Couple Has ‘Hike 59 National Parks’ On Bucket List, Checks It Off In Seven Years

Some “bucket list” entries can be scratched off the list in relatively short order—you just need to make time to do it. Like learning how to speak French. Some people can pick that up pretty quick. (And some can’t. Ask my high school French teacher, Mrs. Powell. Three years we co-suffered.) Other bucket list items can take longer—an around-the-world trip, for example.

And then there is the bucket list of Mike and Donna Guthrie (no relation) of Colorado Springs, Colorado. As the Huffington Post reports, they set a goal in 2009 of visiting/hiking all 59 U.S. National Parks before they hit their 70th birthdays, and they met their goal in June!

“We started talking about what we wanted to do,” Mike said, recalling that night of their 36th wedding anniversary in 2009 to the Gazette. “You start thinking that way when you get to be 60-something …”

To make it happen, they both spent $10 on a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass, which provides access to a couple thousand federal recreation site choices at that point.

Donna Guthrie

June was also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, so the Guthries plan to hold a big September bash for friends and family at Estes Park, Colorado next to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Donna Guthrie

“There’s something about making a goal, working toward it and accomplishing the goal in a specific time frame that makes both Mike and I happy, involved and energized—not only as individuals, but as a couple,” Donna told HuffPo.


Highlights of their various wanderings included an Easter sunrise at Arches National Park in Utah, horseback riding in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and attending a park ranger’s astronomy lesson in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Donna and Mike wrapped up their 59th and final hike last month at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, joined by family.

Out of the 59 parks the Guthries visited, here are their top five choices:

h/t: The Gazette, Huffington Post.