Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only two states left in her quest of seeing all 50. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a major North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting national parks, historic sites and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas, dividing her time between writing and restoring a 95-year-old house. She shares her life with her three kids, her husband, two cats, a dog and six backyard chickens.


Mojave Desert: World’s Largest Protected Desert is Free

Hidden along Intestates 15 and 40, east of Barstow, California, resides the largest protected desert in the world. President Obama recently designated three national monuments to preserve an additional 1.8 million acres of the Mojave Desert. The three new national monuments connect the Mojave National Preserve with the Joshua Tree National Park; offering protection for migrating desert animals. From pinyon-pine speckled mountain peaks to valleys teeming with creosote bush, the Mojave National Preserve challenges my perception of the desert. As I drive through,the Mojave Desert is greener than its neighbor, Death Valley National Park in California. To the delight...

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Try These 10 Best National Parks to Get a Kid in Every Park

It’s the year of the National Park and there’s lots to see across the country. With parks from Washington state to Maine, the 10 Best National Parks List is a great place to start. The National Park Service report that a record number of people visited parks across the United States in 2015. With NPS Centennial programming and the Every Kid in a Park initiative, 2016 is the year to find your park. Best National Parks It’s the National Park Service Centennial Celebration. If your family has ever wanted to visit a national park, 2016 is the year to do...

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Death Valley, California: Adventure in a Land of Extremes

  Thaw the winter chill with a stay in a family-friendly resort in the heart of a California national park. Bound by rugged mountains and watercolor-painted rock formations, Death Valley boasts swimming pools, palm trees and more stars than Hollywood. For the kids, adventure awaits with guided trail rides and bikes to rent. Grab the clubs, the Death Valley golf course is the lowest in the world. Mom can even sneak in a massage at a four-diamond hotel. Death Valley is a land of extremes. It’s the largest national park outside of Alaska with over three million acres and...

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Where to Celebrate the Presidents on Presidents Day

Celebrate the Presidents Day Holiday by walking through American History with your kids over the Presidents Day Weekend. National Parks TravelingMom found 75 national monuments, historical parks, birthplaces and historic sites across the country dedicated to our former presidents and first ladies, including the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Texas. The National Park Service honors the former presidents with free admission on February 20,2017. It’s Presidents Day and that means my kids are off and we need something to do. Since I love the national parks we visit on vacation, I decide to drive to the closest...

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The Epic Vistas of Grand Canyon National Park Glow in Winter Too

It doesn’t matter how many photos you have seen of Grand Canyon National Park. They simply can’t capture the epic views, gargantuan size and jaw-dropping beauty of the canyon. Drape the views in white during the winter and it becomes even more magical. Even better, the park draws fewer visitors in the winter, so it’s quieter and more peaceful. Here’s why you should consider a visit to the Grand Canyon any time of the year, even in the heart of winter. The Wonder of Grand Canyon National Park After a handful of visits to Grand Canyon National Park, I...

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Make 2016 the Year to Find Your National Park

As the new year dawns, I find myself exploring a national park with my family, spending time together and celebrating a new year full of possibilities. We are not the only ones celebrating, 2016 marks the year-long celebration for the National Park Service as it celebrates its 100th birthday. Find Your Park The National Park Service (NPS) launched the Find Your Park campaign last spring to encourage the public to connect with the national parks that highlight America’s rich historic and natural resources. With more than 400 parks, each preserving a vast landscape, a historic location or a cultural...

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Give Kids a Taste of Frontier Life in West Texas

Southwest Texas is home to one of America’s coolest national parks, an historic lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and a Dark Sky observatory. It adds up to a great spot for giving kids a glimpse into the wonders of frontier life, US history and the galaxy. Where else can you find all of that within a few miles of one another? Visiting Southwest Texas with Kids Is this the year that you load up the kids and drive until the road ends to explore an untamed corner of Texas? You have Big Bend National Park on your...

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Channel Your Inner John Wayne with a visit to Big Bend National Park

Driving into Big Bend National Park, it’s tough not to conjure up images of John Wayne riding into the sunset in one of his great Western movies. This vast national park in the southwest corner of Texas along the Mexico border is one of the largest but least visited national parks in the United States. You’ll find it at the end of the road in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. During the summer, the park is all but shuttered due to the harsh desert conditions. But its rugged beauty is inspiring and a winter visit is well worth the...

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