More than 400 national parks are waiting for you to explore. If there was ever a good time to visit them, it’s National Park Week. Each unit of the National Park System celebrates this week differently, and it’s the perfect opportunity to explore a new park.
What is National Park Week, and when does it happen? Grab your calendar and a pen, and let’s find out!
What is National Park Week?
National Park Week is an annual event honoring the national parks in the United States. It also provides an opportunity to spotlight the natural and cultural heritage they represent.
Visitors can participate in special events and programs throughout the week. In addition, guests can receive discounts at national parks nationwide.
Guided hikes, ranger-led programs, wildlife viewing and cultural demonstrations are just a few of the events offered. The week provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history and protection of these valuable public lands.
The National Park Service, which manages and protects more than 400 sites across the United States, is organizing the event. In partnership with the National Park Foundation, the event celebrates almost everything related to parks.
The week highlights the importance of national parks as important cultural and natural resources. In addition, National Park Week encourages adventurers to visit and enjoy these special places responsibly.
When is National Park Week?
National Park Week is an annual event that usually takes place in late April. It often coincides with Earth Day (April 22) and National Junior Ranger Day (April 24).
National Park Week 2023 will be held April 22-30. So mark your calendars and start planning how you will celebrate this important week this year!
When was National Park Week established?
The first National Park Week was held in 1991 to encourage people to explore and appreciate the diverse resources of park units. The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, created and organized the week.
Since its inception, the event has grown in popularity and become an important celebration for the NPS. It encourages people to spend time outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage that surrounds them.
What is the theme of National Park Week in 2023?
The theme for National Park Week 2023 is #YourParkStory. The hundreds of national park units have stories, as do their visitors. The goal of the theme is for guests to celebrate the incredible experiences and powerful moments where history happened.
Park visitors will never forget many moments of the experience. Whether it’s driving the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, watching a bear scurry into the brush in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, or watching Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone. These are all moments that visitors celebrate and remember for a lifetime.
Events Celebrating National Park Week
Many of the NPS units offer a variety of events during National Park Week. These are great opportunities to celebrate. Some events are offered throughout the year, while others are tailored specifically for the week.
Let’s take a look at what events you should put on your calendar!
Sunrise Orientation – Haleakalā National Park
Sunrise Orientation at Haleakalā National Park is an incredible way to start the festivities. However, if you don’t have to plan a trip to Hawaii during National Park Week, the event takes place every morning at sunrise.
While the event is free, it does require advance reservations for sunrise. The tour provides a brief overview of the summit and its cultural significance as a sacred site.
Guests learn important rules and participate in a Hawaiian chant to welcome the rising sun and the beginning of a new day.
Cave Tours – Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a must-see for anyone who enjoys exploring caves. The park offers several different cave tours, each offering a unique experience. However, the Historic Tour is one of the most popular.
Tours range in length from handicapped accessible tours to extreme tours, including a six-hour tour that covers 6 miles.
Unfortunately, the park cannot offer all tours at the same time. Check the park’s tour schedule and make reservations ahead of time.
Please note: Are the other national parks in Kentucky worth visiting? Click on the link to find out!