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Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

Maine, USA April - October Moderate
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Acadia National Park holds some of the most spectacular scenery on the Eastern Seaboard: a rugged coastline of surf-pounded granite and an interior graced by sculpted mountains, serene ponds, and lush deciduous forests.
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Base Town:
Bar Harbor, ME
Closest Airport:
Bangor International Airport (BGR)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Bangor International Airport (BGR)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Beach Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Leaf-Peeping Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Swimming Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Coastal Forests Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Bar Harbor, ME
Closest Airport:
Bangor International Airport (BGR)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Arches National Park

Utah, USA April - October Easy
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Four hours (235 miles) from Salt Lake City, this park has the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches, including that most-famous symbol of Utah, Delicate Arch. Nearby is Moab, an adventure hotspot, with world-class white-water rafting on the Colorado River, rock climbing, four-wheeling, and mountain biking.
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Base Town:
Moab, UT; Green River, UT
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Activity Level:
Easy
Park Highlights:
Biking Climbing Day Trip Family Geological Formations Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Desert Show all
Base Town:
Moab, UT; Green River, UT
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Easy

Badlands National Park

South Dakota, USA May - September Active
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Badlands National Park's eroded buttes and spires cast amazing shades of red and yellow across the South Dakota prairie. In addition to scenery, it has some of the world’s richest mammal fossil beds.
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Base Town:
Rapid City, SD; Wall, SD; Pine Ridge, SD
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
When to Go:
May - September
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Hiking Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Canyons Show all
Base Town:
Rapid City, SD; Wall, SD; Pine Ridge, SD
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
When to Go:
May - September
Activity Level:
Active

Banff National Park

Alberta, Canada January - December Moderate
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The Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful ranges on Earth, and Canada's first national park is nestled among these mountains, glaciers, and forests. It also has some of the world's best skiing.
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Base Town:
Canmore, Canada
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Boating Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Canmore, Canada
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Big Bend National Park

Texas, USA January - May; September - December Moderate
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In a remote location, with the Rio Grande River along its southern border, Big Bend's limitless skies and ample space are two of its strongest selling points.
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Base Town:
Marathon, TX; Terlingua, TX
Closest Airport:
Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Closest Airport:
Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Boating Hiking Kayaking Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Canyons Desert Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Marathon, TX; Terlingua, TX
Closest Airport:
Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Biscayne National Park

Florida, USA January - May; September - December Moderate
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Occupying 172,000 acres along the southern portion of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, Biscayne National Park is 95% submerged, with coral reefs and coastal mangrove forests.
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Base Town:
Miami, FL
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Boating Day Trip Family Fishing Kayaking Wildlife Coastal Forests Show all
Base Town:
Miami, FL
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado, USA April - October Active
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This steep and narrow river gorge in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has sheer cliffs and a drop twice as high as the Empire State Building.
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Base Town:
Montrose, CO; Crawford, CO
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Denver International Airport (DEN)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Denver International Airport (DEN)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Climbing Fishing Geological Formations Hiking Horseback Riding Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Winter Sports Canyons Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Montrose, CO; Crawford, CO
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Denver International Airport (DEN)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah, USA May - October Moderate
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Exploring the hoodoos (spectacular columns of rock) at this park is like wandering through a giant maze. Bryce is within a few hours of Utah's other national parks and near Kodachrome Basin State Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
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Base Town:
Panguitch, UT; Escalante, UT; Cedar City, UT
Closest Airport:
Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC); McCarran International Airport (LAS)
When to Go:
May - October
Closest Airport:
Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC); McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Bird-Watching Day Trip Family Geological Formations Hiking History Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Winter Sports Canyons Show all
Base Town:
Panguitch, UT; Escalante, UT; Cedar City, UT
Closest Airport:
Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC); McCarran International Airport (LAS)
When to Go:
May - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Canyonlands National Park

