A few things the National Park Service wants you to know before you go.
If we were the ones who made the rules, there’d be a skate park and a Montauk Brew Co. outpost located in the visitor’s center. Good ideas, yes, but probably not on preserved land with bears and bison roaming about. People say rules are meant to be broken. Well, one guy said that and then everyone took it and held on pretty tight. But we’re not sure how you’ll be able to hold on to the back of an angry bison that tight, which is exactly why we went straight to the pros at NPS for the unofficial official do’s and don’ts when making your way to, through or out of a national park. These rules are ones you’re probably not gonna want to break.
Don’t rush it!
Take your time and enjoy your visit. It’s supposed to be a vacation, right?
Do be patient and flexible.
When visiting parks, don’t rush. Even Old Faithful, though it usually erupts every 90 minutes, can sometimes vary from 50 to 127 minutes. Figures.
Don’t overlook the park next door.
Arches and Canyonlands are amazing, but so is Capitol Reef. Parks off the beaten path are the ones that often surprise you the most. In a good way. No, really.
Do pay attention to the signs.
They went to the effort to put them there.
Don’t leave anything behind.
Pack it in, pack it out. Wait, did we forget Grandma?
Do ask park rangers.
Ask for recommendations on activities or places to see. You can ask for directions too. Park rangers are known to be expert pointers. Oops, we meant west.
Don’t pet the fluffy cows.
There are easier ways to earn frequent flyer miles.
Do plan ahead.
You don’t want to drive cross-country only to have a moose out front tell you a park’s full or closed.
Don’t hike without proper supplies or equipment.
Flippy floppies may lead to slippy sloppy.
Do have fun.
Not too much fun. Let’s not go wild. Leave that for the animals.