Over the years, I had the good fortune to visit some cool places. I’ve talked before about my travels, but one aspect I haven’t gone into is the idea of visiting national parks. Now is the time, since there are apparently opportunities to visit national parks for free!
Per the National Park Service site, there were a series of free entrance days scheduled at a large variety of parks throughout the country. You may want to visit the site for specifics, but there are 3 time periods left in 2013 as of this writing:
- August 25
- September 28
- November 9-11
Of course, I have to admit that the word “free” has a way of piquing the interest of people like me. However, I think that’s really icing on the cake when it comes to many of these parks. The majestic beauty and scenic wonders of some of these parks can be remarkable. Equally remarkable is the value that comes from a visit to many of these. For example, entrance to Yosemite is listed at $20 per car. Not bad, even if free would naturally be better!
This gets me thinking about a few of the parks that I’ve visited in the past. There has been 2 aspects of those visits that made them so worthwhile. One is the amazing scenic outdoor experiences to which I alluded earlier, and the other is the memories that were made visiting with the people who accompanied me on these trips. It’s most memorable with family.
The parks I especially enjoyed were:
- Grand Canyon (Arizona)
- Zion (Utah)
- Olympic (Washington)
- Yosemite (California)
- Rocky Mountain (Colorado)
The Grand Canyon was amazing in terms of how expansive it was and how deep it was. Zion is an underrated park just hours from Las Vegas, and a totally different world with mountains, canyons, and other wonders. Olympic has a temperate rain forest that’s incredibly dense, and you can walk through it then all of a sudden find yourself seeing sunlight and the ocean shore in front of you. Yosemite is famous for a variety of attractions, while Rocky Mountain has beautiful mountains, lakes, and wildlife.
Which parks would I like to see? Here are a few that come to mind:
- Yellowstone (Wyoming)
- Glacier (Montana)
- Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico)
- Redwood (California)
- Acadia (Maine)
Of these, Yellowstone is probably the one that I’d most like to see. I recall being fascinated, as a kid, by reading about the park’s geysers, waterfalls, and other wonders.
To me, national parks evoke fun memories, especially of being a kid. Getting older, having much more of an appreciation of nature, I think these make great vacation destinations, particularly for families or those who are inclined to the outdoors. It’s even better when free!
My Questions for You
Have you visited any national parks?
If so, which ones did you like and why? Any specific recommendations?
Are there any parks that you would like to visit someday?