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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