Cover art for podcast Dear Bob and Sue: A National Parks Podcast

Dear Bob and Sue: A National Parks Podcast

89 EpisodesProduced by Matt and Karen SmithWebsite

In Dear Bob and Sue, authors Matt and Karen Smith share stories of their travels to all of the U.S. National Park as well as other spectacular public lands. From adventures gone awry to memorable moments and Q&As from readers, get to know the couple behind the books and get inspired to go on some ad… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

#86: Mailbag! How Many Days to Spend in Great Sand Dunes NP and More!

June 30th, 2022

57:19

In our Mailbag! episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, ranger-led tours, road trips, hiking, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In …

#85: Point Reyes National Seashore

June 16th, 2022

1:00:23

You might think that a seashore park is just sand beaches, but Point Reyes also has open grasslands and forested ridges that are home to 1,500 species of plants and animals. And for humans, the park offers a wide …

#84: Mailbag! Planning for Summer Trips and More

May 26th, 2022

50:07

In our Mailbag! episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, ranger-led tours, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this …

#83: Grand Canyon, North Rim vs South Rim

May 19th, 2022

58:55

When visiting Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world's seven natural wonders, should you visit the North Rim, the South Rim, or both? In this …

#82: Smokey Bear Has Never Been Hotter

May 12th, 2022

45:05

This episode is devoted to Smokey Bear, the beloved spokesanimal of the United States Forest Service, who spreads awareness about how to prevent accidental, human-caused wildfires. We discuss how and why the Smokey …

#81: Our Favorite Ranger-led Tours

May 5th, 2022

54:10

#81: Our Favorite Ranger-led Tours

 

National Park Service sites across the country offer a wide variety of ranger-led tours, and in this episode, we talk about some of our favorites. From Glacier Bay National Park in …

#80: Mailbag: Redwood National and State Parks, and much more!

April 28th, 2022

57:04

In our Mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this episode, we share …

#79: Mailbag: Pinnacles National Park, and much more!

April 21st, 2022

59:18

#79: Mailbag: Pinnacles National Park, and much more!

 

In our Mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever …

#78: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

April 14th, 2022

55:31

Home to one of the deepest and narrowest canyons in the world, this park in west-central Colorado is a must-see destination, even if you only spend a …

#77: Exploring Capitol Reef National Park

April 7th, 2022

51:48

In this episode, we take you to Capitol Reef National Park, one of the most diverse national parks in Utah: it has incredible hiking trails, scenic …

#76: Mailbag: Where to hike in Saguaro National Park, and much more!

March 24th, 2022

46:55

In this Mailbag! episode, we share some of our hiking suggestions in Saguaro National Park and the surrounding area, how to determine if you’re ready to tackle a 10- to 15-mile hike, and how to practice shooting bear …

#75: Dark Sky Parks

March 17th, 2022

36:26

Who hasn’t stared in awe at the Milky Way and been lost in wonder thinking about the billions of stars that make up our galaxy? In this episode, we’re talking about a special category of public lands called Dark Sky …

#74: Rocky Mountain National Park

March 10th, 2022

56:25

With majestic peaks in every direction, wildlife roaming the valleys, and some of the most incredible hiking trails in the country, it’s no wonder …

#73: Exploring Acadia National Park

March 3rd, 2022

46:11

We’re heading to the Northeast part of the country in this episode, to Acadia National Park in Maine. Called the Crown Jewell of the North Atlantic Coast, Acadia has a diverse array of rocky coastlines, granite …

#72: Mailbag!

February 24th, 2022

41:53

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about the national parks, road trips, camping, backpacking, gear, relationships, and pretty much whatever anyone wants to ask us. In this episode, we share …

#71: Our Twelve Favorite White-Knuckle Drives

February 17th, 2022

50:29

Join us for a thrilling ride as we take you on some of our favorite white-knuckle drives. These are roads we’ve discovered during our travels that …

#70: Exploring Yosemite National Park

February 10th, 2022

57:34

Join us on a trip to California, to one of the country's oldest and most popular national parks, Yosemite. Home to soaring granite domes, some of the …

#69: Zion National Park – 2.5 Perfect Days

February 3rd, 2022

59:02

Today we’re taking you with us to one of the Mighty Five National Parks in Utah: Zion. In this episode, we share with you our version of how to spend …

#68: Mailbag!

