Celebrate Galentine’s Day in National Parks

Rebecca WatsonNPF Blog
Arches National Park - iStock

Thanks to the ingenious idea of Parks and Recreation’s conservation icon Leslie Knope, the day before Valentine’s Day is now widely celebrated as Galentine’s Day, a day of ladies celebrating ladies. Here are ten national park views to see with your squad this Galentine’s Day!

 

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Grand Teton National Park

Two women looking out on Grand Teton National Park, one with her arm around the other and one arm pointing outwards.

Grand Teton National Park

iStock / Kubrak78

If you and your Galentine are ready to make the most of the great outdoors, then treat yourself to a trip to Grand Teton National Park. Hike along the park’s alpine peaks, cruise along a scenic drive, take a bike ride, or paddle on one of the pristine lakes. The park so much to offer – no matter the season of your visit, you’ll discover something new. 

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Check out the Murie Ranch, where early conservationists met to organize advocacy programs for the protection of American wilderness. The Muries’ work ultimately led to the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act, and Margaret (Mardy) Murie received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. 

Chiricahua National Monument

Three hikers look out at a landscape of stone pillars

Chiricahua National Monument

iStock / pdpetersonphoto

Soak up the sun in a breathtaking hike through stunning rock formations. With a paved scenic drive as well as 17 miles of day-use hiking trails, Chiricahua National Monument is suited for the most beautiful, glowing, sun goddess ever. This park even has pet-friendly trails if your four-legged friend wants to tag along. 

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Make sure to stop by Faraway Ranch, founded by Swedish immigrant Emma Erickson and her pioneer family through the Homestead Act. Emma’s daughters, Lillian and Hildegard, turned the property into a guest ranching business and oversaw its management. Lillian and her husband, Ed Riggs, discovered the “wonderland of rocks” that became Chiricahua National Monument.

Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park

A woman in a Rosie the Riveter bandana takes a picture of a young visitor also in a bandana in front of a backdrop that says "We Can Do It!"

Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historical Park

NPS Photo / Luther Bailey

There’s no better place to take your favorite glorious, female warrior than Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park. Browse exhibits and enjoy a collection of films that help give you a background on Home Front workers and the sites included in the park, including the Ford Assembly Plant, SS Red Oak Victory, and the Rosie the Riveter Memorial.  

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Celebrate the stories of those who worked on the Home Front during World War II – whose work in a period of necessity led to unprecedented social changes, including profound impacts on the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Movement, as well as the establishment of child development centers.  

Olympic National Park

Two people in kayaks paddling through Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Shutterstock / Justek16

If your Galentine is the type to always carry emergency s’more rations in their car, maybe a trip to one of Olympic National Park’s 16 campgrounds is in order. Take a hike or go boating or fishing on one of the park’s picturesque rivers, lakes, or coasts. Plus, in the drier summer months, your s’mores will pair perfectly with a luminous night sky.

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If you’re ready for a hike, explore the wilderness from Shi Shi to Sand Point Beach along the park’s North Coast. Conservationist Pauline Dyer personally lobbied for the inclusion and protection of these coasts in the park, in addition to her work in support of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which preserved millions of acres of land across the nation. In 2001, Dyer was recognized by the Washington Environmental Council as an Environmental Hero. 

Grand Canyon National Park 

Two people sit on a bench, looking out over Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park

iStock / tingfen

Spend Galentine’s Day sharing the breathtaking experience of soaking in the grandeur of Grand Canyon National Park with your besties. Head to the South Rim, easily accessible and open year-round, for some of the finest views of the canyon. Plus, there are many guided tours to help you and your Galentine explore the park – from mule trips to hot air balloon rides! 

