Are you planning a National Park vacation? You would never regret it. You would simply be awestruck by the boundless beauty of nature all around you. The pristine forests would be intriguing, thanks to the diverse species of flora and fauna. You would be mesmerized by the incredible combination of the rugged wilderness, natural beauty, abundant wildlife and majestic peaks.
National Parks in the United States of America get a footfall of around 275 million people every year. From the magnificent panoramas of the Grand Canyon to the picturesque peaks of Glacier National Park, all national parks are supposed to be hot favorite tourist destinations. Every year innumerable families, travelers, outdoor adventurers visit these National Parks in search of tranquility, peace of mind, unadulterated natural beauty, and complete relaxation. Here are some useful tips for making your visit to a national Park a truly enjoyable and a memorable one.
When to Visit the National Park of Your Choice
You must remember that national parks are hot favorite summer time vacation destination, when kids are enjoying the summer break and both the scenery and the weather are simply at their very best. Hotels, lodges, campgrounds are all full during the peak season and also, the main roads that run through the national parks are usually clogged with RVs and cars. It could be more enjoyable if you plan a trip in spring or fall. During this time, most national parks would surely be less crowded.
However, if you are keen to visit in summer, you definitely could plan a trip. Crowds have a tendency toward clustering around popular scenic overlooks and major tourist attractions. Try to avoid these and go on exploring the less discovered backcountry roads and hiking trails. In an extensive national park, there is every chance of you finding your own lush green patch of immense natural beauty far from the ever so madding crowd. You could visit the tourist hot spots early in the morning or maybe just before sunset if you wish to beat the incredible midday rush.
How to Plan Your Trip?
The first step in planning your National Park vacation is to browse through the Internet, visit the official websites of the parks Canada (for national parks situated north of the Canadian border) or National Park Service (for all US parks). Both these websites are known for providing updated and unbiased information regarding the parks within their jurisdiction. These sites provide comprehensive trail reports, maps, road closure information, activity listings, operating hours, fee information etc.
Most of these famous national parks provide a plethora of lodging options both outside and within the premises of the national park. Lodging options range from upscale hotels, budget motels, rustic cabins and the basic campgrounds. Camping is obviously, the cheapest of all lodging options, but you must never forget that campgrounds are almost never free during the peak tourist season as they fill up incredibly fast. You could reserve a campsite well in advance if your chosen national park offers you the reservation facility ahead of time. You could visit PC Camping (for Canadian Parks exclusively) and recreation.gov (for parks in the USA). You could contact reputed tour operators for more details.
Always do the reservations well in advance. Budget tourists could consider staying in modest cabins located within the national park area. They could book a room in family-friendly motels situated usually just outside the park's main entrance. Those who are ready to pay more could make reservations in lovely lodges with enchanting scenic views. Always make it a point to see if all the amenities you are looking for are there.
National Park Passes
In case you are seriously planning to visit several national parks in the coming year, you could consider buying a park pass from The National Park Service that provides you with the annual pass called America the Beautiful.