The United States of America is worldly famous for its breathtaking parks — no, we are not talking about Six Flags or Universal, although they are also worth a visit or many.
We are talking about National Parks. And, guess what? This is National Park Week and we would love to inspire you to visit one of those amazing places with incredible views on your next trip. Even better: make it a road trip.
For starters, the National Park Service made it easier for you to check those parks via the NPS App. You will find plenty of features like interactive maps, park tours, amenities, things to do, and updates on news, alerts, and events.
Don’t forget to give it a download before you start your trip. For other general planning, we prepared a step-by-step guide to a perfect trip plan. You can check it out here.
Now, back to our topic, here are some of the coolest parks you must add to your bucket list:
Yosemite National Park, California
- Official website: yosemite.com
- Location: in the western Sierra Nevada, California.
- Things to do: Plenty of hiking tracks; you can take a quick climbing class and adventure yourself; there are some great tours, including seeing the park from above in a helicopter; you and your family can visit galleries, art shops, and even participate in art classes to record those beautiful views in a painting.
- Lodging: You can go camping for a full experience with nature or rent a cabin at the park. If you prefer a more comfortable stay, there are hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts very close to the park, and you can check them out on the park’s website too.
- Best season to visit: According to usnewstravel.com, the best season is from May to September when it is not so crowded, and that a lot of roads and trails are closed due to snow for most of the year.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Official website: grandcanyon.com
- Location: a canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona.
- Things to do: This park is divided into four parts: South Rim, North Rim, West Canyon, and East Canyon. Each section offers a lot of different activities, you can find that on their website. We will focus on the two main parts: the North and South Rim. For both hiking is a great option, there are also cycling tracks and a free park ranger program, besides the guided tours.
- Lodging: The park offers camping sites, inns, and a lodge, as well as dining areas. But there are plenty of options outside the park too.
- Best season to visit: For the South Rim, it is during Spring, Summer, and Fall. The North Rim has its facilities and lodging open from May 15th to October 15th.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho
- Website: yellowstonepark.com
- Location: in the northwestern corner of Wyoming and spread its grounds to Montana and Idaho.
- Things to do: This one has activities for all seasons. Some examples are hiking, watching wildlife, riding a bike or horse, guided tours, becoming a junior ranger for kids, fishing, skiing and snowboarding, and having awesome picnics.
- Lodging: There are lodges in the park, cabin and hotel-style; but you can also go camping even during the winter.
- Best season to visit: According to usnewstravel.com, the best season is from April to October, but July and August are the most popular months to visit and usually more crowded.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- Official website: rockymountainnationalpark.com
- Location: in north-central Colorado.
- Things to do: Plenty of options like hiking to a mountain lake, climbing Longs Peak, rafting a river, whitewater kayak, going mountain biking, riding a road bike over Trail Ridge Road, snowshoeing a winter trail, going backcountry skiing with alpine touring gear. On their website, you will find many more options suitable for family and solo trips too.
- Lodging: They offer cabins, resorts, inns, and lodges.
- Best season to visit: During the Summer and Fall, even though it can be a little crowded; from November to April it is less crowded according to Wildandtrekking.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Official website: brycecanyoncountry.com
- Location: in southwestern Utah.
- Things to do: you can watch the stars with a breathtaking sky at night, go ATV/OHV riding, go canyoneering, go fishing, go hiking, go mountain biking, watch wildlife and take photographs, and there are also some winter activities.
- Lodging: you can go camping, but there are also lodges, rental homes, and cabins in the area, and hotels around the park.
- Best season to visit: According to usnewstravel.com, the best season is from May to September, but the park is open during the rest of the year and it still offers a lot of things to do, although the weather may not be as pleasant.
If you have crossed off all these parks from your bucket list already, here are some other names you should visit if you are truly a national park lover:
- Arches National Park, Utah: nps.gov/arch
- Acadia National Park, Maine: nps.gov/acad
- Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada: nps.gov/deva
- Olympic National Park, Washington: nps.gov/olym
- Zion National Park, Utah: nps.gov/zion
While we wait for the entire country to be properly vaccinated, you should always check these parks’ websites to see if any restrictions are still in place. When you are prepared for these situations your trip can happen smoothly and you can enjoy much more the beauty our national parks have to offer.
Meanwhile, you have time to plan your trip and prepare for fun times with family and friends. These parks are a great opportunity to get to know America’s beauty even better, as well as spend some time surrounded by nature. It’s great for the body, for the mind, and it helps maintain these treasures we have in our country. Happy National Park Week!
You can find many other tips on traveling and trip planning on our blog.
See you on your next trip and stay tuned for our next publiCATTions!