When you think about your list of perfect destinations, are you considering traveling domestically this year? If this sounds like you, then it’s time to refresh your travel bucket list and think about what places you want to visit.
Given that city escapes are a little too overpopulated right now (and most of us have been stuck in a city metropolis for what feels like too long), then expansive and outdoorsy sounds exactly right this year. A visit to a National Park is certainly going to be high on the list of easy decisions for travel.
Here are four National Parks that shouldn’t escape your attention if you’ve never been to them before (or are up for a follow-up visit now).
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is simply perfect if you’re looking for impressive landscapes, wildlife, and interesting trails to explore.
There are alpine overlooks to get the best views, trails that lead to lake destinations, and plenty of waterfalls to see. Anyone who loves forested areas will also particularly enjoy a visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The park is just one of the featured places from the National Park Foundation that focuses on protecting the natural beauty of these national parks for centuries to come. Their guide to Rocky Mountain notes that this is the perfect place to camp, as they have 5 established campgrounds to choose from. Just make sure you book early as it fills up fast!
Biscayne National Park
When you want tropical heat and lush surroundings, it’s difficult to find somewhere better for it than Florida.
While the trails are minimal because of the landscape, this National Park is best explored by boat or using boat tour facilities to get around. Still, you can try your hand at one of the five hiking or walking trails in the park, but once you’ve done this, it’s sensible to get on the water for the best experience.
The trail that starts at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center is perhaps the easiest to walk because the walkway is paved along the coastline. It’s not much more than half a mile, so most reasonably fit people can make it, despite the warm Florida weather.
Whether you take a trip on the water or walk for a bit, we’d recommend wearing sun sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the Florida heat.
Zion National Park
The Zion National Park features epic landscapes dating back centuries.
The park is situated between the Mojave Desert, a Plateau, and the Great Basin. This provides for an incredible ecosystem with canyons, arches, monoliths, rivers, and mountains.
There’s plenty of hiking in nature here. Also, horse ranches are scattered about if you fancy getting on horseback and covering some distance that way.
It’s worth noting that some of the hiking lasts for several hours duration and will require a good degree of fitness. For instance, the Angels Landing hike covers considerable undulating ground over 4 hours. There are also some lifts in elevation along the way, which can cause shortness of breath for unfit people or those with asthma.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
To escape some of the midday sun in the summertime, another national park worth looking at is the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.
The Carlsbad Caverns has become a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique structure. The interior gets down to 56 degrees at times, which is a lovely respite from the outdoor summer heat. The caves are great for kids to explore and for parents to get the “Indiana Jones” feeling of exploration and adventure.
There are plenty of National Parks to visit and get away from it all. And even when those are all ticked off your bucket list, there are recommended State Parks that are interesting in their own right.