U.S. National Parks thread

darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,219
This thread is designed to share some of our likes/dislikes/stories about some of America's National Parks. If you're like me, and have been to some, you may have had a fantastic time. I always enjoy telling my stories or showing my pictures, but they very seldom do the actual scenery much justice. I really need to get a camera for such trips. But it's hard to justify so much money for a decent camera.

Below is a questionnaire. If you would like to participate, have at it. Look forward to hearing of others experiences.

Have you visited any:
How many?
Which ones?
Rank favorite to least favorite?
Key points (from each park)?
What time of year did you visit?
Was it worth the trip?
Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?
Do you plan on visiting any more?
If so, which ones?
Which one is next?
Any must share stories?


Ready? GO!
"A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
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Comments

  • darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,219
    Have you visited any: Yes
    How many? 2
    Which ones? Great Smoky Mountains & Yellowstone 
    Rank favorite to least favorite? Yellowstone then Great Smoky Mountains
    Key points (from each park)? GSMNP: Cades Cove and Clingman's Dome, Yellowstone: Grand Prismatic Scheme, Wildlife and the big waterfall (name currently escapes me)
    What time of year did you visit? Summer for both
    Was it worth the trip? Yes
    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks? I would very much like to try!
    Do you plan on visiting any more? Yes
    If so, which ones? Glacier, Zion, Moab, Yosemite, Gates of the Arctic are all on my hot list. 
    Which one is next? I think it'll be Mammoth Cave and Hot Springs 

    "A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    We love our National Parks.  My wife and I have supported them for a long time.  We purchased annual passes every year and now as "senior" (that despicable term!) now have lifetime passes.

    Have you visited any:

    How many?
    27

    Which ones?
    -Arches  (Spectacular sandstone formations.  Edward Abbey. Now ruined by tourism.  R.I.P my beloved Arches.) 
    -Badlands  (Amazing land formations, not real crowded.)
    -Bryce (Amazing colors, land formations.)
    -Canyonlands (Incredible colors, land formations, vastness)
    -Capitol Reef (Marvelous desert lands)
    -Crater Lake (Beautiful lake, marvelous lodge)
    -Death Valley (King of bad ass deserts.  One of my favorites.)
    -Gateway Arch  (Not enough time there!)
    -Glacier  (Awesome.  Almost got stuck in the wilderness in early winter there).
    -Grand Canyon (Grand!  Dry camped right on the edge in national forest lands once.  Awesome!)
    -Grand Teton  (Grand peaks, beautiful)
    -Great Basin  (Queen of the desert lands)
    -Great Smokey Mountains  (Hazy, not a favorite)
    - Haleakala.  ( Great views of wonderful Maui.)
    -Joshua Tree (Great rocks.  Saw may first wild tarantula and sidewinder there.  Awesome!)
    -Lassen Volcanic (Another favorite.  The land of Ishi)
    -Mount Rainier  (What a mountain!)
    -North Cascades  (Beautiful, lush, cool forests)
    -Olympic  (Home of "One Square Inch of Silence"  Near and dear to my heart.)
    Petrified Forest.  (Great views, the beautiful Painted Desert!)
    -Pinnacles  (A place of many memories, fantastic hikes, awesome land formations.)
    -Redwood  (Oh, oh Redwood Tree!)
    -Rocky Mountain  (Talk about majestic mountains!)
    -Saguaro (Great desert.  Lots of color in the spring.)
    -Yellowstone  (Vast, marvelous, lethal as hell if she blows.)
    -Yosemite  (One of the best but, sadly, only of the most loved to death.  But the rock wall... the rock walls!)
    -Zion (Great colors, massive, beautiful land formations.)

    Rank favorite to least favorite?
    OMG, I tried but couldn't.  It's like asking who your favorite child is.

    Key points (from each park)?
    (Included in list above)

    What time of year did you visit?
    Too many to list.

    Was it worth the trip?
    :lol:  Yup!

    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?
    No.

    Do you plan on visiting any more?
    Heck yeah!

    If so, which ones?
    The next.

    Which one is next?
    Yes.

    Any must share stories?
    Got a few hours, LOL.  Maybe a few later.


    Ready? GO!


    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    And thanks for doing this thread, Darwin!  Great thread topic.  I can't wait to hear from others. 

    Are you going to try to see all the parks some day?  That would be cool!
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • Meltdown99Meltdown99 None Of Your Business...Posts: 7,268
    edited June 2018
    Have you visited any:  Yes
    How many?
    -4 (US) 9 (Canada)

    Which ones?
     US
    -Grand Canyon
    -Sequoia
    -Death Valley
    -Everglades (the gators)
    Canada
    -Point Pelee (known for bird migration and key step in the monarch butterfly migration)
    -Bruce Peninsula (great views of Georgian Bay)
    -Jasper (wildlife, mountains, glacier))
    -Banff (wildlife, mountains)
    -Yoho (wildlife,  mountains, Lake O'Hara) 
    -Elk Island (Bison)
    -Kootenay (beautiful views, wildlife)
    -Mount Revelstoke (Meadows In The Sky Parkway)
    -Glacier National Park (scenic views, mountains)

    Rank favorite to least favorite?
    -None

    Key points (from each park)?

