Are you planning a trip to a southwestern national park in the near future, like Zion Canyon or the Grand Canyon? If you are then there are a few tips that would probably come in handy before you start your trip. National parks can be a challenge to visit due to the fact that they are relatively remote, and federal guidelines does not allow them to have development within a certain amount of miles. This means that even the most popular parks like the Grand Canyon which see millions of visitors ever year are still going to require a long drive from your starting location.
Driving in the desert is difficult, and should not be undertaken by those who do not feel that they are up to the task of driving in a hostile environment. Factor in the fact that many people would not be driving a car they are familiar with, and the situation can become dangerous.
- Tip 1. Fly into Las Vegas. You are going to find that Las Vegas is probably the closest major city to the park that you want to tour, and flying in as opposed to attempting to drive from nearly anywhere in the country is not only going to save you a lot of time, it will probably also save you a lot of money. Most flights into Las Vegas are less than a few hundred dollars, which would probably be spent in the gas for your car alone. Figure in that Las Vegas also has the most hotels and restaurants of any city in the area, and it just makes sense to start there.
- Tip 2. Expect a hard drive. National parks are generally about 4 hours from the nearest city, with an exception being made for Zion which is only 2.5 hours away. Driving in the desert is unlike any other form of driving. Not only can you be completely alone for hundreds of miles, it is also a very hot and inhospitable climate. Many areas are going to have no phone service, and a breakdown or running out of gas in the desert can be a very scary experience. Always let someone know where you ae going, and bring lots of water and food in case anything was to happen.
- Tip 3. Take a national parks tour. Let the driving up to someone else who is familiar with it, and the area you are going to. There are companies that for only a small price will drive you to the park, arrange for lunch and take care of all the aspects for you. They will also know all the best thigs to see and will give you guidance along the way. The tour packages are worth the price of the savings on rental cars and gas alone.
So when you are ready for a national parks tour, take these things into consideration and enjoy yourself safely. Our national parks are there for you to explore, so go out and enjoy yourself.