National Park Passport Book Regions

National Park Passport Books: Collect Stamps and Memories

National Park Passport Books are so much fun, and not just for kids. I wish I had started this sooner to document my journey to all 429 National Park Units.

This guide will discuss the National Park passport program, how to join it, and how to collect stamps.

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National Park Passport Books

National Park Passport Books come in several different sizes and shapes. We will explore each type. One of the best parts about this program is that it is free once you have bought your passport book!

Collecting stamps for each park is such a fun way to remember your visit, and they take up so little space in your luggage. Stamps are easy to collect, and some parks have more than one version of a stamp, so you get to choose how many and what you keep.

Sometimes, people refer to National Park passport stamps as National Park cancellations; they are the same thing.

Types of National Park Passport Books

Passport to Your National Parks - Collector’s Edition

This expanded version separates each country region into a color-coded section for easy identification. There is space for stamp cancellations for each National Park unit and extra sheets for additional cancellations. I have this passport book for my travels.

The spiral binding and durable cover help protect my memories as I collect stamps from each park.

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 7½” W x 10” H
  • Hardcover and spiral-bound, 192 pages
  • Includes color photos and region maps
  • Spaces for stickers & cancellation stamps for every park
  • Printed on heavy stock paper
  • Space for extra cancellations

Passport to Your National Parks - Spiral Bound

This is a great starter book if you want to visit a few parks or test whether this is a hobby you will like. These passport books are smaller and more compact but also offer regional sections to help you sort out your parks.

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 6”H x 4” W
  • Softcover, spiral-bound, 112 pages
  • Park sites color-coded by region

Passport to Your National Parks - Junior Ranger

Junior Ranger books are a great way to get kids into the hobby. The books offer not only a place to collect stamps but also educational content.

Product Details

  • 9’’ x 7’’
  • Soft cover, spiral-bound, 100 pages

History of National Passport Stamps

The National Park Passport Stamp program was established in 1986 to promote visitation to the National Parks. Program proceeds help fund educational and interpretive programs at National Park Service sites.

National Park Passport Stamps

National Park Passport Stamps come in many varieties. Some parks have unique commemorative stamps, stamps for specific visitor centers, or stamps for historically significant surrounding areas. Over 8,000 stamps are available to be collected.

The stamps resemble visitation stamps used in passports when traveling internationally, so the program is called the Passport to Your National Parks.

When I was at Gateway Arch National Park, they had commemorative stamps for the 2024 solar eclipse.

At Lincoln Home Historic Site, they also had stamps for the Underground Railroad site within the park region.

While I was at Yellowstone, each park section offered a different stamp.

One great thing about this hobby is you can choose if you want to try to collect each stamp for the parks you visit or simply one main stamp with the location and date.

National Park Passport Regions

National Park Passport Books are broken up into regions to help you easily identify the section you are in. 

National Park Passport Book Regions

National Park Passport Stamp Locations

National Park Passport Stamp Locations are almost always at visitor centers, ranger stations, and bookstores within the parks. If you are unsure or can’t find the stamp while there, ask a park ranger to point you in the right direction.

Some locations, such as Muir Woods National Monument, have multiple stamps for nearby sites, such as Muir Beach and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Each article I write includes locations for park stamps.

National Park Service App

 I use the National Park Service App, go to the park, and select “passport stamp locations” for a full list of the locations where I can get stamps. 

 A comprehensive updated list by state can be found here.

How to use National Parks App
Inside the app select your park.
Next scroll down until you see "Passport Stamp Locations"

Pro tip: Download the park information to your phone from the app before entering the park, as cell service may be limited.

Stamping Tips

  • Make sure that the date on the stamps is correct. Sometimes, the stamps have not been changed for the day, or someone else has changed the date.
  • Ensure the stamp is in the correct direction and not upside down. Scrap paper will often be in the stamp section, so test the stamp and double-check that everything looks good before stamping your book.
  • Double-check that you are stamping your book’s correct region and location.
  • Set your passport book flat on the surface at the stamping station before attempting to stamp it. My stamp is messed up for a park site I visited because the page moved while I was stamping it.
Notice the date? It should be MAR 01

What do you do if you miss a National Park passport stamp?

Write a letter to the park to request the missing stamp. Be sure to include:

  • Stampable Sticker (this will prevent you from getting pieces of paper you will have to tape into your passport book).
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope

Where to send the letter

Letters should be sent to each park’s visitor center. Addresses can be found on the NPS website. Search for the park for which you are missing the stamp. Sometimes multiple stamps will come from one location

The letter

Be sure to include this information in your letter:

  • Which stamp(s) you need and how many
  • The date you visited the park
  • What surface do you want the stamps on
  • Your contact information
National Passport items at gift shop
National Park Passport items for sale at gift shop.

Traveling with your National Park Passport Book

Be sure to write your name and contact information inside the book. You will be heartbroken if you lose your book and can’t get it back.

Alternative to carrying your National Park Passport Book

Since I use the collector’s edition, which is relatively large, I have started carrying stickers to add to my book after my trip.

National Park bookstores and gift shops sell strips with three stickers, which can be expensive. To avoid that cost, buy this roll of stickers and take some with you on your next trip.

Another thing to note is that some parks have stamps that are not the standard circular size. I recommend carrying name tag stickers to capture the whole stamp and add it to your book when you get home.

National Park Passport Stickers

National Park Passport Stickers have been released annually since 1986. The stamp series sets highlight one park from each park region and one large national stamp.

You can buy these at most gift shops and visitor centers. Previous-year sets are often also available there.

Personally, I like to buy stickers for the specific place I’m at if they have them available vs. the yearly sticker sets.

stamp and sticker
Example of sticker applied to passport book after visiting and National Park sticker bought at location.

Where to Buy a National Park Passport Book

Amazon is a quick, easy way to get one delivered to your doorstep

Almost all national park gift shops and bookstores sell national park passport books.

National Park store online, where proceeds go to help support our national parks.

Why Collect National Passport Stamps

It’s a great way to document your journey as you explore America’s National Parks. I love the souvenir, and it’s very low-cost. You will enjoy looking back on your travels through the beauty and history of America.

4 thoughts on “National Park Passport Books: Collect Stamps and Memories”

  1. What great momentos these would make! They remind me of my backpackcing trip through Japan, there each youth hostel and tourist attraction had stamps you could imprint on a roughly similar concept

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