10 Quotes About Our National Parks to Inspire You to Visit, Preserve, and Protect Our Natural Treasures

If you’re seeking inspiration, there’s nothing quite as effective as a good quote. They’re perfect for everything from kicking off motivational speeches to quietly absorbing some food for thought. Quotes also connect us with the people who came before us and had the same awe-inspiring experiences, like exploring nature and embarking upon once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Check out these 10 quotes about our national parks to help you get inspired to plan your next visit, renew your passion for America’s wilderness, and learn how you can do your part to preserve our natural treasures as the leaders before us did.

“The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”

Stephen Mather, First Director of the National Parks

“There is nothing so American as our national parks … the fundamental idea behind the parks … is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt; 32nd president of the United States who signed Executive Order 6166, which created the National Park Service we know today

“If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National Park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way.”

Bill Bryson; American-British travel author/journalist

“A national park is not a playground. It’s a sanctuary for nature and for humans who will accept nature on nature’s own terms.”

Michael Frome; writer, educator, and conservationist

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.”

 John Muir; Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, conservationist, and author known as “Father of the National Parks”

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through it.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson; 36th president of the United States

“National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.”

President John F. Kennedy; 35th president of the United States

“What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.”

Mollie Beattie; first female director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

”Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.

“Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.

“If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become. These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. 

“Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.”

Harvey Broome; co-founder of The Wilderness Society

“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

Henry David Thoreau; writer, naturalist, environmental philosopher

Enjoying Your Favorite National Park

If these quotes have you feeling inspired to experience the majesty of nature for yourself, Zion National Park is a great place to start exploring. As one of the most iconic national parks in the country, it is sure to quench your thirst for adventure and inspire awe all at once. Learn how to preserve the inspiration as you’re planning your journey here.