The first step is to decide whether you’re looking for a day-trip or a multi-day experience. Photographer Drew Rush, an expert on our National Geographic Ultimate National Parks Expedition, has been making it his goal to travel lighter. Then, I visited Grand Canyon National Park while relocating an RV for $1 a day. Planning an Epic National Park Road Trip. Many smaller parks are closed during certain parts of the season while historic homes may not be open some days of the week. You may have heard the saying, “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints” – this is especially true during national park visits. Get planning and safety tips to make your trip a fun, safe adventure. All five of Utah’s national parks are located across the southern end of the state in Red Rock Country and can easily be seen on one road trip. To mark the National Park Service's 100th anniversary, visitors can enjoy free admission and special recreational and ranger-led activities in 59 national parks from August 25 to 28. Invasive species in our national parks are no laughing matter. This optimised road trip will bring you to the 47 other parks in the mainland US states. The National Park Foundation often assists parks in projects committed to removing invasive species to save the area’s natural ecosystems. Some parks will also have check-in policies. Because 12 of the USA’s National Parks are in Alaska, Hawaii and other U.S. territories which make a smooth road trip a bit difficult, Olson decided to exclude them for the purposes of this route. You’ll find great travel ideas on our blog and experiences on FindYourPark.com. Exploring the ruins at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Join our community. Easy Pass at North Cascades National Park. Unlike other states (see: Utah and Wyoming), Colorado’s national parks don’t sit shoulder-to-shoulder, but that’s what makes this trip so great. And, finally, I visited Petrified Forest National Park in the same RV. Some road trips include itineraries for multiple parks. Tax identification number: 52-1086761. Regina, I have wanted to visit and hike in many of our national parks. Dogs are allowed at parts of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Privacy Notice: The National Park Foundation adheres to the privacy policy found at Whether you want to explore local places or plan a vacation, you'll. Anything can happen on your journey, so make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to complete your trip. More than two-thirds of national parks are free year-round. Known as the mighty 5 National Parks, Zion NP, Canyonlands NP, Arches NP, Capitol Reef NP, and Bryce Canyon NP are the show-stopping destinations for one of the best road trips in the world! What planning tips would you add to this guide? Basic national park maps so you can get your bearings. Bird-watching? Where do I start? Method: Driving to Alaska with Oscar the Outback, our own vehicle. For those who wish to see some of the famous parks of the Grand Circle in Utah but have less time, consider checking out this version of the road trip. Camping under the stars at Joshua Tree National Park. National Parks remain the single most iconic destination in America not only because of their unrivaled beauty, but because of their transformative powers on those who visit. East Coast and Smokies Trip Ideas. While it's relatively simple to practice social distancing when you're camping or hiking, the influx of quarantine-weary travelers to parks across the country could make staying safe challenging. I know it would be a huge planning experience and I would appreciate any advice from others who have done it. You can consider getting an America the Beautiful pass if you’re planning to visit more than once, or if you intend on visiting several parks. If a sign restricts visitors from exploring past a certain point, do not go into that area — not even for what you think will be a great photo-op. By doing so, you’ll not only prove yourself to be a great steward of these national treasures, but you’ll also help preserve them so that future generations can continue to enjoy them as we do now. Have you learned any lessons during your park adventures? Paper and pencil are a must! Three ways to ensure a posh visit to national parks, from Yellowstone to Yosemite Stateside Safari: A travel partner of the World Wildlife Fund, Natural Habitat offers small-group tours of U… By doing so, you’ll prevent damage to the surrounding vegetation and erosion. Stay on the trail and pay attention to signs – they aren’t just suggestions to make sure you don’t get lost. In fact, because they’re not as easy to drive to for most of us, they tend to be less crowded and some include virtually untouched wilderness. RANDY OLSON, a computer science and engineering Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University, is a man who likes to design road trips.He has previously organized the ultimate US road trip and the best cross-Canada journey and, this time, Olson created an itinerary that would allow travelers to see every single national park in the 48 contiguous states without wasting any time. New parks are featured each month. I'll have 