Right now more than ever, we need to take in a breath of a fresh air and enjoy the peaceful serenity of our nation’s parks. We are now intimately familiar with the term “social distancing” and are practicing this 24-7. With this uncertainty in our lives, getting out in the outdoors and exercise in the fresh air is a critical solution to easing anxiety. The good news is that many of the parks across the country are open and free!
The National Park Service announced this week that they are waiving entrance fees during this crisis for parks that are still open. If you are able to take advantage of this, here is our list of tips for practicing social distancing in the great outdoors.
- Be safe. If you are hiking, stay on designated trails and check maps and trail guides before you go. Be sure to let someone know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return. Keep in mind cellular service is often limited in the parks.
- Pack plenty of water. The coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours, so refillable water stations may not be a great idea.
- Keep your distance when passing others on the trails, allow fellow hikers to pass and stand back when possible six feet.
- If you are lucky enough to have any, bring hand sanitizer with you.
- Many of the dining facilities in the parks are offering carryout only and have limited services, so be prepared.
- Don’t go if you are feeling the slightest bit sick- the virus can live in the air and still transfer to others.
Here is our list of our favorite “distant” activities across our parks
- Hiking at Lake Powell https://www.lakepowell.com/things-to-do/hiking-south-lake-powell/
- Fishing at Olympic https://www.olympicnationalparks.com/things-to-do/fishing-olympic-peninsula/
- View the waterfalls at Yosemite https://www.travelyosemite.com/discover/points-of-interest/waterfalls/
- Birdwatching in Olympic https://www.olympicnationalparks.com/discover/nature-wildlife/birding-at-olympic-national-park/
- Kayak the canyons at Lake Powell https://www.lakepowell.com/marinas/water-toy-rentals/
- Self-guided yoga or go for a run at any park!
For updated information on park closures, check our websites or https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm