A trip to one of nation’s many national parks is a rite of passage for many American families. With so many amazing parks to choose from, it can be challenging to pick the best one to meet your personal needs and preferences. Here are three of the best national park experiences to consider as you plan your summer vacation:
Olympic National Park
Located in Washington state in the far corner of the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park is an ideal choice if you are looking to escape the crowds and congestion of many other summer destinations. The relatively secluded spot makes the perfect backdrop for your adventure into the lush rainforests and snow-capped mountains. Roots Rated explains, “Olympic National Park is home to 266 glaciers spread throughout the park. Because of this and its natural climate the region is abundant in water, hence why it’s referred to as a rainforest. High alpine lakes await those adventurous to venture, but lower lakes are just as fascinating, and can be reached easily and are commonly used for kayaking, hiking, and camping.” The park also boasts beaches with magnificent views of the roaring Pacific Ocean. Although the park encompasses three distinct rainforests, most visitors are interested in visiting the famous Hoh Rainforest. The quietness and tranquility of this park make it a little slice of heaven on earth for those who appreciate reveling in the solitude of nature.
Yellowstone National Park
The granddaddy of all of the national parks, Yellowstone is a must-see destination. While most visitors flock to the most popular attractions such as the Old Faithful Geyser or rides through the roaring river rapids, the park also boasts a variety of hidden jewels. Brandin Iron Inn explains, “The Yellowstone Historic Center, located in West Yellowstone, offers a look into the past of the historic downtown area and outlines the adventures of early Yellowstone travelers.” More activities to do in Yellowstone include horseback riding, attending a classic chuckwagon dinner, and hiking the vast network of trails. Wildlife viewing is also top-notch in this premier destination.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The grandiose beauty of the Rocky Mountains is on full display in Colorado’s crown jewel of a park. This gem is nestled right against the quaint town of Estes Park, giving visitors convenient access to a vibrant community just outside the gates of the park. Estes Park’s tourism site explains, “enjoy guided adventure activities like fly fishing, horseback riding, or white water rafting, or explore on your own with a scenic drive over the Continental Divide or down the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. Hike or snowshoe to a spectacular mountain lake, or along a stream to a beautiful waterfall.” The seasonally-operated Trail Ridge Road takes drivers on a stunning drive dubbed as the “highway to the sky.” During the summer months, visitors will enjoy the ample hiking opportunities and the vast fields adorned with wildflowers.
America’s national park system is truly something to be appreciated and admired. With so many options, it is easy to make one of these parks the centerpiece of your next family summer vacation adventure.
Here are a couple travel and vacation articles we think you’ll enjoy!