National Parks Week 2020: A day-by-day guide
When you think about our National Parks, it’s likely that a few images stick out in your mind. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to visit one or more of them in person. Maybe a few of them are on your bucket list (on your next campervan trip itinerary maybe?).
Every year we celebrate National Parks Week to help raise awareness around everything that goes into these majestic destinations. Here’s a quick guide to the day-by-day celebrations from April 18-26th. Plus, we’ve included some insider tips on how to get your parks content while stuck at home, and provided our top National Parks trip guides and planning tips below.
Support our Parks by buying a National Parks Pass at any one of our depots!
We are a proud partner of the national parks organization, which is why we are happy to support them by selling the Annual Parks Pass at every one of our depots. Skip the lines and cruise on in with your pass already purchased!
Saturday, April 18th: Junior Ranger Day
Start the kids young! Take advantage of the Junior Ranger programs offered at most parks around the US, and instill in them a sense of curiosity and respect from early on. It’s an activity based program that kicks off with participants taking an oath of their own to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share their own ranger story with friends and family.
Junior rangers complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Learn more here.
PLUS: check out some insider, family-friendly tips & trip guides from past renters here:
- From Camping First-Timers to 9,033-mile Road Trippers (they visited 23 national parks in 50 days!)
- Family-friendly activities in Kings Canyon National Park
- Mammoth Cave National Park by Campervan
- North Cascades National Park: What to do in a day
- Olympic National Park: Family-friendly favorites
Sunday, April 19th: Volunteer Day
Do you love our national parks and wish you could do more to show your support? Learn all about volunteer and support opportunities here. All levels of commitment are welcome, and there are so many opportunities!
Plus: a donation to the National Parks Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, is always appreciated. Every little bit helps.
Monday, April 20th: Military Monday
Ties between the National Parks and the military go way back. In fact, they go back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872. For the first 44 years that National Parks existed, our military oversaw the protection and maintenance of our parks, until the National Parks service was established. Find out more about the historic relationship, as well as events, ceremonies, and more here.
Tuesday, April 21st: Transportation Tuesday
OK, we might be biased, but we think the BEST way to explore our national parks is by campervan. Compared to a larger RV or motorhome, you have the flexibility to camp in most tent sites (that are usually cheaper), to navigate tight roads, and to change plans with ease – because we all know that feeling of wanting to stay just one extra day somewhere that took your breath away.
Now that that’s established ( 😊) – we have a lot of people to thank who made these parks accessible. Can you imagine how hard it is to build roads through lush forests, or along a mountain side, or rocky coasts? Thanks to decades of transportation infrastructure and innovation, we can now easily access some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Wednesday, April 22nd: EARTH DAY!
In a nutshell: Earth Day is a global celebration encouraging education and stewardship of the planet’s natural resources. This isn’t just about what to do when visiting a national park – it’s about what you can do every single day that can help give back to the earth. It’s about educating yourself, and keeping what you learn top of mind when enjoying those places we love most. That’s why we’re an official partner of Leave No Trace and educate all of our renters about the 7 Leave No Trace principles before they head out on their adventures. Learn more about how to reduce your impact on the earth in our top blogs here:
- Dispersed Camping 101: Free camping in the US (and how to do it the right way!)
- A Guide to Dispersed Camping in Canada (hint, it’s a little different than the US)
- Tips for Dispersed Camping on the East Coast
Thursday, April 23rd: Throwback Thursday
To the history buffs (and really everyone) – don’t miss out on this stuff! Learn about the heritage of our parks and you may discover something new about your favorite places. Or maybe you’ll learn something new about one that you’ll be adding to your bucket list. The more you know about a place before you go, the more you’ll appreciate every little bit of the experience. Take a look at all the content and programming here.
Friday, April 24th: Friendship Friday
Everything is more fun with a friend! But in all seriousness, think about all the things that we can accomplish when we partner together. The National Parks have been built on impactful partnerships over the years and so much more can be done when people and organizations come together for a joint cause. Learn more here.
Saturday, April 25th: ParkRX Day
As in: it’s doctor’s orders to get outside – for physical, mental, and emotional benefits (some you may not even notice right away). We believe in the power of adventure, the power of getting outside your comfort zone, experiencing something new, and witnessing mother nature’s treasures. It’s good for the soul. And ultimately, the best kind of vacation is one that checks off those boxes (and a lot of others too). Check out our blog on the health benefits of taking vacation and we hope to see you soon 😊.
Sunday, April 26th: BARK Ranger Day
Furry friends unite! We didn’t forget about you. Celebrate your favorite hiking buddy or adventure partner this Sunday. Did you know they could even be a “Bark Ranger”? Learn more here. Also, for those of you planning a campervan road trip with a pet:
- Traveling with your pet in a campervan
- Renter Interview: A Cross Country Road Trip with a Dog
- Jordan Kahana’s Adventure Squad Road Trip (with puppies!)
BONUS: A few more of our favorite National Parks itineraries & tips:
- 8 Can’t-Miss Stops in Acadia National Park
- Exploring White Sands National Park: The newest park in the US
- Don’t have reservations? Here’s how to find camping in Yosemite
- Explore all of our National Parks content here
BONUS #2: Don’t forget to visit the Parks virtually!
- Take a virtual visit to a National Park
- In case you missed it, visit our Traveler’s Guide to Staying Home for all the virtual ideas!