Hitting the road this holiday weekend? Be sure to download a podcast to enjoy while you’re traveling, or if you’re just looking for some national park-related inspirations and tips.
During the 2016 National Park Service Centennial, there was a surge in the number of national park-related podcasts however many are no longer updated. For the ones are, there is a wide range of styles and qualities to choose from.
Below is a list of our favorite ones and why we like them. If you have others you think you should be on the list, please add them in the comments!
By far our favorite. The hosts – Danielle & Bryan – update the podcast on a weekly basis and include a range of unique guest interviews – including some very famous ones such as Ken Burns. Danielle does a good job researching the backgrounds of her guests which results in good questions and an engaging podcast.
The National Parks Traveler website is the #1 source for national park news and is the only team of journalists writing exclusively on national park issues. Not too long ago Kurt Repanshek – the editor at NPT – decided to launch a new podcast series which covers many of the topics which the website covers in the news. If you’re looking for quality production and the latest national park news, the National Parks Traveler podcast should be added to your list of regular downloads. Regardless, please consider supporting them with a tax-free donation since they are a non-profit and doing great work.
These are the most entertaining hosts of all the podcasts. Dustin & Michael are hilarious. We love their banter about their trips and experiences – both good and bad. They are type of guys you want to run into during your national park travels and grab a drink with at the nearest park lodge to laugh and share stories with. They are also hardcore national park fans (like all the podcast hosts) and offer excellent real-world trip advice and insight.
Another great podcast, this one is less conversational and more storytelling. It has one of the highest production qualities we’ve heard – which is key for enjoying any podcast. Hosts Jason and Abby Epperson are great storytellers. They cover a wide range of unique topics, backstories, trip reports and also have short “news in the parks” updates to help you stay current on the latest happenings in the parks.
Not necessarily a national park podcast, this one covers a variety of different topics including state parks, national parks and even international parks – which we love. Hosts Crystal and Jess are actual park rangers for the North Carolina State Parks. But seriously, they cover a WIDE range of topics beyond being rangers in North Carolina. It is a much more conversational podcast with interesting interviews and they sure do make everyone want to be a park ranger!
6) National Park Service
The National Park Service has produced a number of podcasts over the years – both audio and video. Unfortunately, they aren’t updated on a regular basis and are usually park-specific. Regardless, there’s some great listening available and much to learn about the various parks that have been covered. Here’s a sampling of different shows:
- National Park Service Voices of Science series
- Arches National Park Tiny Forests in the Woods
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park In Their Own Words series
- Capitol Reef National Park Music and Sounds series
- Death Valley National Park A Tour podcast
- Denali National Park & Preserve Sounds of Denali: Ringtones
- Everglades National Park Audio Tour podcast
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Junior Ranger Radio
- George Washington Memorial Parkway Netherlands Carillon Clips
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Voices of Science series
- Saint Croix Island International Historic Site Interpretive Trail Tour
7) RV Atlas
Although not national park-specific, hosts Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi produce a weekly show which covers a wide range of topics related to family RVing and regularly touch upon national park-related topics. The family-focus is awesome and they too cover a wide range of topics – including lots of great recipes while on the road.
Once again a national park-specific podcast, but definitely recommended for any birders. Not only does Ray offer lots of information related to birding, he also covers a lot of conservation topics and locations. Not surprising many of his shows feature Federal and State Wildlife Refuges which are excellent birding locations. What’s unique about Ray’s show is that it’s also broadcast live on a number of radio shows in the Massachusetts area. Chimani was fortunate to be guests on the June 2016 show.
After writing this post, the hosts of Everybody’s National Parks gave a shout-out to the Parklandia podcast. Can’t believe we missed this one! Brad and Matt have some all-star guests (within the national park world) and offer another high-quality produced show. They have one of the most frequently updated shows on this list with a wide variety of topics and show lengths – which we appreciate!
If you have others you think you should be on the list, please add them in the comments!