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The first things you’ll read on Redwood National Park’s website is that the place is more than just trees.
This is the magic and mystique of Yosemite—the very feeling that makes the park one of the most iconic and visited in the system—and even at 30,000ft I felt it. The oil stain residue of my slack-jawed face pressed against the airplane window proved it.
If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, Maine is the place to be. Home to mountains, lakes, rivers, and ocean, there are boundless outdoor spaces to explore.
Acadia was my fifty-second national park and, even so, was still astonishing—there’s no other park quite like it.
In terms of geology, the park is split between ecosystems where two deserts converge: the Mojave and the Colorado. The former is high desert (topping out at 5,819ft), while the Colorado is low desert (bottoming out at 536ft).
Dispersed camping is camping (in a tent, van, or RV) outside of an established campground. It is legal to camp on most National Forest or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land for up to fourteen days. It’s a great way to avoid the frustration of full campgrounds and can offer a more remote wilderness feeling.
Over this past decade much has changed with the parks and the ways we enjoy them (for example, Instagram did not yet exist when I started), and, because of this, we as recreationalists need to keep learning and relearning how to be optimal land stewards to minimize impact and keep these places unimpaired for future generations. Therefore, here are my 10 suggestions for things you should know when visiting our national parks.
This is all to say, the solution to the outdoor problem we face—increased people on our trails and climbing routes—isn’t the age-old scheme of wealth- and knowledge-driven exclusive. The solution is common sense innovations that include and support others.
5 Surprising Adventure Must Haves
“Fast forward two years and I find myself in Moab, Utah, for the first time in my life. The experience is quite different—no bells signaling an Islamic call to prayer, no language barrier, no Jordanian dinar as my form of cash—but the landscape is equitable with rising plateaus and hills, deep ravines, hot days and cold nights, and weather-induced erosion. The desert, a universal and quite biblical human experience, from one country to the next.”
“I invite you to consider a trip for an alternative season—this will not only enhance your experience by avoiding the crowds but also alleviate our collective impact on the land by flattening the curve of usage. Having been to Yellowstone for each season, I offer you the following insight and advice.”
“So, you want to go rock climbing in the southwest? If you’re a climber you should be ready to go with the flow but a lot happens between the couch and the crag – especially in the southwest.”
“Camping is a great way to get outside, enjoy what you love, and bond in a deeper way with your family. Do you want to go camping with your baby, toddler, or children but you are nervous or do not know if it is a good idea? Well I am here to tell you, that it is a great idea!”
I think I wrote this to try and understand why I wasn’t more upset and to relate to others who are experiencing the same thing. However, as I wrote this I realized how many people will be hurting by the end of this and I want to be ready to help them when it’s time.
Before these times, we heard about the dirtbag lifestyle of guides and the glamour behind living in a tent part season while leading groups down rapids, trails, and up vertical walls of rock. These are the people that teach us, give us experience, and help us safely grow as outdoor enthusiasts.
“I would like to think everyone could find a part of the state that they love. From the mountains of the High Sierra that house Mt. Whiney, Yosemite, and Sequoia to the beautiful High Desert which is a home to Bishop and the entrance to Death Valley.
Outside of gear what is the most important part of preparing for your trip? The crew! Your partners! One of my favorite ways to get people psyched throughout the week is to send a couple guidebook photos, maybe send a couple friction temp / great weather reports, and of course psych is contagious!
“Moab is home to Arches National Park and is within a one-hour drive of scenic Dead Horse Point State Park and stunning Canyonlands National Park. There’s more to Moab than just these parks, though, and local guides are there to help visitors discover all the activities the area has to offer.”
“Towering peaks, world-class mountain biking, whitewater rafting, camping, rock climbing, four-wheeling, hunting, fishing, hot springs… Far from the hustle, bustle, and traffic of Denver, Western Colorado has every outdoor adventure you can imagine.”
An outdoor reflection on sharing the outdoors with others. We are all responsible for enjoying our public lands in ways that are welcoming and ensure that they will be there for future generations to enjoy.”
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