As I was building my National Park System page, I decided to add a picture of my park passport. Once I opened it up and started looking through it again I thought maybe you’d also enjoy a virtual tour of my book.
Where it all started…
I bought my passport book at Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico in 2008. This was the first and last time I was able to put my cancellation stamp directly into the book. I kept my passport in the car initially but would still forget to bring it inside with me when stopping at the various park visitor centers. At the time my kids were still small and the effort required to bring them with me back to the parking lot to retrieve my book was just too much. The visitor centers always keep scraps of paper near the cancellation stamp so I would just stamp it on a scrap to be taped in to the passport later.
Now that I’ve been using the scraps for several years, I actually prefer to do it that way. I even keep scraps of paper in my wallet (which I almost always remember to bring inside with me) because sometimes the provided scraps are recycled paper and the printing shows through from the back side. What can I say? Even though I’m a proponent of recycling, I’m a cancellation scrap snob! If it makes you feel any better, the scraps I bring are cut from leftover scrapbooking, card making, or school projects. So technically, still recycling.
Let’s look around inside my passport…
Where can you get an NPS Passport?
I’ve seen them for sale at most larger parks inside the gift shop. If you’d like to order one before you go, you can buy online. You can download a PDF of locations with location cancellation stamps here. Also there is apparently a free app that goes along with the passport. (There’s an app for everything these days!) Once you’re at the park, the cancellation stamp can usually be found in the gift shop or at the front desk. The rangers are very helpful so just ask if you can’t find it. I’ve got my kids so well trained that they always point it out to me if they see it because they know I MUST HAVE MY STAMPS!
I love visiting National Parks. It’s one of my life goals to visit all 417 sites. My passport is a fun way to keep track of where I’ve been and which parks I still need to see. Want to follow along? Check my National Park System page to see a list. Hopefully I will update that page more often than I tape the stamps into my book!