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If you’ve been planning to take a vacation to a national park during the last part of the summer or early fall in the U.S., you might be worried about what to expect. Here are some things to know, and some links to check out before you travel.


Visiting National Parks

The continental United States has 63 protected areas in 30 states known as national parks operated by the National Park Service. California has the most with nine, Alaska has eight, Utah five and Colorado four.

Here is an interactive map of the national park locations:

The National Park Service has a lot of great resources to help you find a national park and plan your visit:


Wildfire Risk

The United States is still experiencing high wildfire activity, so be sure to check fire locations before planning your destination.

Here are the latest updates about active wildfires:


COVID Restrictions

As the pandemic continues due to the delta variant, masks in indoor park facilities as well as masks in crowded outdoor areas of the parks are still required for unvaccinated visitors. Keep in mind that there are other areas in the parks which require masks for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Here is information about COVID restrictions from the National Park Service:

Before you travel, be sure to check for the latest health and safety requirements mandated by the individual state where the park you are visiting is located. Also check the latest guidelines from the CDC as new virus information and data might require new protocols.


Enjoying Nature

Following simple safety rules should not stop you from having an inspiring vacation at a national park. Remember that many studies suggest that just being in nature itself can have a beneficial effect on your health and state of mind. Be sure to enjoy yourself while being immersed in some of the incredible natural beauty and majesty that America has to offer everyone.