by Matt, July 2022
Here in the Rockies, we’re surrounded by gorgeous parks that we’ve been visiting our entire lives! We love the parks, and you do as well.
Here are our favorite gift ideas for you or the National Park lover in your life!
A blanket is PERFECT for those long road trips out West!
Want the last blanket you’ll ever need to own? Buy a Minky Couture. This Utah company is just starting to get discovered. The blankets are handmade, machine washable but are as soft as mink fur (hence the name Minky) I never go on a road trip without one.
One of our viewers ordered one with our 45% off code and said “I surprised my wife and got her a minky and it came in the mail yesterday. As blanket lovers, this is the best one we own now. I picked out a Taffy Pink Hugs Grande. Thanks for the recommendation and the code. No doubt I’ll have to order my daughter one for Christmas.”
Visit Minky Couture and use our code: ROCKIES45 to get 45% off!
These gorgeous posters created by Studio Inception are simple and elegant. The best part – you get a 15% discount when you order through this link!
You definitely want to show off the national park you just visited, and the best way to do that is with a shirt or hat!
We’ve purchased multiple items through Wild Tribute. They’re stylish and the clothing fits just perfectly!
In particular, I love my Theodore Roosevelt shirt. I also have an Arches shirt and Bison hat from Wild Tribute.
But check out their entire collection to find something just for you or your loved one!
Like us, they donate a portion of the sales to the national parks to help conserve them for future generations, so you get the
Phone planners are convenient, but they’re no replacement for the overall visual display of a calendar. We’ve always used a hanging calendar to keep our family organized.
There are so many beautiful national park calendars to choose from.
I discovered these AMAZING candles, lotions, and air fresheners at a store near me. They’re made by Good Well Supply Co of Seattle, and they have scents for each national park!
I kid you not, the Yellowstone candle will make you feel like you’re walking around in the forest.
If you want to learn the stories behind the national parks, as well as the development of the National Park IDEA and the National Park Service, then you must watch the 6-disc DVD series by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea DVD is more than just great scenery; it’s about the people, events, and drama surrounding the national parks.
It’s a must-have for anyone really curious about our national parks!
It also comes with a companion coffee table book.
Did you know there are over 400 national park sites?!
Want a fun way to track all the national park sites you visit? Try the Passport to Your National Parks book by Eastern National.
I’ve had one for years. When you visit a national park site, simply stop in at the visitor center and find the “cancellation station.” They have a stamp and ink pad there.
Stamp your book just like an actual passport — it will show the date you visited the park! What a fun, and inexpensive, way to document your adventures.
Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without my books.” I feel the same way! Here are some of my favorite books about the national parks. I’m only listing books I’ve actually read.
- Death in Yellowstone. This book was written by Yellowstone National Park historian Lee H. Whittlesey. It’s more academic than sensational. He covers every recorded death in Yellowstone but separates them out by category (death by geysers, by bear attacks, by drownings, etc.). Within each, he tells gripping stories that serve as a cautionary tale for today’s visitors.
- Death in the Grand Canyon. This book is similar in tone to Death in Yellowstone. Although there are no geyser or bear attack deaths, the Grand Canyon is actually more deadly than Yellowstone. You’ll think twice before getting too close to the edge of the canyon after reading this book! Want a sneak peak? See my article How many people have died in the Grand Canyon?
- Death in Zion National Park. Notice a theme here? Death books are some of the most popular national park books, I guess because people are interested in death. Use them as a guide for what NOT to do in the parks. Though lesser-known, Zion has had plenty of its own harrowing stories.
- Beyond the 100th Meridian. The famed western writer Wallace Stegner recounts John Wesley Powell’s harrowing rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Powell was the first person to successfully explore the Grand Canyon. And did you know he only had one arm?!
- Desert Solitaire. This monumental book was written by Edward Abbey, who was a park ranger in Arches National Park. The book is a defense of nature and the national parks and an attack on industrial tourism, greed, and just about everything else. Was Abbey a heroic defender of the parks, or a monumental crybaby? You decide.
- The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. The polarizing Theodore Roosevelt did everything big — including creating national parks. In this academic tome, learn about the events that shaped Teddy’s conservation philosophies. Though there are more famous conservationists, no one had as much political influence as Teddy.
A travel guide says so much. It communicates “I love spending time with you” and “you are in my future plans.” You and your loved one can dream about the upcoming trip for months.
One special benefit of giving one of our self-guided tours is the peace of mind that the vacation will go great. All the details are included. You can spend time watching our YouTube videos together and seeing all the cool things you are going to do.
Our self guided tours, and accompanying audio essays, are our pride and joy. Matt spends months creating each one, thinking through every detail of your travel experience and providing the information you didn’t even know you needed.
We are adding new guides all the time and currently have guides to
- Yellowstone National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills
- Capitol Reef National Park
It comes with stickers to add to the map for each park you visit.
Bonus: Park Pass!
If you’re going to visit the parks, don’t forget your park pass! You can purchase an individual park pass, but if you’re going to visit multiple parks in one year, your best bet is to get the America the Beautiful Pass.
The America the Beautiful Pass can be purchased online. If you’re 60 years or older, disabled, military, or have a 4th-grader, you may qualify for a free or discounted pass!