Vacation ideas

There is only one Wonderland, but let's also talk about and share photos of other national parks.

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Winona
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Vacation ideas

Post by Winona » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:06 pm

I apologize if this post isn't appropriate. I planned my Yellowstone trip based on years of information from the old site, so hoping you can help with my next trip. I would love to just go back to Yellowstone, but we should see other places. We are a family of 4 with twin girls, age 14. We like the outdoors, but I'm the only hiker. Love mountains, wildlife, lakes, etc. need ideas for our next trip.... I have been many places(Alaska, Canadian Rockies, Nova Scotia) but others have not. I would have 2 weeks max and would leave from NY. Would Alaska be doable? Montana or Colorado/Grand Canyon, etc.
Name your favorite National Parks! Thanks!



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Nordwil
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Re: Vacation ideas

Post by Nordwil » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:33 pm

I'll be following this thread for ideas as well! We love Yellowtone and the Tetons, but feel we need to see more.

I've heard Glacier can be crowded, which seems odd to me knowing how Yellowstone can get.

We are thinking of another redo by hitting the Southwest again. We did ABQ for the balloon fiesta one fall and did a whirlwind trip through Santa Fe, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Zion and Bryce. Beautiful scenery and loved it all, but we didn't see a lot of wildlife. We'd like to try Taos if we get back, and maybe the Moab area.

Thumbs up for Nova Scotia, maybe the girls would like Cape Breton for the scenery, eagles and the culture? We did a ceilidh in Baddeck and loved it.

Other places on our list are Yosemite and maybe back to Hawaii. New Zealand I'm told is a must do if we're into travelling far, and I'd love to try another safari. We did Tanzania in 2007 with Overseas Adventure and it was more reasonable than what we could have done on our own if you don't mind travelling with a small group.

Have fun planning!



Doubledub
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by Doubledub » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:30 am

Last year we did a tour of the Pacific northwest with our first stop being Jackson. We were fortunate enough to find a mother Grizzly and cub to photograph (Willow and Digger if you follow facebook) From there we went to northern Washington, down the pacific coast to Monterey and back home. We drove and are based in the Midwest. We did a whale watching trip, with opportunities for Puffins, Whales, eagles, seals. We went to Olympic National Park, Redwood National park, Bodega Bay California, San Fran, and Monterey. Lots of coastal landscape opportunities, Marmots, Birds, Roosevelt Elk, Sea Lions and Sea Otters. It was particularly rainy in Oregon and Washington. Eastern Washington had loads of Pheasants and short eared owls. We traveled in the 2nd 2 weeks of May.

This year we are starting in Monument valley and working our way up to Yellowstone.



RikWriter
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by RikWriter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:40 am

Doubledub wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:30 am
Last year we did a tour of the Pacific northwest with our first stop being Jackson. We were fortunate enough to find a mother Grizzly and cub to photograph (Willow and Digger if you follow facebook) From there we went to northern Washington, down the pacific coast to Monterey and back home. We drove and are based in the Midwest. We did a whale watching trip, with opportunities for Puffins, Whales, eagles, seals. We went to Olympic National Park, Redwood National park, Bodega Bay California, San Fran, and Monterey. Lots of coastal landscape opportunities, Marmots, Birds, Roosevelt Elk, Sea Lions and Sea Otters. It was particularly rainy in Oregon and Washington. Eastern Washington had loads of Pheasants and short eared owls. We traveled in the 2nd 2 weeks of May.

This year we are starting in Monument valley and working our way up to Yellowstone.
Wow! That sounds incredible!



Winona
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by Winona » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:26 pm

Thanks for the idea. Sounds great! I love how your trips always include YNP.



rzrpirate
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by rzrpirate » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:51 pm

If You don't mind the return trip the Canadian Rockies and surrounding parks are hard to beat for scenery and wild life. I drive everywhere but if you are flying Calgary is a great hub. Another great route is to start in Olympic NP and work your way down the coast including Crater Lake, Redwood NP and state parks, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Sequoia NPs. From there I go on to Las Vegas and avoid all of California except the northern part.



smiley
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by smiley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:43 pm

We are flying to Calgary at the end of June and from there spending 3 nights in Jasper area and 2 nights in Kootenay area, We are also going to Glacier for 4 days.
Are there any location suggestions or tips for viewing wildlife and must see sights in the Canadian Rockies?

