Words by Dayton Wright
National Parks are filled with some of the most unbelievable scenery, wildlife, and landscapes that our country has to offer. With more than 55 National Parks in the country and 27 states represented, these parks have so much to offer and yet we all tend to be there at the exact same time. So, why don’t more individuals go to National Parks during the offseason? Maybe it’s a lack of knowledge, a tough work schedule, or the fear of being cold. Whatever it is, here are five reasons why you should visit our National Parks during the offseason.
1. There are fewer crowds
The offseason tends to scare people away when it comes to visiting National Parks. Which is exactly why you should go! With less people around you, you won’t find individuals taking selfies around every corner, or people “accidentally” photo bombing your pictures. During the offseason it’s just you and nature.
2. It's so much more peacefulDue to the fact that nobody is out and about during the offseason months, you are filled with more quiet time. Which is the way nature was intended to be. No distractions, no crowds, just you finding your inner zen and being at one with nature.
3. Permits are way easier to come by
Permits are some of the toughest things to come by when visiting a National Park. Many will enter into a lottery, hoping that they get the permit. While others will get to the park information booth in the early morning hours, to be the first in line, to get the coveted permit. During the offseason months adventure seekers do not have to jump through as many hoops in order to obtain a permit. In fact, you do not need a permit to hike Half Dome during the offseason!
4. There's a lot more beauty than you think
Have you ever seen fresh snow blanketed on the Arches of Southern Utah? Roosevelt Elk laying on the beach during low-tide in northern California? Or have you been on a frozen lake when snow is falling around you in the Tetons?
You would never be able to capture moments like these during the peak season. Nature has something to off us year-round and it is up to us to witness all that she has to offer.
5. You have a greater chance of seeing wildlife
If you are a nature buff like myself, you live for close encounters with wildlife. You are constantly trying to become the next Steve Irwin, without the fatal incident. And these close encounters can happen more times during the off season than peak season due to the lack of crowds, noise, and traffic going through the park.
Next time you are offered to go to a National Park during the offseason don’t make excuses of why you can’t go. Instead, you need to find every excuse to go. I promise you, you will find a new found love for the offseason, and the beautiful National Parks our country has to offer.