Travel Tips Visiting National Parks

Travel Tips Visiting National Parks



With 388 national park sites to​ choose from,​ picking a​ park should be easy. at​ the​ tip of​ your travel tongue may be Yellowstone or​ the​ Grand Canyon,​ but dig a​ little deeper and you​ will find many surprises. America's National Parks are more than just hiking trails into mountain valleys,​ campsites overlooking sweeping vistas and unparalleled chances to​ watch moose and elk run wild. Many are famous historical sites,​ battlefields and small parks with big-time scenery.

Whether you​ want a​ wild adventure or​ an​ historical quest,​ follow these helpful tips:

Follow Your Sense of​ Adventure
Choosing the​ park that's right for you. in​ America's National Parks,​ you​ can scale an​ active volcano in​ Hawaii; raft over class V rapids through magnificent gorges and valleys at​ Gauley River National Recreation Area; cap off a​ day on​ Alcatraz Island back at​ your hotel with a​ spa treatment before hitting the​ streets of​ San Francisco; embrace history by tracing footprints at​ Antietam National Battlefield or​ watching oil droplets bubble to​ the​ surface of​ Pearl Harbor above the​ USS Arizona Memorial; shine a​ solitary beacon of​ light into the​ dark depths of​ Kentucky's Mammoth Cave; snorkel off the​ coast of​ Padre Island National Seashore; experience a​ mystifying sense of​ neighborly warmth around the​ Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; or​ conquer the​ ice age by hiking along Glacier National.

Redefining &quote;Crowds&quote;
Picking the​ park for you​ may depend on​ how well you​ like crowds,​ according to​ travel agents. Some National Parks reel in​ millions of​ visitors a​ year,​ though a​ crowded park is​ not like a​ crowded bus. There is​ plenty of​ room for everyone,​ and even the​ most crowded parks,​ like the​ Great Smokey Mountains in​ Tennessee,​ have plenty of​ areas where your footprints will be the​ first ones of​ the​ day.

Most Visited National Parks - 2003
1 Great Smoky Mountains National Park
2 Grand Canyon National Park
3 Yosemite National Park
4 Olympic National Park
5 Rocky Mountain Naional Park
6 Yellowstone National Park
7 Cuyahoga Valley National Park
8 Zion National Park
9 Acadia National Park
10 Grand Teton National Park
Source: Based on​ data from the​ National Park Service

Visitors may flock to​ the​ parks on​ the​ list above,​ but the​ good news is​ that others are relatively free of​ crowds,​ leaving more room for solitary adventure,​ quiet family outings and undisturbed wildlife. Here are a​ few possibilities for your next escape.

Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho,​ Oregon,​ Washington and Montana) These 38 sites in​ the​ valleys,​ prairies,​ mountains and plateaus of​ the​ inland northwest honor the​ history of​ the​ Nez Perce people as​ they mixed with explorers,​ fur traders,​ missionaries,​ settlers,​ soldiers,​ gold miners and farmers. Several sites feature interpretive trails,​ and visitors will often see golden eagles,​ marmots,​ black bears and mule deer.

Isle Royale (Michigan,​ Minnesota) You'll escape crowds of​ people in​ these wild woods of​ the​ North,​ but encountering crowds of​ wolves,​ otters and moose is​ another thing. Roadless Isle Royale is​ a​ 45-mile long wilderness archipelago in​ the​ heart of​ Lake Superior,​ gloriously threaded with 165 miles of​ scenic hiking trails connecting historic lighthouses and shipwrecks,​ ancient copper mining sites and plenty of​ spots to​ observe wildlife.

Catoctin Mountain Park (Maryland) you​ will not see the​ President on​ Catoctin Mountain,​ for his nearby,​ well-known retreat,​ Camp David,​ is​ closed to​ the​ public. But you​ will see plenty of​ white-tailed deer,​ wild turkeys and woodpeckers among the​ beauty of​ this rolling forest. Camping and hiking dominate the​ minds of​ visitors here,​ with relaxation in​ resplendent nature the​ ultimate goal for presidents and common folk alike.

When to​ Go
Travel agents suggest you​ check with each individual park to​ confirm that it​ will be open to​ the​ public. the​ summer and winter months are generally the​ most popular times. to​ avoid crowds,​ gain better access to​ the​ viewing areas and enjoy more time in​ leisure pursuits,​ travel during the​ spring and fall.

Peak periods also follow school schedules,​ so avoid winter break,​ spring break and the​ summer holidays. Visiting during the​ week will garner you​ much more open spaces than weekends. That said,​ traveling during peak times,​ like most of​ us are forced to​ do,​ should never deter you​ from visiting,​ for the​ parks are well worth the​ trip 365 days a​ year.

Where to​ Stay
Camping is​ the​ most popular option,​ whether in​ a​ tent,​ RV or​ in​ the​ backcountry. Most parks have cottages,​ cabins,​ lake houses or​ houseboats to​ rent. And,​ near some parks there are hotels. as​ with any trip,​ book your accommodations as​ far in​ advance as​ possible.

Fun for the​ Whole Family? Children,​ Yes. Pets,​ No.
National Parks are perfect for kids. Many parks run Junior Ranger Programs,​ nature walks and wildlife talks specifically geared towards children.

The wilderness is​ not pet-friendly. Some hiking trails prohibit all pets,​ while others demand that they remained leashed. Bears,​ wolves and mountain lions prey on​ small animals and will be attracted to​ your trail or​ tent if​ you​ bring your pet(s) along.

General Tips

Stop in​ at​ the​ Visitors Centers for the​ latest information about safety hazards,​ closures,​ weather and wildlife notices.
Always stay on​ the​ trails when walking and hiking to​ protect both you​ from the​ wilderness and the​ wilderness from you.
Clean up after yourself. We all must do our part to​ preserve the​ parks,​ so that everyone can experience the​ wonders they have to​ offer for years to​ come
Get out of​ your car. Too many people drive through the​ parks,​ stepping out here and there for a​ quick view. to​ truly experience the​ park,​ get out and find a​ hiking trail.
Save on​ park fees by getting a​ pass. a​ National Park Pass costs $50 and is​ good at​ all parks for one year. This will allow you​ to​ pass through the​ entrance gates more quickly and motivate you​ to​ visit more parks throughout the​ year.
388 Ways to​ Say,​ &quote;Wow&quote;
The United States goes to​ great lengths to​ preserve the​ best of​ its natural and manmade heritage. With 388 National Parks to​ choose from,​ millions of​ Americans enjoy this privilege,​ while millions more are welcomed to​ explore.

Travel agents can help you​ choose which park to​ visit,​ where to​ stay,​ and what you​ can do when you​ get there. And since most parks are unfortunately not in​ your neighborhood,​ travel agents can get you​ there with little cost and littler worries.




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