Tag: Glacier National Park

HAVING A “PLAN B” WHEN YOU ARE “BURNED OUT” ON VACATION

HAVING A “PLAN B” WHEN YOU ARE “BURNED OUT” ON VACATION

“Hot, windy weather like this creates a high fire risk” the septuagenarian ranger who had lived his entire life in the area told the group of visitors to Glacier National Park who had joined him for an interpretive walk near Lake McDonald.

(Dick Jordan Photo)

“You mean a fire like that one” my wife said, pointing to a wisp of grayish-white smoke off in the distance over the ranger’s shoulder.

“S…” the ranger exclaimed as he rushed back to his pickup truck to radio in a report of the fire.

And that was a harbinger of what would ultimately force us to hastily devise a “Plan B” to modify our planned two-week trip to western Montana.

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Planning Your National Park Vacation

Planning Your National Park Vacation

As winter wanes and spring waxes, summer isn’t far in the future.

But if you want a visit to a national park in the Western U.S. to be in that future, and haven’t already booked your accommodations, you may find that there is no room at the inn, lodge, or cabins.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Vacationing in national parks during summer, and sometimes in late spring and early fall, has long been feasible mostly for those who can plan ahead, perhaps as long a year in advance.

So, if your employer won’t let you request vacation time off until the beginning of January, you may discover that every bed in the national park you really want to see has long since been reserved.

And if you dilly-dally around until early to mid-March of 2017, what is room availability likely to be in summer? Here’s what I discovered.

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Visiting U.S. National Parks in 2016

Visiting U.S. National Parks in 2016

I haven’t got a national park “life list” where I’ve ticked off every one of the country’s national parks, monuments and seashores I’ve visited, although if I did, I’d soon be adding one more to it: Acadia National Park in coastal Maine.

(Kim Carpenter Flickr Photo)

2016 is the centennial of the U.S. National Park service, so interest in visiting America’s national parks this summer and fall is undoubtedly running even higher than its already high level.

So I decided to put together a recap of past and recent stories that I’ve written about “America’s Best Idea.”

Here it is.

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