Priceless places, priceless memories

The national parks represent the best of America — our rich natural, historical and cultural heritage. But without proper funding, our parks are in peril.

What’s at stake? Priceless memories — and the memories we haven’t yet made.

Let’s remind our leaders why parks matter. Share your park story now or remind yourself to share it later.

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My visit to Fort Funston Growing up in San Francisco Fort Funston has loomed over the city my whole life. So when I say I’ve never actually been in the park means it I've taken it for granted. Everyone in my family has walked our dog in the park and I…

On the day I took this picture, I brought a friend to visit the Grand Canyon for the first time. Rather than take him only to the touristy bits of the park, I took him to my favorite rock. It's a scramble down from the Desertview Tower, and then a bit of…

My venture on the Cataract trail in Mount Tamalpais, also known as Mount Tam, with my roommate was one for the books. We have been bickering lately and feeling disconnected, so our day trip on the trail was the perfect cure. The trail loop is about 7-8 …

As an avid park lover, I felt I must pay homage to the “Father of the National Parks,” John Muir. I visited what was once his home and property in Martinez, CA, consisting of 9 acres of beautiful, green hills and fruit trees. It was in this house where…

Growing up in New York City, I developed an early appreciation for the local park, Forest Park, in Queens. Famed landscape architect and Central Park creator Frederick Olmsted designed Forest Park's main drive on the eastern side of the park. It was ther…

I've had so many friends who have come to Yosemite tell me how amazing this place is. I decided that it's finally time that I go see it for myself. The long drive there was totally worth it. The way up itself was beautiful; the smell of pine trees and fr…

The Maritime Nat'l Historic Park of San Francisco is a relaxing, quiet spot just blocks away from the bustle and noise of Fisherman's Wharf. Here I saw residents and tourists relaxing in the sun, either catching rays on the grass or wading in the histori…

I recently visited for the first time the Rancho Corral de Tierra protected area, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, located just south of the Devils Slide tunnel that runs along the coast on Highway 1 just south of San Francisco. The prot…

I ventured out to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The weather was still showing its beauty as my friends and I stepped on the beach of this little marina. We got to enjoy the sand between our toes, surrounded by families and others p…

Outdoor adventures have always been a top priority in my life and with each new destination and exploration my soul grows that much closer to mother nature. I am currently an undergraduate at San Francisco State University studying Environmental Studies …

On my first visit to Point Reyes National Seashore, I decided to plan a solo hike to Wildcat. As I reached my destination, exhausted and anxious to set up camp, a still small voiced impressed upon me saying I should drop what I’m doing and continue onwar…

  NPCA Staff Pick

I visited China Beach in San Francisco for the first time this spring. I went after a long hike through Land’s End, and thought I would end the day watching the sunset at China Beach. The view was spectacular, something I had never seen before. I felt…

If you look closely, you can see the life on this rock. But really, you can find life anywhere. When I went to Yosemite to conduct research on the biodiversity of macro invertebrates, I hadn’t expected to uncover so many different species hidden under …

My wife and I started our big five National Park tour in Utah a few years ago in Arches National Park. After hiking a number of small trails and seeing most of the highlights of the park throughout the day we decided to hike up and see delicate arch eve…

I am a first generation undergraduate at San Francisco State University studying recreation, parks, and tourism. My passion for parks and open spaces has its roots planted in my childhood, where my family has spent quality time together playing and eatin…

  NPCA Staff Pick

As I poked through a redwood ravine known as Samuel P. Taylor State, crossed the San Andreas Fault in Golden Gate National Recreation area and headed up the mountain for my first visit to Pt. Reyes, I realized just how lucky I was to be in a place that v…

I first visited Canyonlands NP in 2009 with my girl scout troop and ultimately fell in love with the soaring blue sky, red landscape, and all of the beautiful scenery. I hadn't been to the Grand Canyon at that time but to me it was just as good! We spent…

I went to the Ocean beach fire pits during one night with a few friends who were having a fire jam. This was the first time that I have been to the pits. It was a clear warm night, unusual for San Francisco, and many other people were enjoying the pits.…

NPCA's ParkScapes trip to Death Valley gave me the opportunity to experience this otherworldly place up close. I think that's the right word for it -- these are the mesquite sand dunes that served as locations on the planet Tatooine in the first Star War…

  NPCA Staff Pick

I have visited Yellowstone several times and the magic never dulls for me. Last summer I even got a summer job( and I'm 48 years old !) just outside the park and spent virtually every day off exploring this amazing place. From Lamar to Hayden, Pelican V…

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, my husband and I drove to visit Fort Point, which is a beautiful site. It was my very first time there, even though I moved to California almost 12 years ago. Throughout the years, I heard so many stories about Fort Point but…

I promised myself I would share this amazing and inspiring story with the world about how we have both a privilege and duty associated with our national parks. Each one of us who has visited a national park and spent some time in one has felt the benefit…

  NPCA Staff Pick

The San Francisco skyline is like a cacophony of natural/modern landforms that descend into a glimmering bay straddled by the silhouetted Golden Gate. Right in the middle of the bay is “the rock.” A little smudge of land so spotted in history it deserved…

I’ve lived in San Francisco for 4 years and never once went to the Presidio. Much of that is because I’m a student and between school, work and sleep I barely have enough time to get down a packet of Ramen never mind take an afternoon off to go to the p…

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