At the tender age of 3, Journey Castillo has accomplished a remarkable feat: visiting all 63 of the United States’ national parks. Her parents, Eric and Valerie Castillo, believe she might be the youngest person to achieve this milestone.
The Castillo family, hailing from San Antonio, embarked on an extensive journey zig-zagging across the country to witness the breathtaking landscapes of America. Their final stop was Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska, marking the triumphant conclusion of their three-year quest, which started during the pandemic.
Worth More Than a World Record?
While Journey’s status as the youngest national parks traveler awaits official verification, her parents emphasize the invaluable experiences gained during their extensive travels. Focused on instilling in Journey a love for nature and resilience in diverse environments, the Castillos prioritize the journey itself over any potential record.
Journey’sparents planned a family trip to Colorado in 2020 and discovered Journey’s adaptability and curiosity for the outdoors. The family set ambitious goals, initially aiming for 21 parks by Journey’s first birthday, and eventually committed to visiting all 63 national parks, capturing each moment on their Instagram and website, Journey Go Explore!
Challenges Along the Way
To reach the last few parks in Alaska, the family navigated logistical complexities, utilizing chartered flights, ferry rides, and obtaining special permission from the National Park Service for a seasonally closed park.
Overcoming challenges with the help of kind strangers, they celebrated the completion of their monumental journey. Through their adventures, the Castillos witnessed Journey’s development of confidence, fearlessly navigating airports and warmly greeting park rangers. Talk about personal growth.
Inspiring Others to Explore
Beyond personal achievements, the Castillos aspire to inspire others to embrace outdoor activities and an active lifestyle. Notably, 93-year-old Joy Ryan made headlines for visiting all 63 national parks with her grandson, potentially becoming the oldest person to accomplish this feat.
Similarly, in 2019, 33-year-old Mikah Meyer achieved his goal of visiting over 400 sites managed by the National Park System. But Journey’s Journey takes top spot for us!