January 27th, 2022

45:47

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about traveling, hiking, public lands, outdoor gear, and whatever else is on their minds. In this episode, the questions are about travel: how we decide where …

#67: Our Favorite Things to Do In Grand Teton National Park

January 20th, 2022

48:38

In today's episode, we're discussing some of our favorite things to do and see in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. We talk about the scenic drives in the park, some of the best photography spots, and a few of our …

#66: Top Ten Things to Do in Arches National Park

January 13th, 2022

47:58

Arches is a red-rock wonderland of fins, spires, pinnacles, and arches -- 2,000 of them! Throw in some great hiking trails and a very scenic drive, and you’ve got a lot of choices of things to see and do throughout the …

#65: How to Plan Your National Park Trips

January 6th, 2022

55:31

#65: How to Plan Your National Park Trips

 

Planning a road trip can be as much fun as the trip itself. The anticipation and excitement ahead of time are some of the best parts of the experience. But the planning can also …

64: Mailbag!

December 30th, 2021

47:48

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about traveling, hiking, public lands, outdoor gear, and whatever else is on their minds. In this episode, we answer questions about Wrangell St. Elias …

#63: O Christmas Tree

December 23rd, 2021

35:50

Today we’re talking about Christmas trees. Specifically, everything you need to know about the program run by the National Forest Service, where you can buy a permit online and head out to your national forest to cut …

#62: Haleakala National Park – Sea to Summit

December 16th, 2021

33:01

The island of Maui has more to offer than lounge chairs on the beach and tropical drinks. It's home to Haleakala National Park. With a 10,000-foot summit, the park is the perfect place to watch the sunrise over the …

#61: An Epic Road Trip Through Northern Arizona

December 9th, 2021

49:54

In this episode, we talk about our recent 700-mile road trip through Northern Arizona, the perfect week-long tour of some of the most iconic sites in the American Southwest. Starting in Sedona, we worked our way …

#60: One Perfect Day in Bryce Canyon National Park

December 2nd, 2021

39:32

Bryce Canyon National Park has something for everyone: hikes, jaw-dropping overlooks, scenic drives, a historic hotel, good pizza, and a cave. And with a bit of planning, you can do it all in one perfect day. We’ve been …

#59: Thanksgiving in the National Parks

November 25th, 2021

24:39

Shake up your Thanksgiving routine by celebrating in a national park. Many of the park lodges and restaurants offer traditional Thanksgiving feasts. …

#58: Top Ten Things to Do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

November 18th, 2021

37:29

What could be more magical than watching new land being formed as lava flows from the mouth of a volcano? Hawaii Volcanoes National Park protects and …

#57: Outdoor Gear and Gifts We Love

November 11th, 2021

1:00:42

Give the gift of adventure. In this, our annual gear and gift guide, we talk about the gear we use, love, and in some cases, absolutely can’t live …

#56: Three Perfect Days in New River Gorge National Park

November 4th, 2021

53:12

Are you thinking about visiting our nation’s 63rd national park, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia? Then you’re in luck. In this episode, we talk about our recent visit to New River Gorge National …

#55: The Ghosts of Mammoth Cave National Park

October 28th, 2021

50:37

Did you know that Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the longest known cave system in the world? Here’s another fact you might not know: many people think the cave is haunted. Join us for this episode as we give an …

#54: Mailbag!

