National parks make amazing destinations for all kinds of outdoor activities including, our favorite, hiking. There have been some beautiful national park photos popping up in our Facebook group - Loving the trip-inspiring shots, ladies!
Are you looking forward to an upcoming national park adventure?
Here are a few planning tips!
Plan Accommodations Ahead of Time
Since national parks make such popular vacation destinations, it’s a good idea to book a campsite or hotel room well in advance of your trip. As soon as you know your dates, book those accommodations! Especially if you want to stay inside the park.
The same advice goes for backcountry camping permits.
Although some campgrounds reserve sites as “first come first serve” or “walk-up”, waiting to find a spot may be a gamble you aren't willing to take. These spaces can fill quickly and you don't want to find yourself without somewhere to stay.
Get a Map in Advance
When you arrive at a national park and show your park pass, you're often handed a helpful park map and newspaper. Instead of fumbling around with a new map and trying to orient yourself upon arrival, purchase a map in advance. The waterproof National Geographic maps run around $10 - $15, and they’re totally worth it for pre-trip planning.
It's just so much more fun when you know where you're going! Right?
Tip: Ask the Women’s Hiking Crew Facebook group if anyone has a park map you can borrow!
Do Your Research
Hop on the park’s official website and check on road conditions, construction closures, and trail reports. It's time to become a park pro! I’ve talked to too many Yellowstone National Park visitors who were disappointed to hear that they can’t drive their personal vehicle to Old Faithful in the winter… That’s some tough news to break.
Know before you go, friends!
If you're stumped on what hiking trails to do in a park, ask the Crew. This group of ladies is a valuable wealth of outdoor knowledge!
Call the Ranger Station with Questions
Park Rangers want you to be safe and have a well-planned trip before visiting a National Park. Ask them any questions you have as you begin to plan your adventure.
As a former park ranger, I speak from experience!
Once you have a trip itinerary, call into the park’s information center and ask to run through your itinerary with a ranger. They can help you make necessary revisions or offer valuable advice.
Have you visited a national park recently? Tell us your trip-planning tips in the comments!
Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor lifestyle writer for hire. Samples of her published work can be found at emilylorenwriting.com.