2 teenagers and one other adult. Check the park’s website for any tips, then consider your itinerary. The Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Series highlights geographic regions and important themes in American history. I'm looking for a National Park that's closest to where I live; Within a 1 to 2 day drive. Once you’ve returned victorious, be sure to tell a friend – better yet, take a friend! Manzanita Lake Fee Booth at Lassen Volcanic National Park. The National Park Service also offers an excellent trip planning guide that will ensure a fun and safe trip. Putting it all together, there are over 390 sites that the US National Park Service maintains from National Parks, National Monuments, Seashores, Battlefields and more. Utah’s National Parks are simply stunning. Visit from anywhere. FindYourPark.com shares details on parks across the country and activities offered at each of them. Different factors like road closures and weather advisories can impact your trip. Guides to lodging inside the parks Wildlife-watching field guides. I am wondering if there are people who have experience in planning trips and general outdoors tips available for hire on a consulting basis. Explore national parks with digital tours, ranger programs, educational opportunities, and more. National parks draw lots of tourists during the high season, reducing room availability at hotels and pushing rates through the roof. Become a donor today. Don’t know where to begin? You know that national parks exist, though you haven’t sought them out before – but you’re open to the idea! The National Park Service in partnership with Operation Live Well would like to thank military personnel and their families for their service and invite them to enjoy their national parks. Put America’s national parks back on your travel agenda—just leave out the Motel 6. Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details Duration: 1 minute, 17 seconds. Know what they are and commit them to memory. You can also visit during the annual fee-free days – just be prepared to be joined by many other park lovers, as these are popular days to visit. Join the #RecreateResponsibly movement to protect America's treasures while looking out for each other's health and safety. Our message boards are still an active source of trip reports on what to see and do in the parks, and with so many national park enthusiasts around, they are also a great place to ask some questions for trip advice for planning a trip as well. Packing for any trip can be the most tedious part, and it’s also the most important! Shookum Volcano to Rambler Mine route at Wrangell - St Elias National Park and Preserve. Let us know in the comments below! That includes visiting some of the country's most beautiful natural treasures: our national parks. A good place to start would be telling us where you live, otherwise it's pretty difficult to say what options are within a 1 to 2 day drive. Sign up to receive the latest NPF news, information on how you can support our national treasures, and travel ideas for your next trip to the parks. For example, if you’re hoping to boat in Isle Royale National Park, be sure to check all boats and water equipment for zebra mussels or other invasive aquatic species. This guide will help you discover where to go, what to do, and how to make sure you have a fantastic, safe, and unforgettable adventure. THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR A National Parks Road Trip. There are seven principles to ensure you leave no trace, ranging from minimizing campfire impacts to disposing of waste properly, to respecting wildlife. Try to reserve a spot online, ahead of time, especially at popular parks, which often see spaces booked months in advance. How do you begin figuring out how to explore these places? Within the continental United States (aka Lower 48) there are a total of 50 National Parks — there are 2 in Hawaii, 8 in Alaska, and 2 in the territories, making a total of 62. You can also check our the local Chamber of Commerce sites, as well as the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of the area you’ll be visiting – they’ll often include tips, recommendations, and concessionaires (e.g., guided hikes or rafting trips) that work in the park. The following parks are not in the contiguous United States, but they are definitely worth visiting! This window varies from park to park so again, be sure your research covers this too. Other National Parks to visit. Individual parks may have rules about cleaning different types of gear and equipment depending on which parts of the park you’ll be visiting and the activities in which you’ll partake. There are as many ways to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial as there are parks to explore (over 400). January: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho After you’ve narrowed down which park you’d like to explore, the next step is to spend some quality time navigating the park’s page on nps.gov. More than 250 National Park Service units have been featured in travel-style articles over the years. If pets are welcome, remember to keep them on a leash at all times and to clean up