Who are the National Park Travelers?

A list of the folks who have created profiles on the website. If you'd like to add yourself to this list, create an account, and after you've logged in, you can edit your biography.

  • NOC

    Since 1972, Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) has shared the outdoors with millions of guests on white water river rafting trips, with all varieties of kayak and canoe instruction, on mountain bikes and around the world with our adventure travel trips.

    Located in western North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NOC is within easy driving distance of Atlanta, Charlotte and Knoxville. Our world-class staff leads white water rafting trips on seven of the Southeast's best rivers, including the Chattooga River, Cheoah River, French Broad River, Nantahala River, Nolichucky River, Ocoee River, and Pigeon River. Learn to whitewater paddle from the pros in our renowned canoe and kayak Paddling School. We also offer adventure-learning programs for groups of all types, ropes course climbing, flat water lake kayaking and hiking.

  • In 2012, my husband and I completed our goal of visiting all 58 of the National Parks. When we embarked on this little adventure, it was just something to do while I was travelling the country for business. We had documented our visits to all the states, so we were looking for another reason to do something more fun than hanging out at the hotel bar :-). But no more lists for a while. We're excited to return to many of them, having learned that 1) we could spend a lifetime playing in our national parks, and 2) where there are national parks, there are often other really cool things to do!

    I'm excited to find this organization and look forward to gathering "intel" from other seasoned national park travellers. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunities to visit these amazing places.

  • I'm a sophomore student at West Virginia University currently pursuing a degree from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. My family and I have taken multiple roadtrips to many of America's National Parks since I was very young, which has definitiely contributed to my love for outdoor adventure.

    This past summer, I took an outdoor leadership course in New Zealand that completely changed my life. Some of our activities included backpacking, ice climbing and cultural education, all having impacted my outlook on life for the better. I believe that some of the most beautiful places in the entire world exist within America's National Parks and can provide experiences and emotion that are truly indescribable.

  • As a young child my Dad would take us camping at parks for vacations. My first memory was of Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. Mostly we camped at Great Smokey Mountains National Park. When I decided to go to college (after getting married and having a child) I felt called to the outdoors for a career. I graduated from the University of South Alabama with a BS in Leisure Service with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation Resource Management. While in college I did a summer with NPS at Fort Frederica NM in Georgia and later did a 6 months temp assignment there. Needing to feed my family and not being able to do the temp work necessary back then (early 1980's) to get into a full-time job, I turned to the state parks and landed in Virginia State Parks. That was 29 years ago and I'm near the end of that career.

    I have travelled with my beautiful wife and our five sons to national parks all across the country. I have my favorites but I fell in love with Yosemite the first time I visited. However, Glacier NP in Montana also has me wanting to spend more time there.

    I am a strong advacate for the National Parks and belong to several organizations who lobby on behalf of the parks. My retirement plans (not far away now) include seasonal work in the parks out west, doing a little writing, and sharing my love for the beauty bestowed on us by the Creator that this nation had the forsight to protect and set aside for future generations. Maybe I'll see you in a visitor center out there one day!

  • Alternate Text

    We produce and sell a wide range of national park commemorative items, from quarters honoring specific national parks and jewelry to speciality items such as money clips and even cufflinks.

  • I grew up in Philadelphia, and on the weekends my favorite thing to do was travel north to the Pocono Mountains. My parents, also outdoors enthusiasts, would bring my siblings and I up to the Mountains every chance they got, thus sparking and nurturing my love for nature and parks. This love carried through my adolescence, and straight on to college where I attended West Virginia University in the ‘Wild and Wonderful.’ During my college years, I jumped on the opportunities my school provided to camp and explore in Western Pennsylvania, Northern West Virginia, Colorado and Utah. I don’t know how many of you have traveled to Utah, but I’d hope that everyone gets the chance to, because once I came home from that trip I thought, boy, I’m hooked!

  • Haley Hepburn is an intern at National Parks Traveler. She lives in Boone, North Carolina, where she is a senior at Appalachian State University. Haley is studying English, business, and communication and hopes to one day work in publishing. After graduation she intends to teach English abroad and has a special interest in national parks in other countries.

  • Army Soldier with 26+ years, wife and 3 daughters that still lusts for the days of wandering our national park system. I intend to retire from Active Duty and volunteer my retired days working in the national park system.

