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National Park Trips

nationalparktrips
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Intro
Joined in Oct 2018
As experts in national park travel, we inspire people to plan their dream vacations in the parks and on the roads to them.
Winter phenomenon of rime ice in the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone. PC: NPS/Neal Herbert
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Crater Lake National Park Trivia: The lake is the deepest in the U.S. and there are no streams flowing in or out of it. Snow covers the park for eight months out of the year, from October through June, but the lake typically doesn’t freeze over. The last time Crater Lake totally froze over was 1949. A 30-foot hemlock tree has been floating upright in the lake for over 100 years, showing its top 4 feet. It’s nicknamed the Old Man of the Lake. PC: Xiaoying Shi
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Candlestick Tower in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Photo by Joseph Lange.
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In Yellowstone, male bison often butt heads during mating season (June to September) to get attention from females, but this behavior also happens playfully year-round. Don't worry... they have a very thick skull.
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Hiking to the top of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park is a bucket-list adventure, not for the average tourist. The trek requires that you are in top physical condition, acclimated to the high elevation and have the right clothing, footwear and pack. Nevertheless, the 14,000 ft peak can be appreciated from almost every corner of the park like this view from a hiking trail. PC: Bryce Bradford
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On the National Register of Historic Places and the oldest structure in Yosemite Valley, the Yosemite Chapel was built in 1879. Relocated near the trailhead of Four Mile Trail, it is an interdenominational facility that seats about 250 people and has become a popular wedding destination. PC: George Ray West
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Mitch Warnick took this beautiful photo just before dawn in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The Colorado national park has wonderful scenic drives where overlooks like this one of Painted Wall are just a short walk from the road. Learn more about this national park at https://www.mycoloradoparks.com/national-parks/bcotgnp
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Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is the most beautiful in winter. Bring microspikes or trail crampons for your hiking boots. PC: Christine Kenyon. View our winter photo gallery at https://www.myutahparks.com/photos/bryce-canyon-winter-photo-gallery
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Those seeking a peaceful vacation home base at North Cascades National Park can ride the Lady of the Lake boat to the historic and unique town of Stehekin. The town's name is aptly based on a Salishan word meaning "the way through" and you can only reach it by foot, boat, or plane. Stehekin offers vistors an escape from the hustle of the modern day world. Nestled at the headwaters of Lake Chelan, the third deepest lake in America, the Stehekin community lives life a little slower. PC: NPS/Deby D
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It's the most interesting national park you've never heard of - Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. Visit the park's most popular hydrothermal area, Bumpass Hell, and Cold Boiling Lake where bubbles rise like soda water. Check out closures of seasonal roads at https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm before you take a long road trip to this remote park.
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Dreaming of canoeing through a cypress swamp forest? Congaree National Park in South Carolina has a marked canoe trail on Cedar Creek. Bring your own canoe or rent one in nearby Columbia. Only have one car? Put in at Cedar Creek Landing then explore either upstream or downstream to Dawson's Lake. It's calm waters here so you can easily head back to where you came. www.nps.gov/cong/
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Early morning and the golden hour before sunset are optimal times to venture out in Death Valley National Park. This photo by Michal Janek taken at Zabriskie Point is a short distance from the parking lot and overlook, proving that it doesn't take a long hike to experience the park.
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Take a river trip down the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. The river takes you past miles of canyon walls up to 1,500-ft high. Over the course of your trip, you may cross the international boundary several times, but don't worry. Border incidents with park visitors are extremely rare. Santa Elena Canyon, pictured, is the most popular overnight spot on multiday trips because of its dramatic beauty. PC: Mick Haupt
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This magnificent sandstone hoodoo is called Thor's Hammer and is possibly the most famous hoodoo in the world. See it in Bryce Canyon National Park. PC: Drew Hays https://www.myutahparks.com/parks/bryce-canyon-national-park
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Matt George took this photo of the Milky Way over Suntop Fire Lookout just outside Mt. Rainier National Park. Can you see the Andromeda galaxy 2 o’clock off the lookout?
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Is this south central Colorado or the Sahara? It’s not always easy to tell at this unique park where the continent’s tallest sand dunes join Colorado's rugged Sangre de Cristo mountains at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Wander, sled or sand-ski among the dunes, or, even better, backpack out to camp in the sand. Bonus: Dogs are welcome. PC: Lionello Delpiccolo
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Get a different perspective of Glacier National Park by taking a boat tour. On the east side of the park, board Chief Two Guns near Many Glacier Hotel to cruise on Swiftcurrent Lake. Then disembark to walk a quarter mile to Lake Josephine and cruise on Morning Eagle. Choose from three experiences: Do a round trip boat tour, cruise to the trailhead for a hike to Grinnel Lake (easy) or Grinnell Glacier (strenuous) and return by boat, or cruise one-way and walk back along the lakes to the hotel.
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Dry Tortugas National Park, on seven islands near Key West, Florida, is home to historic Fort Jefferson and a natural "ship trap" created by reefs. There have been hundreds of shipwrecks here including Spanish explorer vessels and some remain for you to explore. How do you get to this remote island national park? You can sail your own boat or take a charter boat, ferry or seaplane from Key West. Pictured is Loggerhead Key named for loggerhead sea turtles. PC: Bryan Goff
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In Shenandoah National Park, Dark Hollow Falls is the shortest trail (1.4 mile round trip) down to a waterfall. But watch out. It's a steep one with 440 feet in elevation change down to the falls and remember that you have to hike back up. Look for the trailhead parking lot between milepost 50 and 51 on Skyline Drive. PC: NPS Public Domain
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