    What time of year did you visit?
    Summer and Fall

    Was it worth the trip?
    Yes

    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?
    No

    Do you plan on visiting any more?
    Yes

    If so, which ones?
    2019 I plan on visiting Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park (US).

    Which one is next?
    See Above

    Any must share stories?




    Post edited by Meltdown99 on
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    edited June 2018
    Have you visited any:

    How many? 9

    Which ones?
    Glacier Bay, Alaska
    Everglades, Fl
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Joshua, Cali
    Sequoia, Cali
    Saguaro, AZ
    Yosemite, Cali
    Death Valley, Cali

    Rank favorite to least favorite?  They are all great for their own reasons.

    Key points (from each park)? 

    Glacier bay if you ever go, you must pluck a piece of that billion year old ice from the water and lick it like an ice cream cone.  That is the purest water you will ever have the pleasure of tasting.

    Everglades, I like trees so the mangroves are always cool to look at.

    Grand Canyon, it literally took my breath away upon seeing how big the canyon is.  Pictures do not do it justice.  I want to plan a North rim trip because 95% of the world never sees it.

    Joshua, again with the trees.  I like catching lizards and snakes so the fallen Joshua trees are great for that.

    Sequoia, I just went there last year and the drive to  get to the trees was interesting.  You are ascending up the mountain at 15MPH because of all the switchbacks and turns and there aren't any big trees.  Then all of a sudden, boom!  There they are.  What a magnificent species of trees!  These Sequoias are so massive and awe inspiring to look at.

    Saguaro, this is where the biggest cactus are.  The ones you see in cartoons or westerns.  The ones that look like they have arms.  These things are massive beautiful things to see.  If you come across a fallen one, roll it over but be careful cause there are rattlers, lizards and scorpions in them.  That's what I'm looking for though, lol.  Also if you are here in the area go see the San Xavier mission.  I call it the Sistine chapel of the Americas.  Also not too far is Gates pass.  What a beautiful scenic drive.  You wouldn't think a desert could have so much color.  When you get to the peak, get out and hike around.  Look at the cactus and shrubs up close.  Be sure to find a Palo Verde and look at it closely!!!

    Yosemite, Seeing halfdome and El Capitan never gets old, it just doesn't.  One of the most recognizable landscapes in the world.

    Death Valley, Go see Scottys Castle.  When you are there go see where he was buried.  This is an unbelievable story and site to see in the middle of the desert.  It is unfortunately closed because of flood damage, yes, a flood in the desert...  If you can ever get there, make the trip.

    What time of year did you visit?  The only one I wouldn't recommend doing in the winter is the Alaska one.

    Was it worth the trip? Of course!

    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?  I visit parks and National Monuments.

    Do you plan on visiting any more?  Of course!

    If so, which ones?  Any that I can.

    Which one is next?  Not sure.

    Any must share stories?  While in Sequoia we did the little hike around the park.  We got to see a woodpecker 5 feet in front of us doing what they do!  There was also a fallen tree that serves as a slide.  It has a little waterfall on the side of it so of you come across that then the tree you walked under is the slide.  Go back around and climb up it and slide down!!!
    Post edited by tempo_n_groove on
  • markymark550markymark550 Columbia, SCPosts: 4,468
    Been to (and ranked from favorite to least favorite) :
    1. Grand Teton (WY) - Beautiful area. We snowmobiled through the park which was very fun.
    2. Mesa Verde (CO) - Fascinating place known for the cliff dwellings of Native American tribes.
    3. Great Smoky Mountains (NC, TN) - Only about 3-4 hours away and I've done lots of hiking there.
    4. Yellowstone (WY) - same trip as Grand Teton. Beautiful park and seeing Old Faithful is definitely worth it.
    5. Death Valley (CA) - Big desert and you can get some great pictures there.
    6. Shenandoah (VA) - Camped there with my family as a kid. I don't think we did much of anything there except hang out at the campsite.
    7. Congaree (SC) - I probably rate it low because it's local and I take it for granted that it's there. Walked the trails there, but it was August and the heat was almost unbearable.

    Grand Teton and Yellowstone were a December trip. Congaree was in the middle of August. Mesa Verde was early summer I believe. Death Valley was in October. Shenandoah was early fall. I've been to the Great Smoky Mountains in probably all the seasons (spring is best imo).

    Want to visit:
    Badlands (SD), Carlsbad Caverns (NM), Crater Lake (OR), Denali (AK), Glacier Bay (AK), and Grand Canyon (AZ).

    Wouldn't mind going to others, but those top the list. In fact, the next one I visit will probably be Mammoth Cave on an upcoming trip to Kentucky (probably in the early fall). I don't have plans to see all of them, but I'm definitely not opposed to it.
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,237
    Actual NPs I have only been to a few, we tend to visit the National Forest/Monument/Recreation Area/State Parks/etc adjacent to the NPs because the crowds are non-existent.

    Rocky Mountain NP I have been to 6 times, never gets old.  Hope to climb Long's Peak someday with my boy.  Bugling Elk is a lifelist item.

