How To Maximize Vacations to National Parks – Part 2
This article is a continuation of the Zion Canyon vacation post How To Maximize Vacations to National Parks – Part 1.
Communicate With Park Rangers Upon Arrival
Even if you have the most meticulously constructed itinerary, in our experience, it’s near a bad idea to get yourself in front of a park ranger or two or even with a visitor center employee when before you embark on your planned adventures. You can verify routes, ask any type of question that you may still have concerning a particular trail or park regulations. They may even surprise you with some expert information or suggestion that you hadn’t previously considered. From these folks, you can find out other important things that could benefit your Zion Canyon vacation like areas of the park or of nearby cities that might be under construction or certain roads that might be closed. If you’ve bee thinking about obtaining an annual park pass, this would be a good time to get one.
Even if you’re spending almost every night of your Zion Canyon vacation in a hotel, we can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to add even just one single night to spend under the stars. The feedback we’ve received from guests on this particular topic is overwhelming. When you go camping, the communication between party members is different; it’s more intimate and personal. Being closer to nature helps you to really connect to what makes national parks special which results in more meaningful memories. This may go without saying, but in an attempt to be thorough, remember that if you go camping you should bring the following items: a tent, sleeping bag, stove, lighters, flashlights, and a water filter. Also remember that in order to camp inside the boundaries of a national park, you’ll likely need to make a reservation for a designated campground beforehand. Some parks require acquiring a camping permit as well. Be sure to make these arrangements before beginning your Zion Canyon vacation.
Utilize Mobile Apps
We’re going to assume that most national park travelers are most certainly planning on posting evidence of their adventures on the internet using popular social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. But there are a lot of other apps that are quite popular among those who enjoy a Zion Canyon vacation and trips to other national parks. Some of those apps include Gaia GPS (an app with National Geographic’s national park maps which makes backwood hiking a lot easier), Nike+ Running (helps you keep records of your hikes and runs), Compass (a wayfinding necessity these days), Weather Channel (important for obvious reasons), and Snapseed (an app that allows you to quickly edit travel photos). Also remember to bring guidebooks and actual, physical maps with you on your Zion Canyon vacation. Wifi is unreliable in the wilderness and it would be unwise to assume you’ll always be able to use your phone.
The Boy Scout Rule
Always leave it better than you found it. If you love Mother Nature, traveling, and experiencing a Zion Canyon vacation, show your respect and admiration for these amazing places and make sure to clean up after yourself, not littering, not damaging or vandalizing anything. If you see trash along trails or at your campsite, dispose of it. Certainly, don’t do anything that would disturb the habitats of animals. If you see others engaging in suspicious behavior inside park boundaries, report it to a park ranger. The authorities do much to protect and preserve our national parks, but they need the help of the public and of everyone who visits. Your Zion Canyon vacation will be even more special knowing that you were mindful of these things during your visit.