7 Distinctive Approaches to Encounter Nationwide Parks

Penni Schewe

Envision viewing the vast expanses of Glacier National Park or the Grand Canyon from a unique vantage place than everyone else. As a substitute of hiking the most well known path, you are traversing the park by dogsled or pedaling a fat-tire bicycle throughout the snow. In its place of driving the similar scenic route as other vehicles, you are floating or flying higher than it all in a scorching-air balloon or helicopter. Here’s how to make that occur.

Journey by Educate

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(Photograph: Courtesy Rocky Mountaineer)

Skip driving and hop aboard a prepare. This year the organization Rocky Mountaineer will introduce a new route on a glass-domed train between Denver and Moab, Utah. The two-evening journey will commence around Rocky Montain National Park and overnight at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just before arriving in close proximity to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks (from $1,250). To see Glacier Countrywide Park, ebook a 4-working day getaway offer (from $1,059) with Amtrak Vacations. You’ll disembark at Montana’s East Glacier Park station, then devote a few evenings at the historic Glacier Park Lodge, constructed by the Good Northern Railway. Vacations by Rail gives a lot of outings to national parks, together with a 6-day rails-to-rim tour (from $1,325) that starts off in Chicago and finishes at the Grand Canyon, with lodging at the Grand Canyon Railway Lodge and Maswik Lodge.

Go by Dogsled

Dogsledding on a mountain peak.
(Photograph: A&J Fotos/iStock)

At Alaska’s Denali National Park, remain in a log cabin at EarthSong Lodge (from $189) and you can signal up for the lodge’s Denali Pet dog Sled Expeditions (from $140), the only approved pet dog-mushing operator inside the park. You are going to vacation throughout the snowy tundra towards the north confront of 20,310-foot Denali. In Wyoming, Jackson Gap Continental Divide Puppy Sled Adventures qualified prospects daylong dogsled tours (from $250) through Grand Teton National Park or for right away stays at a backcountry yurt. Longtime Montana-primarily based musher Jeff Ulsamer potential customers excursions (from $150) on the edge of Glacier National Park, exactly where a crew of huskies race you down a route through Stillwater Condition Forest.

Downhill-Ski Inside a National Park

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(Picture: Courtesy Vail Resorts)

Loads of national parks have backcountry terrain in the wintertime where you can earn your turns (however be guaranteed to test for avalanche warnings), but did you know you can experience a chairlift inside of three national parks in the U.S.? Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Location (tickets from $45), found inside Washington’s Olympic Nationwide Park, is not huge—just two rope tows and a Poma lift—but the put gets an ordinary 400 inches of snow every single 12 months. In California, Yosemite Countrywide Park’s Badger Go Ski Location is closed this wintertime owing to COVID-19, but normally the place operates five lifts (tickets from $30). You can also ski in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley Countrywide Park at Vail Resorts’ Boston Mills and Brandywine ski locations, which are just 5 minutes apart (tickets from $49, advance reservations needed).

Fly in a Hot-Air Balloon

Hot air balloon in moab
(Picture: kyletperry/iStock)

You can float over Utah’s Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in a incredibly hot-air balloon with Canyonlands Ballooning (from $299). You are going to take off at dawn from a launch pad just outside Moab. Grand Experience (from $300), out of Winter Park, Colorado, flies hot-air balloons calendar year-spherical into the skies above Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park for early-early morning sights of 14,259-foot Longs Peak.

Pedal a Bicycle

Cyclist resting in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area near Las Vegas
(Photograph: Ceri Breeze/iStock)

Mountain biking isn’t permitted in all countrywide parks, so check entry, trails, and situations just before you go off-highway. In the wintertime, extra fat-tire bikes are authorized at pick out parks, like on ungroomed trails within Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor Bicycle Store, in Bar Harbor, Maine, has a tiny fleet of fat bikes for lease (from $40) in the course of the snowy months. For guided trips, Teton Mountain Bicycle Excursions sales opportunities half- or full-day guided winter season body fat-bike excursions (from $280 for two folks, together with bike rental) into Grand Teton National Park

Investigate from Underground

Passage within Mammoth Caves
(Picture: sreenath_k/iStock)

Mammoth Cave Countrywide Park in Kentucky provides calendar year-spherical and seasonal guided tours (from $20) of its vast underground caverns for modest teams. Not into dim, cramped areas? You can also hike higher than-ground trails in the park, with signage indicating the all-natural history of the cave passages down below your ft. At Fantastic Basin Countrywide Park in Nevada, the limestone Lehman Caves can be toured with a information (from $12). Reserve excursions at both equally parks in progress to reserve a spot.

Get Higher in a Airplane or Helicopter

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(Photo: Courtesy TCS Environment Journey)

For a splurge, luxury-tour operator TCS Globe Travel is featuring a new winter season vacation of U.S. nationwide parks by personal charter plane (from $29,900 for every person for ten days) for small teams of 4 to 12 individuals. You’ll jet to up to 6 national parks, such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Bryce Canyon, staying at large-conclusion houses and enjoying guided adventures that range from snowshoeing to wolf tracking alongside the way. 

Guide Picture: Courtesy Rocky Mountaineer

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