Quests with Mike: Texas National Parks


The Quest

Texas has 14 National Park Service managed units and I plan to visit them all within the next year, hopefully. I’m starting here, and working to build a bigger NPS quest moving forward. I’d like to visit everything west of the Mississippi, and at least the 61 National Parks. Starting with Texas will really be a great way to learn how to work it in to tight trips, explore along the way, and tie in to my quest of visiting all of Texas State Parks.

I’m adopting quests as a form of adventure because I find myself going to the same old places over and over, which is fine, but there is so much in this state that I haven’t seen in my eight years here. I know, Texas is kind of huge, but I really could stand to explore locally a little more and this quest should help with that.

Questions I’ve asked myself…

  • What counts as a visit? This is subjective, and for me will include stopping at the site and/or visitor center, reading posted interpretations, and taking any scenic paths easily accessible.

  • So you’re just going to drive to the National Parks and not hike? Clearly, no. The plan will be to hike any trails I can at locations with open trails. I’ll even camp overnight, if I can.

  • When do you want to have this accomplished? I hope to have this quest complete by the time my Annual Pass needs to be renewed which is February 2020.

  • Why start now? Because every adventure starts somewhere and maybe I’ll see something or feel something along that way that inspires me to go further or do more

  • What if you don’t finish on time? I don’t have a “solid” end date, it’s just an idea to motivate the planning. I will not be upset if it takes me a year, as long as I’m consistently working to make progress.

So far, I’ve visited 1 out of 14 sites. Big Bend National Park may be marked off, but it doesn’t mean I wont visit again on my way somewhere else. I’m really excited to see some of the historical and cultural contexts of the sites on the list.

If you’d like to join me on a visit to any of the sites in Texas, please get in touch!