October 21st, 2021

47:05

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about traveling, hiking, public lands, outdoor gear, and whatever else is on their minds. …

#53: Zion's Epic Subway Hike

October 14th, 2021

53:29

The trail to The Subway is one of the least traveled yet most spectacular in Zion National Park. Over countless years, water has carved a unique, …

#52: Antelope Canyon

October 7th, 2021

52:53

Starting at the shore of Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon stretches for over twenty miles as it snakes its way south through pristine Navajo land. Over millions of years, water and wind carved several …

#51: Mailbag!

September 30th, 2021

47:05

In our mailbag episodes, we answer questions from listeners about traveling, hiking, public lands, outdoor gear, and whatever else is on their minds. In this episode, we’re talking about road trips, train trips, bears, …

#50: The Best National Parks to Visit in Each Season

September 23rd, 2021

53:48

We get a lot of questions from people asking us what parks they should visit during specific times of the year. On today’s episode we’re going season …

#49: Glacier National Park: Part 2 of 2

September 16th, 2021

1:03:22

From historic hotels to jaw-dropping vistas to spectacular hiking trails, Glacier has it all. Because of its mountainous terrain, activities and …

#48: Glacier National Park: Part 1 of 2

September 9th, 2021

57:46

The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park is one of the most visited and beloved destinations in the National Park System. In this part 1 of 2 episodes on the park, we discuss one of its most unique aspects: …

#47: Dining Around the Parks

July 15th, 2021

40:37

Over the years while we explored the national parks, we also found a lot of unique and authentic places to eat, and today we’re sharing some of our favorites. In this mid-summer bonus episode, we provide a sampling of …

#46: Twenty-Five National Parks to Visit in Your Lifetime

June 10th, 2021

59:52

Our country’s national parks are frequently referred to as “America’s Best Idea,” for good reason. There are 423 National Park Service sites that protect everything from natural wonders to historical sites to endangered …

#45: Badlands National Park

June 3rd, 2021

46:14

The southwest corner of South Dakota has an incredible variety of National Park Service sites to explore, and one of our favorites is Badlands …

#44: Mailbag!

May 27th, 2021

53:36

It’s time again for our monthly mailbag episode where we answer questions from our listeners about national parks and other public lands, as well as questions about gear, hiking trails, and a broad range of …

#43: North Cascades National Park

May 20th, 2021

48:47

Only a three-hour drive from Seattle, North Cascades National Park looks like you’ve traveled all the way to Switzerland. With its 300 glaciers and soaring mountain peaks, North Cascades is a wilderness park best …

#42: Crater Lake National Park

May 13th, 2021

46:47

In the third episode of our series about volcano parks in the Pacific Northwest we’re featuring Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park, which has one of …

#41: Mount Rainier National Park

May 6th, 2021

45:55

Rising more than 14,000 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. In this episode we discuss this active …

#40: Climbing Mount St. Helens

April 29th, 2021

49:22

What’s the most difficult day hike we’ve ever done? Without question it was climbing to the top of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in WA …

#39: Mailbag!

April 22nd, 2021

46:48

It’s time for our monthly mailbag episode again, where we answer questions about national parks and other public lands, as well as gear, camping and a broad range of travel-related topics.


Some of the questions/topics we …

#38: The Ten Essentials

April 15th, 2021

56:38

What’s in your backpack? To prevent emergencies from happening while you’re hiking, and to deal with any that might arise, it’s important to include items from the Ten Essentials list. The National Park Service …

#37: Above the Arctic Circle

April 8th, 2021

47:18

Alaska’s eight national parks contain some of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the NPS system, but two of them, Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk …

#36: Dead Horse Point State Park

April 1st, 2021

53:03

One of the most beautiful state parks in the country, Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park, offers jaw-dropping views and incredible hiking trails. You …

#35: Mailbag!

March 25th, 2021

51:16

It’s time for our monthly mailbag episode again, where we answer questions about national parks and other public lands, gear, camping and a broad range of travel-related topics.


