Published online by National Park Foundation | By Bob Clark
In all my time in our national parks, I’ve become aware of places within the parks that are perhaps overlooked. I call them “places within places.” Many of these special spots would be recommended by park rangers if people asked them, “What is there to see and do here?”
I’d like to share several of these spots with you today and I’ll tell you about more in another blog post later this year. (Stay tuned!)
Some are hidden in plain sight, with signs pointing to them at popular visitation spots in the parks; some require a little bit of effort, and a few demand an investment in time and a good pair of hiking boots.
Here are four of my favorite “places within places”:
Grand Canyon National Park – Stop and examine the ruins of the Tusayan Pueblo off the Desert View road. This site has been dated back to 1185 AD. The ruins of a small stone village and the little museum at the site provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived along the canyon rim long before our time.
Yellowstone National Park – A walk along the geyser trail from Old Faithful to the Morning Glory Pool will immerse you in the mysterious world of geysers and hot springs (not to mention a cloud of steam!). The trail follows the path that early park visitors used when they saw the sights by stagecoach.
Grand Teton National Park – Take a boat ride across the crystal waters of Jenny Lake. Then hike up Cascade Canyon to Hidden Falls and then continue on to Inspiration Point for broad views of the lake below and the Snake River Plain. You might even see a moose!
Bryce Canyon National Park – Hike down the Peekaboo Loop trail from the highest point on the rim at Bryce Point to the town of Tropic. You’ll need two cars to do this one, but it’s worth it since you won’t have to make the long climb back up to the rim!
Bob Clark is a Tour Director with the Globus family of brands. He has been showing visitors the wonders of the western United States since 1997. He has had the pleasure of visiting many of America’s national treasures with groups of people, most of whom are seeing these special places for the very first time.