By Bailey G.
Happy Earth Day, Ramblers!
Please remember to do your part to take care of our planet. Even the smallest of things can make a large impact. I’m talking one meat-less meal a week, recycling, carpooling a few times to work, and planting more flowers. That seems pretty easy, right? You could also donate to an environmental cause! I donated to the Nature Conversancy today, since they’re matching all donations in support of Earth Day.
Sorry to get all tree-hugger preacher on you, but the environment is super important to me. And honestly, it should be super important to YOU too because we literally only have one home, and once that’s gone, it’s gone forever. Anyways, today’s blog is about something near and dear to my heart that is indeed related to our beautiful planet…and that is top National Parks to visit for your summer bucket list.
As someone who was raised on National Parks hikes, camping excursions, and even a few llama-packing trips (DM if you want to learn more), I can wholeheartedly say that visiting your local National Parks is one the best ways you can spend your summer. Please keep in mind that when you visit their beautiful areas, to take only photos and leave only footprints. I’ve recommended a few of my favorites that I’ve been to in years past. Keep the natural areas beautiful for those who come after you!
For Incredible Sights To See Before It’s Too Late: Glacier National Park
The glorious Glacier National Park is home to grand views and stunning glaciers, located in the heart of Montana. I recommend going in July, but be wary of crowds. Unfortunately, due to climate change, many of the ice formations in Glacier have lost up to 85% of their size, so we appreciate these landscapes before they vanish. This park offers a wide variety of hiking, fishing, backpacking, and sightseeing spots. For camping, all campgrounds will be open the first of July and majority of snow melts by July to ensure access to hiking trails.When I visited, we hiked to Sperry Chalet, a beautiful old hostel that was over 100 years old. It unfortunately burned down in a wildfire, but there are other Chalets within the park that are worth checking out!
The Classic Old West: Zion National Park
The majestic rocks and rich history of Zion National Park make it a can’t-miss, despite the heat. Zion offers a mecca of sandstone cliffs, vast canyons, and cultural background. I recommend early or late May as optimal time to beat the heat and avoid major crowds. There is a shuttle system runs to the park to keep the traffic down during peak season. One of the amazing hikes I’ve done here with my family is called Angel’s Landing, it’s filled with epic heights and is not for the faint of heart! There’s some light rope climbing involved, so be warned!
Right Here in Colorado: Great Sand Dunes National Park
When visiting Colorado, many think of the purple mountains within Rocky Mountain National Park. And that is a beautiful area! But Colorado’s hidden gem is actually the Great Sand Dunes National Park, home to the tallest dunes in North America. Shocker, right? You can san sled, camp, and cool off with a splash in Medano Creek near the dunes. June is a great time to visit, and it’s not just a giant sandbox, there’s actually a lot of forests and other landscapes surround the park as well. I went to the Sand Dunes back when I was eleven, but I’m looking forward to going again with my boyfriend this summer.
Bearing it All: Katmai National Park
With home to over 2,200 brown bears and other wildlife, Katmai National Park is one of the true diamonds. On top of that, when I visited and stayed at a local bear camp, it was filled with way more animals than people. Being that it’s one of the least crowded parks, you can get close and personal with wildlife while keeping a safe distance and respecting their home. July is a peak time for prime bear viewing. I went my family back in the early 2000’s, and it was the trip of a life time!
Ramblers—if you’ve tried out any of these National Parks or have suggestions that I should try out; I would love your feedback below. Happy Earth Day and keep the beautiful places, beautiful!