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Virtual Presentation - Find Your Park: Exploring America's Lesser Known National Parks!

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 Virtual Presentation - TOMORROW!

Hi All - Posting info about a National Park related event:
Join National Park enthusiast Krista Muscarella TOMORROW - Thursday, June 11th - at 8:30pm EDT/5:30pm PDT as she leads attendees in an evening of discovering some of the lesser known and least visited National Parks in the United States. Participants will explore highlights of five lesser known parks spanning the country from Dry Tortugas in Florida to Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska to the National Park of American Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean. While these may be some of the least visited parks, with careful planning and research, you too can Find Your Park! The presentation will conclude with a question and answer session relating to travel and National Parks.
The presentation will take place via Zoom. Please register for the event at in order to receive the Zoom Meeting ID and password via email.
Krista is an avid traveler and hiker. She has been to 43 of 62 designated National Parks in the United States. She is a National Park enthusiast but is not employed with the National Park Service.
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3 Replies

@kristamuscarella I am always intrigued by the emphasis on National Parks, typically to the exclusion of other areas within the National Park system,such as National monuments, National Seashores, and similar.  The not totally illogical assumption is that these designations are based on merit of the protected resources, with Monuments et al. being a step below parks.

In fact, the only universal difference is that parks are created by a congressional act, while monuments come about by presidential proclamation.  Many parks, like Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest and most of the parks in Alaska, were Monuments originally.  The politics involved can be fascinating history.

I say this because in my opinion there are Monuments that are every bit as interesting as Parks, or even more so. In particular,I relish Canyon de Chelly National Monument, which offers spectacular scenery, incredible archaeology, and an ethnic presence lacking in most of the rest of the system.  De Chelly is also part of the Navajo Reservation (Homeland) and hugely important in Navajo history.  The perceptive visitor will find ethnic immersion unavailable in any other area, along with other experiences.

For that matter, there are state parks that rank right up there.  I would love to meld Custer State Park with Wind Cave National Park and maybe throw in Mt. Rushmore, creating Paha Sapa (Black Hills, in case you don't speak Sioux) National Park.

And here is an oddity.  About thirty miles or so distant from Wind Cave lies Jewel Cave National Monument.  Guess which area has the greater passage length?  Hint:  It isn't the Park.  A current holy grail in caving circles is to find a connection between the two cave systems, which will drive the bureaucrats into a tizzy!

Basically, there is a lot of good stuff out there, and not all of it is in national Parks.  Don't even get me started on USFS Wilderness Areas!

BTW, signup for the zoom session is rather obscure and convoluted.  I stopped after a bit because I felt I was just getting on another mailing list. Too bad....

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Hi @hikermor

Thanks for your informative message. I completely agree, the history and politics that go into National Park designations is all quite fascinating. I will touch a little bit on the history of the National Park Service in the beginning of my presentation prior to discussing five "lesser known" National Parks in detail. I'm sorry you feel as though the sign up process is obscure and convoluted, I wanted to have some sense of control regarding the registration and privacy with the Zoom information as there has been concern regarding security. Please know that the registration is completely separate from my site mailing list and the only email you would receive is the confirmation to the event containing the Zoom info. If you'd prefer, shoot me an email at and I can share the Zoom Meeting ID and password with you directly. Hope this helps, would love to connect more to talk parks, wilderness, and the great outdoors 🙂 

@kristamuscarella OK!! I'll give it another shot.

I am interested to find out if your presentation will discuss a lesser known national park in which I spent the last fifteen eventful and fulfilling years of my NPS career.  The park is isolated and difficult to reach, so much so that it technically remained open throughout this covid nightmare.

Will PM shortly.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.