How to get to a National Park
Many of us have at least one National Park within driving distance. However, should you want to knock a hard to get to, once in a liftime park visit off of your bucket list, you may have to do quite a bit of driving to get there. Americans have always been great at taking road trips, and this summer we may see our roads get a lot busier! With many states requiring a self-quarantine for a period of 14 days upon arrival, it would be best to live out that dream of renting an RV for the summer and using that as a safe, uncontaminated space for sleeping. With almost every American still working from home for months to come, what’s stopping you? Fire up that WiFi hot spot and set off across the country. For detailed tips on how to take a road trip safely during the pandemic, check out this article.
What parks are even open?
Luckily, many parks are beginning with a soft open this very week of May 18, 2020. For our Jackson Hole and Big Sky customers, this includes Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. In addition, Americans can now head to the Grand Canyon in Arizona as well as the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. As with everything right now, some patience will be required as National Park visits will be quite a bit different than they have been in the past. While there will be strict new regulations concerning the indoor spaces at these National Parks (think: masks, hand sanitizer stations, 6 – 10ft distancing between visitors), it will be harder for Parks to control the outdoor areas. This is where visitors are being asked to hold themselves accountable. As with indoors, all visitors should maintain at least 6 – 10ft of distance between themselves and other guests, and while controversial, wearing a cloth mask can be helpful and give extra peace of mind.
How to travel responsibly
No one wants to see more spikes in COVID-19 cases, which would overwhelm rural hospitals nearby many of our nation’s National Parks. To ensure that you keep yourself and your family safe, as well as the locals living in these rural areas, guidelines set by the CDC should be followed at all times. This means the usual when it comes to our new normal: don’t fly unless it is absolutely essential, and think about how to have no contact with those outside of your family. For many Americans, this could mean hopping in that RV rental and keeping your hotel room on wheels. Should you need to stay in a hotel while on the road, you can always bring your own set of sheets and give the room an extra wipe down with sanitizing wipes before you settle in. While summer vacations in 2020 will take more planning and preparation than ever before, visiting some of our incredible National Parks (safely) can be worth it.
Image Credit: NPS.gov