Utah, USA March - October Moderate
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Biking on White Rim Road, white-water rafting in Cataract Canyon—plus spires, pinnacles, cliffs, and mesas as far as the eye can see are the top reasons to go.
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Base Town:
Moab, UT; Monticello, UT
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
March - October
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Day Trip Geological Formations Hiking History Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Canyons Show all
Base Town:
Moab, UT; Monticello, UT
Closest Airport:
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
March - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah, USA April - October Moderate
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Seven times larger than nearby Bryce Canyon and much less crowded, Capitol Reef is known for its 100-mile-long Waterpocket Fold, a monocline (or “wrinkle” in the Earth’s crust). It has many options for day hikes as well as backcountry trips into slot canyons, arches, cliffs, domes, and slickrock.
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Base Town:
Torrey, UT
Closest Airport:
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Biking Day Trip Family Geological Formations Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Desert Show all
Base Town:
Torrey, UT
Closest Airport:
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico, USA January - December Active
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The park’s 113 caves, bizarre underground rock formations, and 400,000 diving, dipping, sonar-blipping bats are the main draws.
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Base Town:
Carlsbad, NM; White's City, NM
Closest Airport:
Cavern City Air Terminal (CNM); El Paso International Airport (ELP)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Cavern City Air Terminal (CNM); El Paso International Airport (ELP)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Geological Formations Hiking Wildlife Caves Desert Show all
Base Town:
Carlsbad, NM; White's City, NM
Closest Airport:
Cavern City Air Terminal (CNM); El Paso International Airport (ELP)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Active

Channel Islands National Park

California, USA January - December Moderate
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These five islands are home to 145 species of terrestrial plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. You’re bound to see wildlife such as dolphins, sea lions, island foxes, and pelicans, and can kayak, dive, and go whale-watching.
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Base Town:
Oxnard, CA; Ventura, CA; Santa Barbara, CA
Closest Airport:
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA); Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA); Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Beach Bird-Watching Boating Day Trip Family Hiking Kayaking Swimming Wildlife Canyons Coastal Show all
Base Town:
Oxnard, CA; Ventura, CA; Santa Barbara, CA
Closest Airport:
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA); Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon, USA June - October Moderate
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Crater Lake is a geological marvel—the 21-square-mile sapphire-blue lake inside a caldera is the nation's deepest. The park itself includes about 90 miles of trails.
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Base Town:
Klamath Falls, OR; Roseburg, OR; Ashland, OR
Closest Airport:
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR); Portland International Airport (PDX)
When to Go:
June - October
Closest Airport:
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR); Portland International Airport (PDX)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Boating Family Fishing Hiking Scenic Drives Swimming Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Lakes/Rivers Show all
Base Town:
Klamath Falls, OR; Roseburg, OR; Ashland, OR
Closest Airport:
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR); Portland International Airport (PDX)
When to Go:
June - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Death Valley National Park

California, USA January - May; October - December Active
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This is a vast, lonely, beautiful place with breathtaking vistas, searing heat, and mysterious moving rocks. The desert landscape is surrounded by majestic mountains, dry lakebeds, spring wildflowers, and Wild West ghost towns.
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Base Town:
Beatty, NV; Lone Pine, CA
Closest Airport:
McCarran International Airport (LAS); Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
When to Go:
January - May; October - December
Closest Airport:
McCarran International Airport (LAS); Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Hiking History Horseback Riding Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Desert Show all
Base Town:
Beatty, NV; Lone Pine, CA
Closest Airport:
McCarran International Airport (LAS); Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
When to Go:
January - May; October - December
Activity Level:
Active

Denali National Park and Preserve

Alaska, USA June - September Moderate
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Home to Mt. McKinley—the highest peak in North America—Denali National Park and Preserve comprises 6 million acres of Alaska's best wildlife, scenery, and adventures.
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Base Town:
Healy, AK
Closest Airport:
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI); Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
When to Go:
June - September
Closest Airport:
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI); Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Climbing Family Hiking History Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Healy, AK
Closest Airport:
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI); Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
When to Go:
June - September
Activity Level:
Moderate

Glacier Bay

Alaska, USA May - September Easy
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Glacier Bay is home to the continent's largest collection of tidewater glaciers, which can be seen from a cruise ship or on a day boat tour. Migrating humpback whales and occasionally orcas can also be spotted here and it's an excellent place to sea kayak. The park's remote, undeveloped location ensures that travelers in search of quiet repose will not be disappointed.
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Base Town:
Gustavus, AK
Closest Airport:
Gustavus Airport (GST); Juneau International Airport (JNU)
When to Go:
May - September
Closest Airport:
Gustavus Airport (GST); Juneau International Airport (JNU)
Activity Level:
Easy
Park Highlights:
Beach Bird-Watching Boating Day Trip Family Fishing Hiking History Kayaking Stunning Vistas Wildlife Coastal Glaciers Show all
Base Town:
Gustavus, AK
Closest Airport:
Gustavus Airport (GST); Juneau International Airport (JNU)
When to Go:
May - September
Activity Level:
Easy

