It was my long, long and long wait to see and visit through the US National Parks. It’s no wonder, why these parks are of a great deal of attention and scenic natural beauty. The US National Parks are protected areas and very well managed and maintained by National Park Services under the Department of the Interior. So, it has been my experience and you may have also that these are the best places for fun and recreation in the whole US who wants to have some time for their own.
I have experiences the most diverse collection of landmasses while trotting around the US Parks. I had only a month as vacation so I had to go for only 3 parks to schedule up my total time. After all, a good planning is always what you need to balance between recreation and rest. Just it came to my mind that it would be a great thing to share my lovely experience with you people. Happiness increases manifold when we share, isn’t it? Ok guys, let’s go around the parks.
At the outset, please remember guys; you really need to pack up and collect as much as info possible about what you are going to do there or have there. As our main center of hiking was in the state of California mainly, we selected the Channel Islands and Death Valley. Obviously we did not miss the 2012-famous Yellowstone National Park which may be holding our extinction ticket. Though it was in Montana but we took all the pain to see it. Again, it was the first-to-be-declared national park in the US, actually the world; so others became curious in these.
We were a team of five. 3 gents and 2 ladies. If you are planning to go for hiking or any other sort of adventurous things, then you must plan ahead to have all the utilities these parks can offer you.
Destination 1: Channel Island
Our first destination was Channel Islands. If you are a fan of sea, island, beaches and wildlife altogether then this is where you want to make yourself headed for. Consisting of five islands on the shore of California coast, it encompasses a great area of 1253 sq. nautical miles of sea. These 5 islands along with their sea area, Channel Island parks and adjacent shore make it a beautiful and diverse collection of marine biology and ecological assets. The islands are Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Roza, San Miguel and Santa Barbara.
Channel Island is a protected marine and terrain animal sanctuary. About 70 different species of plants are grown in these five islands and many of them are one in a kind and can be found only in that one. Seabirds, Seals and sea lions have their native growing ground here like many other marine species. These islands are guarded by a ranger each on the island and co-ordinated by the Park Manager. The park authorities were very much careful to bail out non-native species from these islands in order to protect the natives.
Channel Islands were created by tectonic forces and rise out up of the ocean almost five million years ago. So guys, hang tight when you come across anything which you have never seen and never see anywhere in the world.
Commercial flights are available but we chose
a sweet ocean voyage to get there. Please remember guys, we had to take reservation for camping and so will you. This park is one of the least visited one so you can enjoy a great time there of your own with the group. But I suggest you to contact park authorities beforehand to confirm that you can be there at your designed time, because the numbers of visitors are kept limited.
Things to do:
Our target was to get as much as fresh air as we can. We went for hiking, boating, snorkeling and of course photography. We also had an opportunity to see the elephant seals at Cuylers harbor on San Miguel. Want a thrill? Do not miss the sea caves of Santa Cruz.
Destination 2: Death Valley
Well, we are alive. So, Death Valley does not kill people I guess. But please remember, this is the hottest, driest and most uneven terrain. Death Valley is the lowest elevation on the continent and has 200 square miles of salt planes. Despite its harshness and extremity, it receives nearly a million visitors each year. We had some interest in geology, so Death Valley presented a great opportunity in front of us.
An enormous amount of 3.4 million acres of land makes Death Valley the largest National park of US. We certainly did not have the luxury to mark each point of the park. We could not have finished in a month may be. But we took the opportunity to visit the Furnace Creek area, Stovepipe Wells area, Scotty’s Castle area and Panamint Spring Area. Death Valley being a very rough and dry terrain well below the sea level homes for 1000 more rare species of flora and fauna.
The most interesting thing we found here is the inscription on the rocks by 9000 years old human presence. It is quite interesting fact that native people made themselves suited in this dry and low terrain. Eroded rocks, sand dunes, tinted mudstone hills and canyons, lush oases are quite an adventure to hike on. Many places of the park are accessible by road but we have taken the advice of checkpoints to take a map and know the present road condition. Birdwatchers can take out their hobby here.
Death Valley presented us with a long history of geological phenomenon with large diversity of rocks, landscapes and cliffs. Despite the harsh and extreme environment, it also has its animal life. We have avoided the camping here though facilities are available.
It is located in California and Nevada, precisely south of East of Sierra Nevada. It sits between arid Great Basin and Mojave Desert. We suggest that if you are big fan of adventure and geology with a bit of history and certainly want to take some hardship to make fun, Death Valley is for you.
DESTINATION 3: YELLOWSTONE
Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first National park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This park was announced a protected area to preserve the vast numbers of geysers, hot springs and other thermal areas as well as the incredible wildlife and mesmerizing natural beauty. But as known from earlier, the main attraction remained towards the incredible Great Fountain Geyser which shoots up boiled water up to 220 ft. high every 9 to 15 hours. We had an enormous opportunity to visit almost all the geyser. Yellowstone represents almost half of the earth’s geothermal features and was created by a mass eruption of many square miles of land. It has so interesting hydrothermal properties that require to be seen in own eyes. Superheated water of 400 ⁰F makes a very interesting phenomenon of creating different layers of water merging above one another thus making a breeding ground for bacteria in different temperature. These bacteria make the water to show different colors which were amazing to see.
Yellowstone National Park consists of an area of 3472 sq. miles lying within Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. The park is accessible by air and road also. We have had our car with us which are better to go around. With all the geysers erupting in moments, beautiful lakes, landscape and wildlife to look for; it is always easy with a car of own.
We diverted our attentions to Great Canyon Geyser, Old Faithful Geyser, Obsidian Cliff and the Grand prismatic spring. There were a lot to see and a lot to look for also. We have camped for the night as many others do. This park is always well visited my tourists but you will not miss what you want to do. We went for swimming, hiking, photography, horse riding, boating and what not. After all, Yellowstone is the largest Super Volcano on the planet. May be the next time we may see it as a signal for the apocalypse.
Staying in Yellowstone is quite easy. We have had access to lodges and cabins, some good restaurants and food outlets and as well as other facilities. But friends visiting Yellowstone are requested to be aware of the thermal water, wildlife, bacteria growth areas and suddenly changing weather.
Well, those who are reading it, your journey pattern may not match ours. But please keep in your mind that all the National Parks are fantastic places. Among them, the Great Smoky Mountains, The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Zion, Olympic, Grand Teton, Cuyahoga valley, Acadia and Petrified Forest National Parks are the best. You can have almost all the relevant information for each of them in the internet. Plan, pack and dispatch. Don’t wait.
See it until you believe it.