top of page

Top Five Tips for Visiting a National Park

Kolob Canyon Zion
Kolob Canyon sector of Zion National Park

Few places on earth are so remote but simultaneously so easy to visit as America's national parks. The well-preserved public lands of the United States are often referred to as "America's best idea", and as a park geek I couldn't agree more. The national parks are interesting to all, inspiring to most, and spiritual to many.

But as these sites grow in popularity it's important to know what you'll expect during your visit. As we always say, the right planning goes a long way. A good experience at the parks always starts with the proper planning and setting your expectations realistically, but believe us when we say it's worth it!

Read on for our our top five tips for visiting a national park.

TIP #1: You must be patient

Almost all visitors to the national parks are well-intentioned people. They’ve come to the parks to experience something special, just like you, so stay patient during your visit and don’t rush. It’s important to also be patient with the NPS employees, who go to incredible lengths to protect our public lands and ensure they are in top form for visitors. But they are understaffed, and they deal with a diverse list of challenges every day, many stemming from increased visitation.

TIP #2: Prepare for lots of people

It’s no secret anymore: the national parks are on people’s minds. And that’s a good thing! But it translates to many visitors and, often, serious crowds. Don’t be fooled by Instagram photos of the untainted natural landscapes and stunning vistas; behind the lens there are probably dozens of other well-intentioned visitors waiting for their shot too.

TIP #3: Expect traffic and parking issues

Lots of visitors means lots of traffic. And for certain parks, like Arches in Utah or Yosemite in California, the current infrastructure can’t keep up with its popularity. That results in serious congestion that can sour your experience if you don’t plan ahead. That leads into the next tip...

TIP #4: Reservations are here to stay

Trust us, this is a good thing. Some of the more congested and popular parks have begun reservation systems where you must schedule your visit with a timed-entry ticket. The NPS has new data showing benefits of this reservation system so it will likely to expand to include more parks, scenic drives, and popular hikes and excursions.

Observation Point Zion
Observation Point in Zion National Park

TIP #5: Seek immersion

No matter what park you visit, you’re in store for a very special adventure. Our national parks offer a wide variety of recreational, educational, and cultural experiences and beckon you to really “lean in” to your surroundings. If you don’t think the national parks are for you, then you just need to look deeper.

In summary, if you’re hoping to visit a national park then you must plan ahead. Showing up without a plan almost always results in a poor experience. TripPossible has deep expertise on many of the country’s national parks, so reach out and learn how we can make your trip to the parks a reality.

The right planning goes a long way.


bottom of page