Trekking the National Parks

This game review was originally published in Tumbleweird , September 2019.


Trekking the National Parks is a game for 2-5 people where players will be journey throughout the United States in an effort to visit as many national parks as they can before the end of the game. Along the way, players will be collecting colored stones by being the first player to visit a park, earning victory points by completing park location objectives, and earn special abilities by camping in major parks. End game is triggered whenever a player has completed their 5th park objective or the final colored stone has been collected. Players then add up their victory points and whomever has the most wins.

Most of the game is made up of set-collecting cards of five different symbols. These are used both to move across the map, and complete park card objectives by matching the pattern of symbols on each park card.

Trekking’s components are built to last. The colored stones are made out of acrylic. Tents, hiker meeples and first player marker are all wood. The meeples are far larger than I was expecting as well, as are the park cards (they’re about tarot-size).

All cards are coated and are made out of a really nice stock. The type used throughout is large, and very easily read. Every park card has a beautiful photograph of the park along with a caption of the subject of the photo in addition to a short note about what that park is all about. A side note: all of the photos were taken by the game designer’s parents in their travels to every major national park in the country.

According to Bink, “Our goal was to make a family-friendly game that was fun to play, easy to learn, educational, and inspiring,” and they’ve absolutely succeeded in doing so. Trekking is a wonderful game for folks just getting into the hobby from family games who aren’t yet ready for traditional “gateway games” like Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride. It’s also great for younger players since the educational aspects of the game are undeniable while being presented in a way that’s inviting and encourages exploration. Folks with poorer vision should have an easier time with this than so many other games where essential typography is far too small to read comfortably.

Designed by: Charlie Bink
Player Count 2-5
Playtime: 30-60 Minutes
Time to Learn: 10 minutes
Complexity 1.0/5
Replayability: 4/5
MSRP: $50
Am I happy I bought it?: I am. It’s not a game I’ll likely request to play if it’s just Sara and I, but it’s a great game to have in my library if newer players are wanting something to do.
Will my mom play this?: Definitely. It’s quick to start playing and it’s easy to have a conversation while the game’s going.

Written by Brendan Quinn; President of Tri-City Area Gaming. Learn more about the 200+ annual gaming events we host by visiting


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