goes that excuse.
The first two years of our Trans-Americas Journey were spent in the United States where we visited 123 National Parks, National Monuments and National Historic Sites. The photo montage, below, includes shots taken as we entered 68 of them.