    Grand Canyon, did a drive by of south rim on way to North Rim.  Absolutely gorgeous, particularly on the North Rim.  Lake Powell (not NP) was almost as good, Vermilion Cliffs was great, Horseshoe bend was great, and the best view was east rim of Grand Canyon looking out at the plains toward Corado Canyon.  The land is flatter than you can make sense of and the canyon cuts into it vertically like a scar on the land.  Incredible.

    Lived in Tucson but didn't enter Saguaro NP because they are everywhere and it isn't remarkable otherwise.  Mt Lemon was sweet.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison we drove along for quite some time and skirted the NP because the best spots are outside the NP zone anyways.

    GSMNP is a tourist trap.  We have been, but there's nothing there better than what you find nearby in Cherokee, Nantahela, and Pisgah NFs, but they are all less crowded.

    Shenandoah was underwhelming compared to the previously mentioned.

    None of my very favourite places are in NPs, so here are some honorary mentions:
    Black Balsam, Pisgah NF
    Mt Evans and Poudre canyon, Colorado
    Bonneville Salt Flats
    Pyramid Lake, Nevada
    Seneca Rocks, WV
    Mt Rogers/Grayson Highlands, VA
    Max Patch and Roan Highlands, TN NC border.

    I look forward to visiting Yosemite, Glacier, Alaska, and Rainier someday.

    Nothing in the states compares to the Alps though, except maybe Yosemite, won't know until I go.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,237
    I live an hour from Cuyahoga Valley NP but I've never been, it's basically the laughing stock of NPs.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,221

    Have you visited any: Yes
    How many? 14
    Which ones?
    Yellowstone
    Yosemite
    Zion
    Badlands
    Channel Islands
    Death Valley
    Gateway Arch
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Hawaii Volcanoes NP
    Joshua Tree
    King's Canyon
    Redwood
    Sequoia
    Virgin Islands

    Rank favorite to least favorite?
    So tough.
    1. Yosemite
    2. Yellowstone
    3. Hawaii Volcanoes NP
    4. Badlands
    5. Virgin Islands
    6. Zion
    7. Gateway Arch
    the rest....

    Key points (from each park)?
    will just do the Top half

    1. Yosemite - pictures will never do it justice.  Probably the most consistently amazing scenery I have ever enjoyed. 
    2. Yellowstone - a big diversity.  Make sure to spend time and see everything. 
    3. Hawaii Volcanoes NP - stunning.  The chopper ride all around was a memory to last forever and got you places you really would never otherwise see irl.
    4. Badlands - South Dakota is my favorite state for our sightseeing and this was a big reason why.  (Still have 5 states to see, though.)  Ridiculous that people used to ride out into that country to try and lose people who were following them.  Every minute felt like a movie.
    5. Virgin Islands - Amazing snorkeling.  Really cool old plantation (18th century).  We have been to many islands but the St John trip was one of the best.
    6. Zion - beautiful place to hike.
    7. Gateway Arch - What a cool structure and I loved riding up in the pod and then looking out from the top.  Picture opportunities are really cool with all of the different ways to frame the Arch from the surrounding environments.  Much larger than you realize.

    What time of year did you visit?
    1. Yosemite - April
    2. Yellowstone - May
    3. Hawaii Volcanoes NP - June and Sept
    4. Badlands - May
    5. Virgin Islands - July
    6. Zion - May
    7. Gateway Arch - May

    Was it worth the trip?
    All are worth visiting.

    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?
    No

    Do you plan on visiting any more?
    Absolutely.

    If so, which ones?
    Mesa Verde
    Several in Alaska
    Grand Canyon
    Hot Springs
    Yosemite (when the kids get a bit older, will 100% visit again)

    Which one is next?
    Guessing Hot Sprints or Alaska.

    Any must share stories

    Yellowstone - We almost died driving out of the park on the just opened road to Cody, WY.  They should not have had the road open and it was snowing, big-time.  A huge incline and we were doing about 5 miles an hour when the SUV just broke lose and started sliding & picking up speed.  No guard rails in place and no way to really to do anything until the rig stopped sliding.  (I grew up driving in weather in VT, I know my way around snow and ice)  Will not make that mistake again! 
    When we got to Cody we had a nice hotel room and went to a nice steakhouse and had some local beef that was the best steak we both have ever eaten.  I had 2-3 martinis and then we went home and sport-fucked like it was my last time every getting to do it.
    There is nothing - and I mean nothing - I have felt in life better than almost dying and being fortunate enough to look back at it a few hours later and to enjoy the things we enjoyed.
    The park was pretty great as well.  ;)
     




    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    rgambs said:
    Actual NPs I have only been to a few, we tend to visit the National Forest/Monument/Recreation Area/State Parks/etc adjacent to the NPs because the crowds are non-existent.

    Rocky Mountain NP I have been to 6 times, never gets old.  Hope to climb Long's Peak someday with my boy.  Bugling Elk is a lifelist item.

