Monday, January 21, 2013

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season. No not Christmas, but vacation planning season. In case you haven't figured out where you're planning to go hiking during your vacation this year, let me offer two outstanding national parks to put on your radar: Glacier National Park in Montana, and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Just like the Great Smoky Mountains, both parks offer a wide variety of hiking experiences.

Glacier National Park:

After visiting Glacier in the early 1890s, John Muir said: "Give a month at least to this precious reserve. The time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal. Nevermore will time seem short or long, and cares will never again fall heavily on you, but gently and kindly as gifts from heaven."

Glacier National Park preserves some of the most beautiful lakes, alpine meadows, pristine forests, rugged peaks and glacial-carved valleys in the world. Glacier’s diverse habitats are home to nearly 70 species of mammals, including grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, moose, wolverines, gray wolves, mountain lions and lynx. Glacier is also a hiker's paradise. The park offers more than 740 miles of trails that lead to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.

Here are some key links to help with your planning:

* General Park & Travel Information
* The Top 10 Hikes in Glacier
* The Best Easy Hikes in Glacier
* Lodging and Accommodations
* Other Things To Do


Rocky Mountain National Park:

Rocky Mountain National Park is also one of the premiere hiking destinations in the country. The park offers more than 350 miles of trails, many of which explore the deep backcountry along the Continental Divide. Roughly one-third of the park is above tree-line, and more than 60 peaks top out above 12,000 feet - with 14,255-foot Longs Peak being the highest. Rocky Mountain also has 147 lakes, roughly 450 miles of streams, and several small glaciers and permanent snowfields that can be found in the high mountain cirques.

Here are some key links to help with your planning:

* General Park & Travel Information
* The Top 10 Hikes in RMNP
* The Best Easy Hikes in RMNP
* Lodging and Accommodations
* Other Things To Do

You should probably note that both parks are extremely popular destinations throughout July and August. As a result, accommodations usually begin filling up for peak season over the next few weeks. Personally, I prefer traveling to either park in early September when the weather is usually near perfect, and the crowds are pretty much gone.


Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

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