A few weeks ago, the National Parks Service declared the reopening of certain parks around America. With the positive news of the reopening, visitors from around the nation flocked to each park looking for an escape from the quarantined life they’ve been living. Although the parks have decided to reopen, visiting National Parks may be a bit different, as a few major structures have been placed to help regulate social distancing practices. The majority of campsites within the parks have been closed due to close quarters and certain parks such as Zion National Park have suspended its shuttle service. (Reopened on July 1st) With those new laws in places, visiting certain parks may present a challenge for those looking to visit. Here are some ways that visitors can still visit and what you may need while visiting. Just remember to bring that camera and use that handy camera strap when taking photos!
Camping While Visiting National Parks:
One of the main concerns one may have about visiting National Parks during this pandemic is that most parks have their campsites shutdown. Luckily for visitors, smaller areas outside of the park provide outdoor camping. Be sure to look for state park camping and lake camping. Available campsites for those looking to camp in California can be found here. Alternatively, those looking for a camp option should use Hipcamp, a campsite rental company that allows travelers to rent campsites around the nation. They even have a variety of glamping spots for those who still want the comforts of their home while in the outdoors.
Visiting National Parks:
Visiting National Parks during these times may present visitors with advanced planning if they want to get in. Zion for example was only letting in 200 cars at a time a few weeks back and I can only assume others are doing the same. Alternatively, parks such as Bryce Canyon are not limiting capacity and have most of their stores open and running. It varies from park to park. Because of this, I encourage everyone looking to visit such parks to research current conditions here, and talk to friends who have previously visited the parks before you head out.
Once at the park, it is fairly easy to social distance. Trails seem to run on forever, and lines to get into park stores reflect a similar pattern to those we’ve been seeing in our communities. Like most hiking trails, hikers greet each other but are sure to keep enough distance between themselves as the hike on opposite sides.
Visiting National Parks right now is something people should consider doing. Especially for those that have been cooped up inside and are working from home right now. Spending time outdoors is the perfect way to calm the mind and reset. Just remember to bring that handy camera strap and other Tether gear you might want before heading out to explore America’s National Parks!
Written by @vis.ry