As I cruised into the last parking spot left at the Wild Basin area in Rocky Mountain National Park last week, I was stunned. It was 6:45 a.m. I was barely awake, and there was already a line of people waiting for the two restrooms. A long line. There are just so many of us who share the same love for the outdoors and national parks. And we’re showing up at the same places at the same time. So, how do we tread more lightly, so that all these wild places we love stay wild? We at National Park Trips tackled this question with gusto, creating seven stellar eco-friendly itineraries that help you enjoy the best of seven national parks while treading lightly. Spoiler alert: we found you don’t need to sacrifice having fun while being eco-friendly.
Rocky Mountain: An excellent farm-to-table dinner minutes from the park. A tiny house resort with an amazing vibe. A tour with the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. These are just some of the highlights on this rockin’ 2-day eco-friendly itinerary.
Grand Canyon: Here’s where to get the fixings for the best picnic ever, beautiful hotels that have made a commitment to being less wasteful and why you should forest bathe in one of the world’s largest contiguous stands of ponderosa pine trees.
Yosemite: A secret, uncrowded Yosemite entrance, three beautiful lodges committed to environmental best practices and an organic orchard that serves alcoholic concoctions make this eco-friendly vacation incredible.
Great Smoky: Sleep in a cozy cabin with a private hot tub on an organic farm minutes from Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and savor exquisite farm-to-table meals on this best-of-the-park itinerary.
Utah: This adventurous itinerary shows you how to explore Bryce Canyon National Park via electric bike, discover the less-traveled Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, eat at a James Beard-nominated restaurant and even volunteer at an animal sanctuary.
Olympic: Discover where to get the best oysters, find the best hikes, stay on a 17-acre farm and vineyard and sleep at a lakeside retreat right in the park.
Yellowstone: Enjoy fantastic environmentally-friendly microbrews, see extraordinary wildlife in the shadow of the Grand Teton and do a fun field seminar in Yellowstone while supporting the park’s conservation efforts.