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While visiting the South Rim, explore exhibits on the history of the canyon and those who have called it their home. Don’t miss the Village Historic District, featuring buildings from the early 1900s designed by Mary Colter. The park’s Hopi House, Hermit’s Rest, Lookout Studio, and Desert View Watchtower are some of the only remaining of Colter’s works, which took inspiration from the surrounding landscape. 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Two children hug a large sequoia tree in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

iStock / NetaDegany

Give your Galentine the backdrop fit for the rainbow-infused, space unicorn she is. Explore groves of towering sequoia trees in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the perfect stop for a half-day trip or a week-long campout. These parks offer endless opportunities for shared adventures – from scenic drives to backpacking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more.  

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As you take photos to document your escapades, think of park advocate Susan Thew, whose own photos and documentation of her travels helped promote the expansion of the park in 1926. Thew’s images and writing in her gazetteer The Proposed Roosevelt-Sequoia National Park contributed to the enlargement of the park’s boundaries.  

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

A visitor looks out over Stewart's Canal at dusk

Stewart's Canal, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

NPS Photo

Galentine’s Day celebrates trailblazing women and the communities they create and foster. Harriet Tubman, who repeatedly risked her life to guide nearly 70 enslaved people north to freedom, is one of the most inspirational trailblazers in history.

Black and white portrait of Harriet Tubman
NPS Photo

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park preserves the same landscapes Tubman used to carry herself and others away from slavery. 

After the Civil War, Tubman settled in Auburn, New York and continued to campaign for civil rights, including women’s suffrage. At the age of 74, she established the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, where she continued to care for the old and poor in her community. This building is preserved at Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.  

Bering Land Bridge National Preserve 

Muskoxen graze in a field of orange, maroon and purple

Muskoxen, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

NPS Photo

Is your Galentine a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful muskox? Then a journey to the ultimate remote getaway to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is in order. This Alaskan preserve, once an exposed grassy plain that linked East Asia to North America, is accessible only by boat, plane, or foot. A variety of wildlife inhabits this stunning preserve, including polar bears, walruses, foxes, and the majestic muskoxen.  

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Continue the tradition of subsistence living in the park by picking and enjoying seasonal berries, available July through the first frost of each year. As is traditional with many societies, hunting is done by the men, while gathering is a responsibility of the women – no small task in Northwest Alaska as the land offers an abundance of resources. A mixture of asiavik (blueberries), aqpik (salmonberries), asiak (crowberries), and kimmiynaq (low-bush cranberries) goes into a traditional akutuq, or Eskimo ice cream, recipe. 

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument 

Visitor in a hallway with numerous paintings and busts of suffragists

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

NPS / Victoria Stauffenberg

If your Galentine’s Day entails basking in powerful depictions of awesome ladies, look no further than Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. With artifacts like Susan B. Anthony’s desk and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s chair, plus women’s suffrage publications and items, this park is a must-see on any trip to Capitol Hill.  

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Once the headquarters of the National Woman’s Party (NWP), the park is named after the founder of the NWP, Alice Paul, and Alva Belmont, who served as NWP President from 1920-1933. Founded in 1916 to address women’s suffrage and equality, the NWP introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and successfully pushed for the inclusion of gender equality language in both the United Nations Charter and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Rays from a setting sun burst through cloud to shine on a rocky butte and river down below.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

NPS / Dave Bruner

If you and your Galentine love animals, be sure to check out Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where an abundance of native grasses provides sustenance for some of the most iconic animals of the West. Check out a ranger-led program, hike along nature trails, or jam out to your favorite tunes while spotting bison, mule deer, prairie dogs, horses and more on the 36-mile scenic drive around the South Unit. Plus, parts of the park are pet-friendly – so bring along your half amazing, half terrific mutt!  

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Make sure to make the most of the small but bustling gateway town Medora, named after wealthy New York transplant to the West Medora von Hoffman, an excellent rider and sharpshooter who spoke seven languages. Von Hoffman moved to the Dakota Territory with her husband the Marquis de Morès. 

Make your Galentine’s Day special this year by visiting a national park. Every park has a connection to women, and we invite you to explore the stories of women in our national parks as you #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque.  


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