The National Park Service Passport has been around since 1986. At that time it was an excellent program for acquiring collectable stamps with pictures depicting the National Park System. Shortly after the inaugeration of the program (In 1993) the stamps were changed to "stamps." By this I am referring to the colored pictures which are now pawned off as stamps. The program is a now a sham of the original. It is still, however, an excellent way to keep track of all the National Parks which one visits. Sharon and I have been enjoying the program since right after its original beginning, and we recommmend it highly for anyone who enjoys the many parks we do have. This page is devoted to that program and its companion "cancellation stamps."
National Park Passport
Pictured above is the National Park Passport which can be purchased at any National Park in the US, or From the Eastern National Park and Monument Association. Specific sections of the book are reserved for the National (1) and Regional (9) stamps which are issued annually. It is also sectioned off to place the "rubber stamp cancellations" which are obtained at every National Park site.
Pictured below is the open book. These are the 1989 and 1990 "Rocky Mountain Region" Regional Stamps. They are the "original" High Quality stamps. The Rubber Stamp Pad Cancellations are located underneath the stamps.
Closeup of a National Stamp and the cancellations are below. A comparison of the old stamps and the new ones can also be found below.
These are the "Rubber Stamp Cancellations which are obtained by going to the Visitor's Centers in each of the National Parks and stamping them in your book.
Theodore Roosevelt N.P.-Medora, N.D.
Badlands N.P-Interior, S.D
Mount Rushmore N.M.- Keystone, S.D.
Devil's Tower N.M.-Devil's Tower, WY.
These are the Original stamps which were sold from 1986 through 1992. Notice the fluted edges which make them look like stamps. The Black background is actually a plastic envelope with a clear face. The back of the stamp also had a glue coating which could have been used to stick it in the book, although most people used the envelope which was provided. The National Stamp is on the left and the Regional is on the right. 1 National along with 9 Regionals were sold per year. (See the replacements below)
Pictured to the left and right below are the National and Regional "Stamps" which were issued in 2000. As you can see, the fluted edges are gone. The protective envelope is gone, and the stamps have turned into stickers. They are a self adhesive picture printed on a piece of paper.
The "Rubber Stamp" cancellations at the individual parks were always the high point in the program, and those have not changed.
As I've said before, the program is still a wonderful device for keeping track of the National Parks that have been visited. It's just a shame that this wonderful idea has gravitated to the level that it is at this point.