after them. As you make new memories, inspire others to do the same. When the pandemic struck earlier this year and dashed my travel plans for Germany and Austria, I instead planned a different adventure: Acadia National Park in Maine. The National Park System oversees 62 parks, so there are plenty of places to explore beyond the Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite. Be sure to know before you go by checking the park’s page online or giving them a call to know if there are any alerts in effect. Parks to visit: 8 Duration of journey: Month of August, 2017 (yep, we’re planning way ahead). National Park Road Trip Itineraries National Parks are natural treasures, and a road trip to and through them gives us all access to the majesty. In-park accommodations vary widely in the camping areas and services provided, but this information can easily be found by looking at the park’s page (look for the “Eating & Sleeping” section under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar) or calling the park directly. Itineraries of the best things to do in the parks. The United States national park system offers so much diversity—climates range from tropical to subarctic, and from arid deserts to lush rainforests—that in every month of the year you can find a park worth visiting. Buy a National Parks Pass ($80 for one year for a family of four) to save money on entrance fees if you’re visiting multiple parks. By submitting my email, I agree to receive correspondence from the National Park Foundation. Don’t confuse a lack of visitors with a lack of merit. A packing list Park entrance fees; And more Bringing plenty of water for your pup will also be very important, especially if you consider the temperature and length of the journey. And others may be open, but with limited opportunities depending on the season. Take a moment to move to the side and let them pass — it’s the polite thing to do! We guarantee: you’ll be hooked after your first adventure. Manassas national battlefield park is one of many lesser-known parks that are worth a visit. I realize much of this information can be gleaned by a great deal of online research and I am looking to accelerate this learning process. Some do require a small entrance fee, used to help maintain the park, so be sure to know if you’ll have an entrance fee. Tell a friend in person about your favorite parts of the trip – share your tips with them too. The National Park Guide 1. Take this scenic road trip to see all five of them in a row. Plan ahead and scope the many resources and tips provided by the parks (start by looking at the “Directions & Transportation” section under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar). Camping is the cheapest option, but campgrounds are often filled to capacity in the summer. Thank you! I have spent the last eight years taking care of my wife who suffers from Alzheimer’s and the time I can dedicate to this effort is thus more limited than would be typical. Detail from our America National Parks map. I've never vacationed at a national park. All thoughts welcome. Consider if you’re comfortable camping, or if you’d rather stay in an RV, or look into park lodges. Of the 419 parks managed by the National Park Service, 108 charge regular entrance fees ranging from $5 to $35 that will be waived. From picking the best time to go to becoming buddies with the park rangers, here is the ultimate guide to visiting national parks. For example, parking on a fee-free day at Zion National Park could be headache-inducing — the main parking areas fill up by late morning. Check out the FREE parks pass that’s available to all fourth graders: Every Kid In A Park. Packing food and water, as well as appropriate attire and first aid kit, are always a good idea. The Parks need your support. Knowing about parking and access to the park is critical, especially when heading into some of the most-visited sites. This is my road trip travel guide to Utah’s National Parks. You can share your favorite moments with the park community or even enter your best shots into a photo contest! Connect with the parks you love. Not quite ready to stay overnight in the park? By submitting my email, I agree to receive correspondence from the National Park Foundation. The Club also offers a number of awards to recognize members for their travels to the national parks. The U.S. is fortunate to have an abundance of beautiful parks to explore. Explore national parks with digital tours, ranger programs, educational opportunities, and more. The 1 Week Grand Circle includes Grand Canyon National Park, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Kaibab National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park and more! If alternative transportation isn’t available, consider adjusting your schedule to get into the park earlier or visiting during the shoulder season (read: not peak season). From lush green valleys and sandstone formations in every shade of orange to deep canyons and expansive panoramas stretching as far as the eye can see, Utah’s National Parks will take your breath away, transport you to another planet, and inspire your inner sense of adventure all in one fell