    Grand Canyon, did a drive by of south rim on way to North Rim.  Absolutely gorgeous, particularly on the North Rim.  Lake Powell (not NP) was almost as good, Vermilion Cliffs was great, Horseshoe bend was great, and the best view was east rim of Grand Canyon looking out at the plains toward Corado Canyon.  The land is flatter than you can make sense of and the canyon cuts into it vertically like a scar on the land.  Incredible.

    Lived in Tucson but didn't enter Saguaro NP because they are everywhere and it isn't remarkable otherwise.  Mt Lemon was sweet.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison we drove along for quite some time and skirted the NP because the best spots are outside the NP zone anyways.

    GSMNP is a tourist trap.  We have been, but there's nothing there better than what you find nearby in Cherokee, Nantahela, and Pisgah NFs, but they are all less crowded.

    Shenandoah was underwhelming compared to the previously mentioned.

    None of my very favourite places are in NPs, so here are some honorary mentions:
    Black Balsam, Pisgah NF
    Mt Evans and Poudre canyon, Colorado
    Bonneville Salt Flats
    Pyramid Lake, Nevada
    Seneca Rocks, WV
    Mt Rogers/Grayson Highlands, VA
    Max Patch and Roan Highlands, TN NC border.

    I look forward to visiting Yosemite, Glacier, Alaska, and Rainier someday.

    Nothing in the states compares to the Alps though, except maybe Yosemite, won't know until I go.
    Tell me more about the North Rim of the Grand Canyon @rgambs ;

    Did you camp for a few days? @rgambs
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 20,104
    Tempo, north rim is more crowded from what I remember because you had day trippers from Vegas. The nice thing about the north rim is you are really close to all the Utah national parks. 

    Oh oh man I ve been to a lot of parks. Top five:
    1.  Glacier: it is the one place where I thought nature could kill me at any moment. 
    2.  Grand Tetons/Yellowstone: I combined them because they are next to each other. Every American should visit these two parks. I got attacked by a black bear at Jenny lake, good times. 
    3.  Glacier bay national park, Alaska: took a helicopter on to a glacier. Saw a lot of whales and glaciers. Just gorgeous. 
    4.  Crater lake: one of the prettiest lakes I have every seen. I remember swimming a few feet from shore and thinking to myself it was a thousand feet deep. Lol. The lake was the  bluest of blue.
    5. Grand Canyon. Is this thing real?!
    6.  Rocky Mountain National Park: wow. 14k foot mountains everywhere. 
    7. Zion/Bryce canyon: did some sllot canyon hiking. I ve never seen such colors before. I learned that the desert really is full of life.
    8: Pearl Harbor.  Not a National Park per say but it meant a lot to me to see where world war 2 started for the u.s.   
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    mcgruff10 said:
    Tempo, north rim is more crowded from what I remember because you had day trippers from Vegas. The nice thing about the north rim is you are really close to all the Utah national parks. 

    Oh oh man I ve been to a lot of parks. Top five:
    1.  Glacier: it is the one place where I thought nature could kill me at any moment. 
    2.  Grand Tetons/Yellowstone: I combined them because they are next to each other. Every American should visit these two parks. I got attacked by a black bear at Jenny lake, good times. 
    3.  Glacier bay national park, Alaska: took a helicopter on to a glacier. Saw a lot of whales and glaciers. Just gorgeous. 
    4.  Crater lake: one of the prettiest lakes I have every seen. I remember swimming a few feet from shore and thinking to myself it was a thousand feet deep. Lol. The lake was the  bluest of blue.
    5. Grand Canyon. Is this thing real?!
    6.  Rocky Mountain National Park: wow. 14k foot mountains everywhere. 
    7. Zion/Bryce canyon: did some sllot canyon hiking. I ve never seen such colors before. I learned that the desert really is full of life.
    8: Pearl Harbor.  Not a National Park per say but it meant a lot to me to see where world war 2 started for the u.s.   
    Crowded?  Really?  I didn't think that many people wanted to drive the extra 5 hours?!?
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 20,104

    rgambs said:
    I live an hour from Cuyahoga Valley NP but I've never been, it's basically the laughing stock of NPs.
    Why is that gambs?
    oh and mount rainier is amazing too. 
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • jerparker20jerparker20 St. Paul, MNPosts: 1,624
    Thanks for starting this thread.  I actually was thinking of doing something similar earlier this week.  My wife and I are big fans and supports of the NPS.  We were just at Isle Royale National Park last week.

