2020 was not a good year for the travel industry.
Yet, there’s one bright light in the gloom and that is Americans are being encouraged to get out in the big wide open spaces that decorate the land so gloriously and where better to begin than in America’s National Parks?
A Quick History Of American’s National Parks
The first ever national park was founded by Congress in 1872 when Yellowstone became a ward of the Secretary of the Interior as a public park or “pleasuring-ground” for “the benefit and enjoyment of the people”.
This sparked a movement worldwide to protect the greatest spaces in the world and there are now more than 1,000 parks in over 100 countries!
The United States Park system, since its formalization in 1970 under the General Authorities Act, is now responsible for over 400 areas within the continental United States and its territories (such as Guam, Saipan and Puerto Rico, for example).
It is the greatest collection of national wealth in history and it’s yours to explore whenever you want to as a member of the public.
How Best To Enjoy The Parks?
We think the best way to enjoy a national park is to take your time.
Instead of turning up on a holiday weekend with a million other people and then walking 10 feet inside the gate and turning around, why not spend some time in the parks?
For that we recommend you rent an RV, camper van, or pop up camper or truck camper from Outdoorsy if you don’t already have one.
These will give you a home away from home in which you can enjoy the creature comforts of being at home and thus, you won’t be in a rush and that’s important because America’s parks are not small spaces.
The largest is Wrangell-St.Elias National Park and it covers 13.2 million acres! We promise you can’t see it in an afternoon or even scratch the surface in that kind of time frame.
The smallest is 1/2,400th of the size and it’s Hot Springs in Arkansas but that still provides you with umm.. 5,500 acres to explore! And you’d need to have pretty long legs to walk that on a Sunday morning.
So, hire a camper and head to the park of your choice (you can find a full state-by-state list here) for a few days with your family.
If you want to get even more from your trip head over to America’sNationalParks.org and support their work and check out the amazing things that they sell in their stores too!
What Are The Best Things About The American National Parks?
The National Park System And Service
You can’t beat the American national park system. There are thousands of rangers on hand to help you out and to ensure the parks stay safe and healthy for everyone.
There’s an excellent website, there are guided tours and walks available at all of them, you can find some of our greatest monuments there too.
We don’t think it’s possible to think about getting bored in a national park thanks to the amazing support that our parks receive.
The Parks Themselves
Most people don’t seem to realize that while Yellowstone and other big name attractions like the Grand Canyon get a lot of attention many of our parks barely seems to be known more than a few miles away from them.
That means you can often get the place to yourself (or nearly) and just soak in the beauty in peace and delicious quiet.
Many Americans won’t understand the incredible luxury of these spaces until they visit – being able to switch off from everyday life and connect with nature is a gift from God.
The Chance To Connect With Native America
Celebrate Native Ameican culture! Educate yourself and connect with locals. We are all American!
Meeting new people from other cultural experiences is extremely enriching if approached with tact and kindess.
Everyone in the know camps when they visit an American National Park – that’s why we recommend that you do too.
You do need to book in advance and you may need to talk to a tour operator if you can’t find a slot on the day you want to come but it’s worth it.
You can’t beat breakfast in the great outdoors on a lazy Sunday.
You can see the whole range of amazing American wildlife if you’re careful and quiet. If you’re a birder they are paradise!
They’re free to roam and you’re free to watch (take binoculars and read up on possible encounters before you travel).
Rangers are amazing, they are passionate public servants who can bring a park to life.
Talk to them and learn from them whenever it’s convenient to do so.
What Are The Worst Things About The American National Parks?
That’s not to say there aren’t some downsides of our national parks, but they are minor and include:
- Driving – you have to drive to most national parks, and it can be a bit of hard work but on the bright side if you take a camper, you’re all set for the best time
- People feeding wildlife – please don’t do this, it makes the animals disrupt their ordinary foraging patterns and can cause ill-effects for both the animals and the visitors to our parks, enjoy nature but resist the urge to interact with animals beyond watching them
Last Word on America’s National Parks
We doubt that there will be much in the way of international travel as the world sorts out its problems with Covid-19 but we are positive that there’s never been a better time to explore America.
Get in your RV or camper van and hit the open road!
Wake up in a natural paradise at one of America’s National Parks and realize that this is the best thing you’ve ever done. Your family will love it too.