Greetings travel lovers – how are you all doing? We are on day 12 of my son’s quarantine, and as you know it’s not easy. Speaking of my younger son, he is a true outdoorsman. He worked as an ecotourism guide in Alaska last summer, spent a college winter term in Ecuador/the Galapagos Islands and just before the coronavirus hit, he was in Mexico doing coral reef restoration. If you have kids with similar interests, I’m happy to share resources.
One of his favorite places is Montana’s Glacier National Park. A few summers ago, he got to know the area by doing conservation work through Trout Unlimited (a national non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of freshwater streams, rivers, and associated upland habitats for trout, salmon, other aquatic species, and people). Glacier National Park and all of our US National Parks are magnets for tourism, understandably so with their incredible beauty and nature.
Right now, we can only experience our US National Parks virtually but after social distancing and being homebound for a very long time, the great outdoors will beckon to many of us. Let’s take a look at a few of our national parks and tips for visiting them when that’s possible in the future…
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
It’s possible to fit both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks into one week in Wyoming. You will experience the majesty of the wild west by kayaking, biking, rafting and hiking through spectacular valleys and beneath towering mountains. Heart-pounding views of soaring geysers and abundant wildlife, like bison, make this national park trip unforgettable. The 42-mile scenic loop in Grand Teton National Park takes you to the Snake River Outlook, Oxbow Bend, Craig Thomas Visitor Center, and many other amazing stops.
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
The Grand Canyon is a bucket list travel experience for many American families. Treks wind through canyons and cliffsides of desert country and the iconic Arizona landscape. The historic Grand Canyon Railway is a must-ride through the ecosystems of elk, antelope-like pronghorn, and bald eagles. There are many amazing stops you will want to include while in the area, including Sedona and perhaps one of the many incredible resorts for a bit of R&R.
Glacier National Park in Montana
The Rocky Mountains and rushing waters of Flathead River are on view in Glacier National Park. Hike backcountry trails and bike, kayak, raft and fish across the wilderness. Jaw-dropping views of jagged ice fields are reflected in the azure blue waters of Iceberg Lake. Moose, bear, and elk dot the landscape, varieties of trout swim in the waters and over 200 species of birds fill the sky.
National Park Trip Tips
- Visit the National Park Service website. There are many considerations in planning a trip to the National Parks, and this website is chock full of helpful information from what to pack and important safety considerations.
- Plan a year in advance and be prepared for crowds in the summer peak season and school break weeks. Lodging and campsites fill up quickly.
- Get off the beaten path. Every national park has hidden gems that you don’t want to miss!
- Consider a guided tour from a high-quality company to maximize your experience, eliminate the planning headache, transport your gear and avoid the crowds. These experts know what they are doing and will customize the experience to your family. Private and small group trips are available, and we can recommend the right company for you.
- End your trip with a couple of days at a full-service resort that offers a balance of fun activities and some well-deserved R&R.
I hope this brief overview has been helpful and a respite from your daily stresses. When you’re ready to plan, we’re here and excited to guide you!
Hidden Gem Tip: You can visit more national parks through this link (how many have you already visited?): https://artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/parks
Wishing you and your family continued good health,