    How many?
    17

    Which ones?
    Isle Royale 
    Voyageurs
    Hawaii Volcanos
    Kenai Fjords
    Mt. Ranier
    Olympic
    Joshua Tree
    Grand Canyon (North Rim)
    Zion
    Bryce Canyon
    Everglades
    Badlands
    Wind Cave
    Glacier
    Grand Tetons
    Yellowstone
    Teddy Roosevelt

    Rank favorite to least favorite?
    N/A

    Key points (from each park)?
    Isle Royale - The total and absolute silence of the place, at least on the Windigo side. (Early summer to beat the bugs)
    Voyageurs - Home state NP.  Although if you really want to experience the north woods of MN go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area instead. (Late spring to beat the bugs)
    Hawaii Volcanos - There's an active volcano there, and it is super dark at night.  I've never experienced star viewing like I experienced there.  Amazing. (Late October)
    Kenai Fjords - The glaciers are cool.  I recommend taking a boat and cruising down the coast. (Mid-summer)
    Mt. Ranier - The Comet Falls/Van Trump Camp hike is amazing.  On a clear day you can see Mt. Hood, St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and the summit of Ranier.  I really enjoyed this place and hope to go back and spend more time there. (Late summer)
    Olympic - The ecological diversity and silence in the rain forest areas.  This is a hard park to navigate though. (Late summer)
    Joshua Tree - My in-laws have their winter place near here, so I spend at least one day here every winter.  I love the emptiness of the desert. (Winter)
    Grand Canyon (North Rim) - The size.  The Kaibab Trail into the canyon is a great day hike. (Fall)
    Zion - Observation Point and the Narrows.  If you do the Narrows start by 6am to beat the crowds. (Fall)
    Bryce Canyon - The morning sunrise on the main amphitheater. (Fall)
    Everglades - Alligators and the biodiversity. (Early spring)
    Badlands - The first NP I ever visited.  I thought we where on Mars. My wife lived just outside of the park for many years, so we go and visit every couple of years. (Summer)
    Wind Cave - Visited when I was a teenager.  What's not to like about caves? (Summer)
    Glacier - The views.  The "Going to the Sun Road" is amazing. (Late summer)
    Grand Tetons - The views. (Late summer)
    Yellowstone - What everyone else has said.  The ecological, geographical, and biodiversity of the place is awesome. (Late summer)
    Teddy Roosevelt - The emptiness of the place.  Also is a major departure from the fields of ND one must endure to get there. (Late summer)

    What time of year did you visit?
    I try to hit the parks during "the off season" to avoid crowds.

    Was it worth the trip?
    Yes. For all of them.

    Do you plan on visiting all National Parks?
    I would love to, but it is a commitment.  I have a friend the visited all 59 parks in 59 weeks a couple of years ago.

    Do you plan on visiting any more?
    Yes.

    If so, which ones?
    Any of the ones I haven't been to.  My current Top 5 to visit are Katmai, Denali, Death Valley, Acadia, and Great Basin.

    Which one is next?
    Possibly Channel Islands or Death Valley this winter when visiting the in-laws.  Acadia next year.  Now that I have a small child, visiting the parks is bit more of a challenge.

    Any must share stories?
    If you are doing the tour of Utah parks, I recommend flying into Vegas  renting a camper van from Escape Vans. They have camp stoves, cooking utensils, solar powered fridges, and bedding in then.   It's a great and inexpensive way to get around and not have to deal with pitching tents, eating out, or paying the large sums of money to stay in the park lodges.  Plus, they are great if you want to utilize the dispersed campsites on federal land surrounding the parks, which is free.  Also, if you are in that area make sure to spend a day or two at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.  It's a really amazing place.
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,237
    Grand Canyon South Rim receives something like 10 times as many visitors as North Rim.  
    North is a full 1000 ft higher so it's cooler and much more forested.  Quiet and beautiful, relatively secluded.
    There's plenty of camping and hiking either way, I liked the North Rim better but there is less view down into the canyon and more view of the entire expanse.
    We camped at Lee's Ferry where the rafting trips launch, just below Lake Powell on the east side.  
    It's 2 hours equidistant from the main areas of both rims and near the lake and Horseshoe Bend.  Very quiet out there, you'd need to fly into Flagstaff or drive way down from Utah for that east end, the west end is Vegas.  The west and south rim is where you find the skywalk and the helicopter tours and buses and all that.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,237
    mcgruff10 said:

    rgambs said:
    I live an hour from Cuyahoga Valley NP but I've never been, it's basically the laughing stock of NPs.
    Why is that gambs?
    oh and mount rainier is amazing too. 
    It's small and right next to the heavily populated I77 corridor.  A very typical CVNP experience is no walk or bike on a paved or gravel path with locals on their daily jogs.
    It's kind of a cool valley with a nice river and little falls and rocks....for an area with nothing else to do. 
    Any place worth visiting has a region just as good that isn't well known because there's better around.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    mcgruff10 said:
    Tempo, north rim is more crowded from what I remember because you had day trippers from Vegas. The nice thing about the north rim is you are really close to all the Utah national parks. 

    Oh oh man I ve been to a lot of parks. Top five:
    1.  Glacier: it is the one place where I thought nature could kill me at any moment. 
    2.  Grand Tetons/Yellowstone: I combined them because they are next to each other. Every American should visit these two parks. I got attacked by a black bear at Jenny lake, good times. 
    3.  Glacier bay national park, Alaska: took a helicopter on to a glacier. Saw a lot of whales and glaciers. Just gorgeous. 
    4.  Crater lake: one of the prettiest lakes I have every seen. I remember swimming a few feet from shore and thinking to myself it was a thousand feet deep. Lol. The lake was the  bluest of blue.
    5. Grand Canyon. Is this thing real?!
    6.  Rocky Mountain National Park: wow. 14k foot mountains everywhere. 
    7. Zion/Bryce canyon: did some sllot canyon hiking. I ve never seen such colors before. I learned that the desert really is full of life.
    8: Pearl Harbor.  Not a National Park per say but it meant a lot to me to see where world war 2 started for the u.s.   
    Crowded?  Really?  I didn't think that many people wanted to drive the extra 5 hours?!?
    I've been to both sides and found the South Rim to be more crowded.  The North Rim is fairly crowded at the main vista point where the campground is but you can take national forest roads west along the north rim and really get away from things.  My wife and I drove out a ways and spent a couple of nights camped out very close to the rim and never saw a single soul.  I have a photo of that camp site but it's not digital. 


