• November 28, 2023

Planning For A National Park Trip As Pandemic Limits End : NPR

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is America’s original national park and is home to more than 4 million visitors annually. NPS / David Restivo / NPS Hide caption

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NPS / David Restivo / NPS

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is America’s original national park and is home to more than 4 million visitors annually.

NPS / David Restivo / NPS

As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be coming to an end, many Americans are preparing for an unrestricted summer filled with many activities that the coronavirus has banned for more than a year. Here are some tips from the National Park Service to help visitors get the most of their trip.

Plan your visit

Some travel destinations like California Yosemite National Park introduced an entrance reservation system to better manage visitors during the pandemic. And although the pandemic restrictions will be lifted left and right, Yosemite plans to enforce a limited number of daily visitors by the end of September 2021.

Other parks, including the immensely popular one Yellowstone, will not limit the number of daily visitors, but good luck finding accommodation. Most of the camping and accommodation spaces within the park are already fully booked, the valet service said. Depending on which park you are talking about, the next scene of the accident can be hours away for the night.

Before traveling, visitors should ensure that they have all the necessary reservations and, if necessary, accommodation.

Be patient with staff and other visitors

Last year 237 million people Visited 423 national parks across the country. And while that may seem overwhelming, those numbers were down 27.6%, 90 million visitors, from a year earlier. This was attributed to temporary park closings due to the coronavirus.

Yellowstone is on the northern border of Grand Teton National Park. Visitors often visit both parks and travel back and forth between the two, including 7.1 million visitors in 2020. NPS / David Restivo / NPS Hide caption

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NPS / David Restivo / NPS

Yellowstone is on the northern border of Grand Teton National Park. Visitors frequently visit both parks and travel back and forth between the two, including 7.1 million visitors in 2020.

NPS / David Restivo / NPS

Attendance is expected to rise again this summer as the NPS prepares for “a particularly busy season in 2021”. Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming was closed last spring. In 2020, the park still welcomed about 3.3 million people.

That year, the park recorded just under 88,000 visitors in April, an increase of 48% over the 2019 season, a NPS press release said. And with Yellowstone along Grand Teton’s northern border, visitors often make an effort to travel between the two, as it has been done 7.1 million tourists in 2020.

Take the less traveled route

The national park system manages more than 85 million acres in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories, each with something different to offer to visitors. However, the 10 most popular parks accounted for a sixth of all visitors in 2020. Half of all visitors were among the 23.

NPS rangers recommend adventurers to consider the lesser-known parks, especially during the busy summer months.

California Channel Islands National Park has seen a five year average of only 338,000 annual visitors. Explore a little over 700,000 a year Crater lake walk and drive in Oregon. Canyonlands and Sheets National parks offer hikers, climbers, and mountain bikers a less crowded alternative to Zion, Utah.

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. Arches and Canyonlands both offer visitors hiking, camping, biking, and more without the crowds that are common in Utah’s Zion National Park. Hide NPS / Debra Miller / NPS caption

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NPS / Debra Miller / NPS

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. Arches and Canyonlands both offer visitors hiking, camping, biking, and more without the crowds that are common in Utah’s Zion National Park.

NPS / Debra Miller / NPS

Pack it up, unpack it

The valet parking is supervised 70 million pounds of waste each year. That’s almost 600 dump trucks full. The NPS urges visitors to dispose of their trash while making the most of America’s parks. Don’t leave any rubbish, scraps of food or toiletries behind.

In addition, many parks and monuments will be crowded this summer. In this case, visitors are encouraged to bring their own meals to reduce the amount of waste generated from take-away food containers National Parks Conservation Association said.

Visitors at a lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park. Pets are welcome at the RMNP, but only on developed campsites, streets and picnic areas. They are forbidden on all hiking trails and meadows. Hide NPS / M.Reed / NPS titles

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NPS / M.Reed / NPS

Visitors at a lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park. Pets are welcome at the RMNP, but only on developed campsites, streets and picnic areas. They are forbidden on all hiking trails and meadows.

NPS / M.Reed / NPS

Consider leaving the pets at home

While some national parks and monuments allow pets on leashes and in campsites, others do not. Visitors should check their travel destination’s pet policy before venturing out on the streets. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado prohibits pets on all of its trails and meadows. However, you can walk on a leash along established roads, camping and picnic areas.

Jack

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