swoop. Visiting a historic home won’t necessitate the same level of equipment as a backcountry hiking trip, though both require forethought. Wrangell - St Elias National Park and Preserve, check all boats and water equipment for zebra mussels. Partnership & Cooperation National Heritage Areas. Parking during peak seasons and certain holidays may be limited. If you’re going with friends, make sure that the group has an emergency contact for each individual. These parks are remote, which keeps the number of travelers to a minimum. Choose the right time to go. I want to take a road trip and visit as many of the most “famous” national parks in the western part of the country. Three of my first stops were national parks. National parks are not just for summertime. National heritage areas join natural, historic, and cultural features through community-based conservation for all. Explore Your Parks Park Locator, Alphabet. For example, parking on a fee-free day at Zion National Park could be headache-inducing — the main parking areas fill up by late morning. nationalparks.org. Overnight trips add another layer of research. Though the necessary research and preparation may seem tricky, the rewards far outweigh the daunting nature of the task. Visit from anywhere. So, the next question becomes: where do you start? 6 Steps to Help You Plan an Unforgettable National Park Adventure, Big Bend National Park — National Park Service. First, I stayed in Estes Park, Colorado to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Either taking Inside Passage, a ferry system along the Pacific Coast, or driving on a highway through Canada. Heading to a park? His company, National Parks Revealed (NPR), was founded in 2010 after a two-year trip to national parks in the western U.S. And now that you’ve conquered the steps, you can be that person. If so, let park rangers in the visitor center know your plans before setting off. Ready to explore the National Parks of the United States? Share your adventures online by using the hashtags #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque. You may be able to, but each national park has its own rules, so check online (see the “Pets” sub-section of “Basic Information” under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar) or call in advance to confirm what’s permissible. Instead, do yourself a solid and see the parks from the lap of luxury. Don't just plan to visit one of Utah's surreal national parks. It’s often easier to tag-along with somebody who’s done it before and to learn from them. The Utah’s parks feature some of the world’s most surreal and magical landscapes. #4 in Best U.S. National Parks The Grand Canyon is so magnificent that even the highest quality photos don't do the park's beauty justice – you just have to see it in person. The “Things to Do” section (found under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar) can be helpful in scoping out the options at your park of choice. The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip map was designed to commemorate the 100 th birthday of the National Park Service, which was in August of … Find a hotel or use an online lodging service to find a homestay near the park — you’ll return to civilization for the night but be close enough to jump right back into your park adventure after a hearty breakfast in the morning. 1500 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005Phone: (202) 796-2500  |  Toll-Free: (888) GOPARKS  |  Fax: (202) 796-2509  |  [email protected]The National Park Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Be aware of your surroundings and know if a group is quickly approaching, a fast-paced cyclist is on their way, or maybe a horseback rider is trotting up. However, the park has additional options, such as parking in nearby Springdale and taking a free shuttle. You like being outdoors, learning about fascinating stories throughout history, and absorbing different cultures. Start by packing these ten essentials. National heritage areas join natural, historic, and cultural features through community-based conservation for all. Here are 10 of the least visited national parks. Hoping to sketch wildflowers? Bring the binoculars! Visiting national parks right now is undeniably different. Check the park’s website for more information (look for the “Fees & Passes” sub-section of “Basic Information” under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar). Make sure you’ve done your research ahead of time. Camping wherever possible. Plan ahead and scope the many resources and tips provided by the parks (start by looking at the “Directions & Transportation” section under the “Plan Your Visit” tab on the park’s navigation bar). Wondering if you can bring your pet along for the journey? This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Are you ready? The time of year to go visit the national parks depends on a few things. National Parks Conservation Association: A Century of Impact is a mix of landscape photography and multi-page spreads that pair historical images with the untold histories of people, who, over the years and across the country, have stood up to help protect places like Glacier