Celebrating the Centennial: Clymb Stories from Our National Parks

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This year the Nation­al Park Ser­vice cel­e­brat­ed its 100th birth­day, mean­ing it’s been about 100 years since Woodrow Wil­son cre­at­ed the NPS, and well over 100 years since Ulysses S. Grant made Yel­low­stone arguably the first nation­al park on the plan­et. Since then the Nation­al Parks have grown to be con­sid­ered one of Amer­i­ca’s “Best Ideas,” and are respect­ed glob­al­ly for their feats in con­ser­va­tion, his­toric preser­va­tion. and of course, adven­ture. In hon­or of “Amer­i­ca’s Best Idea,” we’re shar­ing some Clymb sto­ries from time spent in the Nation­al Parks.

Kari­na Sal­ga­do — Brand Design­er Man­ag­er
Bryce Canyon, Arch­es, Zion, & Canyon­lands Nation­al Parks

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“I went on a road trip through Utah last spring, we had one week and tried to cram as much as we could into 7 days.  We made it through Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyon­lands, and Arch­es, with a lot of great pit stops and sights in between. The first park we hit was Bryce, dri­ving into the the park the canyon kind of sneaks up on you, you’ll come in at the top of the canyon with tree’s all around, but it’s not until you park and get your legs mov­ing that the canyon’s true beau­ty is unveiled.”

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“We spent the day hik­ing in and around the canyon, tak­ing it all in-  the hoodoos, spires, fins, grot­tos, walls, bridges, all unique. The orange and red warm tones that made up the rocks con­trast­ed so per­fect and beau­ti­ful­ly with the brown trunks of the trees and the lush green pines. Every­thing felt so rich, alien and unbe­liev­able (espe­cial­ly com­ing from the PNW) and we felt lucky to be in the mid­dle of this mag­ic. Time passed too quick­ly, and as we made our way out of the canyon with the sun, tired and refreshed all at the same time, we were already bar­ter­ing with time to some­how expand our week of vaca­tion into a month.”

 

Suzie Gotis — Photographer/Production Design­er
Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park 

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“With only 48 hours to explore Alas­ka I want­ed to make sure to vis­it a Nation­al Park. After land­ing in Anchor­age, and a two hour dri­ve to Seward, we arrived at Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. We hiked the Hard­ing Ice­field Trail, lead­ing to views of Exit Glac­i­er. There were avalanche warn­ings, see­ing as it was late spring, so our hike was cut short due to snow, but it was breath­tak­ing nonethe­less.”

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“There were tons of peo­ple at the vis­i­tor cen­ter, but sur­pris­ing to see few were hik­ing Hard­ing Ice­field trail. It’s a short hike with a real­ly reward­ing view. We also expe­ri­enced a bit of wildlife on our trip, from a por­cu­pine encounter to a face to face encounter with a Moose calf in the mid­dle of the trail.”

Col­in Houghton — Copy­writer & Edi­tor
Sequoia Nation­al Park  

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“Years ago on a road trip I spent some time in Sequoia Nation­al Park. On the way into the park, we decid­ed last minute that the best way to see it was not by car-camp­ing, but by try­ing our hand at an 18-mile back­pack­ing loop in 2 days. It was imme­di­ate­ly clear that we were ter­ri­bly unpre­pared, three of us had nev­er back­packed before and we didn’t even own a portable stove. In addi­tion, we had no water fil­ter, and our sleep­ing bags were the size of most peo­ple’s packs. Nev­er­the­less, we set out on the trail, much to the rangers cha­grin.”

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“After two days of scram­bling through the woods on noth­ing but Cliff bars, we some­how man­aged to make it all the way out and back. I’m not sure there was a better/more idi­ot­ic way to expe­ri­ence Sequoia’s wilder­ness.”

 

Michelle Lin­ton — Direc­tor of Adven­ture Trav­el
Grand Teton Nation­al Park

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“On a cold May morn­ing, the day we eloped, my hus­band and I rode through Grand Teton Nation­al Park. The moun­tains were shroud­ed in fog and the lakes were as glassy as I’ve ever seen them. Every­thing felt desert­ed and beau­ti­ful­ly still. As we turned a cor­ner near­ing the park exit, lo and behold, we saw a fam­i­ly of griz­zlies – a mama nos­ing around in a mead­ow while her two cubs wres­tled with one anoth­er. 2 humans, 3 bears. No one else in sight. It was by far one of the coolest wildlife encoun­ters I’ve expe­ri­enced.”

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“Grand Teton Nation­al Park is one of the most spec­tac­u­lar out­door des­ti­na­tions on the plan­et. The crag­gy shapes of its peaks, the flu­o­res­cent blue of its glacial lakes, and the some­times star­tling prox­im­i­ty of wildlife, are a con­stant reminder of a place that is hope­less­ly wild.”

Guz Reis­ter — Oper­a­tions Coor­di­na­tor
Arch­es Nation­al Park 

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“We did­n’t get into Moab area until after dark the first night, but were final­ly able to find our friends’ camp­site after an hour or so of dri­ving aim­less­ly through a canyon. We woke up the next morn­ing to peo­ple BASE Jump­ing off the cliffs above our camp­site. The days were full of moun­tain bik­ing, cliff jump­ing, and climb­ing around the park.”

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“Arch­es is so amaz­ing because you can go over one hill and feel imme­di­ate­ly in the thick of it. The park is so expan­sive, and offers count­less ways to have fun, from moun­tain bik­ing, to BASE Jump­ing, to plain old hik­ing, the red rocks nev­er fail to inspire. The col­ors are tru­ly amaz­ing and offer some of the most unique geo­log­i­cal shapes on the plan­et. Don’t miss it.”