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Topic: Overrated National Parks?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 12:56 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This fall my wife and I made a overnight tent stop at
the new Grand Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
For numerous reasons I just didn't feel it lived up to my traditional expectations of a National Park. The canyon was impressive, but unless you were interested in scaling down the canyon there just wasn't much to do there. The canyon top was a juniper covered flat plateau. (Yawn)

Also I've been to Guadalupe Mountains National Park in sw Texas. It's claim to fame is the location of the Highest Point in Texas. (That alone should make one suspect.)

The park was wind blown and desolate. McKittrick Canyon was charming and perhaps is the highpoint of the park. All in all I felt the park was not up to expectations of a National Park.

Any comments? Any other nominations?
Merry Christmas
Rics in Wyoming


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can't say I've ever been disappointed by a NP.  I've enjoyed some more than others but I don't regret visiting any of them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

National Parks are usually designated for their natural beauty, uniqueness, or to protect a specific tract.  Black Canyon is also relatively new, and far enough away from major population centers that it has yet to attract tacky tourist attractions and souvenir stores.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

lol, reminds me of my Grandma when she saw the Grand Canyon she said, Yawn, it's just a big hole in the ground

Anyway, I disagree with both - I worked at Black Canyon before it was a National Park and it's stunning - particularly love the north rim.  I spent three months doing environmental ed programs for local school kids - the park has the best education program I've ever seen.  And visited Guadalupe Mountains in February and it seemed an extraordinary chunk of land with much beauty and value.  Really would like to go back and hike its backcountry.

I also prefer the "desolate" parks without the crowds and tacky touristy stuff.

Anyway, I haven't met a National Park or Forest that I haven't liked ;)


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tarol @ Dec. 20 2013, 10:24 am)
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lol, reminds me of my Grandma when she saw the Grand Canyon she said, Yawn, it's just a big hole in the ground

Unfortunately it's in German - but it's still funny!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Meh.  You can't please everyone.  I guess if you're going to a National Park to be insta-entertained (as in, "I want something to do the moment I step out of the car"), then some parks just aren't for everyone.

Doesn't mean they aren't valuable, nor that they're inherently "overrated".  You likely just didn't take the time or effort to even see the place in any detail.  You expected a drive-thru attraction (drive-in, park, "do something" for an hour or less with no advanced planning, and then leave) and you came away disappointed.  It's not the canyon's fault you didn't take any time to descend into it even a little bit (it has walking trails).

The measure of a place is not necessarily how much it instantly charms you when you stand in front of the bumper of your car to look at it.  I'm thankful for that.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The DisneyLand rating varies from unit to unit.

The "National Park" designation is a trophy local politicians like to be able to hang on their wall: so the types of things that get National Park labels vary wildly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 1:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well folks look over this excellent chart of all our national parks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...._States

Hot Springs in Arkansas has always been the example of a place that really should not have been made a national park.  Political actions make these places and as we all know politicians have a spotty record of doing things sensibly often due to influence by special interests.   Some national parks may not appear as worthy if one only visits from road areas as significant features will only be experienced by hiking or backpacking.  

Another recent park numbers of us on web boards were critical of is the new Pinnacles National Park here in Central California about 70 miles south of where I live.   Have visited that area several times while it was still a national monument so know it reasonably well. Interesting natural features but IMO not at the level of national parks.   California already had 7 other national parks, all quite worthy.  And it has 7 national monuments.   Pinnacles on several measures is really a place that fits in the national monument category where it was.  However local political interests in that region made deals with our politicians for usual economic reasons.   California has several state parks and areas within federal BLM or USNF that would rise to the level of possible NP were they in other parts of the country and are IMO better fits than Pinnacles.  In any case not a big deal to this person.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jeeez guys..... don't get TonyHardy started on this subject.
:D


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 2:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Like with everything else, you get out what you put in.  There are lots to explore in that canyon - but it takes time and effort.  Just scanning the rim, not as much.  But that's not the canyon or the NP's fault, is it?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love the North Rim of the Black too Tarol. Whatever side to not be impressed by the Painted Wall, etc., is kind of surprising Rics. AND if you do go down the fisherman's access or float in from above the bottom of the canyon has some of the best trout fishing ANYWHERE.

We often "argue" the merits and aesthetics of different regions let alone parks. The deciduous paradise of the Appalachians sings the highest notes for some while the stoic spectacle of the remotest deserts sing them to others.

