Travel

National Parks in American West

National parks across the country are in the process of reopening, with iconic destinations like the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful already accessible to visitors. In 2019, the National Park Service system received more than 327.5 million visits, and based on recent travel data, the parks could be even more desirable this summer as people look to get away after spending weeks under stay-at-home orders. Travelers are pivoting away from urban destinations to outdoor locations that they can road trip to and camp in.

Below are 6 vacation ideas that include easy access to some of America’s greatest national parks.  

Hike & Bike North Rim of the Grand Canyon: 

Providing gently rolling terrain of lung-expanding dimensions, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon has been long-held as sacred ground to hikers and cyclists. Escape Adventures offers an amazing 5-day tour of the North Rim that includes mountain biking, trekking and camping. Trails brimming with wildflowers lead guests to exhilarating hikes along the rim. Crossing over to the west side of the plateau, guests camp alongside one of the most scenic mountain bike paths in the world, the Rainbow Rim Trail. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/grand-canyon-north-rim-mountain-bike-tour/

Play Cowboy at Luxury Ranch

 Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just minutes from the Bighorn National Forest. It is a scenic three hour drive from Yellowstone National Park. The closest sign of civilization is Ten Sleep, Wyoming, with a population of about 260. Guests stay in their own private chalets, and family-friendly activities include horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, fishing, shooting, and indulging in gourmet farm-to-table cuisine. The ranch is open for business now. http://redrefletranch.com/  

Grand Teton Tiny House Retreat: 

Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fireside Resort capitalizes on the tiny house craze and the classic appeal of rustic cottages by offering 25 pint-size, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a ski trip or a summer getaway.  https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com

Big Sky Base Camp:

 If outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing are your style, look to visit Big Sky, Montana and stay at The Wilson Hotel. Located on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, the town is home to Big Sky Resort and its 5,850 acres of ski terrain, as well as shaded forests, wildflower-filled meadows, rocky mountaintops and clear, cool rivers and streams. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

Bryce & Zion by MTB:

Soaring red stone spires and ancient citadels of rich Navajo sandstone give way to haunting hoodoos and curving arches of rock  a geologist’s dream and a mountain biker’s paradise. The rides on this 6-day Escape Adventures tour offer swift lines that wind and wend through deep Alpine meadows and Aspen forests only to spill out onto yawning mesas and buttes. The world-famous trails of Red Canyon’s Thunder Mountain, Cassidy, and Casto Canyon, symbolize but a few of this tour’s many highlights. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/bryce-and-zion-mountain-bike-tour/

Great Parks North:

 Join the Adventure Cycling Association on its Great Parks North Route. This tour follows the Rocky Mountains from Missoula, Montana, to Jasper, Alberta, exploring some the most spectacular national parks the U.S. and Canada has to offer. Great Parks North will highlight Glacier NP, Waterton NP, Banff NP, and Jasper NP, and jaw-dropping scenery will not be lacking on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/2020-great-parks-north/

Cover photo courtesy by Wilson Hotel website

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