Glacier National Park

Montana, USA January; May - October; December Active
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The rugged mountains that weave their way through the Continental Divide in northwest Montana are the backbone of Glacier National Park. The park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is a spectacular drive that crosses the crest of the Continental Divide.
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Base Town:
Bigfork, MT; Whitefish, MT; Columbia Falls, MT
Closest Airport:
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA); Missoula International Airport (MSO)
When to Go:
January; May - October; December
Closest Airport:
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA); Missoula International Airport (MSO)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Boating Climbing Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Winter Sports Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Bigfork, MT; Whitefish, MT; Columbia Falls, MT
Closest Airport:
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA); Missoula International Airport (MSO)
When to Go:
January; May - October; December
Activity Level:
Active

Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona, USA March - November Active
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The Grand Canyon exalts and humbles the human spirit. You can view the spectacle from the South Rim, the North Rim, or hike or take a mule ride into the canyon for a richer experience. Rafting the Colorado River through the canyon can't be beat.
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Base Town:
Tusayan, AZ; Williams, AZ; Fredonia, AZ
Closest Airport:
North Las Vegas Airport (VGT); Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
When to Go:
March - November
Closest Airport:
North Las Vegas Airport (VGT); Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Family Geological Formations Hiking Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Canyons Desert Show all
Base Town:
Tusayan, AZ; Williams, AZ; Fredonia, AZ
Closest Airport:
North Las Vegas Airport (VGT); Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
When to Go:
March - November
Activity Level:
Active

Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming, USA May - September Active
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With no foothills, the unimpeded view of the Teton Range rising out of Jackson Hole is stunning. Wildlife from short-tailed weasels to grizzly bears abound.
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Base Town:
Jackson, WY
Closest Airport:
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
When to Go:
May - September
Closest Airport:
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Family Fishing Hiking History Horseback Riding Kayaking Leaf-Peeping Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Jackson, WY
Closest Airport:
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
When to Go:
May - September
Activity Level:
Active

Great Basin National Park

Nevada, USA May - October Active
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It may be one of the nation's least visited national parks (there isn’t even an entrance fee), but the stalactites, stalagmites, and popcorn in Lehman Caves and the solitude of backcountry treks are big draws.
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Base Town:
Ely, NV; Baker, NV
Closest Airport:
Ely Airport (ELY); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
May - October
Closest Airport:
Ely Airport (ELY); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Winter Sports Caves Forests Lakes/Rivers Show all
Base Town:
Ely, NV; Baker, NV
Closest Airport:
Ely Airport (ELY); Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
When to Go:
May - October
Activity Level:
Active

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado, USA April - October Active
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The 30 square miles of landlocked dune fields are an impressive sight. Aside from the dunes there are eight different life zones to explore, ranging from salty wetlands to alpine peaks.
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Base Town:
Alamosa, CO
Closest Airport:
San Luis Valley International Airport (ALS); Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
San Luis Valley International Airport (ALS); Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Fishing Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Desert Forests Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Alamosa, CO
Closest Airport:
San Luis Valley International Airport (ALS); Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

Great Smoky Mtns. National Park

Tennessee, USA April - November Easy
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The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the great wild areas of the eastern United States, with many of the region's tallest mountains. Within the park you'll find excellent hiking, fishing, and lookouts to marvel at the scenery.
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Base Town:
Knoxville, TN; Asheville, NC; Gatlinburg, TN
Closest Airport:
McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS); Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
When to Go:
April - November
Closest Airport:
McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS); Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
Activity Level:
Easy
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Day Trip Family Fishing Hiking History Horseback Riding Leaf-Peeping Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Knoxville, TN; Asheville, NC; Gatlinburg, TN
Closest Airport:
McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS); Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
When to Go:
April - November
Activity Level:
Easy

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Texas, USA March - October Active
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This remote park draws thousands of visitors every fall, when the hardwoods of McKittrick Canyon burst into flaming color. The park is home to the Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in the state.
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Base Town:
Whites City, NM; Carlsbad, NM
Closest Airport:
El Paso International Airport (ELP)
When to Go:
March - October
Closest Airport:
El Paso International Airport (ELP)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Climbing Hiking Leaf-Peeping Wildlife Canyons Desert Forests Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Whites City, NM; Carlsbad, NM
Closest Airport:
El Paso International Airport (ELP)
When to Go:
March - October
Activity Level:
Active

