There’s an assumption about booking a guided National Park tour that needs to be addressed.
The term “adventure travel” has spiked in popularity over the past few years. Everyone wants to be “adventurous,” and guided tours aren’t adventurous. Right?
Wrong. Guided tours have evolved alongside travelers’ demand for unique, authentic experiences. When it comes to our nation’s national parks, a guided tour can provide travelers with the knowledge and experience that really helps you know a place.
5 Benefits to Booking a National Park Tour
Yellowstone National Park was designated in 1872 as “a public park…for the enjoyment and benefit of the people.” 44 years later, Woodrow Wilson signed the act to create an entire designated National Park System that has only grown (until very recently), and now encompasses over 84 million acres in all 50 states.
That’s a lot of ground to cover. And that ground is covered in stories. If you visit on your own, you might have an incredible experience. But you also might miss out on all there is to learn.
There are other benefits to booking a National Park tour. Here are a few that might just inspire you to sign up:
1. The Entire Trip is Structured
Forget about obsessing over time restraints or when the park closes. And don’t worry about getting back to the trailhead on time or missing out on a trail that requires a permit. Your guides have probably lead this trip dozens, if not hundreds, of times. For example, the guys at Mountain Based know exactly how long it takes to make it to Delicate Arch and back.
2. No Planning on Your End
When you sign up for a guided National Park tour there’s no worrying about full campgrounds, finding trailheads, or shopping for meals. All the logistics are mapped out. That means your only responsibility is to wander through the slot canyons of Zion or not pass out on the trek up Half Dome.
3. No Last Minute Costs (Hopefully)
Traveling on your own opens up opportunity for last minute add-ons. Like that Jeep tour you swore you wouldn’t take. Depending on the tour company, all frills should be included, so the price on their website is the price you pay.
4. You’ll Learn About the Little Things
The thing about guides who repeatedly do these trips? They know nearly everything there is to know about Death Valley or Shenandoah or The Badlands. Pick their brains, ask them detailed questions. Chances are they know the park inside and out, and you’ll get to walk away with clutch information for trivia nights at Charlie’s.
5. You See a Lot in Not a Lot of Time
Without having to worry about parking or permits or how to get from point A to point B, you get to see the greatest parts of our National Parks in a whirlwind. In a five day tour through Utah, it’s possible to see all five national parks while also making friends. And you don’t have to worry about filling the tank with gas, staying awake on the drive back to camp, or sussing out which parts of the park are more important to see.
Our friends at Mountain Based offer trips throughout southwestern Utah. Their Utah Explored trips hits all 5 National Parks in 5 days. They also offer a shorter National Park tour which explores Zion and Bryce in 3 days.