Where Am I Going?

Posted by Franchesca Guerra | 04.01.2016

Where Am I Going?


That is the question, isn’t it? I am NOT a planner. So many times, I’ve missed the season or the permit cut off date or not submitted my time off request in time - so many “reasons” to do absolutely nothing.


Well not this this year! I got the National Geographic Guide to National Parks of United States" (seventh edition) so that I don't miss a thing! I know when peak season is, what permits I need to apply for and the permit deadlines! No "reasons" in 2016 - only action!


I live in Colorado and there is SO much to see, both here and in the neighboring states! I’ve done a decent job exploring but I haven’t ventured further west than Moab. This is a travesty and I want to GO! I opened the guidebook to a random page and nope, I wasn’t going to make it to Hawaii and back in a week and a half. I gave fate another shot and landed on Sequoia Forest and Kings Canyon This I can do!


If I drive straight through for 16 hours, I can make it here:




The Sequoia National Park. It’ll cost me and mine $20 to gain entry to 800 miles of trails and endless, gargantuan beauty.


You know I’m not going to drive straight, through. It’s all about the journey, right? Once I pass through Colorado and eastern Utah, I can hit Zion National Park in all of its carved glory!




The guide says that for a $25 entrance fee, in 2 full days, I can make my way from the Hurricane Cliffs, to The Narrows and on to Angels Landing for a most spectacular view!


Day 4, I head towards this: Death Valley National Park. Don don don!!!!!!




It’s wondrous that such a harsh name was given to describe somewhere so beautiful, and so terribly dry. I suppose, maybe that’s where the name came from. Well, with gallons and gallons of water, lots of sunscreen and a $20 to get in, I hope to watch the sunrise from Badwater Basin and maybe see a sunset at the Mesquite Flat.


On day 6, it’s “Giant Trees, Here I Come”! I plan to backpack into that stoic forest and sleep amongst its giants.The next day, a full exploration of the park and a 30 mile (with many stops) drive will land me at Kings Canyon National Park which is home to this beauty:




Really, this looks like the first bit of moisture I’ll see on this trip. Don’t worry.I’m sure there are plenty of rivers and lakes hidden throughout all of the stops I’m planning to make.


There is so much world-class beauty right here in the U.S. of A. and this year, I plan to see a chunk of that awesomeness. I’ll have 2 days to drive the 16 hours back home and will be sure to stop in towns I didn’t on the way out. I will drive slow enough to see as much as I can see and for once, I will NOT miss out. And of course I’ll tell you how it goes ; ).


National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States is the perfect planning partner for your National Park adventures. This guide features 380 full color photos, 80 detailed color maps and suggested itineraries and tours from experienced park writers. It's everything you'd expect from National Geographic.


The National Parks are celebrating 100 years this year with celebrations at Parks nationwide. Visit to find out about upcoming centennial events near you.

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