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Dad's 90th Birthday Trip to the National Parks

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Blue Mountains, Jamaica
Lush source of the mellow, world-famous Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica’s longest mountain range is nature at its best, seemingly a world away from nearby bustling, noisy Kingston. In these mountains 7,400...
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319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
It may not be the smallest U.S. national park (that honor goes to Pennsylvania’s Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, at 0.02 acres), but the Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a small hidden gem in Pioneer...
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1002 Snow Canyon Dr, Ivins, UT 84738, USA
Don’t let the name fool you—snow rarely falls here. In fact, winter temperatures are fairly mild, making Snow Canyon a popular destination year-round. The park includes 38 miles of hiking paths and more than 15 miles of...
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UT-143, Brian Head, UT 84719, USA
Centered around a natural amphitheater, where a plateau breaks into a series of mini canyons, this intimate national monument is often compared to Bryce Canyon. Along the ridgelines between the carved canyons, visitors can observe interesting rock...
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3840 US-89, Livingston, MT 59047, USA
A real Western experience is easy to come by at the Yellowstone Valley Lodge. The Lodge includes a number of beautiful cabins and a restaurant situated along the Yellowstone River in Montana's spectacular Paradise Valley. The lodge is known for...
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163 Chico Rd, Pray, MT 59065, USA
Chico Hot Springs has one of the best stables in Montana, and offers fantastic pack trips into the greater Yellowstone region, Paradise Valley, and further afield. Chico's Horse Barn is operated by Rockin' HK Outfitters. Season: Now open for...
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2819 US-89, Gardiner, MT 59030, USA
If you’re heading to Yellowstone National Park via Gardiner, Montana, the first monument likely to catch your attention isn’t a mountain or a lake or a bear (OK, it may be a bear – be careful): it is the stunning Roosevelt Arch, set in stone back...
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For the best views in Gardiner, pop down onto the big patio at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill and gaze out over the river, mountains, and unspoilt terrain of Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Order up a heaping pile of elk nachos, a few craft...
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951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, USA
Frank Lloyd Wright built 700+ houses all over this nation but he lived and worked in Oak Park, just a 45 minute train ride from the city center of Chicago. His house and studio are now a museum with guided tours that let you see the playroom he...
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26356 Soup Creek Rd, Swan Lake, MT 59911, USA
Few experiences epitomize the Wild West like a pack trip through Glacier National Park, or a ride through the Swan Valley. Swan Mountain Outfitters arranges some of the very best trips in the state, many of which are suitable for all ages and...
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E Rosebud Rd, Montana, USA
The East Rosebud Trail – known by many as The Beaten Path – is one of Montana’s great hikes. The trail is 26-miles in length, but it’s not particularly arduous: hikers of solid experience and stamina can complete the entire circuit in a single...
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Picnic Rd, Herod, IL 62947, USA
Get everyone outdoors and spend a day hiking, climbing and picnicking in one of Illinois’ most beautiful parks. Garden of the Gods is part of the Shawnee National Forest and has 5.5 miles of interconnected trailways meandering around beautiful...
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Tent Rocks, New Mexico 87025, USA
Forty miles southwest of Santa Fe, you find the awesome, magical Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, a series of mind-blowing, conical sandstone formations that resemble indented ocean waves. Chose from one of two trails—one on ground...
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601 Murray Cir, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Located on the grounds of Fort Baker, a former Army post, Cavallo Point Lodge has taken great pains to preserve its historic roots. Half of the rooms and suites are meticulously restored officers’ residences with views of the hillside...
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Longmire, WA 98304, USA
Formerly Mt. Rainier National Park’s headquarters, Longmire has since been decommissioned, but remains a national historic district. Nowadays, it’s a small museum that tells the history of the park’s early days — which seems to include a lot of...
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Washington, USA
Sunrise is the highest-elevation area in Mt. Rainier National Park that can be reached via car. From here, you can see Mt. Rainier, Emmons glacier, beautiful wildflower meadows, and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, such as Mount Adams. The...
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4000 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The Native Trails event no longer takes place.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community neighbors the city of Scottsdale and makes up a unique and active part our Arizona culture. Each year a diverse representation of the tribal nations that...
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7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Every March, some of the finest local, national and international artists gather at the downtown Civic Center Park for the Scottsdale Arts Festival. The event has been attracting thousands of visitors since 1971 with live performances, exhibits,...
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It may not be the smallest U.S. national park, but the Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is still tiny, occupying just a single building in Pioneer Square. Interactive exhibits and a series of journals, personal...
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E, 2150 Centre Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
After a brief stay at Estes Park near Rocky Mountain National Park we drove back a crisp frigid Sunday morning in the first week of March to Denver to catch our flight. The sunrise through the mountains was too beautiful to pass up and we had to...
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528 Main St, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Park City has more than 80 buildings on the National Historic Register and locals take pride in getting historic preservation grants to fix up the old miners' shacks left behind from the silver mining days in the late 1890s. The best way to see a...
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Arizona, USA
There are a variety of helicopter tour options, and a complete experience depends on which route and company you choose. No matter what, it’s a thrilling ride. Helicopters in the Grand Canyon have permission to fly approximately 1,000...
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Montana, USA
When you are in Glacier National Park, go for a ride on one of the famous red buses. The views along the Going-To-The-Sun Road are spectacular, and much easier to enjoy when someone else is doing the driving.
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California, USA
The ancient Polynesians navigated across thousands of miles of the Pacific without compasses or charts. They were lead, instead, by the stars. It is estimated that only 10% of the United States’ residents can see the night sky in its natural,...
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Arizona, USA
The primordial past comes to life at Petrified Forest National Park, in remote northern Arizona. Created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, this park preserves the Chinle escarpment, a globally significant fossil repository stretching for 22...
