US & Canadian Parks

US & Canadian Parks

  • Pinnacles National Park - Pinnacles, in west central California, is a fairly new park. It was dedicated January 2013, although it has been a national monument since 1908. I’ve owned the National Geographic “Guide to National Parks of the United States”, since the second edition, early 1990s, I think. Like Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in Colorado, dedicated in 1999 and Congaree, in South Carolina, dedicated 2003, none of these parks were in my old book. Time for an upgrade. I now have the...

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  • Channel Islands National Park - I’ve heard of this park, I’ve seen pictures, but until reading my daughter’s post about her visit it really wasn’t on my must-see list. And it should be on everyone’s must-see list! So beautiful. It does take advance planning, as you have to book their vendor, Island Packers, to get to the islands (unless you have your own boat?). Island Packers go to all five islands that are part of the Channel Islands National Park, plus they have wildlife and harbor cruises....

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  • Joshua Tree National Park - After leaving the San Diego area, I headed east to spend 3 days and nights at Joshua Tree. I’ve been wanting to visit this park for decades and finally made it out here. Wrong time of year, definitely, with temperatures in the 100s but … I loved this park. I just wanted to see the trees but the park is so much more than that. There is amazing scenery, rock piles, mountains, “gardens” of cholla cacti, plus, great trails, historic...

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  • Arches National Park - Despite booking a “pet friendly” hotel, when I checked in Saturday night, I was given a form with all sorts of rules. The first rule: If I left my dog alone, they would call animal control. Absurd. So I quickly went online trying to find a true pet friendly place to stay. I called other hotels, filtered by pets allowed, but all of them said the same, no pets left in room. One even told me “no hotels allow you...

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  • Canyonlands National Park - “The most arid, most hostile, most lonesome, most grim, bleak, barren, desolate, and savage quarter of the state of Utah – the best part by far” – Edward Abbey ** Canyonlands National Park in Utah is comprised of four unique and separate districts; Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon. All but Horseshoe Canyon are contiguous but separated by the Green and Colorado Rivers. The Maze has no paved roads and is only accessible with 4-wheel...

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  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park - The eighth wonder of the world. Truly amazing. I arrived in Carlsbad and stopped in the caverns on the way to town. I had hoped to get tickets then as well as general park info. I was told tours were fully booked until June 7th, 4 days after I was leaving. Disappointed but I thought I would continue to check recreation.gov per recommendation from the ranger. Boo and I did the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail and walked down to the amphitheater before...

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  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Because of a large fire much of the park was closed. I visited the Piney Spring Visitor Center and did several short trails with Boo, when visiting on Memorial Day. The visitor center has a great exhibit on desert animals and plants. Well worth 1/2 hour or so of your time to stop and read the information. The Pinery Nature Trail, right behind the visitor center, leads to buildings from the Butterfield Stage, a 2800 mile route from Saint Louis...

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  • Big Bend National Park - Big Bend National Park: Mountains and deserts and rivers, oh my! Chisos Mountains, Chihuahuan Desert, and the Rio Grande make up the diverse and beautiful landscape of Big Bend. I’ve never been here, so when planning the next stage of my travels, I looked at the map and thought, I need to visit Big Bend! This is not a park that is easy to get to and it’s not highly visited. The ten most visited national parks range from the...

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  • Corpus Christi and Padre Island National Seashore - After Austin I decided to visit the gulf coast for a few days. I had wanted to spend time in Sanibel and Captiva when I was in Florida. However, in January and February every place was very, very expensive which is why I spent those months in the panhandle, where I could afford it instead of where I wanted to be. Since I didn’t get to visit those Florida Gulf islands, I thought I’ll come visit some other Gulf of...

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  • Vicksburg National Military Park - Like Gettysburg, I visited to see the military park. Unlike Gettysburg, there is no museum and the visitor center is also closed. It may have some great exhibits, information, and artifacts that are comparable to Gettysburg. I stayed close to the downtown area, just off the Yazoo River. I had an easy walk to Washington or Levee Streets and was close to all the restaurants and sites. I stopped at the visitor center my first morning to pick up a...

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