Haleakala National Park

Hawaii, USA January - December Active
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Established in 1916, Haleakala National Park covers an astonishing 33,222 acres, with the Haleakala Crater as its centerpiece. There's tremendous hiking, otherworldly landscapes, and spots to view gorgeous sunrises.
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Base Town:
Lahaina, HI; Wailea, HI
Closest Airport:
Kahului Airport (OGG)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Kahului Airport (OGG)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Climbing Day Trip Family Hiking Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Lahaina, HI; Wailea, HI
Closest Airport:
Kahului Airport (OGG)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Active

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Vicinity

Hawaii, USA January - December Active
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Exploring the surface of the world's most active volcano—from the moonscape craters at the summit to the red-hot lava flows on the coast to the kipuka, pockets of vegetation left untouched—is the ultimate ecotour.
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Base Town:
Hilo, HI; Volcano Village, HI
Closest Airport:
Hilo International Airport (ITO); Kona International Airport (KOA)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Hilo International Airport (ITO); Kona International Airport (KOA)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Day Trip Family Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Hilo, HI; Volcano Village, HI
Closest Airport:
Hilo International Airport (ITO); Kona International Airport (KOA)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Active

Jasper National Park

Alberta, Canada April - October Active
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One of the largest protected mountain ecosystems in the world and the largest of the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks, Jasper woos visitors with its lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and mountains.
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Base Town:
Edmonton, Canada; Calgary, Canada; Hinton, Canada
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Family Horseback Riding Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Swimming Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Edmonton, Canada; Calgary, Canada; Hinton, Canada
Closest Airport:
Edmonton International Airport (YEG); Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

Joshua Tree National Park

California, USA January - May; September - December Active
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Large stands of Joshua trees gave the park its name, but it’s also a great spot for rock climbing. Brilliant wildflower displays and starry nights add to the draw.
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Base Town:
Palm Springs, CA; Joshua Tree, CA; Twentynine Palms, CA
Closest Airport:
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Closest Airport:
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Climbing Day Trip Hiking History Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Desert Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Palm Springs, CA; Joshua Tree, CA; Twentynine Palms, CA
Closest Airport:
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Activity Level:
Active

Kenai Fjords National Park

Alaska, USA June - September Easy
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From hiking to canoeing, Kenai Fjords National Park has world-class recreation activities. Wildlife abounds in the icy waters and dense coastal forests, while glaciers meet the sea at the Harding Icefield.
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Base Town:
Seward, AK
Closest Airport:
Kenai Municipal Airport (ENA)
When to Go:
June - September
Closest Airport:
Kenai Municipal Airport (ENA)
Activity Level:
Easy
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Boating Day Trip Family Fishing Hiking Kayaking Stunning Vistas Wildlife Coastal Glaciers Show all
Base Town:
Seward, AK
Closest Airport:
Kenai Municipal Airport (ENA)
When to Go:
June - September
Activity Level:
Easy

Lassen Volcanic National Park

California, USA June - October Active
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Lassen Peak, a dormant plug dome volcano that last erupted in 1915, and every other type of known volcano (shield, cinder cone, and composite) are here, as well as roiling mud pots and hissing steam vents.
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Base Town:
Red Bluff, CA; Redding, CA
Closest Airport:
Sacramento International Airport (SMF); Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
When to Go:
June - October
Closest Airport:
Sacramento International Airport (SMF); Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Winter Sports Lakes/Rivers Mountains Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Red Bluff, CA; Redding, CA
Closest Airport:
Sacramento International Airport (SMF); Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
When to Go:
June - October
Activity Level:
Active

Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado, USA April - October Moderate
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Located in the Four Corners region—the junction of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona—this park houses an amazing collection of Ancestral Puebloan dwellings, some carved directly into cliff faces, and ancient artifacts.
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Base Town:
Cortez, CO; Dolores, CO; Durango, CO
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Bird-Watching Family Hiking History Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Canyons Desert Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Cortez, CO; Dolores, CO; Durango, CO
Closest Airport:
Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO); Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Mount Rainier National Park

Washington, USA April - October Active
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The fifth-highest mountain in the Lower 48, Mt. Rainier is so massive that the summit is rarely visible, but when conditions are right, the image of the entire mountain is unforgettable. Hikes cover temperate rainforest, old-growth forests of hemlock and fir, high meadows, and tundra—not to mention hot springs, glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls.
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Base Town:
Ashford, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma Intl Airport (SEA)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma Intl Airport (SEA)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Climbing Day Trip Family Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Ashford, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma Intl Airport (SEA)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

