National Parks are truly something else. They offer something unique that honestly cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, whether it’s the red rock in the canyons, the pristine white sands, stunning mountains, or even giant, ancient trees. There are so many options when it comes to unbelievably beautiful National Parks in the United States, and each and every one of them deserves to be done properly.
To help you plan for your first camping trip to a National Park (and to avoid disappointment) follow these easy steps:
Decide Where You Want to Go
There are so many great national parks to choose from, and many are very close to each other, making them a great choice for a road trip. Regardless of whether you are looking to camp in just one national park, or spend some time in many of them, you will want to decide which ones you want to see in advance. This is because planning a spontaneous camping trip to these areas often doesn’t go well – they are very popular!
When to Visit
For great weather in most of the parks, you will want to visit between May and September. All of the canyons, mountains, and national forests, for example, are great to explore during this season.
If you plan on exploring parks like Yosemite, then yes, you will have beautiful things to see year-round, but it is important to note that snow does lead to road closures throughout the year. For uncontested travel, the summer months are your best bet.
Choosing Your Accommodation
Camping might seem like the most obvious option, as many sites allow you to book on the day, but if you go during high season, you are more likely to see no-vacancy signs (even for the campgrounds) than anywhere else. That is why you need to look and book in advance. If you intend to go to Bryce Canyon during the summer, then book a slot on Bryce Canyon Campgrounds as soon as you intend to go to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.
Wherever you go, one of the main goals you will likely have in a national park is to go on a hike. Therefore, it is important that you have appropriate gear with you. From hiking shoes or boots to the right clothing and equipment, having this can make all the difference between a great stroll through a park and twisting your ankle.
Tip: You will likely experience cold and extreme heat all in one day, either due to the weather or because you’ll be exerting yourself. Choose clothes for hiking that are breathable and comfortable to enjoy your trip to its fullest.
Every national park is worth exploring to its fullest, so try to aim to spend a good chunk of time (three days minimum) enjoying the national park and exploring all that it has to offer. If you can, make it a tradition and try to see all the stunning National Parks in the country.