One of the fun features that the National Park System offers is the Passport Program.
Passports are sold by the National Park System and can be used every time you visit one of our country’s parks. You can buy them either at a park or online. We bought one for each of our children because they cost less than $10 and they both love stamping in the passport that is “theirs”.
Every National Park has a passport cancellation station where you can stamp your passport with a stamp that has the name of the park and the date of your visit. These are usually in the visitor’s information center, or a ranger can help you find the closest cancellation station.
The color of the stamp is determined by which geographical region that particular park is located in. All the stamps in each section correspond with the color assigned to that region.
The passport itself is divided geographically. At the beginning of each section, there is a list of all National Parks within that region, so if you’re traveling through an area, you can easily see what parks are nearby.
We keep our passports in the glove box of our car so that we always have them on road trips. On the rare occasion that we do fly, they are so compact that they slip easily into backpacks or suitcases.
The parks also sell a yearly sheet of stickers featuring various parks to round out your passport. There is a featured park from each region of the country with a picture and description on the sticker. There are places in the passport for you to put the stickers so that they compliment the stamps you are collecting from your visits.
If you prefer the electronic version of things, there is also the Passport to the National Parks app for your smartphone or device. Of course, you don’t get the satisfaction of stamping a book with a physical stamp, but it works on the same principles and allows you to keep track of the parks you’ve visited and the date you were there.
We love National Parks and the programs they offer. What about you? Do you collect passport stamps at the National Parks? Leave us a comment to let us know.