7 Reasons to Make Visiting a National Park One of Your New Years Resolutions in 2020

Every year, millions of people celebrate the new year by setting resolutions. Unfortunately, most of those resolutions are abandoned less than 2 weeks later. In fact, more than 80 percent of all individuals who set resolutions fail to keep them.

There are plenty of reasons why resolutions get abandoned. Sometimes the goals were too lofty to begin with. Other times they require far too much of a time commitment, or we lose interest.

But there’s one resolution that won’t require hitting the gym, yet still offers plenty of health benefits. And it might just be the solution for those hoping to finally accomplish a New Years resolution.

This year, make it your goal in 2020 to visit a National Park (and maybe one of Utah’s finest!). Keep reading to learn a few reasons why it’s the best resolution you could make for yourself and your family in the new year.

1. Enjoy the Healthy Perks of Time Spent Outdoors

If you’ve ever taken a stroll outdoors on the first warm spring day of the year or relaxed on the beach and left feeling refresh, you know just how beneficial time spent outdoors can be. But what you may not realize is that those benefits aren’t just in your head.

Science backs the perks of spending time outdoors. Besides just feeling good, you’ll also get a boost of vitamin D, which can help you fight disease. More than 40 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. With regular outdoor adventures to national parks, state parks, or even just your own backyard, you can fight this trend.

Other benefits include improved concentration and an improvement in your mood and overall happiness.

2. Celebrate Our Nation’s History

America’s first national park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872. Yellowstone, as well as every other one of the 61 parks and hundreds of other federally protected areas has a long history of perseverance and preservation. National parks aren’t simply set aside by chance. Instead, each one was only dedicated after citizens and officials came together and decided to fight to protect them.

The unique and treasured landscapes present in the parks that first inspired individuals to protect them are also what still draw tourists to visit them. In Zion, the deep and beautiful canyon, with the stunning views and unique hike through The Narrows have been attracting visitors for over a century. In nearby Bryce Canyon, it’s the towering hoodoos that bring people to visit. Arches’ attraction is obvious in the name.

Planning a visit to any one of our national parks is a wonderful way to celebrate our nation’s history. Your entrance fees and purchases or donations in the park also help you do your part to guarantee that future generations can enjoy our national treasures.

3. Disconnect from Tech and Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends

It’s no secret that our world is developing a heavy dependence on technology. In many cases, that’s a good thing. It’s helping us advance our medicine, lower production costs, and more.

But while our smartphones can connect us with friends and family around the world or give us answers to our questions in seconds, it’s also becoming increasingly easy to get addicted to those tiny screens. The average American spends about 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phones. 

National parks are great for discouraging this habit. Not only will there be plenty of sights and activities to distract you, but once you get into the park, you’re not likely to have great service anyway. It’s an easy way to guarantee some quality time with friends and family.

4. Affordability

Unlike a family vacation to a theme park or city where there is an endless number of attractions to choose from (and pay for), a visit to a national park is a great way to plan a more affordable vacation.

Of course, you can always use the money you saved by spending a day hiking and sightseeing on upgrading to more luxurious accommodations or splurging on a once-in-a-lifetime tour. Either way, your money will go further during a national park visit.

5. Learn New Things at any Age

You’re never too old to learn something new. Setting a resolution to visit a national park or two in the coming year is a great way to guarantee that you’re exercising your brain. 

From ranger talks to museums and visitor centers to interpretive trails, there’s no shortage of things to learn in every new park you visit.

6. Get Your Blood Pumping

While a relaxing stroll down a nature trail lined with informative signs is always a good way to spend an afternoon, if you’re someone who enjoys something a bit more exciting, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to guarantee some adrenaline-pumping action during your national park adventure.

From ATV tours to thrilling hikes like Angels Landing, national parks like Zion offer plenty of options for adventure-seekers of all ages.

7. There’s Something for Everyone

Perhaps the biggest reason to add a visit to a national park to your list of new years resolutions is that there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. 

From this action-packed adventures to leisurely strolls or even just a ride through Zion Canyon on the shuttle, this is one resolution that you won’t need to make excuses about. Whether you’re feeling active or just want to relax, you can design a trip that suits your needs and still allows you to enjoy all of the other benefits we’ve mentioned.

Getting a Headstart on Your New Years Resolution

A visit to a national park is perhaps the easiest new year’s resolution you could make. But don’t put it off for later in the year-start planning your adventure today!

If you have your heart set on visiting Zion National Park, winter is a wonderful time to do so. Crowds are thinner, the shuttles aren’t running so you can drive your own vehicle into the park, and cooler temperatures make hiking the trails more comfortable for those who hate the heat. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your winter visit, check out this list of ways to enjoy Southern Utah this season.