During National Park Week, the great outdoors becomes even greater

What’s the only thing better than visiting a national park with Scouts?

Taking that same trip for free.

That’s the beauty of National Park Week, held this year from April 21-29. For these nine glorious days — spanning two full weekends —  all 397 national parks waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees.

National Park Week is one of several fee-free periods each year, but it’s by far the longest, giving you plenty of time to put your wallet away, find a park, and watch America’s Best Idea get even better.

Scouters’ favorite national parks

In the spirit of the week, I asked our Facebook friends to tell me about their favorite national parks. Here are some highlights from that discussion:

  • “I took four Life Scouts and their dads to YosemiteSequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks. It was an experience that we will never forget. We hiked over 100 miles in 11 days. With the snowmelt bringing water levels to the highest anyone can remember, it made for amazing views of all the falls in June 2011.” — Rob W.
  • Yellowstone National Park is awesome! We saw moose, wolves, grizzly eating an elk, and the geysers and hot springs are fabulous!” — Anne-Marie T.
  • “When our pack attends any national park we always do the junior ranger program, which includes a service project. We love all the parks.” — Wayne E.
  • “I grew up at the foot of Glacier National Park. Elk, moose, bear, and eagles are common. Tourists are not. The back roads in the park are wonderful, and the
  • backcountry campgrounds were usually deserted on that side, yet the mountain and glacier views were still wonderful.” — Rob P.
  • Grand Teton National Park (it’s where my wife and I fell in love) or Grand Canyon National Park (where we went on our honeymoon).” — Paul R.
  • “I love the Grand Canyon! It is my favorite because of the beauty and that it is not the same in any two spots!” — Jannece C.
  • Joshua Tree. There’s always something new to see. Our troop went backpacking there in February. After doing some good hiking and orienteering we found enough snow for snow fun.” — William S.
  • “I’ve been to a little over 100 national park sites, and I’d have to say that Dry Tortugas NP off of Key West, Fla., is probably my favorite. It was just gorgeous and it had an amazing mix of history, wildlife, and natural beauty. It’s kind of cool that it’s so hard to get to, too. It’s really rewarding when you finally get there ’cause you feel like you had to work for it.”








What do you think?

What’s your favorite national park, and — more importantly — why? Share your story below.

Grand Canyon photo by Flickr user Markusnl.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.