Today marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. But not the parks themselves; Yellowstone’s status as a national park was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1892. What this anniversary celebrates is the centennial of the government agency that maintains and protects the parks. And while we’re not keen to put on a birthday hat for the Congressional Budget Office or the Office of Postsecondary Education, if you don’t protect wild spaces they end up looking like the view from Gear Patrol HQ — concrete, trash, and an above-average halal cart.
These are amazing places, as beautiful as anywhere on earth, and for the next three days admission is free. So put on your little conical birthday hat and read on to learn more about our favorite parks and how best to enjoy them.
The National Park Service Centennial
Happy birthday. Let’s party.
A Visual History of Early National Park Service Posters
During the ’30s and ’40s, the National Park Service commissioned incredible posters to encourage tourism to the National Parks.
9 Products Honoring the National Parks
In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, a handful of brands have released limited-edition gear.
10 Forgotten National Parks
10 destinations for untouched landscapes without the crowds or bustle of Yellowstone — you know, the stuff you were looking for in the first place.
How to Volunteer in a National Park
Your chance to live and work in some of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet.
The 60 Best Day Hikes in America
Pack a snack, fill a water bottle, and hit the trail.
Essential Gear for Backcountry Camping
Whether you’re headed to the rainy Cascades or the bone-dry Southwest, this kit has you covered.
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