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Introduction & Places by Name Places by State  Places by Type  Road Trips!

Places I've Been... State Parks

State Park image
Which one's the ass? (If you said the one with the glasses, then I'm very disappointed in you.)
Custer State Park, South Dakota
While the feds have appropriated most of the most scenic areas in the country, the states have made sure they'll preserve some of the rest.

There are some truly awesome State Parks in this list, plus one very scenic city park in Colorado Springs. Each park is unique in their own right, from the historical to some of the most sweeping vistas in the country.

The top 20% is only 3 parks, and makes the choices 2 and 3 difficult, since all the parks are worth a visit...

  1. Custer State Park, South Dakota. My favorite State Park.
  2. Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. This park may be in the middle of nowhere (and it is), but its strange, almost miniature rock formations that you can wander around makes this a very cool park.
  3. Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah. The main draw of this park might be the view of the pre-Canyonlands Colorado River, but it's a magnificent view... Back to Top

Anasazi State Park, Utah
Anasazi SP Link Anasazi State Park Museum (UT) is Utah's park dedicated to the Anasazi, who disappeared as a culture some thousand years ago. Too be honest, the ruins are much like those at the other major Anasazi sites, but most of those have been co-opted by the federal government.

It is, however, a nice place to get out and stretch your legs, use the bathroom, get something out of the cooler...
Boulder, Utah / 15 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington
Cape Disappointment Link If you like lighthouses, Cape Disappointment State Park has two of 'em. The original lighthouse on Cape Disappointment, and it's replacement, the North Head Lighthouse.

It's also the overlook that the Corp of Discovery camped at, hoping to flag down a passing ship. Lewis and Clark didn't name it, but they were disappointed. An interpretive center overlooks the lighthouse. I also have an image of the sign where Station Camp was located on the Pacific Coast.

Near Ilwaco, Washington / 28 Images. Visited Jul 2006.
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Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah
Coral Pink Link Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park isn't that far off US-89 between Zion and Glen Canyon.

Should you choose to stop there, you'll find a very, very fine, pink sand, eroded from the neighboring cliffs and shaped by the wind into large dunes. Should you choose to walk into the dune field, you'll find your shoelaces pink, your socks pink, with sand between your toes, and will track inside your car and follow you around for days...

Near Kanab, Utah / 13 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Custer State Park, South Dakota
Custer SP Link Custer State Park is my favorite state park, located right in the middle of the Black Hills.

It is a large and scenic park with accessible wildlife on one end and mountain roads on the other. One of the attractions to this park, is the close proximity of Mount Rushmore to the North and Wind Cave National Park to the South, in addition to all the other things to see and do in the area.

Near Custer, South Dakota / 146 Images Visited Sep 1996, Sep 1998, Jul 2006.
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Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Dead Horse Point Link Dead Horse Point State Park is right next door to Canyonlands National Park, about a half-mile as the crow flies, or about 11 miles by road. That's just the way things are out here.

From the top, you get a magnificent view of the Colorado River Valley and the goosenecks just before entering Canyonlands. Unfortunately, the main view is to the South, so the sun will always be in front of you.

Near Moab, Utah / 27 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.

Edgar Evins State Park, Tennessee
Edgar Evins SP Link I actually used the "cabins" in Edgar Evins State Park as a hotel when doing some stuff for Jenny during my Peaceful Pastures Farm Trip. These are mostly cabin interiors, plus a tale of my first introduction to the place.

These images live on the Peaceful Pastures page in Otherstuff.

Near Gordonsville, Tennessee / 26 Images. Visited Nov 2011.
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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs City Park, Colorado
GotG Link Garden of the Gods is a city park in Colorado Springs.

This first surprised me, but after some thought, most cities have city parks. Just not ones with sandstone fins that jut out perpendicular to the ground with Pikes Peak as the background. Where I live, I get squirrels and some trees.

Colorado Springs, CO / 19 Images. Visited Sep 1997.

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
Goblin Valley Link Goblin Valley State Park is a very unusual place that has thousands of relatively small stone monuments that the guy who discovered the place called "Goblins". I thought they looked more like mushrooms. Jo thought they look more like... poops.

It's only a few miles off of US-24 from I-70, on the way to Capitol Reef and Torrey, the start of Utah-12. It's worth the stop. Just be aware you might be in the very definition of "Middle of nowhere".

Near Hanksville, Utah / 22 Images. Visited Sep 2008.
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Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
Kodachrome Basin Link Kodachrome Basin is another one of those amazingly scenic Utah State Parks, just a short detour off of Utah-12.

The basin was actually named by National Geographic after the new (in 1949) fine grained transparency film from Kodak. When Utah created the state park, the company gave them permission to retain the name. Fast forward almost 70 years, and not only is film an almost dead medium, but there isn't a processing plant left that can actually develop a roll of Kodachrome.

Near Cannonville, Utah / 39 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Makoshika State Park, Montana
Makoshika Link Makoshika State Park is right off of I-94 in Glendive, Montana, not to far from the North Dakota border. Makoshika is a variant of the Lakota phrase meaning "Land of Bad Spirits." I wonder if that was because of the hostile environment, or whether the Lakota found some of the dinosaur fossils in these badlands.

Dinosaur fossils have been unearthed here, from Triceratops to Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Glendive, Montana / 26 Images. Visited Sep 2001.
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Niagara Falls State Park, New York
Niagara Falls Link Niagara Falls State Park is on the US side of the Niagara River, and showcases... Niagara Falls! Tourist destination and Honeymoon spot of Western New York, the place where alternating current was invented by some guy named Tesla.

They've built some other attractions on site, so the experience is more than just watching falling water if you so desire. Since I needed a stop for the night in the near vicinity, a stop to see the falls was a no-brainer.

Niagara Falls, New York / 27 Images. Visited Jun 2001.

No, this list isn't incomplete, I don't have any images of any state or city park after the letter "N". Back to Top

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