5 Fantastic National Parks Travel Nurses Should Visit This Fall

The U.S. National Park Service celebrates its centennial anniversary this year, so it’s the perfect time for travel nurses to explore some of America’s natural wonders. Take a break from your busy travel nurse schedule and discover the majesty of the Grand Canyon or reconnect with nature at Yosemite. Need some inspiration to help you get started? National Geographic has listed the Top 10 Most Visited National Parks, and we think the first five parks on their list are fantastic for fall:

  1. Smoky Mountains autumn

    Straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border, the Great Smoky Mountain range is part of an international biosphere reserve and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee: Experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as its beautiful landscapes explode into vibrant fall color. With more than 800 miles of hiking trails and auto tours, you can explore the nation’s most popular park on foot or by car. Avoid the summer crowds and visit during the fall season so you can appreciate on your own the natural fog that often hangs over this mountain range.

  1. Grand Canyon

    Take a guided river trip on the Colorado River as it winds through the Grand Canyon.

    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: With its breathtaking views, numerous hiking trails, and whitewater rafting tours, the Grand Canyon should be on every travel nurse’s bucket list. According to National Geographic, even from the best vantage point, you’ll only be able to see a fraction of the canyon’s 277 miles. No matter your view though, this mile-deep geologic wonder will be sure to leave you inspired. Sunrise and sunset tours are especially popular.

  1. Rocky Mountain National Park

    Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park could be your next climbing adventure.

    Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: If you enjoy a challenging mountain climbing experience, look no further than Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of Colorado’s “Fourteeners”, Longs Peak offers those who reach its summit commanding views of the region. If you’re not quite ready for Longs Peak, you can still go camping or mountain biking. Nearby towns like Estes Park also provide tourists with fun dining and shopping experiences.

  1. Yosemite magical autumn (P)

    Step away from the concrete jungle and enjoy the bright, jewel-toned colors of fall at Yosemite National Park.

    Yosemite National Park, California: After visiting Yosemite, you’ll know why explorer and naturalist John Muir felt inspired to write, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.” Nature lovers won’t be disappointed here. Just as John Muir did generations ago, you can stand in awe of Yosemite’s massive sequoias, soak up the impressive view at Glacier Point, and discover the park’s world-famous waterfalls.

  1. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National park

    Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring, shown here, is one of the largest natural hot springs in the world.

    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone remains the crown jewel of the U.S. National Park Service. Established in 1872, Yellowstone has long captured the imaginations of travelers worldwide, and it’s not hard to understand why. Visitors can watch Old Faithful erupt, spot wildlife in the Lamar Valley, and take in the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest spring in the U.S.

Want to learn more about which national park you should explore next? Click here to see National Geographic’s complete list of the Top 10 Most Visited National Parks.

Have you been to one of these parks? What was your experience there?

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Follow the Fall Colors for Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment

Autumn is now here and we are starting to see it unfold. Scenic drives, long walks with leaves crunching under your feet, hot apple cider… and of course, the changing colors of the trees. They bring a beautiful array of different colored foliage; it’s almost as if someone took a paint brush to the earth.  If you are presently trying to decide where to take your next travel nursing assignment or are going to be on the road soon, you may want to consider following the fall colors.  Here are some of our favorite spots for the fall season:

The East Coast. Spotlight state:  Vermont

travel nursing in vermont in autumnThe best time to experience this area is the middle of September to end of October. You can look up fall foliage reports from the state foresters to get the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. Practice your swing on some of New England’s most scenic golf courses, or on one of many tennis courts. Take a guided horseback ride, fish in local lakes and streams and pick up some of the maple products that make the state famous.

The Midwest. Spotlight state: Nebraska

travel nursing in nebraska autumnWhen the fall colors blanket the Midwest, there are many opportunities and activities to enjoy the changing scenery. And where better to see the abundance of trees than in the founding Arbor Day state. Pick up fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets, drive through the wildlife state parks, and enjoy a family outing at a pumpkin patch with bonfires, corn mazes and hayrack rides.

The South. Spotlight state: South Carolina

travel nursing in south carolina autmnThe colorful foliage displays in the mountains of South Carolina normally peak later in the fall season because of their warm fall weather. In addition to the traditional beauty of fall leaf foliage, the autumn displays feature other picturesque sights as well. Along the coast, the marsh grasses change dramatically from the summer shades of soft greens to shimmering fall hues of gold and amber. Touring the scenic highways and recreation areas is the best way to get your fill of the scenery. Besides the foliage, enjoy visiting South Carolina’s beautiful mountain waterfalls, including Whitewater Falls with a total drop of 900 feet and six of the state’s magnificent State Parks.

The Pacific Northwest. Spotlight state: Oregon

travel nursing in oregon autumn

Fiery red, vibrant yellow and rich gold are some of the colors you will see in the Northwest. The display does vary from year to year and the color and duration dependent upon the weather conditions. Dry Indian summers, which often occur in the Northwest, lead to breathtaking hillside panoramas. The Oregon fall color season begins in mid-September and peaks in mid-October. The favorite scenery of the locals is along the Columbia River Gorge, where fall colors are so memorable you will never forget.

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