National Park Love - Which Parks are Opening First?

National Park Love - Which Parks are Opening First?

It's no mystery that our Anderson Design Group family absolutely adores the 62 American National Parks. In fact, it's been our annual trips to the Parks that have inspired much of our National Park poster art collection, an assortment of hundreds of original art designs inspired by the majesty of our nation's parklands. Above is a shot of the Anderson family at the Grand Canyon in 2015—this was the trip where we first had the idea of doing a poster for each of the National Parks. Below is a photo of the Anderson sons: David, Nathan and Benji on a 2019 trip to Bryce Canyon.

We had to alter our plans for this year's Park Adventures—for obvious reasons! While we understood the necessity behind it, when we first heard that the parks were being closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our hearts filled with sadness. But now, as some of the parks begin to reopen, (with social distancing and safety guidelines in place, of course), we thought it would be a good idea to share what we know as far as which parks are open or plan to open soon, what their rules are, guidelines for traveling to them, etc. Here's a COVID-19 tip: You'll be safe if you stay as far apart from other people as the wingspan of the endangered California Condor shown below... (this photo was taken on a BC trip – Before COVID.)

Sadly, at the time of this writing, of the 419 parks overseen by the National Park Service, about 150 of them (including many National Parks) are still closed. However, we're going to take a look at a few of the parks that are open right now or will be reopening soon.

And if you're looking to bring a little National Park love into your home until your favorite park reopens, you can always decorate with Anderson Design Group National Park posters!

Olympic National Park

With a whopping 3 million visitors per year, interest in the reopening of Olympic National Park has been high. This park is known for incredible attractions like Hurricane Ridge Mountain Area, Ruby Beach, Hoh Rainforest, and Crescent Lake. The park officially reopened on May 5th, but park rangers are issuing overnight camping permits for backcountry camping only. The campgrounds in the park are not yet open, and some of the more frequented points of interest throughout the park are applying strict social distancing rules.

Acadia National Park

Located in Maine and receiving about 3.4 million visitors per year, Acadia National Park fans have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of their favorite Northeastern wonderland. Attractions like Cadillac Mountain, Park Loop Road, Champlain Mountain, Beehive Loop Trail, the Carriage Roads, and the Jordan Pond are all lovely in the summer, making prospective visitors eager to walk the trails and drive the two-lanes of this beautiful park. At the time of this writing, Acadia National Park semi-committed to a June 15th reopening. However, that reopen date is contingent upon the status of the pandemic at that time.

Yellowstone National Park

Spanning portions of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park (the oldest National Park on the register) welcomes about 4 million visitors per year. Adventurers find thrills and timeless joy in attractions like Old Faithful, the Yellowstone River Falls, Grand Prismatic Spring, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Lamar Valley. The park closed on March 24th but has just begun Phase 1 of its reopening plan as of May 19th. We miss you, Yellowstone! We hope to see you soon!

Zion National Park

Receiving about 4.5 million visitors per year and home to famous attractions like Angels Landing, the Narrows, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, the Canyon Overlook Trail, and Observation Point, there's no question that thousands of Americans are eagerly awaiting the full reopening of Zion National Park. According to our sources, the park reopened on May 13th, but park officials are encouraging social distancing and are only opening certain portions of the park. But as a bonus, the park is waiving all visitor fees to help prevent human-to-human contact! Thanks, Zion staff!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Located in Colorado and a recipient of almost 5 million visitors per year, this park features incredible attractions like Trail Ridge Road, Emerald Lake Trail, Bear Lake, Alberta Falls, and the Old Fall River Road. The park is scheduled to reopen on May 27th. At the time of this writing, the park expects to begin reissuing camping permits on that date, but only for half-capacity at all campgrounds.

Grand Canyon National Park

A recipient of almost 6 million visitors each year, Grand Canyon National Park is undoubtedly an American treasure and one of the world's most famous parks. The park has not yet announced plans for reopening and has been closed since April 1st. Given the demand and the mass of people who would love to see the Grand Canyon this summer, our sources tell us that the park will likely announce a reopening date soon!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The most-visited National Park in the U.S., (12.5 million visitors in 2019!), and a personal favorite for our ADG team here at our Nashville art studio, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the gem of Tennessee and North Carolina. The park is home to renowned attractions like Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, Laurel Falls, Foothills Parkway, and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The park reopened certain roads, trails, restrooms, and picnic areas on May 9th. The park is also issuing backcountry permits. That allows visitors to trek through the park and to avoid some of the more frequently populated areas in doing so.

Keeping the "National Park Spark" Alive with Vintage National Park Posters

The last time we counted them, our 62 American National Parks poster collection had 264 unique and original vintage poster designs. But we add several handcrafted posters to this collection each month, so it's challenging to keep track!

This vintage artwork is inspired not only by our trips to the parks themselves, but also by the iconic WPA-commissioned artwork of the early and mid-1900s. Our vintage travel art is meant to inspire nostalgia and a special feeling of love and compassion for our country's national lands and their history. Since many of the parks were designated in the first part of the 20th century, we felt it was appropriate to create an art collection for the parks that also honored the travel art and poster art of that period. Our ADG poster art looks just like the WPA-commissioned works of the early-1900s, but you can decorate your home with our art products for a fraction of what 20th century vintage posters would cost.

So whether you're looking to create a bucket list of parks you'd like to visit, or whether you'd like to create an "Achievements Wall" of all the parks you've traveled to, our classic designs are perfect for any living space. And last but not least, don't forget that we donate a portion of our profits each year to the National Park Foundation. You can decorate your home with all of your favorite National Parks and help preserve the parks in the process!

Here's to a healthy and safe park season, and we hope to see you at one of our beloved National Parks.

Catch you on the trail,

-Ren Brabenec

Anderson Design Group Writing Staff

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