    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,219
    Wow, you fine people have not disappointed! It seems like these NP destinations are something people are either all in or all out of.

    We went to the Great Smoky Mountains 5 years ago and enjoyed ourselves. But I found it to be a bit too touristy for my liking. 

    Then 3 years ago, we did a plan on the fly trip to Yellowstone. At that point, we still hadn't developed quite the love for the national parks we now have. Because the trip was planned on the fly, we were low on money and only had 8 days to drive there and back, we missed  out on A LOT!

    We left Yellowstone completely awestruck and eager to share our stories with anyone who would listen...or pretend to listen. But, as I said, we did all that traveling on short notice. And seeing so many national parks had not really became something we planned on wanting to do. Alas, we drove (sorry, I drove as Julie will not drive with the camper on the hitch) about 24 hours to get to and from the park. During the trip, we drove right past the Badlands (could see them from a distance) and Wind Cave. We could have easily checked 2 more off the list. But we didn't. We just kept right on driving. 

    Fast forward to our limited time inside Yellowstone, I feel we really did make the best of it. We saw so much cool shit! Totally bad as stuff. However, in doing so, we ran out of time. Thus, we were unable to take the day trip south to the Grand Tetons. A decision I would regret, save for it will definitely put me back in that area sometime.

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    "A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
  • WobbieWobbie Posts: 25,375
    visit as many as you can before trump sells them to the extractive industries.
    If I had known then what I know now...

    Vegas 93, Vegas 98, Vegas 00 (10 year show), Vegas 03, Vegas 06
    VIC 07
    EV LA1 08
    Seattle1 09, Seattle2 09, Salt Lake 09, LA4 09
    Columbus 10
    EV LA 11
    Vancouver 11
    Missoula 12
    Portland 13, Spokane 13
    St. Paul 14, Denver 14
    Philly I & II, 16
  • WobbieWobbie Posts: 25,375
    edited June 2018
    x
    Post edited by Wobbie on
    If I had known then what I know now...

    Vegas 93, Vegas 98, Vegas 00 (10 year show), Vegas 03, Vegas 06
    VIC 07
    EV LA1 08
    Seattle1 09, Seattle2 09, Salt Lake 09, LA4 09
    Columbus 10
    EV LA 11
    Vancouver 11
    Missoula 12
    Portland 13, Spokane 13
    St. Paul 14, Denver 14
    Philly I & II, 16
  • jerparker20jerparker20 St. Paul, MNPosts: 1,624

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    I visited the Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in mid-October a few years ago and the weather was perfect and the crowds where minimal.  Only a handful of spots where occupied in the campground at Bryce.  We did 3 nights at Zion, 2 at Bryce, 3 at the Grand Canyon, and 1 at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.  Fly in and out of Vegas, rented a camper van to live out of.  Was a great trip.  Never felt rushed to see things or do hikes.  The North Rim lodging and campground closes in mid October.

    Joshua Tree is easy to get to by flying into Palm Springs, CA.  Its beautiful.  I've visited it every year for the past 4 years.  35 minute drive from the airport to the park and there is a lot of lodging/hotels/motels in the area.  Never camped there since my inlaws are in Palm Springs and have a pool, AC, and a well stocked bar.  There are lots of other hiking areas in and around there as well.  Also Palm Springs is a pretty laid back place to chill out for a day or two.  From there to Death Valley is a 5-6 hour drive.  You lose a few days of a trip in driving.  

    I guess it all depends on what your interested in seeing/doing.  
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    Wobbie said:
    visit as many as you can before trump sells them to the extractive industries.
    Ah fuck... Sad but true.
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    Wow, you fine people have not disappointed! It seems like these NP destinations are something people are either all in or all out of.

    We went to the Great Smoky Mountains 5 years ago and enjoyed ourselves. But I found it to be a bit too touristy for my liking. 

    Then 3 years ago, we did a plan on the fly trip to Yellowstone. At that point, we still hadn't developed quite the love for the national parks we now have. Because the trip was planned on the fly, we were low on money and only had 8 days to drive there and back, we missed  out on A LOT!

    We left Yellowstone completely awestruck and eager to share our stories with anyone who would listen...or pretend to listen. But, as I said, we did all that traveling on short notice. And seeing so many national parks had not really became something we planned on wanting to do. Alas, we drove (sorry, I drove as Julie will not drive with the camper on the hitch) about 24 hours to get to and from the park. During the trip, we drove right past the Badlands (could see them from a distance) and Wind Cave. We could have easily checked 2 more off the list. But we didn't. We just kept right on driving. 

