Indiana Dunes National Park

Recently, we visited Chicago and Indiana to see family and show the kids some fun there. During this trip, we visited a national park! And we got see a newly designated one!

Indiana Dunes National Park sits along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana. This national lakeshore became a national park as of February this year.

We checked out the visitor center first and our kids become junior rangers there! As I’ve mentioned, you definitely need to check out the junior ranger activities at our national parks! Great way to get the kids involved and learn something!

At the center, we read up on the park, watched the short history film, and even bought our youngest a junior ranger vest and hat. 😍

I love learning cool facts about the park like the fact that Lake Michigan took form 11,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier began to melt.

We headed to the shoreline and parked by the Kemil Road Access Point. We enjoyed seeing the lake and let the two kids skip some rocks.

We had to drive over and check out the park’s most dynamic dune, Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy stands 126 feet tall. To see this powerful dune, you need to take a short, fun trail to reach the beach from the parking area. It’s a fun little hike!

If you’re in the Chicago or Indiana area, check out our 61st national park and the first national Park in Indiana.

Crater Lake National Park

Happy 117th anniversary to Crater Lake National Park located in Oregon!

About 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted creating the deepest lake in the United States and the 9th deepest in the world.  With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the  one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

My husband and I have journeyed to this national park twice.  Here are a few photos from our first excursion there in September 2007.

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Did you the see the lake in the second photo? Yep, we didn’t either on that trip! The snow and clouds came in fast and hid that beautiful lake. We still enjoyed being in the national park, but really wanted to see Crater Lake!

And here are a few photos from our second trip there in August 2016.

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We definitely saw this amazing lake on this trip! We really enjoyed seeing this spectacular lake as the blue color is really unique.

We also took in a hike in the woods there too as the lake is only part of the national park.  This national park has a ton of old-growth forests with towering ponderosa pines to ancient whitebark pines hosting many trails for hiking.

If you’re in the Oregon or Northern California area, I highly recommend checking out this national park. This lake will truly amaze and inspire you!

Place of the Week

Click on the Place of the Week tab above here or the link on Mondays now for our national site of the week!

The national park system has 419 national areas including national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

Each week, that page on this blog will highlight one of the national areas and give you a link for more information. Check out this week’s place of the week and then come back on Monday for the next one!

Happy Monday!

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Happy 113th anniversary to Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Located about 130 miles north of Sacramento, this national park has over 100,00 acres. Congress established this national park back in 1916 making it one of the oldest in our country.

Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors the cool experiences of seeing clear mountain lakes, meadows filled with wildflowers, and a number of volcanoes! In fact, Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world.

We took the two kids there a few years ago and will never forget the “stinky” section of the park. Both kids holding their noses and wondering what that smell was! It definitely entertained mom and dad! 😉 The kids enjoyed seeing the boiling mudpots and steaming vents with that yummy sulfur smell!

If you’re in the Northern California area, check out this unique national park and experience a volcano! Happy anniversary, Lassen!

Enjoy some photos from our time there!

Bark Ranger Day

As part of National Park Week, today is Bark Ranger Day. Let’s take a guess what this might mean…..bark….like dogs!

BARK actually stands for:

Bag your pet’s waste

Always wear a leash

Respect wildlife

Know where you can go.

These are four great points to remember when bringing your pet to a national park.

Enjoy a photo of our first dog, Ranger, at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.