Trail Sherpa National Park Series

I hadn’t been to one of our National Parks in a long time. I made the trip up to Grand Canyon National Park when I was in my early 20’s while my parent’s were visiting from California. Other than that, my only other real trip to a National Park was a family trip as a young boy through Yosemite National Park and on to Yellowstone. All I remember of that early trip is my aunt being car sick and my grandfather impressing my brother and I by fearlessly snatching a 20 dollar bill out of a deadly, bubbling sulfur pool. While pieces of that trip remain with me, I was really too young to appreciate my surroundings.

After nearly 15 years, I finally visited another National Park. This time it was a quick weekend adventure in Zion National Park in Southern Utah. After a whirlwind day in Zion, I left that park excited about the experience. Later, as I reviewed my images from the Park I was energized with a strong desire to explore more of our National Parks.

Shortly after my return from Zion, I was still parsing through images and editing photos when Tim and I began talking about ideas for collaborative projects within the Trail Sherpa Network. We have a strong group of bloggers and storytellers with an expansive collective travel resume. What if we could have everyone submit their favorite National Parks pictures from their personal travels and build a Trail Sherpa exclusive National Parks Collection? Not just images of the parks, but images from our adventures…images that have a story.

The Trail Sherpa National Park Series Project

The more we talked about the project, the more we fell in love with the idea. We soon began collecting images from the Trail Sherpa Network for specific National Parks – one image per park would be chosen. I took on the task of collecting the image submissions and processing them so that they would feel like a cohesive collection. This became more of a challenge than I expected. Some of the images submitted were 6 or 7 years old and grainy. Some bloggers were able to submit quality RAW images, while others submitted older JPEGs that took more work. I pulled together images from different cameras, different photographers, in different sizes and ages and did my best to pull them together into a series of unique images that look like they belong together.

This will be an ongoing Trail Sherpa Network collaborative project. We will add images as they are submitted and processed for the collection. Our goal is to eventually have at least one image to represent every National Park, and link to the stories that go with them. All of these images are available for free download in a Desktop Background format.

Our National Parks

“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”

-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner

The first National Park in the United States was Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 with heavy influence from conservation activist and future US President Theodore Roosevelt. With the most recent addition of Pinnacles National Park in 2013 (upgraded from National Monument) we now have 59 National Parks covering more than 51.9 million acres of protected land. In 2012, nearly 300 million visitors enjoyed hiking, biking, backpacking, boating and camping in our National Parks.

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Dave Creech is a successful business owner and entrepreneur based in Phoenix, Arizona. He shares his personal story and lifelong passion for travel and rugged outdoor adventure through his blog at WildernessDave.com. David’s focus has been on trip stories, Outdoor Photography, gear reviews and Wilderness Medicine.