Make any park your own.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 2:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love the black canyon. Did you go to the bottom?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 6:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's important to remember, folks, that a lot of these areas have a long history of different nomenclature and management.  For instance, some National Parks were made National Parks because there was no state to give it to.  For instance, Yosemite was first a state park - because there was a state in place to manage it.  Thus the CA State Park system is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014, even though Yosemite is no longer a state park.  Yellowstone, however, since the state of WY didn't exist yet, was granted to the feds to manage.  Hot Springs NP was first Hot Springs Reservation, and protected as such since 1832 is the oldest unit that's now part of the NP system.  This was long before Yellowstone was known by most anyone, and Hot Spring's thermal features were considered very unique and special and thus the state of Arkansas asked the feds to manage it.  Many National Parks, such as Grand Canyon, were National Monuments or National Forests or BLM Land or Reservations.  Nowadays when an area is converted to National Monument Status it's usually not transferred to the NPS, for instance Escalante/Grand Staircase.  Anyway, there is no rhyme or reason, it's mostly just our quirks of history and politics.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 7:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Can't say I've been disappointed by a National Park. I've been disappointed by the amount and behavior of people at a couple. I love the National Parks in SW UT, but travel there outside of tourist season. We have a lot of state parks and few national ones near where I live(do have National Forests and other recreation areas, though). I like Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but it's pretty busy almost year round. I go to the area with family a couple of times per year, but getting in some outdoor time is secondary. Guess it would be different if I wasn't outdoors weekly, anyway. Then I'd probably be thankful to take whatever I could get...
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 7:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No I did not go to the bottom of B.C of the Gunnison. Perhaps I should have. I do want to mention that I think Capitol Reef National Park is often overlooked and very much underrated. It's big and scenic and usuallly not crowded. And it is one of the only NP's where you can car camp anywhere you want. So there's plenty of easily accessable (sp) privacy. (I think you can do that too at Big Bend.)
Rics
I would agree that politics plays a huge part in determining which area receive NP designation.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Different people have different expectations.
When we came out of the Grand Canyon after a week, virtually all the tourons at the rim were dumbfounded that we'd actually walked all the way to the bottom and back AND carried everything with us.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My only disappointment with a National Park has been overcrowding and overdevelopment.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2013, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 20 2013, 7:15 pm)
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Different people have different expectations.

Most definitely.  My favorite places (in National Parks or otherwise) are the ones where the very best spots can't possibly be reached with a car, and require at least several days to reach from any direction.  Where the crowds don't venture.

I agree with b_l that the #1 thing that most often ruins a park is overcrowding and overdevelopment.  Lodges, gift shops, restaurants, roads to every viewpoint, etc.  They turn an otherwise wild place into a scenic drive-thru amusement park so that tourists have "something to do" without needing to venture more than 100 feet from the car.  Meh.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 12:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is an interesting balancing act, one that continues to be developed and defined.

We here are a self selected group who would prefer no development and no gift shops, hardly any roads.

But without the support and political clout of the masses who drive by and buy the tourist trap souvenirs, there would be just about no National Parks.

I just do my best to avoid the crowds, pay attention of off seasons and travel in the areas that GoBlue has suggested.  Actually if you have to walk more than two hours from road access, the crowds pretty much disappear.

But, I also try to remember that the tourons are mostly paying the bills, and I like to hear that they are happy with the part of the Parks they visit and support.

A prime example of HYOH!


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 12:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never met a national park I didn't like.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 12:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
they are happy with the part of the Parks they visit and support.

I've heard complaints that there's no tram to the bottom of the Grand Canyon "because it's just not fair to those who don't/can't hike it!" (or ride a mule).
My response is I'd rather see remote areas closed to all than developed for the easy convenience of the sidewalk dwellers.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Amen Jer.  National Parks are treasures.  MTlonewolf, I think we need a little of everything, or I guess, something for everyone.  Pullouts & nature trails for the less inclined, but still a wilderness like experience.  Those nature trails are looking better every year, unfortunately.  And, remote areas and wilderness for those that want more solitude etc.  The most popular areas are a bit touristy, but shoulder season and a few miles off the road thins the crowd.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 11:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not going back to Jellystone NP anymore. Every time I do, I get my pic-a-nic basket stolen.

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(Ecocentric @ Dec. 21 2013, 8:55 am)
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I'm not going back to Jellystone NP anymore. Every time I do, I get my pic-a-nic basket stolen.

Kinda longish - but worth it for any Yogi fans out there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 6:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ha, Grand Canyon just acknowledged that view from the rim grasp of the park in a new video. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v....pYyn4Bs
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