With Covid still present, being outdoors and enjoying our National Parks is the best vacation idea currently. The National Parks system also has many great economical programs to aid a family on a travel budget.

Yellowstone National Park

The most popular National Park is Yellowstone, bordering Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Named for the yellow rocks, containing sulphur, found throughout the region, the natural beauty of Yellowstone is breathtaking. You will find the variety of activities and natural sites, makes for an easy family vacation for any age. Yellowstone has active Sulphur Pots and hot springs along with many active volcanoes. The Park is a tranquil location, 3,500 square feet in total and full of nature and wildlife. Yellowstone is home to Old Faithful Geyer and is the very first park in the system established by Teddy Roosevelt.

It’s easy to spend a week or more exploring the wilderness, either camping or in one of nine hotels/lodges located within the park. The convenience is pricey for the lodging. If you are on a budget, think about campsites and make reservations early, up to a year in advance.

The Grand Canyon

Located in Northern, Arizona outside of Williams is Grand Canyon National Park. You will discover the red-rocked beauty of the desert and stark contrast to the surrounding forests is dramatic. You will enjoy hiking, the most popular activity in the park. Furthermore, camping is allowed with reservations and a permit. However, trail times and guides book up quickly. Be sure to connect with Park Rangers early in your planning. However, they advise making your reservations early in the year for the prime travel season to the park.

Even though summer is the most popular time of year to visit, be sure to call ahead for cancellations. With only one onsite hotel, the Bright Angel Lodge built in 1935, you will need to plan ahead for accommodations in the Canyon or neighboring Williams, Arizona.  Historic and quaint, meals are also served to non-guests at the lodge and are quite tasty. Visiting the Canyon is an easy day trip from Flagstaff, Arizona on Route 40. Consider a road trip with the Canyon one stop on a long family trip full of adventure and new experiences.

Finally, this link provides the six FREE entry days to all National Parks. Enjoy your summer vacation and hopefully you will be able to enjoy my two favorite parks this summer.

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