National Parks - Tell Me About These

Old Sep 21st, 2011, 06:16 AM
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National Parks - Tell Me About These

I've come across some parks that for one reason or another get very little mention.

Please tell me about them.

1) Glacier NP (MT) - yes it does get some mention but not as much as I would have expected.

2) Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

3) Rocky Mountain NP

4) Acadia NP

5) Great Basin NP (NV)

6) Mammoth Cave NP (KY) - my guess is the only reason I've included this is because I know some people who will be in the area for a couple of days in early November, want to see this park and have asked me to join them.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Acadia National Park is in Maine - the best place to see "the rugged coast of Maine"

Rocky Mtn NP is not too far from Denver. In the Autumn you can see large herds of Elk. Bighorn sheep are also seen.
bigtyke is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Of the ones I've been to:

6) Mammoth Cave NP Is a very large cave system. I found it not as pretty or impressive as Carlsbad. The interesting time to go there for me would be when the bats are there, from late spring to early fall I think. As with most NPs you can take tours with rangers that take you to some of the more interesting/difficult to get to areas of the park.

4) Acadia NP Is a beautiful, coastal - rocky for the most part- island park. Read yk's description of a recent week or so in the area.

3) Rocky Mountain NP As the name implies, mountains. Beautiful, lots of hiking/camping opportunities, very high elevations, very large areas.

There are TRs on all of these here.
emalloy is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 06:34 AM
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link to yk's TR
emalloy is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 06:56 AM
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Why not just search the National Park Service website? They have park brochures online with tons of information about each park.

To do a search, just go to the following website and enter the name of the park in which you are interested.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 07:08 AM
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I've been to all but #5. What do you want to know?

They are all worth seeing. Go.
starrs is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 07:11 AM
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2) Relatively small park with relatively few day hiking opportunities. It has some similarities to the Grand Canyon in that the views are spectacular, it has a north and south rim with separate entrances/trails, and most people just go to various viewpoints and then leave. Unlike the Grand Canyon, Black Canyon is very narrow and the walls are nearly vertical, so hiking into the canyon is very difficult and the routes are not good. There are no maintained trails into the canyon itself. So that leaves just a few trails on the rim, most of which are pretty short and just lead to a couple viewpoints. If you're in the area, absolutely stop in because the views are amazing, but I would not go there as a destination in and of itself.

3) Rocky Mountain gets a lot of mention on here, mostly as a day trip from Denver but quite a lot of people stay in Estes Park or Grand Lake for a couple days or longer. I'm actually surprised to see someone say it gets very little mention because I believe it is the 5th most visited park in the country.

5) Never been to Great Basin but have wanted to go, out of the way with not much around it so you really have to want to see it in order to justify the trip. Ancient bristlecone pines, alpine scenery, and a cave are the main attractions.

6) If you're interested in caves/bats then go. If that's the right time of year for fall colors in Kentucky, the trails will be beautiful. If you answered no to both questions, skip it (unless you just want to spend time with your friends).
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 07:41 AM
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• Glacier NP is a beautiful place, especially the Many Glaciers area. Combine it with Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta, which is an extension of Glacier.
• Black Canyon is a must see if you are in the vicinity.
• Rocky Mountain NP is great experience, as is the drive to the top of Mt. Evans—100 miles south.
• When we were in Arcadia NP many years ago, I was surprised at how small it is and how little roadway there is directly along the water.

A trip to Glacier, Waterton, Banff, and Jasper make for an unforgettable experience as does Rocky Mountain NP as the centerpiece of a trip to Colorado.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 08:10 AM
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I know how to do a search. I value the opinions here more as a starting point.

I was in Banff last summer as part of a western swing (Victoria & Vancouver). I'd like to go back to Banff and include Jasper & Glacie (AB).

I doubt I would combine them with Glacier (MT) and Waterton. Probably 2 trips.

Thanks, so far.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Well, you might not want to hear this, but I recently was talking with a friend who's an orthopedic surgeon near Glacier NP.

He has become an expert in surgically treating grizzly bear attack victims. He said (semi-jokingly), "don't go to Glacier!"

(RMNP gets a LOT of attention here on the forum, if you search for it.)
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:20 AM
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I've been to Rocky Mountain twice and Mammoth once.

Stayed in a tent with my daughter in Rocky Moutain National Park-Morraine Park Campground for 3 nights-went first week of August. Weather was great. We did several hikes. Probably the best one was to Sky Pond/The Loch. Had a meal at the historic Stanley Hotel. Estes Park town is very close to the entrance for lodging and food. Easy access with DEN airport close by.

While Mammoth Cave is great to see, it wasn't as awesome as I had hoped for. It is one huge huge cave, but ugly. No formations really, just rocks. I did the wild cave tour there. While the wild cave tour is really good, it doesn't compare to the two wild cave tours in Carlsbad. Carlsbad is much much prettier and better. Two young women that were on the tour with us in Mammoth(they weren't part of our group, just with the tour) both said it was one of the top 5 days of their lives. You should be prepared for a lot of crawling and tight squeezes. I doubt you would be interested, but I would encourage others in your group to get their reservations now if they like this sort of thing or are adventurous-If your knees can handle it-go for it!! You can stop halfway thru the tour if needed. Reservations would be the case for any of the "extra or special tours". The Frozen Niagra tour is good. The cave has a lot of history. I would recommend The Corvette Museum and Corvette/GM Factory Tour that is close by.

