Looking for an amazing adventure? Consider visiting one of America’s breathtaking national parks!
There are over four hundred of them dotted around the country, each of having completely different landscapes and things to discover. Awesome scenery, wildlife, stunning native plants and loads of things to do.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, then you won’t go far wrong with a visit to one of America’s national parks!
Research The Campsites
Different national parks will have different camping facilities. For example, some will offer RV hookups whereas others will allow tents only.
Some national parks can be very busy during peak times, so you may need to book ahead to secure a spot. Big Bend camping, for example, will be no issue for most of the year when the park is relatively empty- but other times it will be practically impossible to secure a spot.
Many of the other national parks follow suit, although some will be busy all year around. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, attracts more than ten million visitors annually. This is around twice the number of the second most popular park- Grand Canyon National Park.
Don’t just leave it up to chance, particularly if you’re visiting one of the most popular ones.
Many national parks don’t have places for you to buy food or equipment on site, so you will need to be sure to pack everything you need for your visit. Some will offer a more ‘glamping’ experience with camping pods and lodges, whereas others will be simply you and the wilderness. So have a think about the kind of thing you’re after.
Once you’ve decided on the park you want to visit, a thorough read through the camping section on their website should tell you everything you need to know.
Find Out What Activities Are Available
All national parks will have things like hiking opportunities, birdwatching and orienteering. But different parks will also have specific things you can do.
From rock climbing to horseback riding to snorkelling to rafting. Since the weather and scenery is so diverse from park to park, there will be things you can do at some parks but not others. For example in the Great Dunes National Park, you can go sandboarding which is an opportunity unique to this park.
Make sure you know the type of activities on offer as this will allow you to know what to pack.
Sturdy walking boots, clothing to protect you from the elements (which could be sun, rain, wind depending on the park you’re visiting) and food and drink is a given. But if you’re going to be doing things like rafting, swimming, skiing or anything else you will need the right clothing and equipment.
Be Aware of Dangers
Always follow safety advice when you’re visiting a national park. As well as being areas of extreme beauty, they can also be dangerous too. For example, if you’re visiting an avalanche prone park such as Rocky Mountain National Park you might need safety equipment such as a probe and snow shovel. Again the exact dangers will depend on where you are visiting but heed all safety advice.