As we head into the summer months, we can’t help but think about warmer weather, picnics, ice cream, swimming pools, fun times at the beach, camping trips with friends and family, and other summertime shenanigans. While summer activities may look a bit different this year with the world fighting a global pandemic, it’s still a great time to relax and perhaps enjoy day hikes at local and national parks. Which US parks have reopened? It’s always best to check the National Parks site here first for updates on the status of parks before you head out. To get you started, here are five spectacular national parks that have reopened recently:
Bryce Canyon National Park
Known for its tall rock spires shooting up from the ground, otherwise known as hoodoos, the 35,835-acre Bryce Canyon National Park is definitely a sight to be seen. However, unlike the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon isn’t technically a canyon at all. Instead, it’s a number of natural amphitheaters that have eroded to form an escarpment (or a steep slope).
Denali National Park And Preserve
Denali National Park has the tallest peak in North America and attracts visitors from near and far for a number of reasons. One such reason is for a chance to spot moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. Another? To watch the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. And if you’re a fan of dinosaurs, you might be delighted to know that Denali is known for its many dinosaur fossils. Roar!
Mount Rainier National Park
As America’s fifth national park, Mount Rainer National Park is an iconic fixture of the Washington landscape. Home to twenty-five named glaciers (the most in the United States) and known for its snowcapped mountains and meadows blanketed with wildflowers, Mount Rainier has won the hearts of the millions of people who have visited the park. Interesting fact: John Muir, the famous naturalist and preservationist, was so impressed with the beauty of Mount Rainier that he advocated for the park to become a national park.
Redwood National Park
It may be called Redwood National Park to some, but its official name is the Redwood National and State Park. A national and a state park all in one? Yes. It turns out that the park is jointly administered and maintained by both the federal government and the state of California. Despite this confusion, there’s no confusion as to what it’s known for: redwood trees! These giant trees live for hundreds of years and grow to be hundreds of feet tall.
Yellowstone National Park
Location: Montana, Wyoming, Idaho
Yellowstone officially became a national park on March 1st, 1872, making it the world’s first national park. Quite a title if you ask us! While the park is opening with a phased approach, people have already started flocking to parts of the park that have reopened. We don’t blame them—it’s hard to stay away from the majestic waterfalls, incredible vistas, active geysers, and many wild animals such as bears, elk, wolves, and moose that can be found throughout the park. If you visit, just remember to social distance and wear a mask.
If you could visit a national park, which one would it be and why? Share your thoughts with firstname.lastname@example.org.