At Natina Solutions, we’re all about enjoying the kaleidoscope of colors we find in nature. With summer fading and fall foliage on the horizon, we want to be your guide for a seasonal vacay. Our recommendation? Plan your fall adventure to one of America’s picturesque national parks.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service to merge management of America’s federal parklands — which had 35 national monuments and parks at that time — under one agency. And we’re SO GLAD he did!
Today, the National Park Service manages more than 85 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. This includes:
There are ample options of national parks to visit, but we’ve chosen a handful to put in the spotlight! Let’s explore what makes each of these parks “cool” to see this autumn.
AUTUMN’S SPLENDOR: Set in Maine’s oceanfront forests, this park is one of the world’s most beautiful places to see fall leaves. Enjoy mountainous trails as you trek, hike and/or bike around the “crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.” The best time to go? October! That’s because the summer crowds are dying down, and the red, orange and yellow leaves are an A-MAZING sight to see.2
Cool fact: Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain rises to 1,530 feet, making it is the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast. Between early October and early March, it is the first place that the sun rises in the eastern U.S.3
NOT GRAND CENTRAL STATION: Your view (and weather!) of the Grand Canyon’s bands of colored rock layers will be even better in fall when fewer crowds set foot in this renowned Arizona landmark. If you plan on seeing the North Rim, make sure to visit before it closes in mid-October. While you won’t see typical fall foliage here, you will find delight in the unexpected splash of color from the bright gold or pale-yellow aspens.4
Cool fact: Dinosaur bones have never been discovered here. Rock on the canyon walls predates dinosaurs by hundreds of millions of years, but the canyon isn’t thought to have formed until long after their extinction.5
THINGS GET WILD: As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone spans 2.2 million acres and crosses over three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. In autumn, beautiful foliage also comes with a view of wildlife. Bears and elk take center stage, and you may even see pronghorn, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and eagles. Why bears and elk? Bears are getting ready for winter hibernation, but before they hit the snooze button, they forage for food to keep in their dens. Elk enter both mating and migration season in autumn, so they’ll be moving and grooving around the park. Grab your binoculars!6
Cool fact: The buffalo still roam in Yellowstone. The bison herd has rebounded from just 23 animals in the early 1900s to nearly 5,000 today. They claim the title for America’s largest and oldest free-range herd, having roamed continuously since the prehistoric era!7
PUTS THE “AHH” IN AUTUMN: A well-traveled park in California, Yosemite feels like a breath of fresh air (literally!) compared to the glitz of Los Angeles or San Francisco’s eclectic vibes. Cooler temps, less traffic, fall foliage and … METEOR SHOWERS?! Yep, starting in mid-November, 10 to 20 meteors fall per hour during the Leonid Meteor Showers, which are enhanced by Yosemite’s clear skies. When booking your trip, you’ll want to plan to be there for this unforgettable light show!8
Cool fact: The biggest “creatures” on earth live here. No, it’s not Bigfoot and his family! It’s the Giant Sequoias. These giant trees are extremely resilient and live 3,000 years. Truly awe-inspiring, they are 100 feet around, 30 feet wide and upwards of 300 feet tall.9
AT ITS FINEST IN FALL: Autumn leaves, please! Fall colors start to show at the highest elevations early in the season, then slowly make their way down to Utah’s Zion Canyon in late October and early November. It’s such a perfect time to visit, fall is Zion’s peak visitor season.10
Cool fact: Now the third most visited national park, it wasn’t always popular. A century ago, the then-acting head of the park service, Horace Albright, blamed its hard-to-pronounce original name, Mukuntuweap National Monument. In an effort to mold the park from a little national monument into a great national park, President Woodrow Wilson renamed it Zion National Park in 1919, and its profile quickly grew.11
Natina Solutions has had the privilege of partnering with the National Park Service to help constructed features “blend in” to the natural surroundings. The next time you’re visiting the national parks (hopefully this fall!), you just might spot our work hiding in plain sight.