Thursday, November 5, 2015

Celebrating The National Parks Centennial With Our Top Picks

Sponsored by Collette

2016 is going to be an exciting year for many explorers, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone that enjoys the natural beauty of America’s national parks. In 2016, The National Parks Service will be celebrating its centennial, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Services.

We’ve road tripped all across America, including exploring some of these amazing national parks. Although we’ve yet to explore all 59 of the national parks, we are well on our way. To give you a general idea of our national parks experience, I have provided an overview of 4 of our favourite parks that we’ve explored:

1. Zion National Park

While on a road trip down to Arizona, we happened to stop at Zion National Park for a day trip. We arrived in the park early one morning, and made the semi-challenging hike up Angel’s Landing. It wasn’t until I sat atop Angel’s Landing that I truly realized how magnificent this national park was. This was where my love for national parks really began.

After our hike, we met a local guide who was giving a tour of the park. From the guide, we learned of the Narrows in Zion, but had no time left to explore them as we had to make our way down to the Grand Canyon. We’re hoping to head back soon to explore the Narrows.

2. Grand Canyon

Like many others, the Grand Canyon was near the top of my travel bucket list, and I was finally getting to check it off my list. We arrived at the Grand Canyon first thing in the morning. From the parking lot, we walked straight to the edge of the walk way, and stood in awe of the magnificent beauty that was the Grand Canyon. It was almost like staring at a painting. The Grand Canyon looked perfect, and went on for miles and miles. We found a nice seat along the side of the Grand Canyon, and just sat there for an hour taking in the scenery below.

After our hour of bliss, we made our way to the Bright Angel Lodge for a mule ride tour of the SW rim of the Grand Canyon. This is an area of the canyon less visited by tourists, which gave us a great opportunity to take photos and enjoy the view uninterrupted before heading back to the lodge.

A little unknown fact of the Grand Canyon; during the winter months, the Grand Canyon actually gets snow. Last winter, the Grand Canyon visitor centre posted a picture of a snowy Grand Canyon on New Years Eve, and the internet went crazy. Many people commenting that because of the sweltering heat during the summer months, one would never expect the Grand Canyon to get cold enough during winter for it to snow, but it does.

Road trip tip: if you’re heading to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix, I highly recommend taking a trip through Sedona on the way up. Sedona is a quaint little town situated along a rustic red canyon, well known for its golf courses, scenic canyon views, jeep tours, and gemstone shops.

3. Arches National Park

We stopped at Arches National Park while on a road trip a few years back, and made the hour trek up to the Delicate Arch. It was an amazing experience standing under the Delicate Arch for pictures. It`s such an iconic landmark in Utah, and was a surreal experience seeing it firsthand.

After our hike to the arch, we spent some time driving around the park looking at the other arches and scenery within the park.

At the end of our tour through Arches, we happened to pass one of the campsites in the park. I was so disappointed that we had to leave. I`d love to head back some day, spend some time camping, stargazing, and exploring a bit longer.

4. Yellowstone National Park

A few years back, we did a big road trip from Mt Rushmore, through Yellowstone and down to Grand Teton National Park. There were some amazing sights to see along this route, including Deadwood, and the Badlands, but Yellowstone was the highlight of our trip.

Yellowstone is a magnificent national park to explore. Within minutes of entering the park, we were greeted by a herd of Bison grazing on the grass near the road way. Further down the road, we spotted some deer. This was a great start to our trip in Yellowstone.

We spent a few days exploring the park, moving from geyser to geyser, and even visiting the falls; also known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

This is one park I would highly recommend joining a tour for. There’s so much to see in this park, and when provided some general information while exploring, it truly make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Do you have a favourite national park? Leave a comment below and share your national park experience with us.

This article was brought to you by our friends at Collette. Collette offers amazing guided tours that feature 16 of these national parks. Take the stress out of your adventures and let Collette organize them for you. For more information, visit

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