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.
A growing collection of stories to help you make the most out of your national park vacation.
Discriminating Explorer: Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park's Elegant Lady, Renovated And Invigorated
When Robert Reamer approached the task of remodeling a simple lodge in the still fledgling Yellowstone National Park, he had a backdrop of a sweeping lake rimmed by mountains that remained jacketed in snow well into summer. And yet, to draw Eastern society out to this wilderness, he realized he would need more to lure them than a stunningly beautiful setting.
Your ascent to Estes Park, the front door to Rocky Mountain National Park, is anything but smooth. Climbing up through Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland, Colorado, you twist and turn and rise and fall with the road as it crawls through the canyon...and marvel at the cyclists pedaling those beastly 34 miles.
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.
Fort Monroe, Virginia, our newest national monument—is the largest stone and masonry fort in the United States. But this site embodies much more than just a look back at coastal fortifications. Fort Monroe's pivotal military and even cultural significance reaches back centuries before the United States and forward as recently as last year.
There are great national park train trips all over the world—and one of the best is riding the rails to Canada’s Banff and Jasper National Parks. Swaying through the Canadian Rockies is as good as it gets—and on the Rocky Mountaineer, the setting, service, and food are first-class. Lesser cost options make these parks a not-to-be-missed world-class experience.
Discriminating Explorer: Memorial Day Meander—The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail In North Carolina And Tennessee
The 330-mile Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail—Eastern America’s first NHT—isn't just a motor trip. On this Memorial Day meander in Western NC and East TN, you can hike the actual colonial roads that felt the tread of patriot militia. Or plan for fall, during the anniversary of the October 7, 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain.