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5 Insider Tips and Tricks for Visiting National Parks and Outdoor Landmarks This Summer
ExploreBetter.com is sharing tips to help set visitors up for a great experience at the national parks. The travel planning tips are culled from the experience of ExploreBetter.com’s publisher, Delaware North, a longtime national park concessionaire and partner in the stewardship of many of the country’s cherished outdoor destinations. According to the ExploreBetter.com editors, the top tips for better outdoor and National Park experiences include:
Plan Your Route— With many National Parks, such as Yosemite, implementing new reservation systems, it’s essential for visitors to do their research before just showing up. A helpful resource is the National Parks “Plan Your Vacation Like A Park Ranger” program. When individual reservations are full, visitors should consider guided tours for access to the parks.
Time it Right— It’s no surprise that visitors who arrive early often reap the benefits of more available parking and fewer crowds. The same goes for visitors who choose to explore on a weekday instead of a weekend. According to Grinsfelder, future visitors should also consider visiting more popular parks in the off-season, when parks are quieter and often equally stunning. And, with international visitation significantly down due to the pandemic, places like the Grand Canyon are anticipated to be less crowded in the coming months, creating an opportunity for U.S. travelers now.
Spend the Night— National Parks and outdoor destinations are often best appreciated when visitors can slow down and immerse themselves in the experience. “You don’t have to camp to be part of the outdoor experience,” says Grinsfelder. “The Explorer Cabins in Yosemite and Yellowstone are great for families, provide plenty of privacy and have front door access to the forest and natural world.”
Explore Less Visited Parks— While Yellowstone, Yosemite and Niagara are phenomenal, there are hundreds of lesser-known parks with spectacular scenery, recreation and wildlife. For instance, Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest has a breathtaking setting that includes a temperate rainforest, tide pools and a hot spring. Another ExploreBetter.com recommendation is Estes Park, which is located at a popular entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and offers hikes, waterfalls, boating and much more.
Be Ready to Unplug— Given their remote locations and attractions, visitors should not expect cell phone service. This can be a nice break from text alerts and robocalls. However, it means a little advance planning may be necessary. For instance, the National Park Service launched a mobile app in April which can be downloaded before arrival and used without cellular or Wi-Fi access for self-guided tours, trail maps and travelogues for over 400 National Parks. Most lodges in the National Parks offer Wi-Fi access, so visitors can stop in if their desperate to share photos from their explorations.
For more tips, tricks and insider information, travelers can visit www.ExploreBetter.com.