Over the past few years, I’ve begun to appreciate our National Parks more and more. Maybe it’s because I’m now visiting them as an adult; I visited Alaska‘s National Parks while growing up there, and was fortunate to visit other parks throughout my childhood.
Now though, I love planning trips to the National Parks across the western U.S., where I live. I’ve been fortunate to explore Joshua Tree several times, be awestruck at Zion and Yosemite, and admire the volcanoes and stars in Hawaii. I’ve also loved exploring many gift shops and keeping my eye out for the coolest souvenirs to bring home permanent reminders from our National Parks.
In this post, I’ve pulled together the best National Park gifts I’ve found. Most of these aren’t available at any particular gift shop (though you might spot similar options while browsing). Instead, I’ve chosen the best National Park gifts that you can get for anyone who loves any and all of the parks. These items will bring a bit of the National Parks into the recipient’s home – especially nice right now when travel is limited!
Read on for the best National park gifts I’ve found – and let me know if there are any I’ve missed in the comments.
1. American the Beautiful Pass
If you’re trying to choose a gift for someone who loves the National Parks and they don’t have an America the Beautiful Pass, this is a perfect choice.
As you probably know, the America the Beautiful Pass gets access to all federally managed lands for a full year. That includes BLM land, national forests, and yes, National Parks (and all other National Park units). Since each park costs between $25 and $35 for a week’s access, you’ll more than save money in addition to giving a thoughtful gift.
You can buy it at any time of year and it’s good for 12 months, which makes it perfect for a holiday gift, birthday present, or, well, any other occasion.
You can get the America the Beautiful Pass from REI for $80 (2020 price).
2. Passport to Your National Parks
I don’t know when this idea originally began, but the National Park Passport is one of the most clever ideas I’ve heard for getting people to visit all of the National Parks – not just the most popular ones.
The Passport to Your National Parks book has pages about each park, and places you can stamp for each park on the day you visit. It’s the perfect National Park gift for anyone who loves visiting the parks, second only to the America the Beautiful pass that helps them visit more easily!
(Full disclosure: I don’t personally use a Passport to Your National Parks; instead, I collect a postcard from each park and stamp the back of that.)
3. Field Notes, National Parks Edition
While out exploring, your favorite National Park lover might have adventures they want to document. That’s where Field Notes come in. These small notebooks are perfect for travel; they even fit in a back pocket on your pants or outer pocket of a day pack.
Field Notes also come in a National Parks edition. There are 5 three-pack options:
- Yosemite, Zion, and Acadia
- Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Mt. Rainier (pictured above)
- Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yellowstone
- Grand Teton, Arches, and Sequoia
- Denali, Cuyahoga Valley, and Olympic
In short, you can inspire National Park adventures by choosing places they’ve never been – or choose a pack of three places they have fond memories of. Browse all five packs of National Parks Edition Field Notes here.
4. Explorer Map
We can’t deny it: we all love tracking our travel progress. Whether it’s country-counting or trying to visit all 62 national Parks, everybody also loves a cool map where you can visualize our progress.
The National Parks Explorer Map lets your gift recipient do just that. It marks all of the National Parks (updated for 2020) in green trees; they also get yellow trees to place over the icon for each park they have visited.
If you want to help them hang it right away, this cool magnetic poster frame is a good second gift.
5. Studio Inception Prints
I first fell in love with Studio Inception prints for outer space – designer Ciaran’s vintage travel-inspired prints for visiting Mars, Titan, Jupiter, and earth are part of my dream home office decor.
But his posters are also the perfect National Park gifts for anyone who loves dreaming of their next big trip with iconic design. Pictured above are the “Minimal” National Park designs; Ciaran also offers a “Traditional” style with bolder fonts and colors. There are posters for 38 National Parks across the country, including 28 of the 41 National Parks in the west. You can also buy them in bundles of any 3, 4, or 5 designs to customize the perfect gift.
6. Hand-Embroidered Pillows
I fell in love with the designs from Catstudio a long time ago; Mr. V and I asked for several of their state-themed hand towels on our wedding registry. When I discovered they also designed for National Parks – and made them in hand-embroidered pillows, I knew I had to recommend them to anyone who loves National Parks (they’re actually the single gift that inspired this whole guide!).
There are 10 designs, covering some of the most popular National Parks from coast to coast. My favorite, unsurprisingly, is Zion National Park, though you can choose a gift for either the recipient’s favorite park or one they’ve always wanted to visit.
7. Pendleton Park Blanket
In my dream home, there’s a Pendleton blanket for everyone – including every guest. (Yes, you’re welcome any time!) I love their iconic designs and bright colors, and that many blankets have a theme, like their National Parks blanket.
They sell most of the blanket designs in this series online; you can find designs for Glacier, Acadia, Yosemite, Olympic, Zion, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon National Parks on Amazon. (Pictured above is my favorite one, for Crater Lake.) You can also find other special ones around the country – Mr. V and I found a beautiful limited edition Pendleton for Mesa Verde National Park while visiting Durango, Colorado.
Like my pillow National Park gift suggestion above, you can choose one based on the recipient’s favorite park or the big one on their bucket list.
8. Great Outdoors Candles
We’re setting the mood with pillows and blankets, helping your favorite traveler build a home that’s full of amazing National Park memories. Let’s continue with another important part of the decor: candles.
Mr. V loves candles; we’ve got them to remind us of our favorite destinations and other experiences, so it’s no surprise that I’m recommending these National Park candles too. There are three options:
- Avenue of the Giants (Redwoods National Park*) – notes of Coastal Redwood, Bay Laurel, and Sea Salt
- Old Faithful (Yellowstone National Park) – notes of Subalpine Fir, Thermal Pine, and Wild Strawberry
- Firefall (Yosemite National Park) – notes of Brisk Granite, Fresh Cedar Wood, and Black Sage
Each candle is a bit of a splurge, but will instantly transport the recipient back to their favorite park thanks to the powerful connection between scent and memory.
*Avenue of the Giants is technically in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, my favorite place to see Redwoods near San Francisco!
9. Color Map Mug
Wrapped up in their Pendleton, resting on their pillow, and calmed by the light of their new candle, what more does a National Park lover need as a gift? A special National Park mug of course! (And National Park-inspired tea – more on that below!)
This fun mug has a map of the U.S. and spots for each National Park across the country (updated for 2020). After they visit a new park, they can come home and color in the corresponding icon (similar to the Explorer Map I recommended above). It’s a perfect gift for a lifetime of adventure, to be used upon returning home.
10. Green Tea, National Park Collection
And what does one drink in that cool mug? Tea inspired by the parks, which makes the final, perfect National Park gift.
The teas themselves are blended in Michigan and help capture the essence of each National Park in a mix of herbs and flavors:
- Grand Teaton evokes the wild berry and sage you’ll smell and see when exploring this Wyoming park.
- Yosemitea is a jasmine green tea that will remind you of wildflower covered hillsides in California.
- Rocky Mountain Mint is a smooth but bold tea that will remind the drinker of the towering peaks of the namesake Colorado range.
These three teas come in a pack together, so you don’t have to try and choose which one your gift recipient will love. They can receive and try all three, inspiring memories and/or future trips to the National Parks themselves.
There you have it: the 10 essential National Park gifts I think every adventurous explorer will love. Which of these gifts will you be giving – or which do you want to receive? Let me know in the comments, as well as any questions.