North Cascades National Park

Washington, USA May - October Active
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Hiking on a real glacier is a memorable experience—especially if you add in marmots, golden eagles, and coyotes—and North Cascades is home to several hundred of them.
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Base Town:
Newhalem, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
When to Go:
May - October
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Day Trip Hiking History Horseback Riding Kayaking Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Canyons Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Newhalem, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
When to Go:
May - October
Activity Level:
Active

Olympic National Park

Washington, USA April - October Active
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Centered on Mt. Olympus and framed on three sides by water, this park is known for its temperate rain forests, rugged coastal expanses, Sol Duc hot springs, and hiking (or skiing) at Hurricane Ridge.
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Base Town:
Port Angeles, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Beach Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Day Trip Fishing Hiking Kayaking Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Coastal Forests Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Port Angeles, WA
Closest Airport:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

Petrified Forest National Park

Arizona, USA March - November Moderate
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This park is known for fallen and fossilized trees, which look like they are made of colorful stone.
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Base Town:
Holbrook, AZ
Closest Airport:
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX); Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
When to Go:
March - November
Closest Airport:
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX); Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Bird-Watching Geological Formations Hiking History Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Canyons Desert Show all
Base Town:
Holbrook, AZ
Closest Airport:
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX); Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
When to Go:
March - November
Activity Level:
Moderate

Pinnacles National Park

California, USA January - May; September - December Moderate
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Hiking among rugged volcanic spires is the most popular activity at Pinnacles, and the best chance you'll have at encountering one of the extremely rare California condors that make their home here.
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Base Town:
Soledad, CA; Hollister, CA
Closest Airport:
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Closest Airport:
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Climbing Day Trip Hiking Wild flowers Caves Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Soledad, CA; Hollister, CA
Closest Airport:
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Redwood National Park

California, USA April - October Easy
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Redwood is home to the world’s tallest trees: giant coast redwoods, which grow to more than 300 feet tall.
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Base Town:
Crescent City, CA; Klamath, CA; Trinidad, CA
Closest Airport:
Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV)
Activity Level:
Easy
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Family Fishing Hiking Kayaking Scenic Drives Wildlife Coastal Forests Show all
Base Town:
Crescent City, CA; Klamath, CA; Trinidad, CA
Closest Airport:
Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Easy

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado, USA April - October Active
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Alpine lakes, mountain peaks, and wildlife such as elk and bighorn sheep draw visitors to the park. There are also 355 miles of trails leading to meadows filled with wildflowers and crystal lakes and 14,259-foot Long's Peak to summit.
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Base Town:
Estes Park, CO; Grand Lake, CO
Closest Airport:
Denver International Airport (DEN)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Climbing Day Trip Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Estes Park, CO; Grand Lake, CO
Closest Airport:
Denver International Airport (DEN)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Active

Saguaro National Park

Arizona, USA January - December Moderate
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The park takes its name from the towering saguaro cactus, the largest of its kind in the United States. The park is split into two districts, each about 30 miles apart; the better collection of cacti is found in the west district.
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Base Town:
Tucson, AZ
Closest Airport:
Tuscon International Airport (TUS)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Tuscon International Airport (TUS)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Archaeological Sites Biking Bird-Watching Day Trip Family Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wild flowers Wildlife Desert Show all
Base Town:
Tucson, AZ
Closest Airport:
Tuscon International Airport (TUS)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

California, USA April - October Moderate
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Sequoias are the big trees here, which have monstrously thick trunks and branches. The Generals Highway, which connects the two parks, features many of these natural marvels. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway offers views into a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon.
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Base Town:
Three Rivers, CA; Visalia, CA; Fresno, CA
Closest Airport:
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Leaf-Peeping Scenic Drives Swimming Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Show all
Base Town:
Three Rivers, CA; Visalia, CA; Fresno, CA
Closest Airport:
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Shenandoah National Park

Virginia, USA April - October Moderate
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From the open vistas and forest-hemmed stretches of Skyline Drive to the beautiful terrain on the park's 500 miles of trails, Shenandoah National Park is stunning.
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Base Town:
Charlottesville, VA
Closest Airport:
Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA); Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
When to Go:
April - October
Closest Airport:
Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA); Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Day Trip Family Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Leaf-Peeping Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Caves Forests Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Charlottesville, VA
Closest Airport:
Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA); Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
When to Go:
April - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

The Everglades

Florida, USA January - May; September - December Active
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Covering more than 1.5 million acres, the fabled "River of Grass" is the state's greatest natural treasure. Alligators, Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, dolphins, bald eagles, and roseate spoonbills call this vast habitat home.
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Base Town:
Everglades City, FL
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Boating Family Fishing Hiking Kayaking Wildlife Coastal Lakes/Rivers Show all
Base Town:
Everglades City, FL
Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (MIA)
When to Go:
January - May; September - December
Activity Level:
Active

