There’s no better time than right now to plan for your next vacation! You truly deserve it! During the pandemic, our family has developed an appreciation for national parks. Parks are the perfect locations for having fun while safely social distancing. As a bonus, the natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for cherished family photos.
Here are five amazing national parks to check out and some tips and tricks we learned along the way.
North Cascades National Park
Just two hours northeast of Seattle, WA, NCNP is the perfect trip if you’re in the area. Visit the park during the summer and fall seasons to take advantage of the wonderful campgrounds and dozens of hiking trails. In the Pacific Northwest mountains, you’ll see gorgeous glacier-fed lakes and hidden waterfalls just begging you to grab your camera and get some shots of the family with these stunning natural backdrops.
Because our family doesn’t jump out of bed at dawn to get out and start exploring, we happily discovered that the attractions are less crowded in the evenings. Plus, we had the bonus of colorful sunsets in many of our photos.
Joshua Tree National Park
An easy two-hour drive from Los Angeles, CA, you’ll find the most magical desert backdrop for a great adventure and family photos. Joshua Tree is one of our family’s favorites. There you’ll find beautiful cacti, desert trees, and the most magnificent rock formations. The geography is just stunning!
It’s an exceptional location for capturing photos of your little ones in action. To get the best shots of your kids, catch them in their element. For our kiddos, that meant snapping pictures as they ran around and played. The boys were climbing on the boulders when their dad captured this moment. We’ll cherish it forever!
Grand Teton National Park
Wyoming’s gem is a five-hour drive from Salt Lake City and has truly breathtaking scenery. Here you’ll see jagged mountain peaks, deep blue lakes, and maybe even a herd of bison grazing off in the distance. When visiting national parks that are far away from home, we highly recommend traveling with an RV. Hungry, tired kids make for grumpy photos. Nothing beats being able to pull over for nap time. We rented an RV for our trip and were so hooked that we decided to purchase one for our family adventures.
Be sure to plan your location ahead of time. A great tip is to search hashtags on social media to see photos of your desired location. Make sure that you can easily access the site—it’s no fun to see an amazing backdrop only to find that you have to hike eighteen miles with your family to get the shots. Grand Teton is an excellent location because every site can be accessed by vehicle and a short walk!
Yellowstone National Park
If you visit Grand Teton, you have to visit Yellowstone as well. These two parks run into each other. Yellowstone is home to Old Faithful, the most famous of all the many geysers. The park has beautiful canyons, lakes, and rivers. We found beauty at every turn, and the backdrops were just amazing!
A quick tip if you want to make sure the whole family is in the photo: Look for someone nearby who is holding a nice camera and ask them if they would mind taking a picture with your camera or phone. You never know who you might meet—maybe even a professional photographer!
Olympic National Park
Along the Pacific coastline, Olympic National Park offers stunning mountainscapes, old-growth rainforests, and beautiful meadows. Each different ecosystem you’ll encounter offers cool settings for exploring and photographing. Take time to wander, and you will find that the best pictures happen when everyone is relaxed and living in the moment.
Our National Park System has millions of acres of untouched beauty. You are sure to see something amazing each time you explore. Just remember to take your camera or your phone, so you return home with more than just memories.