New Year, New Adventures
The start of the new year is a time for goals, resolutions, and our favorite, planning this year’s outdoor adventures! Where will 2022 take you and your travel crew? Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or by yourself, we have a few suggestions for your next trip! These should definitely be on your bucket list for U.S. National Parks to visit. Have you visited these parks? What would you recommend?
Great Smoky Mountains (North Carolina & Tennessee)
The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, span a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles of trails, including 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities include fishing, horseback riding, and touring nearly 80 historic structures. This national park was established as a park on June 15, 1934, and it brings in over 12 million visitors every year, making it one of the most popular national parks in the United States.
Yellowstone (Wyoming, Montana, & Idaho)
Situated on the Yellowstone Caldera, this national park has an expansive network of geothermal areas including boiling mud pots, vividly colored hot springs such as Grand Prismatic Spring, and regularly erupting geysers, the best-known being Old Faithful. The yellow-hued Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River contains several high waterfalls, and four mountain ranges traverse the park. More than 60 mammal species including timber wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, lynxes, bison, and elk make this park one of the best wildlife viewing spots in the country. Established on March 1, 1872, this park has nearly 4 million visitors each year.
Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert, this park contains sandstone features such as mesas, rock towers, and canyons, including the Virgin River Narrows. The various sandstone formations and the forks of the Virgin River create a wilderness divided into four ecosystems: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park was established on November 19, 1919, and brings in about 3.5 million visitors every year.
Rocky Mountain (Colorado)
Bisected north to south by the Continental Divide, this portion of the Rockies has ecosystems varying from over 150 riparian lakes to montane and subalpine forests to treeless alpine tundra. Wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and cougars, inhabit its igneous mountains and glacial valleys. Longs Peak, a classic Colorado fourteener, and the scenic Bear Lake are popular destinations, as well as the historic Trail Ridge Road, which reaches an elevation of more than 12,000 feet. This national park was established on January 26, 1915, and it attracts almost 3.5 million visitors each year.
Grand Teton (Wyoming)
Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park's historic Jackson Hole and reflective piedmont lakes are teeming with endemic wildlife, with a backdrop of craggy mountains that rise abruptly from the sage-covered valley. Established on February 26, 1929, this national park brings in over 3 million visitors every year.
These are just a handful of the national parks in the United States, and if there’s any you haven’t visited, we recommend considering them when planning your 2022 trips!
Our final recommendation (for now) is to take a Littlbug stove with you on your backcountry adventures! When paired with the appropriate Fire Bowl accessory, your Littlbug stove can help you practice Leave No Trace. This helps preserve our wildlife and ensure our natural landscapes stay beautiful for generations to come.
Where will you be traveling to this year?