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Staying Safe at Gates of the Arctic National Park

A vast and rugged national park situated in northern Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park lies entirely north of the Arctic Circle. An utterly remote destination, the park attracts visitors who are willing to explore its untouched wilderness. It’s important to take the necessary safety precautions when visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park. 

Weather 

The vast Alaskan wilderness can be unforgiving, so it’s essential to be prepared. Bring plenty of layers to keep you warm in harsh temperatures. Weather conditions in the park can be extreme and there are no official lodgings, so you’ll need to make sure your camp is able to withstand whatever inclement weather you’re met with, including snow storms at any time of year.

Wildlife 

You’re likely to experience your share of wildlife when visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park, in particular, bears. Know what to do if you encounter a bear and be sure to keep your food, trash, and scented items stored properly in a bear-proof container. Always keep a safe distance from wild animals and never feed or approach wildlife. 

Other Concerns

Gates of the Arctic is truly remote and completely untouched. It’s important for visitors to the park to recognize that they are genuinely on their own and be prepared to self-rescue in case of emergency. It’s essential to bring sufficient food, water, and supplies, including extra just in case. There is no cell phone service, no amenities, and no infrastructure in the park, meaning that travelers take a significant risk when visiting the park and must be completely self-reliant. 

If you plan to fly in and out of the park, make sure to bring a few days’ worth of extra food and supplies, as weather conditions often inhibit pilots’ ability to fly in the area. Consider renting a satellite phone for your journey. Make sure to file a plan with the park service before you go so that someone knows where you are and where you’re supposed to be. 

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Staying Safe at Katmai National Park

Situated in southwestern Alaska at the base of the Alaskan Peninsula, Katmai National Park encompases a vast, rugged landscape. Defined by wild forests, lakes, mountains, and wildlife, guests to the park must be cautious during their visit. It’s imperative to take the necessary safety precautions when visiting Katmai National Park. 

Weather 

Serious storms are common throughout the year in Katmai National Park, so it’s important to be prepared at a moment’s notice. Bring plenty of rain gear, sturdy hiking shoes, and extra food and water, and make sure to dress in sufficient layers. Temperatures can get very cold in the park so be prepared with the proper clothing.

Wildlife 

Katmai National Park is situated in the heart of bear country, so it’s essential to be prepared with bear safety knowledge. Make sure to store your food, garbage, and scented items in a proper bear-proof container to avoid unwanted visitors. Make plenty of noise while you hike and at your campsite to avoid surprising bears and other wildlife. Never approach wild animals and always maintain a safe distance.

Other Concerns 

Due to the remoteness of this national park, it’s incredibly important to be prepared. Bring all food, water, and emergency supplies with you and be prepared to self-rescue in case of emergency. Consider bringing a satellite phone with you as regular cell coverage is largely unavailable in the park. Make sure someone outside of your group knows your itinerary and where to find you.

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Staying Safe at Great Basin National Park

Situated in eastern Nevada, Great Basin National Park was established in 1986 and is characterized by a rugged, mountainous landscape. The remote beauty of this natural park is one of its greatest draws, though it does pose some significant safety concerns. Be sure to take the necessary precautions when visiting the park to ensure a safe and pleasant trip.

Weather 

The dry desert air leaves visitors prone to dehydration, so it’s essential that you bring plenty of water with you and remember to drink frequently. You’ll also need to protect yourself from the sun, so bring plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses. Lightning storms are common in Great Basin National Park, and electrical storms occur often during the summer. Seek shelter during a storm and avoid tall trees and wide open spaces. Weather can change quickly and dramatically so it’s best to be prepared for anything by dressing in layers and sturdy footwear.

Wildlife 

Make sure to keep a safe distance from wildlife at Great Basin National Park and never feed or approach wild animals. Rattlesnakes are common in the park, so stay on the designated trails, never reach or step into concealed areas. You may also encounter mountain lions during your visit, in which case you should not run, but instead hold your ground, speak calmly, and make eye contact.

Other Concerns 

The remoteness of Great Basin National Park can pose serious safety concerns. Know how to care for yourself in case of emergency and be sure to bring all supplies with you that you will need. Cell phone use in the area is unreliable, so you may want to consider bringing a satellite phone in case of emergency. 

High elevations in the park make altitude sickness a common occurrence. Be sure to give your body plenty of time to acclimate to changing elevations, hike slowly, and remember to stay hydrated. Bring altitude sickness medication with you just in case. 

There are a large number of abandoned mines throughout Great Basin National Park which should be avoided at all costs, as they can be extremely dangerous. Visitors to the park should also be wary of rockfalls, rock slides, and avalanches. 

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Staying Safe at Redwood National Park

Situated on California’s North Coast, Redwood National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects groves of massive, ancient redwood trees. Visitors to Redwood National Park will be captivated by the natural beauty of this scenic area. It’s important that guests to the park take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a smooth visit!

Weather 

Redwood National Park sees a significant amount of rain, so make sure to bring proper rain gear and sturdy footwear for slippery paths. Wear layers to adapt to changing temperatures. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and strong tides are all common in this area due to the large amounts of seismic activity in the region. It’s smart to have (and know how to use) a tide table, and if you encounter a tsunami, quickly make your way to higher ground and remain there until it passes. 

Wildlife 

There are a large number of Roosevelt elk in the park, and it’s important to view them from a safe distance both for your safety and theirs. Never come between a mother elk and her calf, as they can be extremely protective and dangerous. Black bears are also common in Redwood National Park, so be sure to securely store your food and scented items to avoid attracting them to your campsite. Make plenty of noise while hiking along the trails to avoid surprising bears, mountain lions, or any other wildlife you may encounter. Never feed or approach wild animals and always maintain a safe distance. Ticks and poison oak are also concerns when visiting Redwood National Park. Wear long pants, sturdy hiking shoes, bug spray, and always stay on the designated paths. Be sure to check yourself frequently for ticks during and after your visit to the park. 

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Staying Safe at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Situated in southwestern Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is home to a 12-mile scenic gorge. The steep walls of the canyon were carved out by the Gunnison River and offer views of breathtaking landscape. It’s important to take the necessary safety precautions when traveling to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to ensure a smooth visit. 

Weather 

The combination of mountain and desert climates make for unique weather conditions. The weather can change rapidly and dramatically so it’s best to wear layers and be prepared for anything. Temperatures are cooler at higher elevations so make sure to bring the proper clothing. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and wear sturdy hiking boots when in the park. 

Wildlife 

You’re sure to encounter your share of wildlife at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, so be sure to observe any and all animals from a safe distance. Do not approach or feed the wildlife and be sure to make plenty of noise while hiking so as not to surprise the animals and cause them to attack.

Black bears and mountain lions are prevalent in the park, though you are not likely to run into them during your visit. Be sure to store your food safely and securely to avoid bears and other wildlife.

Other Concerns

Never throw anything from the rim into the canyon, as you could seriously injure other hikers or rock climbers that may be below. Keep an eye on children and pets when visiting the canyon as the terrain in the park can be uneven and jagged which presents a significant safety hazard. 

Be wary of altitude sickness at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, as the canyon rim stands at 8,000 feet. Allow your body proper time to acclimate to the altitude and be sure to go slowly and keep yourself hydrated. Bring altitude medication just in case.

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