Archive for August 13th, 2013

National Park Twins

In my free time for extra writing, I’ve been dwelling on the idea of a travel book that focuses on what I call National Park Twins.  The idea is to look for places that may be a bit off the beaten path, that share the beauty and grandeur of many of the national parks without the crowds.  Anyone that has been stuck in a “bear jam” in Yellowstone or Glacier understands what I’m talking about.  In many cases there are great options with similar scenery in nearby public lands – land that is national forest, BLM managed, in state trust, but readily available for hiking, camping, climbing, hunting, and so on.  These places may lack interpretive signage and have only primitive services, but they have spectacular sights, open space and few people.

Some examples:

The Everglades and Big Cypress (photo from National Geographic)

Big Cypress

The Grand Canyon/Arches/Bryce/Zion and The Wave/Antelope Canyon/Grand Gulch (photo from National Geographic)

The Wave

Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness (photo from Backpacker Magazine)

Bob Marshall

In each case, these are photos from the National Park Twin.  While it’s not possible to see Old Faithful, Going-to-the-Sun Road or Bridal Veil Falls at the Twins, you are often surrounded by wilderness and solitude rather than RVs and hundreds of people.

Give it a shot.  Get off the asphalt and hit the dirt.