I am considering a trip to Great Basin next year. Either August 11 thru 14- to coincide with the Meteor shower. It's supposed to be not much of a moon next year and GB is supposed to be a really good place for star gazing. I am also considering a trip there in September as the fall folliage is supposed to be really good. From what I have read it seems like the High Sierra's, but no waterfalls. The good hikes seem at really high elevations. I don't worry about the 6,000 or 8,000 ft hikes, but a lot of the good ones here seem to be 12,000 or so. I am at 300ft where I live, so that concerns me a bit. I would probably not do any hiking my first day there.

I have been to Mesa Verde and The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, but I haven't been to Black Canyon. If I go back to Moab, I will fly into Grand Junction so I can see BCG next time. Just to say I saw it.

here are the pics of my trip to Rocky Mountain this year. We took my jeep and just drove from Oklahoma.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:26 AM
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If you go to Mammoth be sure and cross the river in your car. You take your car across on a tiny ferry.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:28 AM
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You could rent an RV in Denver and Camp. This was my first camping trip and we loved it. Sorry for the multiple post. I always think of other things as soon as I click submit.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:45 AM
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I was reading about the Many Glacier area and many trails are closed due to bear activity.

I'm fast losing interest in Mammoth cave. My son-in-law has to be in Louisville in early Nov and my daughter is going. He wants to see the caves. I wonder how he found out about them. They asked me to join them but. . . .

You live at 300ft. Well, I live at 0.

Just so tempting to go back to Arches, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

May get back to Arches with my daughter and son-in-law next Sept.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:52 AM
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If they are in the area, the caves are certainly worth .5 to 1.5 days worth, depending on how much of it you want to see. We spent the night there. The little cottages/lodge aren't much. I liked the Kentucky Ham that we had there so much, that I called the company and had a whole one sent to my house this past Christmas. It was a Penn Country Ham that the waitress me about at the dining room lodge. Abraham Lincoln Home is between Mammoth and Louisville. It was closed for refurbishing when we were there, so didn't get to see it.

If you look at my pics, you will notice that my GPS says 12,200 elevation in one of the pics.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Myer, if you know how to do a search, why not do that first and then come back with some specific questions about these parks. Why should I or anyone else spend a lot of time responding to your vague question, "Please tell me about them."
Opinions are only valuable once you have some facts.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:10 AM
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My gameplan for next year is Shenandoah in late May with wife and daughter. In June-Drive to Smoky Mountains/camp/ see the fireflies(they all flash at the same time there)with my 12 year old nephew. Also hike to Le Conte and overnight there. Those two are pretty much planned and booked.

I plan on going to Seattle/Olympic with my wife late July(have lodging booked on this one-but could cancel) and then Seattle/North Cascades/Mount Rainier in August with my Daughter. Their school schedules conflict, so we can't go all together during that time. My wife teaches High School and school starts here in our little town usually around Aug 3rd-5th. I am debating about Great Basin with my daughter instead WA trip. I am also debating about Glacier at that time. I had a trip planned to Glacier this past year that turned out awful and costly. Wound up not going at all.

I am going to take my nephew to Moab at some point and do some more canyoneering. Might get to see Black Canyon then.

I have Acadia on my radar in 2 or 3 years. I want to go when the fall folliage would be good.

I always try to watch money and not overspend of course. Our daughter is 18 and timing is very difficult to plan now with her. I can only get away for about 5 days at a time. So time is more of an issue than money. Which might be good, this allows for 3 or 4 long weekend trips each year instead of one big vacation.

My wife and I are content with seeing new places. For my daughter, if it isn't rappelling off a waterfall or rafting the Grand Canyon, she is beginning to not enjoy it as much unless it is something over the top-like Yosemite Falls. I'm not sure that she would like Acadia, The Great Basin, or Black Canyon of the Gunnison. My wife typically likes to throw in a City for a day or two. Such as Portland or Seattle.

I think the best trip we took was our trip a few years ago to Oregon. They spent 12 days there. I spent 9.

My wife and daughter both want to go back to Yellowstone. My daughter and I plan on doing it in the winter next year. Maybe January 2013 first week.

It seems we are always planning very similar destinations.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:15 AM
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It's fairly simple--If you don't want to waste your time answering vague questions, then don't answer.
I suspect that the OP was interested in each of the places mentioned and might be trying to narrow the field a bit.

I don't see the problem asking opinions about 5 or 6 specific places.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:26 AM
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I did a fair amount of reading prior to posting.

I was vague so as to not bias the answers.

And you should answer my vague questions because I spend a lot of time answering them too, as well as writing very detailed trip reports and posting photos.

I know almost all of those who've responded as if they are my friends and I value their opinions.

Some of my recent trip destinations (Yellowstone & Grand Tetons and Yosemite) were selected as a result of vague questions and the responses I got.
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Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:52 AM
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You are joking of course. I live close to GNP and work there and have hiked there over 18 years. I've yet to encounter a grizzly up close. Have seen them in the distance but NEVER on a trail.
Of course, one must NEVER hike alone, check with the visitors center on bear activity before hiking, make noise on the trail, carry AND know how to use bear spray, etc. etc.
Your friend MUST be joking!!!!
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