  • For the past 10 years I have traveled across the country, most by vehicle, in my spare time to explore the wonders of the United States' Parks. I have found that being amongst the trees, hills, prairies, mountains, fauna, and flora of all parks on the county, state and national level, is where I feel healed. My bucket list dream is to visit all 58 National Parks and as many units as possible. I enjoy sharing my adventures along the way through my blog Brendaleefree.com. My daytime job provides me ample opportunity to explore all of Pennsylvania's gems.

    Parks & Units Explored:

    Grand Canyon National Park

    Yosemite National Park

    Assateague Island National Seashore

    Appalachian National Scenic Trail (small portions)

    Glacier National Park

    Theodore Roosevelt National Park

    Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

    Flight 93 National Memorial

    Gettysburg National Military Park

    Independence National Historic Park

    Johnstown Flood National Memorial

    Badlands National Park

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Shenandoah National Park

    Lincoln Memorial

    National Mall

    Washington Monument

    Yellowstone National Park

    Soon to Come: Cuyahoga National Park, Saguaro National Park, Acadia National Park

  • Jacqueline Vaughn is a native of San Diego, and attended UC Santa Barbara and Boston University, where she was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Her master's degree is from San Jose State University, and her Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley. She is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University, and conducting research on philanthropy and the national parks, with a focus on friends groups and cooperating associations. She and her husband live in Sedona, Arizona.

  • New Member. 73 years old male. BS and MS in Physics. "Visited* all 58 of the 58 National Parks. Visited 86 nations, on a quest to get to 100. Visited the "Seven wonders of the World".

    * I have clearly set foot on 57. For Gates of the Arctic NP I flew in a small plane at low elevation across the park to Anaktuvuk Pass, From there I hiked out of town to get into the park boundaries per the map I was using. Per the current google map I was inside the boundary.

    Kobuk Valley was the hardest one to get to. Took a mail plane to Kiana, and hired a fishing guide to take me up river in his boat. We went to the middle of the park and hiked to the park's main feature, the giant inland sand dunes.

  • During my summer as a conservation intern with the Student Conservation Association, I worked at Cape Cod National Seashore to protect nesting piping plovers.

  • Ruffin Prevost is founding editor of Yellowstone Gate, an independent, online news site offering community news and inside views about Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and their gateway communities.

    He lives in Cody, Wyo. where he also works as the Wyoming reporter for Reuters America Wire. He has previously worked as managing editor of WyoFile, a statewide news service about Wyoming people, places and policy. From 2005-2010, he was the Wyoming reporter for the Billings Gazette. Contact him at or 307-213-9818.

  • Currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska, I spent the summer of 2006 living, working, and playing in Yellowstone National Park, and left smitten and grateful for our national parks.

  • I'm the communications director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association, more commonly referred to as IMBA.

  • David Menzies is Director of Marketing and Public Relations at OBX Outfitters, a woman-owned casual apparel and activewear company sharing the pure joy that is the Outer Banks and especially the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. He is a PR professional and writer, sharing news and blogging about OBX at the Outer Banks Update, www.outerbanksupdate.com.

    He and his wife Stacy, President of OBX Outfitters, are dedicated to contributing to the economic and environmental strength of North Carolina, with clothing made right here in NC, USA. From Corolla down to Ocracoke, they support the communities in which they do business, donating time and a portion of our profits to local civic groups and nonprofits.

  • A critically-acclaimed historian of the national parks, Alfred Runte lives in Seattle. In April 2011, he was inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at Illinois State University (his master’s degree institution) “in recognition of exemplary achievement” as a teacher and public scholar. He also holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Lisa Lance is a writer and communications specialist living in the Baltimore area. www.lisalance.com

  • National Parks Traveler is not affiliated with the National Park Service. Our mission is clear: National Parks Traveler works to educate the general public about the National Park System, increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting the national parks and the National Park Service, and build a stronger advocacy for protection and sound stewardship of the parks.

    Since being launched in August 2005, National Parks Traveler has evolved into the Internet's top-ranked editorially independent site for news, commentary, and features revolving around the national parks and the National Park Service. With a robust and growing audience of more than 1.5 million readers a year, the Traveler is the only website that provides a steady, daily dose of fresh editorial content on the parks.

