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Old 11-03-2009, 05:47 AM   #21
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They are all fabulous and quite unique, too. Don't forget Acadia National Park in Maine. I went there with my parents a couple of times when I was a kid. There was an excellent Ken Burns documentary a month or so ago on the National Parks. Possibly it will be available on DVD in the future.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:30 AM   #22
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Acadia National Park is one of my favorites too.

In Yosemite National Park, Glacier Point has to be the most beautiful awe-inspiring spot on earth.

You can make a nice trip out of visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, along with Bryce and Zion National Parks - 3 canyons but each one is so different. South Rim of the Grand Canyon is also very different from the North Rim so you should visit both if you can (but probably not on the same trip).
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #23
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Shenandoah National Park - Virginia. Especially the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Badlands NP - South Dakota. You can hear the mountains sing.

Both are great for motorcycles, btw.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:17 AM   #24
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Shenandoah National Park - Virginia. Especially the Blue Ridge Parkway.

....
Forgot to think of that range as a Nat'l Park. I came from the flatlands, that is rolling hills, made sure they were my first mountains, I was 28! Years later, friends showed me an area near Phoenix that looks a lot like The Great Smokies. Hands down, IMO, the best song (of the ones I know), at 2:15:

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:10 PM   #25
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You can make a nice trip out of visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, along with Bryce and Zion National Parks - 3 canyons but each one is so different. South Rim of the Grand Canyon is also very different from the North Rim so you should visit both if you can (but probably not on the same trip).
A few years ago we did a big loop and visited 7 of the Nat'l Parks. We hit the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon (south rim), Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, and Rocky Mountain Nat'l Parks.

The year before we went to Yellowstone and Glacier, and then up into Canada to Kootenay N.P., Jasper N.P., and Banff N.P.. My favorite part of the Canadian trip, was walking on the Athabasca Glacier....it was fascinating and may be the only time in my life to actually get to walk on a glacier!
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:25 PM   #26
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Those of you who haven't been to Yellowstone since the 1988 fire should know that it's still a great park, but there are large areas that are less beautiful than they used to be. We went on a hike in one area that was stymied by downed dead trees.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #27
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Favorite? The one I'm in.

It used to be the one my older brother was stationed at - we got the best tours from him, got to see all the closed off areas, great stories, and we stayed at his house in comfortable beds - and got in for free. But he retired so no more.

Rocky Mountain is probably my favorite for sentimental reasons - we used to go up there every weekend when I was a child. I loved that place!

Wrangels up in AK is spectacular. I love the park system.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:22 PM   #28
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Forgot to think of that range as a Nat'l Park. I came from the flatlands, that is rolling hills, made sure they were my first mountains, I was 28! Years later, friends showed me an area near Phoenix that looks a lot like The Great Smokies. Hands down, IMO, the best song (of the ones I know), at 2:15:

Here's another very different but very cool version of shenandoah

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Old 11-04-2009, 04:33 PM   #29
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Acadia National Park is one of my favorites too.

In Yosemite National Park, Glacier Point has to be the most beautiful awe-inspiring spot on earth.

You can make a nice trip out of visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, along with Bryce and Zion National Parks - 3 canyons but each one is so different. South Rim of the Grand Canyon is also very different from the North Rim so you should visit both if you can (but probably not on the same trip).
Actually, I visited them all on the same trip... flew into Vegas, rented a car and went north...

The most strange part of the trip was the North Rim.... it was CLOSED... I did not know it closed... but the gate was open so I just drove on in and took a look... there was one other car besides me.. we kept passing each other and waving... as we were the only two there...

I can't remember... but it was either 10 days, or maybe two full weeks...
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:43 PM   #30
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Grand Canyon - been there 3 times. Hopefully the 4th will be a rim to rim hike
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #31
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most incredible views - Yosemite off season (if you're willing to hike to them)

best cycling - Death Valley (shoulder seasons), Smoky Mtn/Blue Ridge Parkway (shoulder seasons)
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:25 PM   #32
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Twenty two NPs so far and fourteen of them where on our 42 day RV trip this summer! I am a big fan of Glacier but they are all so incredible and different. We are already talking about another trip like this past years again this summer. RVing at NPs and NMs is so much fun! Excellent info on many a wonderful trip had by forum members.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:38 PM   #33
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Travelover, do you have any site recommendations for Big Bend? Although I live in Dallas ironically enough I've never been to Big Bend. But we are planning on going next year (maybe around Spring Break) and renting a Class C RV to experience that lifestyle as well. I know very little about Big Bend but glad to hear you liked it.
I recommend camping in the chisos basin but the cottonwood camp is nice too for RV's... remember though there is a reason they call it BIG Bend...
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:14 PM   #34
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They are all gorgeous. I've been through most of them west of the Rockies. I'd have to say Yosemite is still tops. I agree on the comment about Glacier Point, but the view coming out of the tunnel into the valley is unsurpassed. It takes your breath away.

Other favorite places:
- Muir Woods (mentioned earlier)
- Yellowstone

In Canada, Banff/Jasper is also stunning.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:22 AM   #35
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I am posting this from a hotel in Zion National Park. We flew into Vegas on Friday and rented a car. We drove to Bryce Canyon and are working our way back to Vegas. It is beautiful here. I love being here off season when the crowds are few and reservations are not necessary.

I can not wait to retire and travel at a slower pace. There is so much to see and do.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:27 AM   #36
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When I was 20 yo I did one lap of America during a 6 month period, living out of an Econoline. I stopped at every National Park and Monument that I reasonably could. One of my favorites is Big Bend National Park in Texas. But they are all so beautiful and diverse, it is like trying to pick a favorite child.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:47 AM   #37
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I recommend camping in the chisos basin but the cottonwood camp is nice too for RV's... remember though there is a reason they call it BIG Bend...
okay heyduke. Guess I'm a little slow. What is your main point about the park being BIG? You warning me that there will be a lot of driving involved to get around. Please clarify. And thanks for the campground recommendation.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:09 PM   #38
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okay heyduke. Guess I'm a little slow. What is your main point about the park being BIG? You warning me that there will be a lot of driving involved to get around. Please clarify. And thanks for the campground recommendation.
I'd suggest to you to look it up on Goggle maps or equivalent. It is a long way from anywhere, even if you consider El Paso "anywhere". And yes, you'll need to drive a bit once you get there, but that is also an advantage in that it combines mountain, river, and desert habitats all in one park.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #39
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I'm bumming...Yosemite is a now a NO GO this year.
dh2b has a huge inspection coming up in Sept and his boss just told him no big vacations this year until they pass it.
So Plan B is now Cape Cod National Seashore on an extended weekend trip in the fall.
dh2b has never been there and is very excited to go see the ocean, eat fresh seafood, and fly kites at Race Point Beach.
I am thrilled to return to a very special place of memories from my childhood, 1st honeymoon and many adult birthdays.
Lemonade from lemons...
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #40
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I've explored the rocky mtns for much of my adult life. Last year (Feb) I took my first trip to Death Valley. It is now on the top of my NP to visit. It is so different and so HUGE. Of the Parks I've visited, there truely isn't a bad one as long as you can go slightly off season. But there are some gems of equal quality that are seldom visited among the National Monuments. And I'm not telling my favorites of those.
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