Written By: Dianna Armand
We are the lucky ones, we live within a day or so from several states and amazing National Parks. The National Parks Service was established March 1 in 1872, with the first park being Yellowstone. Since the inception of the NPS, more of the amazing natural spaces have been added. to reach today's total of over 400 parks. The time is now, get in your car or RV, pack your tent or make a reservation at a hotel. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get out there and experience the amazing natural world around you. From Southern California you are only hours from any one of a number of National Parks. Two of them are Zion National Park within 6 ½ hours from OC, and Yosemite National Park at about 5 hours from the OC . Let’s start with a trip to Zion!
As you walk through the sandstone cliffs, and view the deep crevasses the rushing waters have left behind, are you able to imagine the first people, the Anasazis ? You are walking in their footsteps of 12,000 years ago. While in Zion your choice of activities are endless. Biking, hiking, camping, Canyoneering and birding are a few of your options. Inside the park is the Zion National Park Lodge. Campgrounds are found within the park for tent camping and for RV’s. Be aware when packing for your trip that there is little to no shade in the campgrounds so be prepared for day temperatures to exceed 95 degrees and the nights to not dip below 65. You can spend your days hiking the many trails throughout the park. Trails range from easy to intense, but remember you are hiking in a desert, so plan accordingly. If you want a more leisurely visit to the park, staying at the Zion Lodge right outside the park is the way to go. Rooms in the lodge as well as private cabins are available. This national park is majestic and a must see!
Now let’s change the scenery. We are going to move from the desert climate of Zion to the majestic trees and rushing waters of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite was first added to the Park Services in 1864 and is best known for its waterfalls and scenic views. Spanning 12,000 miles the park showcases deep valleys, grassy meadows, ancient sequoias and magnificent rock faces. When planning your trip to Yosemite you can stay in a luxury hotel, the Ahwahnee, traditional cabins, canvas sided cabins, camping or high country camping.
One of the many beautiful sites in Yosemite is the waterfalls. There are several in the park, and the best time to view them is in the Spring after the snow melts. Yosemite Fallsis the highest waterfall at the park, as well as in North America, coming in at 2,425 feet from the top to the base. The hike to the falls is a roundtrip of 7.6 miles that will take you 6 to 10 hours depending on your fitness level. If you are hiking with family, children and pets, check out the Lower Yosemite Falls hike. The lower falls in only a 1 mile loop taking about 30 minutes, but still rewards it’s hikers with amazing views of the falls. Want to take a peak before your trip, Yosemite has a webcam that allows you to see the falls in real time.
For additional information about any of the National Parks, visit NPS.gov. As always, we at Seed People's Market want to encourage you to enjoy the longer days of Summer, hit the road, travel and make some memories. Share your travels with us, we love to see where your adventures lead, #seedinthewild.
Remember when visiting any natural area to always leave no trace.