Tag Archives: Trails

National Park Hikes And Trails 101

You probably are one of many who call Yosemite National Park a beloved place. Granted to describe the sight of Yosemite Valley upon exiting the last of the Highway 41 tunnels as breathtaking is unoriginal but it definitely is an accurate way of putting it. The combination of the waterfalls along with the Half Dome protuberance and the walled valley solid gray rocks make for an awesome shot regardless of your photography skill level.
More than 90 percent of Yosemite visitors only see a small portion of the park where the valley is because of the huge crowds that come to the place. But the shear vertical nature of Yosemite makes the crowds bearable in a way they aren’t at Yellowstone or even the Grand Canyon. The gaze of tourists is often drawn upward and away from other people. The visitor numbers in autumn along with winter and spring are considerably less than in summer.
Not everyone is a fan of the Great Smoky Mountains national park. One true way to savor the visit is to walk the trails of the most toured park. Every year over nine million visit the park whereas the Grand Canyon just draws half this number. While pretty the crammed roadways together with the overall backdrop left Westerner tourists unmoved. Towns like Gatlinburg and Cherokee are land mines for tourists as they are bursting with casinos and other attractions. Previous years have seen the quality of air grow worse. Visitors go to National Parks precisely to enjoy this one treasure that has sadly hit its limit.
Other national park destinations to explore include the Wrangell Saint Elias. Two parklands that are infrequently toured are Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic but the total acreage for such sites is 55 million. Park services named it The Mountain Kingdom of North America and it is located near Anchorage in the southeast. Nowhere in the country can be found mountains and glaciers towering 16000 feet.
One national park many would care to see again in the Grand Canyon is the North Rim. There are two Rims comprising the Grand Canyon one is the North which is usually crowded and the other is the uncongested South. I’ve been back to the Grand Canyon many times, but when I am elbow to elbow with crowds, I wish for the relative solitude and almost equally spectacular views across the canyon.
The Everglades is a great spot to see grizzly bears of Kobuk Valley and the buffalo of Yellowstone. A bunch of alligators usually sun themselves on mudflats covering the Anhinga Trail of Everglades which is also a fun to watch. Only their bodies are submerged in the brown waters with their eyes left visible above the surface but another scary image is their sharp teeth that are exposed when they yawn.
Many assume that Monument Valley is one of the national parks. The crimson monoliths are greatly symbolic of the West end. Arizona and Utah has an area forming a section of the Navajo Indian territory that a number of films has used as background. However there is little chance of it being a national park since it is a self governed site. Still many remain loyal to it and consider it a fave site.
In my opinion, Hot Springs shouldn’t be a national park. Bathhouse Row down at the Arkansas spa town offers a traditional rubdown treatment. Although it cannot be called a national park it can be turned into a national historical location. Federal land since 1832, 40 years before Yellowstone, it was grandfathered in when the National Park Service was created in 1916. There is practically no way out once you gain entry into the club.
Glacier Waterton International Peace Park has a couple of surprises for its visitors.
Combine them and you are looking at an international peace parkland. There is a simulated Tudor Prince of Wales Hotel on the Canadian side worth seeing together with its teatime service done the old fashioned British Empire way.

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