Some of the questions/topics we discuss in …

#34: New Mexico Land of Enchantment

March 18th, 2021

52:04

New Mexico has so many natural and historical wonders you’ll have to visit several times to see them all. But if you have a free week, might we suggest that you start in Albuquerque and make a big loop the way we did a …

#33: Monumental National Monuments

March 11th, 2021

52:43

When we set out to visit all of the national parks, we drove past countless national monuments on our quest to check all the parks off our bucket …

#32: Denali National Park

March 4th, 2021

55:46

Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing the tallest peak in North America close up? Denali, at 20,308 feet in elevation, and its namesake national park are …

#31: Mailbag!

February 25th, 2021

50:28

Our first all-mailbag episode. Thank you for all the questions and comments you’ve sent to us about our podcast. We thought we’d try something new and dedicate an entire show to answering your questions. It was a lot of …

#30: Six Astounding State Parks

February 18th, 2021

49:18

In this episode we take you with us on a journey to six of our favorite state parks as we talk about what makes each of these parks unique and why we think they’re astounding. With more than ten thousand state parks …

#29: Horse Pack Trip into the Wilderness

February 11th, 2021

52:52

Saddle up, partner! Apologies for the corny opening, but—spoiler alert—more horse-related puns are awaiting you in this episode. We’ve taken many …

#28: Havasu Falls

February 4th, 2021

50:59

Taking a wish out of Karen’s bucket, in 2016 we braved the hike down into the Grand Canyon to Havasu Falls with our friends John and Lolly. …

#27: Our Favorite Hikes in the National Parks

January 28th, 2021

1:20:38

In this episode we talk about some of our favorite hikes in the national parks. It took us a couple of tries to record this one because we had too …

#26: Death Valley National Park

January 14th, 2021

1:11:13

Despite its not-so-enticing name, Death Valley National Park is one of our favorite destinations, especially in the winter months. Being the lowest, driest, and hottest place in North America, you might be surprised …

#25: Here and There

December 31st, 2020

58:26

In this end-of-the-year episode, we talk about many of the topics listeners have suggested to us that aren’t long enough for a full episode. We also …

#24: National Park of American Samoa

December 17th, 2020

1:11:12

Little did we know when we cavalierly made the announcement ten years ago that we were going to visit every U.S. national park that we had just signed up for a trip to the Southern Hemisphere. The National Park of …

#23: Dories, Ho!: Floating the Colorado River Through the Grand Canyon Part 2 of 2

December 10th, 2020

1:10:17

In this second part of our mini-series about floating the Colorado River in a small wooden dory boat, we share stories from our second trip through …

#22: Dories, Ho!: Floating the Colorado River Through the Grand Canyon Part 1 of 2

December 3rd, 2020

1:26:59

For years we’d ask people who’d traveled the world, “What’s the best outdoor adventure trip you’ve ever taken?” To our surprise, the same answer came …

#21: One Man’s Wilderness: Lake Clark National Park

November 19th, 2020

1:11:36

No state in the Union has more public space than Alaska; nearly 90% of the land is owned by the state or federal government, and amongst the vast, untamed lands are eight national parks. Lake Clark National Park, about …

Bonus Episode: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

November 12th, 2020

59:11

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you have trouble finding the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast on your list, you’ll want to check out …

#20: Scenic Drives Through Public Lands

November 5th, 2020

1:16:46

Brilliant, breathtaking, and magnificent are just some of the words we would use to describe the scenic drives we discuss in this episode. That is if …

#19: Adventures in Olympic National Park

October 22nd, 2020

1:19:02

Featuring a park in our home state of Washington on this episode, we discuss some of the highlights and must-sees at Olympic National Park. From the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean to the blue glaciers hanging off …

#18: Winter in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks

October 8th, 2020

1:18:56

While visiting Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in the winter can feel like stepping into a Christmas card photo, staying in a nearby Forest Service cabin with no electricity or indoor plumbing isn’t always so …

#17: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

September 24th, 2020

1:10:33

It was a close call for sure. Had the government not stepped in to protect the land that today makes up these magnificent parks, the Giant Sequoias may have been lost forever. These amazing trees are a natural wonder …

