Reader Participation Day: Visit Wyoming's National Parks, or Those in Washington State?

Would you want to visit Wyoming's national parks before those in Washington state? Camping at Easy Pass in North Cascades photo by NPS, Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River by Kurt Repanshek.

It was quite a battle last week when we asked whether you would rather visit Utah's national parks or those in California.

Well, here's another head-scratcher: Would you first head to Wyoming and Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, or Washington State with Olympic, North Cascades, and Mount Rainier national parks?

Some might say this is a no-brainer, that you have to see the world's first national park -- Yellowstone. But ... the parks in Washington state are no slouches. Heck, I consider Olympic National Park to be three parks in one: You've got the beaches and Pacific Ocean, the temperate rainforests, and the high country, complete with glaciers. And Mount Rainier and North Cascades offer some incredibly beautiful, and rugged, landscapes.


Washington state because I really want to see Olympic.

I live in Wyoming and just came back from Yellowstone. For family vacation next month we are taking in North Cascades (drive through) and Olympic. I'll let you know when I get back :-)

Washington. I've been to the Wyoming parks but not to Washington's.

That's really a toughie, since Olympic is one wonderful giant park, North Cascades beckons, though I've not had a chance to explore beyond driving through it, and of course, Rainier is infinitely interesting. BUT, Yellowstone, especially when combined with Grand Teton and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, is always and forever at the top of my list. Where else can you get that variety of grandeur, scenery, waterways and waterfalls, wildlife like no other, geologic splendor, and geo-thermal features in such abundance and variety??

I've been to all these parks, though the Washington ones were in May so our experience with Mt. Rainier and NOCA was limited. But that said, I think I'd agree with the comments by V.C. Wald.

Speaking of, VP Biden just was at Yellowstone.

Both! I visited Yellowstone and Tetons when I was 16 (many, many years ago) but it was just a quick drive-thru trip. We did both in 8 hours. It drove me insane that we weren't allowed to get out of the car and hike or look at anything, so since then I've been wanting to go back and actually experience the parks.

Washington's parks are also on my list. I've never been to any parks there, but I've seen pictures and have heard so many wonderful stories that I just have to go! I think next year I'm going to convince my fiance to skip the Vegas vacation and take me to some parks!

What a choice Kurt has given us! All of the parks mentioned comprise the best of the best the national park system has to offer. The scenery of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are indeed iconic to all Americans. In the national parks of the State of Washington, you won't encounter moose or Grizz, nor will you encounter geysers and herds of American bison.

However, the national parks of the State of Washington offer close-up views of real glaciers, a giant, debatably dormant, strato volcano towering above 4000 meters, beaches, sea stacks, tidal pools, rain forests, huge Douglas fir, panoramic views of the Straits of San Juan de Fucca, and Native American history representing the tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

I've not had the chance to go backpacking in the North Cascades, but a relatively easy half-day hike to Cascade Pass is among the best short hikes I've taken, anywhere.

Suffice it to say, however, that the Tetons and Yellowstone get much more international visitation, while visits to the parks of the State of Washington are dominated by residents of that State, followed by residents of Oregon and California.

We live in Seattle, and the magnificent parks mentioned in Washington State are ones we visit all of the time. All three are weekenders from here, and we're quite proud of them. We've enjoyed Yellowstone more than once, and will return there again. We're trying to fill out our passports, so Glacier up in Montana is on next year's list, with Little Big Horn also possible on a drive-across the country trip.

By the way - as far as international visitors. We overnighted at a B&B at the base of Rainier for my birthday a few weeks ago and had dinner at the Paraise Lodge. Driving up the mountain and back was crazy crowded, and we were surprised at every turnout or overlook to see hundreds of visitors speaking Hindi or Punjabi, in particular. The widely varied multilingual conversations in and around Paradise made me think that all of the Washington State license plates I saw were probably rentals.

How long do you have? Tetons are a knock-your-socks-off day trip. Yellowstone and Rainier are both good day trips.

If I had three weeks for a single park, I'd spend it in Olympic because of its diversity.

This is a difficult choice. I plan not to make the choice. I plan to see them all. Right now, my wife and I have visited Yellowstone and the Tetons. We spent six nights there, most in Yellowstone, the most we have spent in any one place. We found the area to be irresistable, Our problem is one of distance; we live in Florida. Our two previous trips out west were both a month long and the closest we could get to the Northwest was San Francisco. It would be very difficult to drive past all of those wonderful places in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, etc etc etc. We will probably have to fly to Seattle and rent a car. All in all, I would have to pick Yellowstone as the number one, mainly due to its history, animals, and thermal features.

I've been to 4 of the 5 National Parks mentioned (North Cascades is rarely visited an wasn't in our plan).

Seriously - Wyoming, and it isn't close. I could spend an entire two weeks in Yellowstone and it probably wouldn't be enough. Some people will spend an entire week at Old Faithful just waiting for the special moment when a big geyser like Giant erupts. Grand Teton is just off the charts gorgeous natural scenery.

However - I'd certainly like another shot at going through Washington. Kalaloch Campground at Olympic NP is a real gem. I didn't spend enough time at Lake Crescent and would have liked to have tried the short hike to Sol Duc Falls.

Easy, Yellowstone and Teton National Parks are superbly fine places to visit awhile.
The Olympic, North Cascades and Rainier National Parks infuse a little something into the brain that makes me want more of them, all the time..

I am on my way to Yellowstone on Saturday. I can't wait. Everyone's comments has added to the excitment. Thanks.

Yellowstone & Grand Teton bring me so much joy (I am leaving for a trip there in four days!); however, I very badly want to visit Washington State's national parks, especially Mount Rainer. Rule of thumb: the further West, the happier I am.

I vote Washington State!

You're asking me to choose between "my" two national parks. I live an hour and a half from Paradise (literally [g]), and I go to Mt. Rainier multiple times a year. But I've also been to Yellowstone nine times in the last eleven years, and I set a novel (and am in the process of setting a second one) there.

I am not going to play Solomon. Sorry.

I have to say that I love Yellowstone and the Tetons. And I have been to Mt Rainier but my big trip for next year will probably be a tour of WA's parks and Vancouver. So I can better answer this one next year. These questions are too hard. Its like asking me for a favorite child. I love them all!!!!

I'm prejudiced as I spent 19 yrs living and working in Yellowstone. Now I live in Washington. It's parks are nice, but there is simply no place at all like HOME (YNP.) People used to ask an old Yellowstone ranger when he planned to ask for a transfer. He always said he'd always been there only 35 yrs and had'nt seen everything yet!