Arches Fast Facts​

  • Most Popular: Delicate Arch

    • Crowds start at dawn. Arrive by 730am to avoid fighting for parking.

  • Peak Hours: 9-4pm

  • Park by: 8am (730am for Delicate Arch)

  • Peak Alternative: Tower Arch Trail (2.4 mi)

    • High clearance vehicle needed to reach the trailhead.

  • Best Day Hike: Devil's Garden to Dark Angel (5.0-7.2mi)

    • If you start before 8am, very few people will be on the trail. Views after Landscape Arch are incredible for sunset.

  • Campground: Devil's Garden is the only place to camp in the park. No backcountry camping is allowed.

  • Rainy Day Options: Moab Brewery

 

Kings Canyon Fast Facts

  • Most Popular: General Grant Tree

    • Crowds start to arrive a little after 9am.

  • Peak Hours: 10am-4pm

  • Best Day Hike: Redwood Mountain Grove Loop (or any portion thereof)

    • The full 10-mile loop is the best hike with giant sequoias in the NPS.

  • Peak Alternative: Boole Tree Loop (2.5 mi) or Big Baldy (4.4 mi)

  • Cedar Grove Hike: Roaring River Falls to Zumwalt Meadows (4.1 mi)

    • The Drive to Cedar Grove Area takes an hour.

  • Panoramic Point is best enjoyed at sunrise.

  • Top Campground: Sunset

  • Rainy Day: Boyden Cave (if open) & General Grant Restaurant

 

Lassen Fast Facts

  • Most Popular: Bumpass Hell Trail

    • Arrive by 8am to avoid crowds and watch the steam rise higher in the cooler morning air.

  • Peak Hours: 10a-4p

  • Crowd Factor: 4/10

  • Peak Alternative: Cinder Cone & Butte Lake Area

  • Best Day Hike: Cinder Cone

    • Cinder Cone is the premiere hike the park. The views are simply unforgettable.

  • Snowpack lasts until July

    • Some roads and trails may be closed until Independence Day.

  • Campground Recommendation: Manzanita Lake

  • Heavy Rains Alternative: Old Station, JJ’s Cafe

    • If you’re only expecting light rain, just keep exploring.

    • Stay off mountains if lightning is in the area.

 

Pinnacles Fast Facts

  • Most Popular: Bear Gulch Cave Loop

    • The cave is open seasonally. Check the NPS website for its current status

  • Peak Hours: Weekends 10a-5p

  • Park by: 830am

    • Lines at entrance gate starts to form by 930am on weekends and holidays.

  • Crowd Factor: 6/10

  • Peak Alternative: Chalone Peak (7.7 mi)

  • Best Day Hike: High Peaks/Condor Gulch Loop (6.7 mi)

  • Campground: Pinnacles Campground

    • Located on the east side of the park. Has a seasonal swimming pool for summer visitors.

    • Raccoons are incredibly bold in the campground.

  • East and West Entrances do NOT Connect

  • Best National Park to see California Condor

  • Great “last minute” camping destination for Californians.

  • Most Popular in March & April

 

Old Faithful Area Tips

  • Most Popular: Old Faithful Geyser

    • Use the geyser app and attempt to witness Old Faithful as close to sunrise or sunset as possible. Otherwise, contend with thousands of your closest friends.

  • Crowd Factor: 10/10

  • Peak Hours: 9a-6p

  • Your First Stop: 830am @ Grand Prismatic Spring

    • Parking starts to overflow after 9am...and won't stop until nightfall.

    • Be Patient. Early morning fog will clear.

  • Peak Alternative/Best Day Hike: Lone Star Geyser (5.0 mi RT).

    • There's a "showing" once everything three hours. Generally around 10​a, 1p, or 4pm. There will likely only be a dozen or so other people with you.

  • Less Crowded Geyser Areas: Black Sand and Biscuit Basins.

    • Hike Mystic Falls Trail @ Biscuit Basin for an uncrowded view of the Upper Geyser Basin.​

  • Unless you want to spend all your time in a car, doing more than one area in a day is not recommended.