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170 MacGregor Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
If you're in Colorado the last weekend in September, it’s worth visiting Estes Park, a cool little summer resort town just outside Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Not only is the fall foliage on full display, the elk are too ... and they’re...
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California, USA
The aloha spirit means living in the moment, recognizing and appreciating beauty, even—or maybe especially—when it is fleeting. In January and June, Joshua Tree National Park may be arid desert, but each spring when the wildflowers bloom it puts...
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United States
Yellowstone National Park is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. Yellowstone is one of America's most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason; there few places in the country where you can rub shoulders with grizzlies, smack...
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Montana, USA
Farther north, along the Canadian border, the million-acre Glacier National Park becomes a hushed world of frozen lakes and snow-covered peaks in the winter. The first eleven miles of the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road are plowed and open...
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Arizona, USA
Every visit to Tucson should include a stop at Saguaro National Park. There are two parts to the park, the Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District. My favorite is the Rincon Mountain District. The Cactus Forest Loop Drive is...
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Arizona, USA
The reservation of the Hualapai, or “People of the Tall Pines,” includes nearly a million acres of land along the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. Visitors can now take in the grandeur of Arizona’s most famous landmark, the Grand Canyon, at the...
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Colorado, USA
About 35 miles northeast of Alamosa, Colorado, is the Great Sand Dunes NP. The tallest sand dunes in North America (Star Dune is the tallest at 750’) are landlocked and seem strangely out of place next to the 13,000’ Sangre de Cristo Mountains....
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Phelps Lake, Wyoming 83014, USA
Jackson Hole in the summer is one of the most beautiful places in the US and Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park is an example why. Hike about an hour down to the locals favorite "Jumping Rock" where you can jump 20 feet into this pristine...
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Mormon Row, Wyoming, USA
One of the most exciting facets of life on the road is finding new ways to look at frequently photographed locations. Mormon Row is iconic Americana, right up there with the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, and the Welcome to Las Vegas sign,...
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265 S Millward St, Jackson, WY 83001, USA
Snake River Brewery is a great place to have a beer in and of itself. The brew pub is bright and open, the food is top notch, and the beer is sensational (Snake River Pale Ale is one of the best American Pale Ale's in the country). That being...
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3550 Pecho Valley Rd, Los Osos, CA 93402, USA
The Montana De Oro state park is located in San Louis Obispo county on the central coast of California. There are many hikes in Montana De Oro state park and this was the longest one we've done yet in this beautiful state park. This was the 7.9...
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8626 Fort Foote Rd, Fort Washington, MD 20744, USA
For a solitary walk through history overlooking the Potomac River, stroll the two-mile trail around Fort Foote Park. Originally fortified to defend D.C. during the Civil War, it is now a National Park site, with woodlands to explore and ruins to...
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Utah, USA
As its biblical name implies, Zion National Park has the appeal of a place out of time. Established on November 19, 1919, the canyon and its surrounding landscape feel like a natural temple, full of arches, hoodoos, and imposing walls, some of...
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Hohokam Road, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
Just beyond the western edge of Tucson, you'll find these Hohokam petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park. No one knows precisely when they were carved into the rocks, but Hohokam settlements in the Sonoran desert date back almost two thousand years....
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Utah, USA
Windows Arch in Arches National Park.
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Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Located 3,200 feet above Half Dome Village, Glacier Point offers some of the best views in the park to the high country beyond. The View Terrace looks out to Half Dome, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall as well as Liberty Cap to the east, while the...
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Washington, USA
During the years I lived in the Pacific NW, I came to learn that the best of the all-too-brief summer often doesn't arrive until September. My wife and I took a day off work, got out of 'Pugetopolis.' On this Monday morning, Mt. Rainier felt like...
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Washington, USA
For several summers, I just couldn't seem to get the timing right for wildflowers while hiking around Mt. Rainier: too early, too late, too cold, rain...Finally, one summer, although the skies were grey and getting lower on the glaciers, I arrived...
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Mariposa Grove, California 93623, USA
My husband and I enjoyed a pleasant hike among the sequoias and pines at Mariposa Grove in the southern portion of Yosemite. Head out early to avoid the crowds who hit this popular spot to see the 2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant sequoia in the Lower...
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Utah, USA
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...
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North Rim, AZ 86052, USA
If you know your flight path is going to go over the Grand Canyon, get a window seat. Even from thirty-some-thousand feet above, the chasms within chasms stretch on to the horizon...
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675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, USA
The sweeping view in Utah's Dead Horse State Park was made famous by the final scene in Thelma and Louise. The park is mostly comprised of a small overlook area, but the grand scenery of the valley below is breathtaking. It is a quick and worthy...
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5442 Frontage Rd #110, Forest Park, GA 30297, USA
A must for any aviation fans, this small—but packed—museum is run by incredibly helpful and knowledgeable staff, and you’ll find plenty here amongst the 35,000 artifacts to keep you—and any other plane nuts, no matter how big or small—occupied for...
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Kalispell, MT, MT, USA
I heard about Polebridge from an Australian-Indonesian man named Wayne. He's the owner of the Backpacker's Hostel in Bozeman, Montana. "There are only two hostels in the world that I rave about," he said, gushing. "The Hostel in the Forest in...
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Badwater, CA, USA
At 282 feet below sea water Badwater, Death Valley, is the lowest spot in the United States. With salt 'rocks' sprinkling the remains of the basin itself (during Spring), follow the trial out into the salt flats after reading up about the...
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890 Buttermilk Creek Rd, West Yellowstone, MT 59758, USA
Few luxury experiences can top glamping in Montana. Sleeping out under the stars in the most spectacular tent you've ever seen as water rips along the river at your back, wolves howl in the distance, and open country surrounds you is one of those...
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California, USA
“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...