Which national park scratch-off map is best?
U.S. national parks are more popular than ever before. Visitor numbers ballooned nearly every year in the 2010s and haven’t slowed down, which means more people than ever are enjoying their public lands. A unique, fun and rewarding way to track your expeditions to national parks is using a national park scratch-off map. The Jetsetter Scratch Your Travels Map is a great option. This well-designed map with hand-drawn images representing the parks also makes a great gift.
What to know before you buy a national park scratch-off map
National park history
The U.S. National Park System came into being with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Through a long process and several government acts and changes, the National Park Service was established in 1916 and conserves the natural beauty, wildlife and historic sites within the U.S. for generation after generation to enjoy. Today, there are 63 designated national parks and many more national monuments and historic sites.
With visitors attending the parks in such large numbers, a successful trip requires careful planning to avoid the worst of the crowds. Book any tours, campsites or lodgings as early as possible. Check online leading up to your visit to make sure you have transportation planned, as parking is limited at more popular parks, and traffic jams can be commonplace. Lastly, make sure any hikes or drives you’re planning on taking are open.
There are multiple kinds of scratch maps, although all follow the same basic principle. Map design might vary, with some maps going for a more stylized look while others are more traditional and realistic. Make sure the aesthetics of the map you’re buying are what you or the recipient of your gift want on the wall. Check that the scratch off parts are of good quality and will scratch off easily and cleanly. For a comprehensive guide to scratch-off maps, check out the BestReviews guide to scratch maps.
What to look for in a quality national park scratch-off map
Which parks are included?
White Sands and Indiana Dunes were added as national parks in 2019, and New River Gorge was added in 2020. Many national park scratch-off maps include only a few or none of the newer additions, so if it’s important to you to scratch off every park, make sure to look for a newer model or an updated map.
All maps generally are the same in terms of materials, although some may be made of better quality materials than others. Look for good-quality papers and inks for a map that won’t fade while hung on the wall and scratch-off sections that won’t flake or crumble prematurely but come off smoothly.
If you’re gifting a national park scratch-off map to someone, look for one that comes gift wrapped or in a good-looking package. Some also come with included scratch-off tools so you’re not stuck using a coin or guitar pick.
How much you can expect to spend on a national park scratch-off map
Depending on quality, how the national park scratch-off map is produced and what’s included, expect to spend $20-$50.
National park scratch-off map FAQ
Can scratch-off maps be framed?
A. Yes, but this might be one poster that’s best left unframed, at least until you’ve completed it. Something like this magnetic poster frame might be a good idea, as it allows the map to be framed while still leaving the surface uncovered for easy scratching.
Will these maps include other public lands?
A. Not usually. Most just include national parks. This does not include similar sites such as national monuments or historical sites. Some may include only larger parks, while others may list many if not all smaller and lesser-known national parks.
What’s the best national park scratch-off map to buy?
Top national park scratch-off map
What you need to know: This beautifully crafted map comes with hand-drawn images of 61 national parks.
What you’ll love: It comes with a dedicated scratching tool so you won’t have to worry about damaging the map by scratching with a coin. It’s versatile, allowing you to scratch off both states and parks you’ve visited. The icons for the parks are hand drawn and unique.
What you should consider: It doesn’t include the two newest national parks: White Sands and New River Gorge.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top national park scratch-off map for the money
What you need to know: This high quality, wall-size map includes a short list of must-see attractions at each park.
What you’ll love: The parks are represented by subtle arrowhead designs, and the extra information about the parks on the bottom is handy. It comes packaged in a decorative tube for gift giving.
What you should consider: Only 62 of 63 parks are included. It’s not the most decoratively designed, unless you like the look of traditional maps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This made-in-the-U.S. map with 62 parks is denoted by gold foil scratch-off trees.
What you’ll love: This national park scratch-off map is printed on thick, high-quality paper with a beautiful decorative design. For every map purchased, a tree is planted, and it can be bought along with a frame.
What you should consider: Some reviewers found the numbers on each park’s spot to be hard to see. Only 62 parks are included, lacking New River Gorge.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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