Why You Should Explore the National Parks
The history of the national parks in the US goes all the way back to 1872, when Yellowstone National Park became the first national park in the world.
Since then, the United States has designated land into 63 national parks, all full of natural wonder and just waiting for you to explore them! Once you explore one, you won’t be able to stop until you’ve seen them all.
If you’re still not sure if you want to add “hiking the national parks” to your bucket list, here are some reasons why you should make it a priority to explore the national parks!
The untouched nature will inspire you.
Each national park in the US was created for the purpose of conserving the natural landmarks within them. At this point, these are some of the only places in the United States that you can witness nature untouched by humans and industry.
Hiking through the national parks provides a feeling of peacefulness that you can’t find in a bustling city or a forest littered with homes and power lines. For many people, an adventure through the parks is the first time they have seen a desert, forest, or tundra unspoiled by evidence of human life.
It’s the perfect time to leave the phone in the car, toss a disposable camera in your bag, and let your mind wander as you relax in whichever beautiful landscape you choose. From the tall forests and geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the rocky coastline of Acadia National Park to the dry plateaus of the Grand Canyon, there is a unique experience waiting in each biome.
They are inherently educational.
We understand that you may be hesitant to take your kids on a national park excursion. Sure, it leaves a lot of room for scraped knees, spilled drinks, and complaints. But the memories and knowledge they will take home with them will be priceless!
The national parks in the US take science class a step further. Not only will they learn so much just from the experience of traveling in general, but they will see plants, wildlife, and natural landmarks that they might not even know exist!
In many of the parks, you are able to view gorgeous rock formations created from millions of years of erosion. This is a great hands-on way to educate children on the differences between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and how to tell the difference.
Being able to see the wonders of this beautiful world in real life while exploring the national parks instead of within the pages of a textbook makes a huge difference to their growing minds.
They can be fun for anyone!
No matter what activities you are interested in, you are sure to find a national park to accommodate you.
Hiking the national parks is popular with tourists, so nearly all of them offer unique hiking trails for any skill level. Many also offer tours, kayaking, swimming, nature watching, camping, horseback riding, and so much more!
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be quite so outdoorsy, a weekend campsite in a national park might be all you need to step out of your comfort zone.
The National Park Service has even made space for your four-legged friends to enjoy a national parks adventure, too! Just make sure you are prepared for your road trip with your pup, as unlike kids, they aren’t able to let us know as clearly when they are hot, tired, or thirsty!
Visiting them helps to preserve their beauty.
Each time you explore a national park, you are supporting the National Park Service’s efforts to conserve and maintain these precious spaces. While admission can range from $3 to upward of $30, it is a small price to pay for the breathtaking views and heartwarming memories.
While the federal government supports the parks, maintenance costs have risen beyond the budget. When you visit, you are contributing to a nationwide effort to keep these parks in their pristine state for future generations to enjoy.
If you are planning an expedition through every national park in the US, you can simplify the admission process by purchasing an annual pass for $80. Not only will this get you into any national park in the country, but it also applies to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. If you are a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast, this is a must-have when planning your travels!
So, how many national parks have you visited so far? Once you start keeping track, you might surprise yourself by how many you have already explored!