#16: The Wave in Northern Arizona

September 10th, 2020

1:11:50

We had all but given up on ever getting a permit to hike to one of the most sought-after sites in the American Southwest: The Wave in Northern Arizona. But in the fall of 2019, an email from a kind and generous stranger …

Bonus Episode: How much it costs to visit all 62 national parks

August 13th, 2020

56:41

It is by far the most frequent question we get from readers and listeners: How much did it cost you to visit all 62 national parks? This bonus episode is essentially a detailed mail bag response to this very question. …

#15: Our Favorite Places in Yellowstone

July 23rd, 2020

1:04:40

Few places, if any, in the lower 48 states have remained as wild and undisturbed as Yellowstone National Park. Sure, there are roads and boardwalks throughout the park to accommodate the millions of annual visitors, but …

#14: Outdoorsy in Vegas

July 9th, 2020

1:03:03

Come on seven! Mama needs a new pair of shoes! Yep, you’re in the right place, this is still The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast. Except, this episode has a bit of a twist. In it we explore many of the great public lands that …

#13: The Great American Bison Road Trip

June 25th, 2020

1:19:42

Who doesn’t love an end-of-summer road trip? Few activities compare to the joy of packing a duffel bag full of stuff, filling the snack bag with …

#12: Misadventures in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

June 11th, 2020

1:15:20

Over 120 years ago, the Klondike Gold Rush attracted more than 100,000 people from around the world with the lure of wealth and adventure. All that …

#11: Beyond Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks

May 28th, 2020

1:13:51

The five national parks in Utah are spectacular and draw millions of visitors each year for a good reason. But the public lands surrounding these …

#10: Trailer Tales from California’s Desert Parks

May 14th, 2020

1:11:55

Teardrop trailers sure look cute and romantic, but what’s it like actually sleeping in one? Today we’re sharing what we learned as we camped in a teardrop trailer in three parks in southern California. Find out what …

#09: Five National Park Hidden Gems

April 30th, 2020

58:55

You’ll often see the same handful of National Parks topping the “best of” lists, but there are some real hidden gems out there too that are worth …

#08: Katmai National Park: Bear Watching

April 16th, 2020

1:09:22

Of all the experiences we had while traveling to the U.S. national parks, bear watching in Katmai National Park is at the top of the list. Tucked …

#07: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

April 2nd, 2020

1:11:40

Join Matt and Karen as they descend 750 feet underground to explore what Karen thinks is one of the most magical places in the entire U.S. national park system: Carlsbad Caverns. Matt’s not a huge fan of dark, scary …

#06: Zion National Park: Hiking The Narrows

March 19th, 2020

51:24

Standing in waist-deep water while looking up at the towering canyon walls, the scene was breath-taking. Or, maybe it was the cold water splashing …

#05: RV Adventures in Arizona

March 5th, 2020

56:07

Have you ever wanted to take an RV on an adventure into the National Parks? So did we, so we rented one in Arizona and toured the southern part of the state for a week. Join us as we explore Chiricahua National Monument …

#04: Our Favorite National Park Lodges

February 20th, 2020

1:03:23

What's it like to wake up with a view of Crater Lake from your bedroom window? In this episode, we gleefully revisit some of our favorite National …

#03: Arches National Park: Getting Lost in the Fiery Furnace

February 6th, 2020

46:52

Would you go into a fiery furnace on purpose if you knew you’d probably get lost, have to squeeze through narrow openings, and be forced to crab walk …

#02: North Cascades National Park: Glaciers and Boulders and Scree Oh My!

February 4th, 2020

49:21

Join us on our backpacking trip to Sahale Glacier in North Cascades National Park. Along with our friends John and Lolly, we braved the treacherous …

#01: Adventure in Alaska

January 30th, 2020

46:47

It's here! Episode 1 - the very first episode of our brand new podcast. We can't wait for you to hear it!

In this episode:

  • A tour of the National …

Trailer

January 22nd, 2020

2:20

Dear Bob and Sue launches January 30th, 2020.

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