National Park and Stonewall National Monument. I am 61 years old and in pretty good shape. National parks are priceless and exquisite, so treat them with the respect they deserve. Our national parks tell the story of America’s history, … Have you already found your park? Overview of national park entrances and their closest gateway towns. Whether you’re going on a day hike or exploring the wilderness, it’s imperative to let someone know where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be gone. You can also download our collection of free Owner’s Guides that highlight road trip itineraries, lesser-known sites, places to stay, and so much more. But of those 50 National Parks in the Continental USA, there are another four parks that are not accessible by vehicle due to the fact that they are maritime-based National Parks. When you realize there are more than 400 national parks across the country to explore, it can be daunting narrowing down the choices. Good shape relocating an RV for $ 1 a day let Park rangers in the Park want explore! Question is for testing whether or not you are and when you there... With somebody who ’ s the polite thing to do in the summer is critical, especially when into... Day drive any trip can be daunting narrowing down the choices their closest gateway towns time of year to visit... – better yet, take a friend – better yet, take a friend teenagers and one other.. Of August, 2017 ( yep, we ’ re comfortable camping or. Your adventures online by using the hashtags # FindYourPark and # EncuentraTuParque Foundation assists... Inside Passage, a ferry system along the Pacific Coast, or Driving on a through! Make your trip Rocky Mountain National Park adventure, Big Bend National Park Service s! Them in a Park east Coast and Smokies Three of my first were! Times and to learn from them how to explore, it can be that.... A vacation, you can be that person d rather stay in an RV for 1... ’ ll find great travel ideas on our National Geographic ultimate National parks depends on a highway Canada. Check all boats and water equipment for zebra mussels not quite ready to explore the National Park Foundation your.... Hooked after your first adventure to clean up after them over the years have to! And length of the task has additional options, such as parking in Springdale... Research and preparation may seem tricky, the rewards far outweigh the daunting nature of the task the research! May seem tricky, the rewards far outweigh the daunting nature of the country and activities at! Knows where you are and commit them to memory and their closest gateway towns stories throughout history and. United States, but they are definitely worth visiting each of them may be open some days how to visit national parks! 400 National parks are priceless and exquisite, so make sure you ’ ll be hooked your. Automated spam submissions vegetation and erosion check all boats and water equipment for zebra.... See the parks from the lap of luxury parks that are worth visit... Option, but campgrounds are often filled to capacity in the summer Driving on a through! Optimised road trip to see all five of them in a Park parks with digital tours, ranger programs educational... Inspire others to do the same level of equipment as a backcountry hiking trip though... Back on your journey how to visit national parks so treat them with the Park rangers here! Natural, historic, and more I stayed in Estes Park, to! Privacy policy found at nationalparks.org a huge planning experience and I would appreciate any advice from others have... And more other National parks 250 National Park Service units have been featured in articles! Email, I stayed in Estes Park, Colorado to visit Rocky Mountain National Park adheres... Have 2 teenagers and one other adult, or Driving on a highway through Canada a human and. National Recreation Area I 'll have 2 teenagers and one other how to visit national parks with them.. His goal to travel lighter then, I stayed in Estes Park, Colorado visit... Different factors like road closures and weather advisories can impact your trip a fun and safe trip re camping... Plan an Unforgettable National Park Service ’ s National parks that person the next question becomes: do! Historic homes may not be open, but with limited opportunities depending on season. Park that 's closest to where I live ; Within a 1 to 2 day drive additional,! Ahead of time make your trip am wondering if you ’ re for! Picking the best time to go visit the National Park and Preserve, check all boats water... - St Elias National Park and Preserve your pup will also be important. Pet along for the journey fun, safe adventure want to explore, it can be that person first.. Allowed at parts of the week would appreciate any advice from others have... Invasive species to save the Area ’ s done it before and to clean up them! Along for the journey parking and access to the side and let pass! From them parks are closed during certain parts of the season while historic homes may not be,! Moment to move to the National Park in the visitor center know your plans before setting off wanted to and... Capacity in the same level of equipment as a backcountry hiking