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So I'm cruising thru the country right now and stopping at a lot of National Parks. I've actually done 6 parks in the last two weeks - not the most ideal way, but I'm just getting a taste of them for a future visit as we're just passing through.
Now that I've seen some places, I'm anxious to watch Ken Burns' series again. Anyway, what parks have you been to? Do you have any pictures? I think this might be one of my new things. I'll paste some great pics below of some of the things I've seen. I recently got a new Rebel camera so it's been really fun to learn on the job.
I laid awake one night in the Tetons last week wondering why I never heard the name John Muir in all of my years of schooling. Ultimately it made me sad for humanity. But then I woke up and got a great pic of the Tetons at sunrise.
With the exception of that one night, the parks have been really inspirational. The landscapes, the animals, the friendly people in the parks. All of it has been rejuvenating. I can't even count how many different animals I've seen. Such a joy to see wolves in the wild!
Anyway, here are some pics. I'd love to hear your National Park stories and see some pics. Along with these 6, I've been to Denali:
My list: Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone & Rocky Mountain
Edit: Man this board sucks.
Pic 1: The Colorado River snaking thru the beginning of the Grand Canyon
Pic 2: Bryce Canyon at sunset. This place (and all of Utah) is simply amazing and otherworldly
Pic 3: Prismatic Hot Spring in Yellowstone
Pic 4: Buffalo walking 3 feet from my car (a very common occurrence) at Yellowstone. It's amazing to be so close to a large animal and hear it breathe
Pic 5: Sunrise striking the Grand Tetons overlooking the Snake River
Pic 6: My tribute to Maryland football
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by TheColfax 22 months ago
I did a family trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons when I was a kid. They are magical places.
I took this picture at Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness 8 miles outside of Aspen, Co. in August
This one is from The Black Rock Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Also taken last month.
This was taken at the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. The formation is called The Twins. Probably named after Andrew and Aaron. The mountain in the background is the famous Pike's Peak. Pike's Peak is famous because legend has it that a ginger called Pete Gillen waits at the mountain top for Gary Williams and a rodent.
This post was edited by VousGoo 22 months ago
Black Canyon of the Gunnisson
Shitty with the camera though, and a lot of work to do
This post was edited by TortugaGrande 22 months ago
Totally agree re: Nat'l Parks -- how many Americans travel the world but miss out on their own backyard.
Pic 4: Buffalo walking 3 feet from my car (a very common occurrence) at Yellowstone. It's amazing to be so close to a large animal and hear it breathe http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/26/img3228e.jpg/
RE: Yellowstone & Bison -- there's about 2 weeks in the spring (May-ish) when the road is clear of snow but before they open it to cars/RVs where you can hike/bike in the park from W. Yellowstone or Gardner.
It's one thing to DRIVE next to a grunting bison, but to cycle by is another thing entirely.
I meant to add, there are a lot of really nice state parks and national not-quite-parks, often clustered around NPs and far less crowded. Some of these are extremely sick, often the state parks because the state refused to give up the revenue source. Cedar Breaks and Dead Horse (Thelma and Louise car clff) in Utah are two great examples as is Custer in SD
Have yet to find one I did not like:
This post was edited by pugsley 22 months ago
I'm jealous. I've been pretty obsessed with National Parks lately, and have read a bunch of books on them, DVR any TV show I can find on them, etc. I went to Crater Lake in July, which was amazing (Writeup/Pics: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/92/travel/trip-report-oregon-1237226/ ), and I did Acadia two years ago, which was equally great. I'm also planning on spending some time in Shenandoah next month, just because that's the only one that's really doable for a weekend trip. I've been to others for less than a day (Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, Haleakala), but I don't really count them because I think you need to spend some time in them to really experience them.
I think the one I most want to go to is Glacier National Park. Going-to-the-Sun Road sounds incredible.
Awesome Pics Colfax.
That's my hiking group's trip for next summer.
As for weekend trips, I consider Denver a reasonable place to go for a weekend or even a 3 day. Rocky Mountain is an incredible park and is less than an hour from Denver, maybe an hour from the airport since they are opposite directions. It might be too late for this year, but the elk rut is an amazing time to go, I think it starts around now.
Three I've been to that are the least common are probably Walnut Canyon and and Sunset Crater in Arizona and driving on the road that makes up the border of Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska (so I still saw a bunch of the HUGE mountains)
"Maryland football: Where everybody gets hurt and the starting left tackle has an existential crisis."
tell me about kings canyon? That borders sequoia, right?
first two are monuments, not parks, but that's part of what I am talkign about above when I say not-quite-parks. I'd never figure out how many of those I have been to.
Colfax where are you? Black Canyon of the Gunnisson is one of the most amazing spots on earth especially if you are in hiking shape
Correct. It is similar in topography to both Yosemite (Yosemite Valley) and Sequoia (groves of giant sequoia), but much more remote and rustic feeling (since comparatively, hardly anyone stops there other than for a quick photo-op). One of the few parks we only spent a day at. Gut tells me to fully appreciate you need to back-country hike.
that sounds like what I like. I wanted to hit it when I went to death valley but the getting to the entrance was hours of extra driving. Next time.
Went to Glacier two years ago and it was fantastic. Anyone who loves national parks needs to go. I only stayed for 4 nights, but I'd love to go back and spend two weeks or so just hiking around.
Bryce Canyon and Badlands are two places where it really seems like you've landed on another planet. Like if you saw a painting of it, you'd think it was too fantastic to be real.
Bryce is probably my favorite. I've hiked almost every inch of trail in that place. It's a shame the touristy nonsense of Ruby's whatever is the only thing close to it, but other than that the park is perfection
Walnut Canyon was actually a personal favorite of mine because its so cool to see that people lived in those carved out places and some of the stuff was really well preserved to my memory
Random for the picture- my desktop backround was taken on a road bordering Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve looking out to Kluane Lake, maybe my favorite picture (tied with one I took of St Paul's Cathedral in London). At another point I think we could see Mount Logan in the distance, Canada's highest peak and the second-largest in North America. But that entire drive had some really impressive mountains.
I love this thread, but hate it because now I am daydreaming about travel.
I love to go to Joshua Tree for climbing. Haystacks photo is in the tetons. and third one is from Shenandoah.
Dying to get out to Yosemite.
that's a great pic.
Just in case I wasn't clear, I wasn't insulting national monuments and recreation areas. Some of them are sick. I just can't remember the names of the ones I have been to.
Yeah I got what you were saying. To me its pretty clear that some like Walnut Canyon are different than, say, the Statue of Liberty and to me the line is pretty clear in my head.
And I actually took that picture from a moving car, we did a lot of that. Its weird how that turns out to be fine but I can't take a picture at a sporting event to save my life.
This post was edited by JDawgBBall9 22 months ago
totally get that. I decided to look some of them up
Devil's Tower is pretty famous, just too small to be a national park.
Timpanogos Cave is not as big as something like carlsbad or luray but it's amazing
Wind Cave is another I'd recommend. It's not as big as Yellowstone or Glacier, but it's a really cool place to spend an afternoon if you're in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Plus the Badlands, Little Bighorn, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Monument are right nearby.
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