12 Amazing Adventures in U.S. National Parks
Collected by Becca Blond , AFAR Local Expert
Now is the time to hit the road and explore the natural world preserved in the U.S. national park system. From the shores of Maine to California’s national parks, there are parks for all travelers. Immerse yourself by camping and hiking, or just get a taste of the wilderness in the form of a glamorous old national park lodge and a leisurely stroll or day drive.
N Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
It may look a little like your childhood summer camp, but Phantom Ranch feels like the Ritz by the time you make it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, whether by foot—a steep 10-mile hike—mule, or boat down the Colorado River. Set near...
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort zone – it’s more of a...
2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO 80511, USA
There are 200 family cabins for rent at the YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center. If you're visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park area and NOT camping, there are plenty of hotels in town, and wonderful B&Bs and big lodges in the mountains,...
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
Old Faithful typically erupts every 35 to 120 minutes, and its show usually lasts for one-and-a-half to five minutes. On the day we were there, the 200-degree water reached 160 feet, which is on the higher end of the spectrum. Observers sit on...
This national park is centered along the spine plateau above Bryce Canyon, which drops to the east from the main park road. Along the road are numerous pull-offs for enjoying views down into the canyon, with its miles and miles of awe-inspiring...
A certain amount of dedication is required to see the sunrise. You have to commit to getting up early, then fight the urge to hit snooze when "go time" comes around. You drag yourself out of bed and to the prime sunrise watching spot - in this...
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