DILEMMA 1 I don't have a single reservation at a national park. Where can I still go? STRATEGY WHERE TO GO WHAT TO EXPECT INFO Think urban. There Rocky Mountain Trail Ridge Road $2o/vehicle are lots of great National Park, is the highest entrance fee; parks near cities an hour from paved highway in nps.gov/romo (i.e., avail able Boulder, CO the U.S. and hotel rooms) spans the. Continental Divide: In 48 miles, you'll drive from wetlands to alpine areas, with staggering views to boot Find a smart Kings Canyon Towering granite $2o/vehicle alternative to the National Park Sierra Nevada entrance fee; big guns (aka Not peaks, alpine nps.gov/seki Yosemite), two meadows, a hours east of dramatic canyon, Fresno, CA and--wait for it--1/6th as many visitors as Yosemite Pick a park with Olympic National Look at the $15/vehicle oodles of lodging Park, west of photo! Rain entrance fee, Seattle forests, nps.gov/oly beaches, sea stacks, and 4 in-park lodges that often can be booked a few weeks out
Is it true you can't visit Alaska in summer unless you plan a year in advance?
Not true. The average booking window for a trip to Alaska is five months, according to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, but you can often snag a cruise cabin weeks before the departure date. If you want to stay in Denali National Park, with its limited lodging options, it's probably best to book for 2011 now, but for this summer, think about Denali State Park, which has camping in the park and nearby lodges like Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Even the most planning-averse travelers should be able to find a hotel room in Anchorage, Juneau, or Fairbanks and take day trips: You can visit the Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau, float the Placer River from Anchorage, or explore Chena Hot Springs from Fair banks. …