I recently got back from a trip to Las Vegas with a couple of my best friends. And although the trip obviously focused on everything you would expect in Vegas (i.e. drinking, gambling, dancing, and nursing a hangover); there was a brief drive out to the Red Rocks. The gorgeous views that we saw just stopping at the overlook, was enough to reinforce planning my vacation for May. Since time is quickly approaching, it really is imperative that I pick which park I want to visit and start making the necessary plans.
I have a couple ideas in mind, and I would really enjoy some feedback from anyone that has been to any of these National Parks, especially if you have experienced any of the hikes and/or backcountry.
- Yellowstone & Grand Teton; this trip would involve primarily backpacking in both parks. Tentatively, I believe I would drive out to Wyoming and be able to see more of the sights when not backpacking. Being in May; it would be less crowded, but I would not be able to see the higher elevations and some trails may be closed due to high water or bears. Regardless being massive and a popular national park, going when it is less crowded sounds ideal.
- Sequoia & King’s Canyon; this trip would involve primarily backpacking in both parks. I believe I would be able to follow the same public transportation that I utilized to get to Yosemite, and a shuttle should be available for within Sequoia. This means I would see San Francisco again, and would be limited on new experiences in that regard. But when I traveled to Yosemite last year, numerous locals I met raved about Sequoia and it’s wilderness. It would also present a completely different landscape than Yosemite, despite the proximity.
- Acadia; this trip would be more of a road trip, and less focus on backpacking. Acadia is too small for backcountry camping, so my focus would be on seeing the park and experiencing other places along the way. I would either backpack along the northern part of the AT, or visit Shenandoah as well, to at least have some backpacking experience.
- Zion & Bryce Canyon; My plan would be to drive out to Utah so I could experience two parks. I then would spend the majority of time backpacking within both parks. I have heard about several beautiful hikes within Zion, and pictures definitely make it seem ideal. Being in May, I believe the weather would be better, but water is said to be difficult to find (an added benefit being that I could keep water in my car if I become desperate.)
So I plan to make a final decision within the next two weeks, since backcountry permits will need to be purchased by the beginning of March. If you have any experience within these parks, or know anyone that does, please reach out and contact me.
So anyways, going back to Vegas; it was a great trip with great friends. It definitely reinforced my need for a wilderness trip as I said, but it also reinforced my need to move out West. Which is funny when you consider it was a primarily urban experience. BUT we spent the majority of the trip with Marcie’s best friend who moved out to Las Vegas last year, and I was extremely jealous of the fact he was so close to so many national parks and outdoor experiences that Indiana just does not have to offer. I cannot imagine the thrill of being able to just take a day trip to hike, or a weekend trip to some beautiful national park.
The Red Rocks were beautiful, and definitely something I would love to go back out to Nevada and hike.