    Fast forward to our limited time inside Yellowstone, I feel we really did make the best of it. We saw so much cool shit! Totally bad as stuff. However, in doing so, we ran out of time. Thus, we were unable to take the day trip south to the Grand Tetons. A decision I would regret, save for it will definitely put me back in that area sometime.

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    I think you're right about some of the high desert destination being rather chilly (or worse) in November, but not necessarily.  Kind of a crap shoot.

    Death Valley in November would likely be great for weather highs in the mid to upper 70's, lows in the upper 40's.  Only minus is Scotty's Castle is closed until 2020.  Bummer!  But there's still plenty of great places to see there.  Ubehebe Crater is awesome.  Zabriskie Point is fantastic!  And Darwin falls- well hey, with you user name, Darwin falls is a must! 

    Joshua Tree maybe 8 to 10 degrees lower but still a good choice. Great bouldering and rock climbing!

    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    Wow, you fine people have not disappointed! It seems like these NP destinations are something people are either all in or all out of.

    We went to the Great Smoky Mountains 5 years ago and enjoyed ourselves. But I found it to be a bit too touristy for my liking. 

    Then 3 years ago, we did a plan on the fly trip to Yellowstone. At that point, we still hadn't developed quite the love for the national parks we now have. Because the trip was planned on the fly, we were low on money and only had 8 days to drive there and back, we missed  out on A LOT!

    We left Yellowstone completely awestruck and eager to share our stories with anyone who would listen...or pretend to listen. But, as I said, we did all that traveling on short notice. And seeing so many national parks had not really became something we planned on wanting to do. Alas, we drove (sorry, I drove as Julie will not drive with the camper on the hitch) about 24 hours to get to and from the park. During the trip, we drove right past the Badlands (could see them from a distance) and Wind Cave. We could have easily checked 2 more off the list. But we didn't. We just kept right on driving. 

    Fast forward to our limited time inside Yellowstone, I feel we really did make the best of it. We saw so much cool shit! Totally bad as stuff. However, in doing so, we ran out of time. Thus, we were unable to take the day trip south to the Grand Tetons. A decision I would regret, save for it will definitely put me back in that area sometime.

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    I could make one hell of an itinerary in Cali for you!

    Land in LAX.  head south and hit up Joshua tree. Go east and climb/hike Vasquez rocks.  Go 14North and stop off in Palmdale/Lancaster and drive on the music road.  Go further north to the Ghost town of  Randsburgh.  Keep going North to the Trona Pinnacles.  Stop in the Panamints for a day hike to Panamint city.  Drive around and go to Death valley.  Drive north and see Mt Whitney(tallest peak in the continental US, so you'd have been to the lowest and tallest points on the continental US!), see the Internment camps on your way up there.  Head west and go to Sequoia then after that go north to Yosemite.

    If you do all this I'd then go chill in Silicon valley or Sonoma and drink wine and relax for a few days!

    You could do this in about 8 days.  Lots of driving but you would have been to 3 NP's and a couple of other cool things.  Vasquez is my favorite place on earth and I want my ashes placed in the hidden brook.
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    Oh and I want to add that out in remote places in cali the star gazing is unbelievable.  No lights but plenty of stars!
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,221
    Love the dump at the Coli inclusion, you Notre Dame rat bastard!
    :)
    Where she wants, right?  So you really have no say.
    I would say Yosemite, Yosemite, Yosemite.  Only drawback is not seeing the waterfalls as they are in springtime.  As much as I liked all of the places I have been that are NPs, it is Yosemite as #1 and it does not even take a second to rank it that way. 
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,237
    I haven't been there yet, but I know enough to know it's one of the top 10 or 5 natural wonders in the world.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • stuckinlinestuckinline Posts: 2,544
    rgambs said:
    I live an hour from Cuyahoga Valley NP but I've never been, it's basically the laughing stock of NPs.
    Why do you think it's the laughing stock of NPs?

  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,543
    Wow, you fine people have not disappointed! It seems like these NP destinations are something people are either all in or all out of.

    We went to the Great Smoky Mountains 5 years ago and enjoyed ourselves. But I found it to be a bit too touristy for my liking. 

    Then 3 years ago, we did a plan on the fly trip to Yellowstone. At that point, we still hadn't developed quite the love for the national parks we now have. Because the trip was planned on the fly, we were low on money and only had 8 days to drive there and back, we missed  out on A LOT!

    We left Yellowstone completely awestruck and eager to share our stories with anyone who would listen...or pretend to listen. But, as I said, we did all that traveling on short notice. And seeing so many national parks had not really became something we planned on wanting to do. Alas, we drove (sorry, I drove as Julie will not drive with the camper on the hitch) about 24 hours to get to and from the park. During the trip, we drove right past the Badlands (could see them from a distance) and Wind Cave. We could have easily checked 2 more off the list. But we didn't. We just kept right on driving. 

    Fast forward to our limited time inside Yellowstone, I feel we really did make the best of it. We saw so much cool shit! Totally bad as stuff. However, in doing so, we ran out of time. Thus, we were unable to take the day trip south to the Grand Tetons. A decision I would regret, save for it will definitely put me back in that area sometime.

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    I could make one hell of an itinerary in Cali for you!

    Land in LAX.  head south and hit up Joshua tree. Go east and climb/hike Vasquez rocks.  Go 14North and stop off in Palmdale/Lancaster and drive on the music road.  Go further north to the Ghost town of  Randsburgh.  Keep going North to the Trona Pinnacles.  Stop in the Panamints for a day hike to Panamint city.  Drive around and go to Death valley.  Drive north and see Mt Whitney(tallest peak in the continental US, so you'd have been to the lowest and tallest points on the continental US!), see the Internment camps on your way up there.  Head west and go to Sequoia then after that go north to Yosemite.

    If you do all this I'd then go chill in Silicon valley or Sonoma and drink wine and relax for a few days!

    You could do this in about 8 days.  Lots of driving but you would have been to 3 NP's and a couple of other cool things.  Vasquez is my favorite place on earth and I want my ashes placed in the hidden brook.
    tempo_n_groove  ,have you climbed Whitney from the east side?  I've long wanted to do that (maybe too old now though).  That whole "Alabama Hills" area where the trail-head is located is very cool.  A ton of westerns have been filmed there. 

    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 20,457
    edited June 2018
    brianlux said:
    Wow, you fine people have not disappointed! It seems like these NP destinations are something people are either all in or all out of.

    We went to the Great Smoky Mountains 5 years ago and enjoyed ourselves. But I found it to be a bit too touristy for my liking. 

    Then 3 years ago, we did a plan on the fly trip to Yellowstone. At that point, we still hadn't developed quite the love for the national parks we now have. Because the trip was planned on the fly, we were low on money and only had 8 days to drive there and back, we missed  out on A LOT!

    We left Yellowstone completely awestruck and eager to share our stories with anyone who would listen...or pretend to listen. But, as I said, we did all that traveling on short notice. And seeing so many national parks had not really became something we planned on wanting to do. Alas, we drove (sorry, I drove as Julie will not drive with the camper on the hitch) about 24 hours to get to and from the park. During the trip, we drove right past the Badlands (could see them from a distance) and Wind Cave. We could have easily checked 2 more off the list. But we didn't. We just kept right on driving. 

    Fast forward to our limited time inside Yellowstone, I feel we really did make the best of it. We saw so much cool shit! Totally bad as stuff. However, in doing so, we ran out of time. Thus, we were unable to take the day trip south to the Grand Tetons. A decision I would regret, save for it will definitely put me back in that area sometime.

    As does now, that's where this thread came about. I have a week of vacation the first week of November. I am giving the girlfriend one of those pin maps for National Parks that will be personalized for her birthday next week. Of course, that will only be a part of the gift, as the real gift will be a trup to whichever National Park she would like to visit. Now, given the time of year and only having a week, there are a big majority of the parks that will likely be eliminated. A few weeks too late for the fall foliage at Acadia, Isle Royale, Voyagers, and too cold for Glacier, etc...

    Sooo, with all of that in mind, I was thinking maybe Hot Springs in Arkansas to knock out the one in the middle of nowhere. And pick up Mammoth Cave on the way. Then, I thought, maybe we could knock out a bunch in Utah in a week, but I wasn't sure if that would be too cold at those elevations in the beginning of November. Then I started thinking maybe getting a few in California. Might be a good time to check out Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Swing up to LA and take a dump at the Coliseum. :lol: I also thought it could be a good time to see Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and the Caverns. 

    What opinions do you men and women have?
    I could make one hell of an itinerary in Cali for you!

    Land in LAX.  head south and hit up Joshua tree. Go east and climb/hike Vasquez rocks.  Go 14North and stop off in Palmdale/Lancaster and drive on the music road.  Go further north to the Ghost town of  Randsburgh.  Keep going North to the Trona Pinnacles.  Stop in the Panamints for a day hike to Panamint city.  Drive around and go to Death valley.  Drive north and see Mt Whitney(tallest peak in the continental US, so you'd have been to the lowest and tallest points on the continental US!), see the Internment camps on your way up there.  Head west and go to Sequoia then after that go north to Yosemite.

    If you do all this I'd then go chill in Silicon valley or Sonoma and drink wine and relax for a few days!

    You could do this in about 8 days.  Lots of driving but you would have been to 3 NP's and a couple of other cool things.  Vasquez is my favorite place on earth and I want my ashes placed in the hidden brook.
    tempo_n_groove  ,have you climbed Whitney from the east side?  I've long wanted to do that (maybe too old now though).  That whole "Alabama Hills" area where the trail-head is located is very cool.  A ton of westerns have been filmed there. 

    No I went up the normal Lone Pine route. My name is in that big ass book up top there!!!

    I really would like to do the eastern route though and go by guitar lake and Hitchcock lake.  They look cool from above!

    We met some people that were doing that hike and did a three day trip!  Maybe one day!

    Brian I have a funny story to tell u about my trip.  Check your DM
    Post edited by tempo_n_groove on
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