    The Traveler endorses and actively supports the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 that mandated a high standard of protection for the parks, as well as the Redwoods Act of 1978 that reemphasized the Organic Act’s stewardship provisions and affirmed that they are to be applied on a system-wide basis.

    Traveler seeks to work in ways that are consistent with the National Park Service’s fundamental purpose for managing the parks, which is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

  • Steve Myers is the founder of the vision for the Great Plains National Scenic Trail. His experience with national praks dates to 1990 when he applied for a dishwashing job at Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton national Park . . . and landed it! His love affair with national parks and hiking began there, and eventually led to the idea currently on the table: The Great Plains Trail!

  • Stacey Wittig is a freelance travel writer based in Flagstaff, Arizona. She'll give you the local's insider scoop on where to stay, eat and have fun at Grand Canyon National Park. Stacey's Grand Canyon adventures have led her down the Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch, across the North Rim on her mountain bike, and floating through layers of time on a whitewater river trip. "The Grand Canyon State is a remarkable place to call home," declares the wandering writer. She welcomes comments and questions at www.vagabondinglulu.com.

  • Robin, a lover of travel and adventure, has visited 16 National Parks in the last year. She is a rock climber, hiker, runner, and writer.

  • Ashley is an avid traveler of America's National Parks. Her favorites include Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park. She is committed to raising awareness of the importance National Parks have, focusing her writing endeavors on travel and recreation in the natural world. Ashley currently writes as the National Great Smoky Mountains National Park Examiner.

  • Miranda Altman works in the music education nonprofit sector. An avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, she travels extensively throughout our country's national parks. She is currently working toward a lifelong goal of visiting and documenting each of the 58 National Parks in the United States. Miranda is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a dual degree in Geography and Communications.

  • I'm a professor emeritus of history at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a keen interest in environmental affairs. I've worked worked closely with the Aldo Leopold family and the Foundation for years, as well as with many other organizations, including Audubon.

  • I grew up in Kentucky where my family took frequent vacations to visit National Parks, mainly Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Following graduation from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, with a degree in history, I took a 10,000-mile road trip across the United States.

    Along the way, I visited 27 national parks and fell in love with the Northwest. I then attended law school at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. I graduated with a JD and a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and was awarded the Environmental Leadership Award for my work on environmental issues while in law school.

  • Mountain lions ,Need to be protected in the US ,We do not need to kill or waist a life of our national symbol mountain lions are a beutifull animal .

  • I'm a Survey Specialist in the Park Studies Unit (PSU) at the University of Idaho. The PSU conducts social science research for NPS and other agencies. (Check us out at psu.uidaho.edu.) I was an interpreter at Grand Canyon, Denali, Grand Teton, and Lassen Volcanic, and I love the NPS!

  • I'm a life-long nature lover who seeks to preserve the land that God has given us. It is our duty to take care of these lands, protecting them from those without care or consideration for the world they live in. I truly believe that it is the parks that make this nation great. I donate much of my earnings through my trade: decorative coatings and powder coating dye sublimation to the parks, nature and animal preserves. If there is more that I can do to help, please let me know.

  • I'm a professor of political science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. My research and teaching focuses focuses on environmental politics, U.S. national parks, and the European Union.

    My blog, "Parking Lots," covers national park and wilderness topics: http://publish.illinois.edu/pahre/ . You can also follow me on Twitter, @RPahre .

    I teach a summer course on the Politics of the Greater Yellowstone Area. Non-degree students are welcome to apply, as are students at other universities. Information is here:

    I've authored both academic and non-academic publications on the national parks. You can find the full list here: http://publish.illinois.edu/pahre/pahres-research/

    I've written articles the Traveler on Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, David Berger National Memorial, Dinosaur National Monument, Grand Teton National Park, Nicodemus National Historic Site, and Yellowstone National Park. Check out associated photos on Flickr:

    Agate: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpahre/sets/72157631200362314/

    Dinosaur: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13467208@N02/sets/72157626793458381/

    Grand Tetons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpahre/sets/72157626955402180/

    Nicodemus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpahre/sets/72157629540472372/

    Yellowstone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpahre/sets/72157626830958743/

    My favorite national park photos are here: