Flying into Kalispell, your eyes dart here and there, trying to take in all the peaks clawing skyward. While this laid-back Montana town is the western gateway to Glacier National Park, it's also seated in the Crown of the Continent, an idea as much as a phrase that captures Rocky Mountain wildness.
Exploring the Parks
I recently headed south from home toward Arizona where grand daughter number one just finished becoming a mechanical engineer. The end of something like six years of grueling work – with a cum laude to boot – meant that a proud grandpa absolutely had to be in the crowd at Arizona State to cheer her on. She even managed to do it without student loans although she does owe a bunch on the beautician’s training that helped pay the bills.
Big Bend National Park offers an incredible mix of experiences, from the rugged mountainous part of the park down to the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry on the Rio Grande River, which offers much different and a unique experience.
While national parks often seem extremely user-friendly, having a guide to help figure out what to do and where to go is always helpful. And if you have a young family, a new guide can help you get more out of a trip to Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
Rising before the sun, I was out the cabin door not long after its rays started cascading on the Continental Divide. The early departure was necessary to catch the gentle morning light warming the landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park. I also wanted to snag a parking spot at Bear Lake and head up the trail.
You're planning a trip to Zion National Park in Utah, you plan to do some hiking, and you're wondering which trails to search out.
We splash downstream in The Narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River, deep in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park, mostly craning our necks up like turkeys hypnotized by falling rain. But our fascination is not with rain, but red walls on both sides that rise hundreds of feet overhead. The sun does not find us in this deep canyon, where the air temperature approximates the inside of a refrigerator, and the ankle- to calf-deep water feels about the same.
Arizona is rich in history -- from the 1800s all the way back to the Late Triassic Period. Stitch together this trip that winds out of Flagstaff to Montezuma Castle National Monument, to Petrified Forest National Park, and ends at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. You’ll experience fascinating chapters of geologic and cultural history.
Take a walk to the Bloody Angle at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, stand before the Kirkland Memorial just below the Sunken Road, or gaze at the bed where General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died and the gravity of this nation’s greatest internal conflict washes over you.
In summer, Avalanche Lake is a short, barely 2 mile hike into the backcountry of Glacier National Park. In winter, it entails a 6-mile cross-country ski, and then a 2-mile hike.