National Park Week on April, 2018: national parks.?
National Park Week 2018. National Park Week (U.S. National Park Service) National Park Week is April
The National Park Service website has info and links for every park in every state in the US, and more.
Hiking through Olympic National Park?
Olympic National Park is one of the largest parks without roads through it in the lower 48 states. It would take years to explore all the trails in it and it would take a week to traverse some of the longer ones. The various trails all go to different ecozones, from low valleys to high alpine meadows.
I would not recommend solo backpacking in there unless you are a highly skilled backcountry backpacker and hiker. Get a good map of the park (REI usually stocks it) and a trail guide. Study them and get an idea of what routes would be practical for you to attempt. Many of the trail heads are rather remote and you might not be able to reach them without a car.
Denali national park?
I’ve been to Denali National Park twice. Most recently I visited the park during a trip to Alaska in July 2006. It’s a beautiful park and worthy of at least a two day visit depending on the type of activity you’re looking for. If you’re into hiking/backpacking and camping, you can easily spend a few days to a week or more there. Most visitors are part of an Alaska tour of some sort and spend from just a few hours to maybe a full day there. Visitors who have less than a day are limited to a short tour along the Denali park road on the northern side of the park.
No private vehicles are permitted on the Denali park road beyond the Savage River. The only way to see the park interior is with a commercial tour operator. Those with just a few hours take the short tour into the park that goes as far as Savage River. They might not know it but they haven’t seen the park at all and probably didn’t see any wildlife either. To see Denali you have to take a longer tour. I highly recommend the Kantishna Wilderness Trails Tour. That tour goes all the way to Kantishna at the end of the park road and takes approximately 13 hours from hotel pickup to drop-off. You can also use the park shuttle which will allow you to jump off and on again anywhere along the park road so you can do some hiking/exploring on your own. There is lots of wildlife to see, mostly between the Teklanika River and the Eielson Visitor Center.
To truly appreciate the beauty of Denali you have to see its south side. That means an air tour. These tours fly out of Talkeetna. I used the services of K2 Aviation and signed on for the Grand Denali Tour with glacier landing. The visuals of the Alaska Range during the tour were more than grand. They were awe inspiring and the glacier landing was unforgettable. A definite must do experience.
The way I managed my visit to Denali was by driving from Anchorage to Talkeetna for a mid-day flightseeing tour with K2 Aviation. From there I drove to Healy where I stayed at the Motel Nord Haven which turned out to be an excellent choice. It’s situated about 10 miles north of the park entrance but the service and rooms are about as good as you can get for a motel. I would definitely stay there again and highly recommend it. I spent two nights in Healy and used the free day in between to take the Kantishna Wilderness trails tour. The Motel Nord Haven is not on the list of hotel pickup sites but that wasn’t a problem. I drove to one the hotels that was on the list and got picked up and dropped off there.
If I were to do it all over again I would spend at least 3 nights in Healy and use the extra day to explore the park on my own using the park shuttle. I hope you get to visit Denali and the rest of Alaska too. It is beautiful country and very unlike the other 49 states. Not to sound corny but Alaska is not just a destination, it’s an experience. Enjoy!