Before I left on my trip back in May, a friend suggested that I make sure to hit as many National Parks as I could along my way. At the time, I didn’t give it too much thought; I was too focused on the fish. Then, in Meeker, Colorado, I stayed with guide John Kobald. I was given a guest room that doubled as a library, and unable to sleep, perhaps because of some excitement at the prospect of big brown trout on the fly the next morning, I started flipping through a hardcover copy of a book entitled These Rare Lands, by Stan Jorstad. It was a visual journey through America’s national park system, and the images seemed almost surreal.

I made it a point thereafter to see as many national park systems as I could along the way. There is something about standing 282 feet below sea level, or next to a tree that is more than 3,000 years old, that stands in stark defiance of description. So, my hope is that the images and video here will do for you what Jorstad’s photos did for me: namely inspire you to make it a point to see as many of these places as you can, because even the best photo fails to do any sort of justice to standing immersed in the real thing.