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota, USA May - October Moderate
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Theodore Roosevelt is known for chunks of badlands on the Little Missouri River and the 26th president’s beloved Elkhorn Ranch. This is one of the most isolated parks in the country.
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Base Town:
Medora, ND; Dickinson, ND
Closest Airport:
Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)
When to Go:
May - October
Closest Airport:
Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Fishing Hiking History Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Wildlife Canyons Show all
Base Town:
Medora, ND; Dickinson, ND
Closest Airport:
Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)
When to Go:
May - October
Activity Level:
Moderate

Waterton Lakes National Park

Alberta, Canada May - October Active
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This Canadian national park is the meeting of two worlds: the flatlands of the prairie and the abrupt upthrust of the mountains.
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Base Town:
Cardston, Canada
Closest Airport:
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
May - October
Closest Airport:
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Boating Climbing Hiking Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Swimming Wildlife Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Cardston, Canada
Closest Airport:
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
When to Go:
May - October
Activity Level:
Active

Wind Cave National Park

South Dakota, USA May - September Active
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One of the largest caves in the world, with beautiful cave formations including boxwork (3-D calcite honeycomb patterns on cave walls and ceilings), Wind Cave is the place to go spelunking.
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Base Town:
Hot Springs, SD; Rapid City, SD
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
When to Go:
May - September
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Bird-Watching Geological Formations Hiking Scenic Drives Wildlife Caves Show all
Base Town:
Hot Springs, SD; Rapid City, SD
Closest Airport:
Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)
When to Go:
May - September
Activity Level:
Active

Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming, USA January - December Active
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Best known for Old Faithful, the world's most famous geyser, flowing hot springs, and mudspots, Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the world. Spotting the abundant wildlife, like bison, elk, moose, and bears, is the other main draw.
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Base Town:
Cody, WY; Jackson, WY; West Yellowstone, MT
Closest Airport:
Yellowstone Regional Airport (YRA); Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Yellowstone Regional Airport (YRA); Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
Activity Level:
Active
Park Highlights:
Boating Family Fishing Geological Formations Hiking History Horseback Riding Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Geysers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Volcanoes Show all
Base Town:
Cody, WY; Jackson, WY; West Yellowstone, MT
Closest Airport:
Yellowstone Regional Airport (YRA); Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Active

Yosemite National Park

California, USA January - December Moderate
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Dozens of famed features, from the soaring granite monoliths of Half Dome and El Capitan, to shimmering waterfalls like Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall, like within reach in the Yosemite Valley.
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Base Town:
Mariposa, CA; Lee Vining, CA; Oakhurst, CA
Closest Airport:
Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT); San Francisco Airport (SFO)
When to Go:
January - December
Closest Airport:
Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT); San Francisco Airport (SFO)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Climbing Family Hiking History Horseback Riding Rafting Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Swimming Waterfalls Wild flowers Wildlife Winter Sports Forests Glaciers Lakes/Rivers Mountains Show all
Base Town:
Mariposa, CA; Lee Vining, CA; Oakhurst, CA
Closest Airport:
Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT); San Francisco Airport (SFO)
When to Go:
January - December
Activity Level:
Moderate

Zion National Park

Utah, USA March - November Moderate
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Sheer 2,000-foot cliffs and river-carved canyons are what Zion is all about, and hiking the Narrows and the Subway are on many an adventurer’s bucket-list. Zion is right next to hospitable Springdale, which is full of amenities and charm.
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Base Town:
Springdale, UT; St. George, UT
Closest Airport:
Saint George Municipal Airport (SGU); UT McCarran International Airport (LAS)
When to Go:
March - November
Closest Airport:
Saint George Municipal Airport (SGU); UT McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Activity Level:
Moderate
Park Highlights:
Biking Bird-Watching Climbing Family Geological Formations Hiking Scenic Drives Stunning Vistas Swimming Waterfalls Wildlife Winter Sports Canyons Lakes/Rivers Show all
Base Town:
Springdale, UT; St. George, UT
Closest Airport:
Saint George Municipal Airport (SGU); UT McCarran International Airport (LAS)
When to Go:
March - November
Activity Level:
Moderate
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Activity Level

Easy

Park can be experienced with drives and scenic stops.

Moderate

Park requires hiking or other outdoor activities.

Active

Park requires rigorous outdoor activities and/or exposure to adverse weather conditions.
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