NPS / David Restivo / NPS
With the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly drawing to a close, many Americans are preparing for a no-frills summer filled with many of the activities that the coronavirus has banned for more than a year. Here are some tips from the National Park Service to help visitors get the most out of their trip.
Plan your visit
Some destinations like California Yosemite National Park Implementation of an entry reservation system to improve visitor management during the pandemic. And despite the pandemic restrictions being lifted left and right, Yosemite plans to continue enforcing a limited number of daily visitors until the end of September 2021.
Other amusement parks, including popular parks Yellowstone, won’t limit the number of visitors per day, but good luck finding a place to stay. The Park Service said most camping and lodging sites within the park are already booked out. Depending on what park you’re talking about, the closest nighttime crash spot could be hours away.
Before committing to the trip, visitors should ensure that they have any required reservations and accommodation if needed.
Be patient with staff and other visitors
last year 237 million people Visit 423 national park sites across the country. And while that may sound overwhelming, those numbers are down 27.6%, 90 million visitors, from the previous year. This is attributed to the temporary closure of parks due to the Corona virus.
NPS / David Restivo / NPS
Visit numbers are expected to pick up again this summer, as NPS prepares for what it calls a “particularly busy season in 2021.” Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming closed last spring. The park still welcomed about 3.3 million people in 2020.
This year, the park saw fewer than 88,000 visitors in April, a 48% increase over the 2019 season, a NPS press release said. And with Yellowstone along the northern border of the Grand Teton, visitors often make a point to travel between the two, as they did 7.1 million tourists in the year 2020.
Take the road least travelled
The national park system manages more than 85 million acres across 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories, each of which offers something different to visitors. However, the 10 most popular parks made up one sixth of the total visitors in 2020. Half of all visitors They were in the top 23.
Adventurous NPS rangers recommend considering lesser-known parks, especially during the busy summer months.
California Channel Islands National Park The five-year average saw just 338,000 visitors per year. Just over 700,000 explorations annually Crater Lake On foot and by car in Oregon. Canyonlands And the bows National parks offer hikers, climbers, and mountain bikers a less crowded alternative to Zion, Utah.
NPS / Debra Miller / NPS
Pack it up, pack it up
Garden Service Supervised 70 million pounds of waste every year. That’s nearly 600 dump trucks full. NPS asks visitors to manage their trash while making the most of American parks. Don’t leave trash, food scraps, or hygiene products behind.
In addition, several parks and monuments will be crowded this summer. In this case, visitors are encouraged to bring their own meals to reduce the amount of waste generated by prepackaged food containers, and The National Parks Preservation Association said.
NPS / M. Reed / NPS
Consider leaving pets at home
While some national parks and landmarks allow pets on leash and in campgrounds, others do not. Visitors should check the pet policy at their destination before setting off on the way. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado bans pets on all of its trails and meadows. However, they can go for a walk along roads, campgrounds and picnic areas.