June is designated as ’Great Outdoors Month.’ According to the Department of the Interior, you can celebrate this month by “getting out to America’s public lands and waters.” We here at GPO know how tough it’s been to stay at home this spring with the coronavirus pandemic, but one of the best things you can do for your mental health during this time is to get outside. And luckily, many of our national parks are beginning to partially or fully reopen.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is now open for recreational access with some services. According to the National Park Service, day hiking is now permitted on rim and inner canyon trails, and some visitor facilities are open. Desert View and North Rim remain closed.
A Living Canyon: Discovering Life at the Grand Canyon from the GPO Bookstore describes the diverse wildlife of the Grand Canyon and how plants and animals are adapting as the global climate changes.
The rumors are true … high elevation is likely to affect you differently than your home environment. If you and other family members or friends aren’t used to hiking in high elevations, you’ll want to come extra prepared for hiking the Grand Canyon. Drink lots of water, take breaks if you need to, and protect your skin with sunscreen and hats.
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is open, but some facilities and areas remain closed due to COVID–19. According to the National Park Service, beginning June 4, Rocky Mountain National Park will require a timed entry permit or camping reservation to enter the park in a private vehicle between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Rocky Mountain National Park (Map) from the GPO Bookstore covers the 415 square miles of spectacular mountain views. Use this map to find Trail Ridge Road, which crests at over 12,000 feet and offers many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds, along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times.
If you live near Yellowstone National Park, you’re in luck. Yellowstone National Park opened its Montana entrances Monday, June 1 at 10 a.m. The Montana entrances include West Entrance (near West Yellowstone), North Entrance (near Gardiner), and Northeast Entrance (near Cooke City).
At Yellowstone, as Naturalist John Muir described it back in the 1880s, prepare to see “Nature at work as a chemist.” With more active geo-thermal features than the rest of the world, Yellowstone is wild and alive. Sure, you’ve heard of the famous Old Faithful. But altogether there are actually more than 10,000 thermal features at Yellowstone, including geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. Here, you’ll experience a rainbow of vivid colors as water flows from hot springs, starting with yellow, then orange and green. The unique activity in the park provides geologists with a glimpse into what goes on thousands of miles beneath the Earth’s surface. In all its bubbling and erupting wonder, Yellowstone has been regarded as a sacred place by the groups of people who have lived near it throughout time. In fact, it’s believed that early Native American visitors to Yellowstone left offerings at thermal features to show their respect.
Purchase the Yellowstone National Trip Planner 2020 to help you navigate the expansive park at over 30,000 square miles connecting land through the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This handy 16-page pocket guide provides you and your family with all the essential details to help you plan for a memorable trip.
The GPO Bookstore has these and many other national park resources for you to explore. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. If you have the opportunity this June, visit a national park near you!
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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.