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What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

St. Louis, MO
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What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

I love the North American National Parks I've visited. Future vacation plans involve visiting new ones too, as well as trips back to old favorites. I'd love to hear from others who enjoy visiting National Parks also. What Parks have you visited? Which one or two were your favorites and why? I think this would be great for ideas about new parks to try.

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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1. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

My personal favorite is Arches, near Moab, Utah. The dramatic red cliffs and arches are spectacular, and there are a number of short hikes that are each quite different from one another.

See: www.discovermoab.com/archesnationalpark.htm

I'm also very fond of Great Sand Dunes, near Alamosa, Colorado. Most visitors walk out onto the dune field, or may even climb up to the top of High Dune. That's great, but there are also numerous other places to hike in and around the National Park, which is bordered by a National Preserve.

See:

http://www.GreatSandDunes.info

western WA
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2. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

I have to say Yellowstone, because it is the one I grew up near and am most familiar with. I like how it has so many layers and and cannot be fully explored easily.

I most of all like that we have so many National Parks. We who appreciate them need to do some letter writing to make sure they do not fall to ruin, as their budgets were cut to far too low a level.

Orange Park, Florida
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3. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

We've been to the Badlands in South Dakota, and made a quick pass-through into Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, both of which we loved. We also visited Glacier National Park last year for just a few days, and thought it was beautiful. (We are not true hikers, but from what I've read, I think Glacier is probably a true hiker's paradise)

We are still working on exploring more of the western US national parks - Utah in 2 weeks and a more extensive trip to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons in the fall - so I need to reserve my raves about these parks (and I'm sure there will be some!) until post-trip.

But we have been to the Canadian Rockies 4 times in as many years, and love all of the areas there - Banff and Jasper are both great, with lots to do. Yoho and Kootenay are 2 that a lot of folks may not be as familiar with, and they both have plenty to see and enjoy. They are both very near Banff National Park. Kootenay is a nice little park with a variety of sights and hikes - from easy to strenuous. Yoho has more dramatic sights - Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge - plus many hikes of all difficulties. Many hikes for very serious hikers.

We too enjoy all of the national parks, and one of the best deals going is the Senior Pass for the US national parks - if you're 62 and over, it's $10 for a lifetime pass to all the US national parks!! So now that we're both retired, we are enjoying traveling to as many as we can fit in.

St. Louis, MO
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4. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

Thanks for the great posts.

Winglady: I've never been to Arches or the Great Sand Dunes or really even thought about visiting these. Thanks for the information. These look really interesting and would be some new great ones to try.

Ainwa: How awesome growing up near Yellowstone! My brother is about an hour and a half from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and these are such wonderful parks. I also think you're on to something about familiarity and exploring the many layers of a park, making a park a favorite. We used to live in Denver, so I've done numerous day trips to Rocky Mountain National Park and six long weekend or week long trips there and have absolutely fallen in love with that place.

Newretiree, Enjoy your trip to Utah parks and the Grand Tetons! What great places to explore! What fun too -- all your explorations of the Canadian rockies. Banff, in particular, when we visited there reminded me so much of Rocky Mountain National Park, but then I guess that makes all kinds of sense since it's the same mountain range.

Parks I've been to so far include Grand Canyon National Park and the Badlands (just day trips) // Yellowstone (two long weekend trip) -- Grand Teton (a week covering the park and Jackson Hole) -- Banff (A week there including day trips to Lake Louise and the Columbian Ice fields) - I feel, though, that I only scratched the surface on all of these. And then Rocky Mountain National Park -- the one that I mentioned above that I've explored more in depth and just love. Boy do I like the free ranger guided talks and hikes that parks offer whenever I've had the chance to go to these. They've always added so much to my experience (What wonderful things to offer and to think that these are offered free of charge.) I hope we continue to adequately fund these true gems. For summer of 2010 two new parks that we're planning to visit are Bryce and Zion. We'll be spending three nights at each location.

Aubrey, Texas
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5. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

Go back to Grand Canyon NP and stay a couple of nights in the park. Experience sunsets and sunrises at the rim, take some hikes during the day. Get a short book on elementary canyon geology, then sit and contemplate what the billion year-old rock formations mean. That's my favorite park. Yellowstone is a close second. Yosemite out of season with fewer people is also magnificent.

Boston...
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6. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

I have visited Denali, Kenai Fjords, Olympic when I was very young, Yellowstone, Mt. Rainier, Everglades, Blue Ridge Parkway, Chattanooga and Chickamauga (are we counting large military parks?), and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. I can't rank any one of them over any other, though I can say that I am most attached to the Smokies, just because it is the park that I have grown up with. (I've camped there twenty to thirty times.) The rolling landscape, pioneer history, and incredible biodiversity come together into a park undoubtedly on par with those in the West.

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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7. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

I don't have a "favorite".

I have lived and worked in Yosemite and Denali, and both feel like "home". I now live near Mt. Rainer NP, and love the hiking there. Have been visiting the Grand Canyon to hike to the bottom 3 times in the last 3 years and love that too. Discovered Zion on the last trip and hope to return soon. And then there is Glacier. . .

Hockessin, Delaware
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8. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

red river gorge nation wilderness, I knows its not a park but it borders the red river gorge, Which has some of the best rock climbing in nortm america. The most natural archs east of the missippi, many great hikes and compared to many other places has very few people that visit it.

also rocky mountain national park..

9. Re: What is your favorite US or Canadian National Park and Why?

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