Happy Centennial, National Park Service!

This summer I spent 5 weeks hiking, camping, and backpacking through 17 National Parks. It also happened to be the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. I was so excited to be able to celebrate the Park Service all summer, as it is truly America's best idea.

Yellowstone National Park, our nation's first, was actually created in 1872 by Congress. It was created as "a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." It wasn't until 34 more parks and monuments had been designated that the need for the National Park Service became clear. So, on August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service into existence.

Today, the National Park Service is responsible for more than 400 protected areas that cover more than 84 million acres. There are more than 20,000 National Park Service employees that work tirelessly to keep these areas pristine and safe for the rest of us.

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of our National Park Service, here are my favorite pictures from all of the National Parks that I've been to so far! (Psst... 18 down, 41 to go! One day, one day.)

1. Arcadia National Park

I've been going to Maine every summer my entire life and Acadia was my first National Park. I remember climbing Sargent & Penobscot mountains one summer when I was seven or eight and experiencing the majestic mid-hike swim for the first time in the Sargent Mountain Pond - there's nothing like it!

2. Arches National Park

3. Badlands National Park

4. Black Canyon of the Gunnison

5. Bryce Canyon National Park

6. Canyonlands National Park

7. Capitol Reef National Park

8. Crater Lake National Park

9. Glacier National Park

10. Grand Canyon National Park

11. Grand Teton National Park

12. Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

13. Kings Canyon National Park

14. Pinnacles National Park

15.Redwood National Park

16. Sequoia National Park

17. Yellowstone National Park

18. Yosemite National Park

19. Zion National Park

You Might Also Like: