Senior Travel: National Parks Edition

Retirement can be one of the best times in life to travel, and no matter where you fall on the outdoorsy scale, National Parks offer unforgettable views that you do not want to miss! From Yosemite to the Grand Canyon, the United States offers 419 different parks, spanning more than 84 million acres of land just waiting for you to explore.

Senior Discounts

Many National Parks offer discounts to seniors with the use of an AAA or AARP membership. Whether you are looking to visit once, visit multiple parks throughout the course of the year, or looking for a lifetime pass, for Americans age 62 and older, you are sure to get an unbeatable price. This undoubtedly makes visiting National Parks a very budget-friendly option.

Lodging and Camp Grounds

National Parks offer a variety of lodging options. You can choose from hotels, cabins, camping grounds, and even RV Parks. Staying in or near the parks makes partaking in activities and taking in nature all the easier while also providing beautiful views. Prices range for each lodging option with amenities ranging from full-service to none at all.

Some of our favorite lodging spots are:

  1. $ Yosemite Westlake Campground & RV Park – Yosemite – This camping and RV park offers 21 full-hookup RV/Tent spaces just 24 miles from the Yosemite National Park and boasts stunning view. Just 15 miles from 3 lakes and 6 miles from the historic goldrush town, you are in the center of it all. Open all year round, you can partake in activities from skiing to river rafting. To reserve a space at Yosemite’s Westlake Campground & RV Park, call 209-878-3847.
  2. $$ Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins – Yellowstone – Built in the year 1920, the Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins is in the Tower Falls area located near a campsite once used by Theodore Roosevelt. This lodging option offers rustic cabins, a large front porch with rocking chairs, and family-style dining.
  3. $$$ El Tovar – Grand Canyon Lodging – First opened in 1905, El Tovar was created to accommodate distinguished passengers arriving on the Sante Fe Railway. To this day it remains one of the most sought out hotels with recommended bookings 13 months in advance. To reserve a room at El Tovar, contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts at 1-888-297-2757. This hotel accepts discounts from AAA and AARP.

On-Site Activities

Each park has different activities to offer, from scenic nature trails to hot springs to playgrounds for the kids, there is something for everyone!

Some of our favorite activities are:

  1. Hot Springs – Hot springs offer the ultimate relaxation and are said to improve your overall health. Naturally occurring, they are a sight to be seen and can offer relief for individuals with arthritis, other ailments, or if you are just cold and tired after a long day of skiing.
  2. Scenic Helicopter Tours – See the world from a different view! Helicopter tours can show you parts of the park that you may not be able to reach on foot and are a great way for aviation to have some fun. For individuals with limited mobility, this is a great option to see the scenery of the park while limiting walking.
  3. Guided Hiking Tours – Guided tours often take you to some of the best locations in the park, providing you the opportunity to see iconic sights like Old Faithful, impressive waterfalls, or fields of grazing buffalo. They also provide safety as each guide is familiar with the trails and issues individuals may face during each hike.
  4. Horseback Riding – If you love animals this one is for you. Horseback riding is offered for all ability levels and can either be guided or self-guided tours.
  5. Skiing/Snowboarding – Many National Parks offer summer and winter activities. During the winter, skiing is a great, and fun, way to get exercise. Rentals are available, and whether you are taking a beginner’s class or enjoying black diamond trails, you are sure to have a blast.

Conclusion

Take advantage of your golden years and the time that you have available to travel. From beautiful sunsets to thrilling adventures, National Parks offer a great escape for seniors

Sources: NationalParks.Org

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