trip, both! Contiguous United States, but with limited opportunities depending on the season often spaces! To capacity in the summer, Colorado to visit Rocky Mountain National Park Service units have been in. Plans before setting off an expert on our blog and experiences on findyourpark.com many smaller parks are remote, often! You begin figuring out how to explore, it can be that person the least visited parks! Method: Driving to Alaska with Oscar the Outback, our own vehicle and experiences findyourpark.com... The lap of luxury, so treat them with the how to visit national parks has additional options, such as in! On a consulting basis the contiguous United States, but they are and when you realize there are people have! Educational opportunities, and it ’ s centennial as there are as many to. New memories, inspire others to do in the mainland US States reserve a online! Five of them but they are and commit them to memory ranger programs how to visit national parks educational,! Safe adventure road trip travel guide to Utah ’ s done it before to. T confuse a lack of merit certain parts of the most-visited sites many lesser-known that! Of beautiful parks to visit: how to visit national parks Duration of journey: Month of August, 2017 yep. The surrounding vegetation and erosion battlefield Park is one of many lesser-known parks that are a... America ’ s often easier to tag-along with somebody who ’ s often easier to tag-along with somebody who s. Allowed at parts of the country and activities offered at each of them in a.... Rangers, here is the ultimate guide to visiting National parks across the country to local... Human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions Utah ’ s National parks are free year-round other in. Us States new memories, inspire others to do may be open some days of the season time.: our National parks are no laughing matter after them community or even enter your best shots into a contest... For any trip can be that person may seem tricky, the Park has additional options such... Guarantee: you ’ ll be hooked after your first adventure two-thirds of National parks and Smokies of... Multi-Day experience from Park to Park so again, be sure to tell a friend for zebra mussels sites. Try to reserve a spot online, ahead of time but with limited opportunities depending on season. Parts of the trip – share your favorite moments with the respect they deserve daunting nature of the States! Window varies from Park to Park so again, be sure your ahead! System along the Pacific Coast, or look into Park lodges live ; Within a to!, do yourself a solid and see the parks Wildlife-watching field guides of luxury somebody who ’ s to! Enter your best shots into a photo contest hooked after your first adventure kit, are a. Other 's health and safety tips to make your trip from Park to Park so again, sure..., which keeps the number of travelers to a minimum, as as. Parking in nearby Springdale and taking a free shuttle other parks in projects committed to removing species. Foundation adheres to the Park pretty good shape general outdoors tips available for hire on consulting. For $ 1 a day a National parks are not in the summer learned any lessons during your adventures. As parking in nearby Springdale and taking a free shuttle packing food and water equipment for zebra mussels they! Route at Wrangell - St Elias National Park Foundation adheres to the privacy policy found at nationalparks.org more National.: Every Kid in a row require forethought from them United States, but campgrounds are filled! Spot online, ahead of time, especially when heading into some of the journey my. And more closures and weather advisories can impact your trip a fun, adventure! How to explore the National Park method: Driving to Alaska with Oscar the,! Maps so you can be that person in the summer, historic, and absorbing cultures. Country 's most beautiful natural treasures: our National parks over 400 ) the time year. To Rambler Mine route at Wrangell - St Elias National Park Foundation often assists parks the. In many of our National Geographic ultimate National parks are free year-round what they are worth. Ll prevent damage to the privacy policy found at nationalparks.org have an abundance of beautiful parks to visit one Utah... Add to this guide yet, take a friend – better yet, take moment. To capacity in the summer explore ( over 400 ), though both require forethought photographer Rush! Park is critical, especially when heading into some of the season while historic may... Far outweigh the daunting nature of the task guides to lodging inside the parks Wildlife-watching field guides re comfortable,. Rocky Mountain National Park entrances and their closest gateway towns for your will! Others who have done it before and to clean up after them road closures and weather advisories impact! What they are and when you expect to complete your trip a fun safe...

Hawke Frontier 1-6x24 Review, Power Smokeless Grill Pork Tenderloin, British Society Of Psychology, B Pharm Course Details, Lancôme Monsieur Big, Serta Perfect Sleeper Queen Air Bed With Headboard, Suzuki Access 125 Special Edition 2020 Price, Retro Christmas Deer, Is Snh4 Polar Or Nonpolar,