Why Travel with NPCA?

Travel Program Benefits

Knowledgeable Staff

Ben Sander manages NPCA’s travel program to offer the best in educational travel to the National Parks through our small group tours and Custom Journeys designed for you. Ben has experienced and worked in ecotourism ventures in Costa Rica, Tanzania, Peru and Pohnpei, Micronesia which have guided his vision for the travel program. Furthermore, he conducted his master’s research in Costa Rica at one of the first eco-lodges in the world, Rara Avis, which has since been published and Ben has spoken at a number of ecotourism focused conferences on his research. His passion for ecotourism also led him to be a tour guide in Washington DC offering bike tours of the national memorials as well as being a nature guide in Costa Rica.

Ben is also a bike advocate and commutes 15 miles round-trip a day as often as possible from his home in Brentwood, MD to work in downtown DC. He has gone beyond this bike commute to take part in Climate Ride the last two years to help raise awareness around climate change, bike advocacy, and national park protection.

Expert Guides

NPCA teams with experienced tour operators every year to offer you professionally-managed tours in and around our national parks. Your expert guides, guest lecturers, and savvy NPCA staff give participants insight into each park, and the importance of protecting them to the larger ecosystem.

Environmentally Conscious

Each NPCA travel partner is selected based on criteria that include commitment to environmentally and socially responsible travel; so that trip logistics are designed to be low-impact and enhance conservation efforts. You can be sure your travel will have a positive effect on our treasured parks, so that our children and their children can enjoy our national parks and historical sites forever.

Excellent Value

From the moment you book your small group tour or your private Custom Journey, you will notice the great value and ease of traveling with NPCA. All pre-tour information is designed to prepare you for whatever you will encounter while on tour – from typical weather conditions and packing lists to specific park efforts and background reading lists. NPCA's tours offer members the opportunity to explore the parks without the hassle of planning or the frustrations of crowds. We plan the trip so you don't have to, but give you options based on your individual interests ensuring exceptional quality within a unique and extraordinary experience.

Supporting NPCA’s Work

Our partners have committed to making a donation on behalf of each traveler who participates in our trips, ensuring that your vacation further support NPCA’s mission to protect the parks for future generations.

NPCA's Small Group Tour Benefits

ParkScapes Program History

NPCA's Travel Program was started in 1995 to create fun, in-depth, educational experiences for our members in our national parks. The program has remained successful year after year as we have consistently delivered high quality trips using the best guides, travel partners, and connections to our parks to offer you an engaged travel experience.

Partnership with Off the Beaten Path

Starting in 2016 NPCA has partnered with Off the Beaten Path, a specialist in small group national park journeys, to bring you over 80 departures to our national parks and offering you the best in educational travel with natural and historical exploration. These unique tours are designed to give you exclusive experiences within the parks and special access to the Park Service and NPCA’s program and policy work.

Group Size

The small group-size of our tours (average of 16 participants or less) is designed to maximize your connection to the parks and access to your knowledgeable guides. By keeping our NPCA groups small, we have the flexibility to go where the action is in each park and tailor the trip to the interests of the participants. Another advantage to our group size is your ability to get to know fellow travelers. Participants enjoy the company of and stimulating conversations with like-minded national park supporters from around the country.

Custom Journeys in Partnership with Off the Beaten Path

Designed for You

Your custom journey is created from scratch, just for you.  With over 30 years of National Parks journey planning experience, Off the Beaten Path has a deep well of knowledge and insight to offer.  We have also developed a keen intuition for effectively adding relevant color, shape, and intrigue to the core ideas our travelers bring to us to start the conversation. In the end, you get an experience that contains even more opportunities for fun and connection than you might have ever envisioned.

Custom Journey Features 

Connections: We provide exclusive access to national park experts for a deeper park experience
Expertise: An experienced regional planner hand picks lodges and activities for your tailored itinerary.
An Unforgettable Journey: This is your trip - truly special and distinctly original.
Respecting Your Budget: Ensuring the absolute best return for your travel time and budget.
Personalized Journey Guidebook: Providing all the information you need for every step of the way.
Giving Back: 5% of your total trip cost will be donated back to NPCA from OBP.

Travel with NPCA

An adventure awaits you in our national parks...Request More Information today or contact the Travel program at 800.628.7275 or travel@npca.org or contact the Custom Journeys program at 855.241.7620 or journey@npca.org


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