Road trips: Make the most of a national park visit

National parks offer an affordable and enriching experience for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Visiting these parks can be optimized by timing the visit correctly, considering in-park lodging, identifying what activities are of interest, utilizing park rangers, trying camping, using online resources, and following the rules.

Timing a visit is crucial as some parks operate on different schedules, and the number of visitors can significantly impact the experience. For a quieter, more reflective visit, it may be best to plan a trip during a less busy time of year.

In-park lodging, such as national park lodges, can help maximize time spent in the park and minimize travel time. Waking up to awe-inspiring views is an added bonus.

Identifying specific activities or goals before visiting is essential, as national parks are vast and it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. Picking one main activity or sight to focus on will ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Park rangers are valuable resources, as they have intimate knowledge of the park and can provide insider information to guide your trip. Visiting the ranger station should be a priority upon arrival.

Camping overnight can provide a unique experience, allowing visitors to disconnect from indoor spaces and sleep under the stars. It’s important to leave no trace and be mindful of campfires, ensuring they are completely extinguished before moving on.

The National Park Service (NPS) provides various online resources, such as Find A Park and online park maps, which can help in planning and navigating your visit.

Lastly, it’s essential to follow the rules and regulations to ensure the safety of both animals and visitors. Feeding or approaching wild animals can cause them to lose their natural fear of people, which can be dangerous for both parties. By adhering to the rules, national parks can be enjoyed for generations to come.

In 2022, Parks Canada reported that a fox and her kit were struck and killed by vehicles in Gros Morne National Park due to their habit of being fed by humans. Similar incidents occur each year, underscoring the importance of following the rules to preserve these natural wonders.

.st1{display:none}See more