Tips for Visiting National Parks

Tips for Visiting National Parks

Last updated on September 21st, 2019 at 09:35 pm

No matter the season, a visit to any national park will be enhanced by planning. These tips and links can help turn an ordinary visit into one that is extraordinary, educational and exciting!

Before you go:

  • Using the Find A Park feature can help you choose your adventure. It’s searchable by park name, location, activity or topic.
  • Once you’ve decided where you’re headed, check out the park’s Plan Your Visitsection. There you’ll find cool things to do, maps, directions, park brochures and operating hours.
  • Be sure to read the park’s Things to Know Before You Come section so you can have a safe and enjoyable visit.
  • If you’re traveling with children, learn more about the NPS Junior Ranger Program. It’s sure to be a hit with the kids!
  • Check out for information about other public lands.

Once You Arrive

  • Stop by the park visitor center to pick up maps and guides and for up-to-the-minute information on everything from road conditions to hiking trails.
  • Learn about the Special Programs offered in every park. Enjoy a ranger program or two — they offer something special for all ages and every interest.
  • Ask a Park Ranger. These are some of the most knowledgeable people you will encounter on your travels…not to mention the friendliest!
  • Be respectful of wild animals and keep your distance. The animals you may encounter in some national parks are not captive in a zoo — these animals are in their natural habitat and behave accordingly.
  • Remember – Take only pictures, and leave only footprints. Please help us care for these places.

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2 Responses to "Tips for Visiting National Parks"

  1. One thing my wife and I do after visiting the parks is writing an email to the park headquarters thanking them for being a part of your trip. If one of the rangers does something we feel is exceptional, and I mean even above and beyond what 99% of the rangers do daily, I make sure to get that persons name and make mention of how their actions made our trip more worthwhile. Believe me, they do appreciate the feedback and you may be helping them in developing their career.

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