9 UNIQUE ACTIVITIES IN NATIONAL PARKS

When I think of National Parks, I think of beautiful landscapes, historical sites, and epic hikes. But if you take a look around, you’ll find that there are a ton of other activities, too. The more we explore, the more we find. Here are 9 unique activities you should check out.

Sandboard at Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

You can hike up the tallest sand dunes in this park, but the fun part is coming down! Rent a sandboard and zoom down before climbing back up for another ride. Keep in mind that you will have to rent the boards outside of the park. See more here: http://localadventurer.com/great-sand-dunes-national-park-colorado/

 

Climb Into Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park has some of the most remarkable geography. There are countless viewpoints where you can see the cliff dwellings from above, but if you book a tour, you can climb into them and stand where people did thousands of years ago. See more here: http://localadventurer.com/balcony-house-mesa-verde-national-park/

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9 NATIONAL PARKS (NOT ONE OF THE MAJOR 59) YOU SHOULDN’T MISS

Did you know that there are 412 national park areas out there? A lot of people have a bucket list item of visiting the 59 main national parks like Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yosemite, but ever since learning that there are so many more, we’ve decided to upgrade that bucket list item to visiting all 412.

We are still a long way off, but we’re starting to chip away at the list. We’ve enjoyed exploring some of the lesser known parks because they are typically far less crowded and you can easily see most of them in a day or two. Here are 9 that we’ve visited that you shouldn’t miss.

 

White Sand Dunes National Monument, New Mexico

 

This is easily one of our favorites. Walk, hike, or sled on what seems to be endless rolling hills of white sand. It’s a great site for photographers and you can see more about our visit here.

Pro Tip: Avoid visiting in the summer, since it gets brutally hot.


Cabrillo National Monument, California

While living in San Diego for a year, we had a lot of fun exploring Cabrillo National Monument. You can go tide pooling, check out the lighthouse, or enjoy amazing views of the city.

 

Tide pooling at Cabrillo National Monument in California

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THE SHADY SIDE OF 45 TOUR

A girl walks in to a bar…and comes out with a path to turning her dream into a reality. When Adele Amos met Michelle Tang to network using their mutual connections in the production end of television commercials, she never thought she would find a route to fulfilling a dream of hers. As the two strangers chatted, Adele mentioned the idea of dodging the high cost of renting in the Los Angeles area by purchasing an Airstream trailer and parking it wherever she happened to be working. Michelle, a hair and makeup artist, surprised her by saying she had a 1976 Argosy in the Catskills of New York that she had used for just that purpose and would sell it for just $1500.00. Even though the trailer was 2500 miles away, Adele said yes to the purchase on the spot. She knew she wanted it and would just need to find someone to take 4 weeks off work and go get it with her.

 

 

Enter Cindy Gaines, Adele’s childhood friend and neighbor. Cindy and Adele have what could be described as a “sump pump” friendship; it’s there even though you might not acknowledge it every day and it kicks in when needed. The two grew up in the same neighborhood in Portland, Oregon and went all through school together circling each other’s social spheres. They were friends but not best friends, although Adele often visited Cindy’s family’s lake house in southwest Washington. After college when Adele was visiting home, they reconnected and got to know each other better. They formed the kind of friendship that picks up where it left off each time they see each other. Cindy, as an only child, had been given the gift of travel by her professor parents. They used their discretionary income on experiences. They took their daughter all over the world and when she was in 4th grade they took her out of school for five months and traveled all through the US and Mexico in a motorhome. Cindy had been infused with wanderlust and she and Adele, who also traveled stateside and internationally with her parents and three siblings, shared a mutual love for adventure. When Adele realized that she wanted a friend to travel with her to pick up the trailer, Cindy was the first person she called.

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8 UNDERRATED NATIONAL PARKS THAT WILL LEAVE YOU SPEECHLESS

National Parks such as YellowstoneYosemite, or the Grand Canyon are rightfully some of the most famous destinations in the U.S. They’re iconic and beautiful, and deserving of their formidable reputations. But there are more than 400 parks, preserves, reserves, seashores and other units under the protection of the National Park System. Iconic park sights such as Old Faithful are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural beauty of the United States. Here are eight other national parks you don’t want to miss.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada

 

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Best known as home to the stunning Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park is a glacier-carved natural wonder. Take the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive 10,000 feet up, then hike to the summit to see the only glacier in Nevada, the Wheeler Peak Glacier​. While you’re there, be sure to examine the bristlecone pines, some of the world’s oldest trees, the last remnants of a Pleistocene forest… some of the trees are 3,000 years old, before Rome was even established as a city! Once you’ve admired the views, head underground to see Lehman Caves, a marble cavern ornately decorated with cave formations and 1.5 miles of underground passages. The park averages about 80,000 visitors a year and is a must-visit on a southwest road trip.

 

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

 

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GIRL CAMPER: GOING PLACES, DOING THINGS!

It is that sad time of year when the Girl Campers are packing up their treasured homes on wheels and battening down the hatches for the winter. Rather than be sad about this I thought it would be a good time to review the Girl Camping world so you can use this time to plan for next season’s outings.

 

 

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