Thanks
Mark



Winona
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by Winona » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:25 pm

Great ideas! I'll start looking into these areas. Thanks.



rzrpirate
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by rzrpirate » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:20 pm

Smiley, Too many to list, just check out all the websites. You wont be limited!



indy317
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:37 pm

Re: Vacation ideas

Post by indy317 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:43 am

My wife and I went to Alaska two years ago (summer 2016) for two weeks. I know I wanted to see it all and we currently have jobs that allow us to take two weeks off at a time. We were in our 30s, but I'm the only "hiker" thought every so often my wife gets out on the trail with me (she is in pretty good shape, just not an outdoorsy type). For our Alaska trip, we did the cruise from Vancouver, BC and ended up in Anchorage (bus ride from Seward). Personally, had I known more, I'd just fly into Ketchikan for two days, Juneau for two days, and Skagway for two days. My only real "hike" was just a mile (two round trip) in Ketchikan (Deer mountain trail). The first overlook at one mile in was fogged over at the time. I should've went another mile to the second, much better overlook, but I didn't. I did get to hike a small trail at the tram station up on the top of Roberts Mountain but would've loved to have hiked the much longer trail (I, and a handful of others, did a small loop trail). In Skagway we did a car trip up into the Yukon/BC. There is hiking all over that area and even around Skagway. For the land tour I didn't want to be stuck with the cruise line so we rented a car at the airport, drove straight to Denali. I got some light hiking in, but nothing really all that long. We then had two days in Anchorage so I hiked the Glen Alps Trail to Flat Top Mountain. A nice hike for sure. Also did a small nature trail hike at Eagle River nature center. So cruising the lower part of Alaska is easy and nice, you are very limited on time and such. Plus, one of my cruise mates said their neighbor did the same cruise (same boat and all) two week before (so they did the same south to north trip). Said it rained every day, almost all day. By flying into these towns, you at least get two or three days where you might get a nice dry day to explore. Something to consider.

Another two week trip we did was the Grand Circle. Flew into Las Vegas, immediately drove to Moab. We stopped off and checked out Cedar Breaks NM on the way there. A very long, but very scenic drive. We had two days in Moab. Day one we drove to the four corners, something to see for 15 mins, then to Monument Valley (amazing). Back toward Moab we stopped off at Goosenecks SP (Not worth it even though it was only about 20 mins of the day) and Natural Bridges NM (worth it, small circle drive). We didn't have time to check out the Needles District of Canyonlands NP that day. Day two I got up really early, before sunup and drove down to the Needles District. I hike some of the shorter, closer trails to the main entry. Amazing hiking and sights. Not really mountain hiking, but elevated in spots. Drove back and got the wife and we checked out the Island-in-the-Sky district closer to Moab, Dead Horse State Park (really no different from Island area), and Arches. Next day our plan was to drive all day, partially using senic UT-12, to Kanab, UT. Goal was stop off at Capitol Reef, some state parks, and Bryce. Capitol Reef is worth a stop at the historic homestead and that is about it. Get the homemade pie and ice cream and head out. If you get stuck behind a bus driving back to the larger parking lot down the main road, you'll lose hours of times. After Capitol Reef we headed for UT-12. Well snow in the mountains scared me, so we used a valley road and came out at Bryce and missed the state parks. It was warmer in Moab and I wasn't dressed for a short hike at the end of the main road in Bryce, so no hiking. For Kanab we checked out Zion, N. Rim of Grand Canyon, Page UT, etc.. No hiking as there wasn't much time, mostly just saw the area and such. After Kanab we drove to Vegas stopping off at the S. Rim first. We had three or four days in Vegas. One day we drove to Rachel, NV, another day we drove to Death Valley NP (amazing and worth the drive). No really hiking outside of walking some short paths to overlooks. I plan on heading back to this area (if not relocating there years from now) in 2019. I missed out on some great hiking. There are tons of parks, national forests, etc.. However, this isn't mountain hiking in some areas, though it isn't always just flat hiking either. Also, some of these areas lack trees, so the hiking is more open. We went in Oct. and that was a mistake due to the snow and much cooler/cold temps in elevation. Days were actually warm, but in some areas it would get really cold and there was already decent snow in the mountains. Next time I'm hoping to go at the end of Aug.. I'd go in Sept. but I'm going back to school so I'm stuck with mid to late Aug. anymore. I plan on only taking a week to mostly explore Zion and Bryce.

Last year we did a week in Glacier. It is busy, popular trails are busy. A worker in his fourth or fifth season said that this was the first time all three east side gates were closed due to the amount of visitors. It is mostly a summer pre-K-12 school start issue with all the traffic. Things weren't that bad for us but they did turn us away up at Many Glacier due to no parking and too many people. Two Medicine thought wasn't too bad by the time we got down there. Glacier is amazing and this time we also checked out Whitefish Mountain (lots to do in that area as well).

This year I get to return to YNP and I'm so excited. We are taking a week and I already have some hikes picked out. Nothing to crazy or even that long, but last time we went was over ten years ago and it was a sightseeing focused trip, no hiking.

Plans are on the horizon for Hawaii (Maui), the PNW (Cascades), Canadian Rockies, and various spots in California (Joshua Tree and some of the National Forests).



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