After learning about the National Parks Passport program, we did some more research on the stamps and where to get them. The program was launched in 1986 to encourage people to visit the National Parks. Most parks and landmarks do have stamps, but it is a voluntary program.
We have found our stamps in the visitors centers and gift shops. There is usually a little section with a desk set up and the stamp and stamp pad out. They sometimes have paper so you can test the stamp out first and get a good impression. The stamps are dated, so you can test that the date is correct before you add it to your passport.
Craig stamping our passport at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park.
There are several regions in the National Park service. Pacific Northwest/Alaska, the North Atlantic, the Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountain, Southwest, Midwest, National Capitol, Western and Southeast. Each region has its own color stamp. Pacific Northwest and Alaska are blue, the North Atlantic is brown, Mid-Atlantic is light blue, Rocky Mountain is yellow, the Southwest is gray, Midwest is orange, National Capitol is red, Western is green and Southeast is purple. Sometimes, there are no stamp pads or the stamp is low on ink. Craig bought me a small set of craft stamps that match the National Park region colors and it will be easy to take one along now when we travel. Just in case!
I also found out that there is a group called the National Park Travelers Club! They are a group of people that love visiting the National Parks. They have conventions around the country and on their website there are forums and a master pin database. If you would like access to the database, the annual fee is around $10. There are hundreds of stamps listed by region in their database! You can search by region and print a list out to take with you when you travel. You will also gain access to a member forum section. Members talk about new stamps, travel, etc. It turns out there are many unofficial stamps like this cool Buffalo we got at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone. We had to have a volunteer open up the gift shop for us to stamp it.
Near the passports in the visitor centers and gift shops, you will also see stickers. There are new collectable stickers every year that you can also add to your passport. I only added a few because they take up a lot of room. You can also stamp your own book or a map, piece of paper, etc. to add to a scrapbook. I love the passport because it is small, has a lot of information in it and it supports the parks.
I have some stamp information and pictures on my National Parks Pinterest page as well!