Everything You Need to Know When You Vacation in a National Park

Photo credit: Thomas James Caldwell The Light Strikes via photopin (license)

For anyone looking for adventure, there is no better place to look than America. The continent is wildly diverse and each of their national parks is an absolute wonder to behold. From white desert sands to canyons that look like the backdrop to an alien world, there is something to excite and amaze for the whole family. Visiting, however, needs to be done with care. You need to ensure you have everything ready to get into the United States, then you need to have a means to get to the park itself, and finally you need to follow this guide so that you can ensure that you have a great time:

What Type of Adventure You Want

Some might want to have a cabin escape in a wildland to focus on their art. Others might want to get into the thick of it and hike or enjoy another adventure sport. Perhaps you want to go on a specifically designed retreat – point is, you need to know what type of adventure you want so that you can choose the right destination for you.

What Accommodation You Are Looking For

There are a variety of different accommodation options regardless of whether you want to visit a city or a national park. If, for example, you wanted to visit Bryce Canyon, then you have options between hotels, motels, campsites, and even the opportunity to bring an RV. There are plenty of options for lodging in Bryce Canyon, but remember to book in advance to secure your spot. National parks are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s best not to risk it.

When You Want to Go

Summer is high season for tourists, and in some national parks it can also be unbearably hot. If you don’t mind hiking or adventuring in colder weather, you can save both money and enjoy a more peaceful trip if you visit during the winter. Just remember to check the government website to see whether or not the park closes. In some places you might not be able to camp, for example, or some trails might be closed.

What You Need

As you are travelling to America you will need a few things including:

Visa to The United States of America

This visa is really easy to acquire, and in many ways isn’t so much a visa as it a pre-check for customs. Apply online in advance so you don’t have to face a hassle at boarder control.

A Park Pass on the Day

There are park fees to enter. These fees go towards the conservation of the park, including roads and other public services. You can get them on the day. In Bryce Canyon National Park, for example, they will cost $35 per vehicle and will be valid for 7 days. As a bonus you are allowed unlimited use of their shuttle service, so you can save money on petrol.

Your trip should not hurt or take away from the beauty of the national park you visit. Try to be respectful, and if you can leave the park a little better than when you found it. If we all were more conscious of our impact we can preserve the great beauty of these national parks for generations to come.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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