Adventuring in America: Enjoying the Country’s National Parks

In July, WINhealth provided one lucky member with the opportunity to visit any of America’s national parks over the next year. Amy S. has been a WINhealth member since early 2014, and is looking forward to adventuring in Yellowstone.

The Adventure Begins!

Amy’s plans include visiting Yellowstone falls and seeing Old Faithful erupt for the first time. “I’ll go fishing out there,” she said. “I was born and raised around hunting and fishing, so it’s just part of who I am. Seeing the wildlife and fishing will be awesome.”

A must-hike in Yellowstone is Fairy Falls, a 5.6-mile out-and-back that features a 197-foot waterfall and provides views of the famous Grand Prismatic Springs. Hikers should take caution along this trail, as it is under restoration in attempt to re-introduce grizzly bears into their natural habitats.

Amy also plans on visiting the Tetons with her husband, and Rocky Mountain National Park. “My stepson and stepdaughter live down there, so I’d like to go to Rocky Mountain National Park with them. I’ve seen the pictures from when they’ve been there on Facebook and it’s just spectacular.” 

Hiking to Sky Pond

The hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park delivers on spectacular views. Beginning at the Glacier Gorge trailhead, hikers will pass the famous Alberta Falls and Loch Lake—one of the most scenic places in the park—before climbing a waterfall up to Glass Lake and Sky Pond. Although the distance from the trailhead to Sky Pond is 4.5 miles, hikers are rewarded with the peaceful serenity at both alpine lakes—there is no other way to reach Sky Pond and Glass Lake than to climb up the side of Timberline Falls.

A central location

An All-National-Parks Pass is a good option for Wyoming residents, as three of the fifty-eight national parks in the country are relatively close by. Travel further west, and you reach states like Utah, which has five national parks, and California, which is home to eight! Colorado also has Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park.

Although Amy has a year of potential adventures all over the U.S., she is starting close to home, at Yellowstone. Her plan is to take her husband in September when the leaves change.

“I haven’t been there since I was really young,” she said, “when I was 10 years old, so I’m really excited.”


Find a trail near you

For more information about hiking trails or scenic places to see this fall, check out these helpful resources:

Wyoming Department of Tourism

US National Parks - Find a Park