With summer right around the corner, it’s about time to start planning those summer trips! If you’re heading out on a road trip, visiting a National Park is a sure fire way to have a great time. Whether you’re visiting for just a day or going full-on camping, here are a couple of parks and momunments from around the nation that you should DEFINITELY visit:
If you’ve never been, make it a point to go! There’s a reason this park tops many people’s bucket lists. With the South Rim open year round with guided tours and easy hikes, the Grand Canyon is a truly breathtaking place to visit. One especially great event that happens every summer is the Star Party where rangers will teach visitors about astronomy. Since the Grand Canyon has such little light pollution, it’s easy to see planets on clear nights, such as Jupiter and Saturn.
A desert named after the trees that thrive in the open grasslands of this area, Joshua Tree National Park is a great place for those who love desert views. With great views of the entire Coachella valley from Keys View, to the famous Skull Rock, Joshua Tree is an astounding place to get away. If you’re looking for easier hikes, Cottonwood Springs is a great place to start. Don’t forget plenty of water! Joshua Tree can get really hot during the day, so pack your HYDAWAY so you can stay hydrated.
Big Bend has everything for everyone. With access to desert hikes, mountain hikes and river trails, Big Bend is a great place to check out. The park encompasses a total of 1,100 square miles and has almost 150 miles of trails to hike, so spending a couple of days to camp out would be a great idea. Since Big Bend encompasses so much area, there’s a large amount of biodiversity. Great for birdwatchers, backpackers, or even just a leisurely stroll by the river, Big Bend is the place to go.
While not your traditional national park, the Hot Springs offers visitors a chance to try out nature’s natural spa. Take a chance to have a hike around the park’s scenic mountain, or if you’re really feeling like you need to unwind, take a dip at the Buckstaff Bathhouse, or check out the natural hot springs by bathhouse row. If you wanna bring some of the spring water home with you, you can! Just bring a bottle or a jug to transport it after your visit.
Badlands National Park is home to one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Fossil evidence from ancestors of rhinos, horses and saber-toothed cats were found in this area. The area is an expansive prairie and it’s not uncommon to find natural animals, such as bison and bighorn sheep, roaming around the area. In addition to the traditional hiking and camping, you can visit the fossil prep lab to learn about the discoveries being made around the park.
This forested area is an impressive place for the avid hiker. With almost 400 miles of trail total from easy hikes to huge leg-burners, the North Cascades is a great place to visit. Keep in mind though, the higher elevated areas are known to remain snow-covered well into the summer, so check with the local ranger station for conditions before heading out.
Hidden underneath the surface of the Chihuahuan Desert lies more than 119 caves left behind from ancient sea ledges. The natural area was formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone, leaving behind what is now known as the Carlsbad Caverns. In between May and October, you can check out nightly bat feedings when the natural habitats of the caves leave to feed every night or check out a couple of the desert trails around the area. Keep in mind, if you’re traveling to view the caves, keep a sweater handy because it can get cold in the caves. This place is a great way to learn about natural mineral deposits and is an awesome experience for the whole family.
Crater lake is famous for its clarity and impressive views of the sunrise and sunsets. Created from old volcanic activity thousands of years ago, the lake has maintained its pristine clarity due to the residual volcanic activity and clear snowfall. If you’re willing to wake up early for picturesque sunrises, Discovery Point is a perfect place to start the day. With areas around the lake that are designated vehicle-free zones, it’s a perfect area to ride a bike or take a hike.
Preserving and visiting our national parks is something that we care deeply about here at HYDAWAY. And if you manage to visit any of these locations, snap a pic with your bottle and share it with us by using the #HYDAWAY hashtag.
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