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. 


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.


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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Points of Interest at Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon and is home to the deepest lake in the country. There are plenty of activities to do both in and around the lake, including fishing, hiking, and boating. First time visitors to the park won’t want to miss out on the main points of interest! 

Rim Drive 

The 33-mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake National Park is absolutely breathtaking. The road winds around the entire lake providing visitors with phenomenal views over the park’s main attraction. With plenty of scenic pullouts and overlooks, the Rim Drive is a must when visiting Crater Lake National Park. 

Cleetwood Cove Trail 

The Cleetwood Cove Trail leads down into Crater Lake where visitors have the opportunity to swim in the iconic deep blue lake. With shockingly cold temperatures swimmers may only be able to enjoy a quick dip, but it’s definitely worth it. Hiking back up can be challenging, so make sure you’re up for it before you embark on the hike. 

Garfield Peak

The hike to Garfield Peak is difficult but rewarding. Renowned as one of the best hikes in Crater Lake National Park, the trek is 3.6 steep miles round trip and offers summit views over all that lies below. Be sure to bring plenty of water and hiking snacks for the journey!

Wizard Island 

A popular activity in Crater Lake National Park is to boat over to Wizard Island, the island that rises up from the center of the lake. Enjoy touring the island by boat and spend the day hiking, swimming, and exploring Wizard Island. 

Rim Village Historic District 

The historic Rim Village is home to the park’s visitor center, among several other noteworthy attractions. In Rim Village you’ll also find a bookstore, gift shop, iconic Crater Lake Lodge, daily ranger programs, spectacular views, and more.

Places to Visit After Crater Lake National Park

A breathtaking national park located in southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the country. Visitors to the park will love boating, hiking, fishing, and exploring in this natural refuge. Once you’ve had your fill of Crater Lake National Park, head to the following nearby destinations to continue your trip!

Portland, Oregon – About 4 hours from Crater Lake National Park lies charming Portland, Oregon. Head to Portland for its unique bohemian culture which has been affectionately referred to as “weird”. Explore the coffee shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, and more in Portland. 

Salem, Oregon – The capital of Oregon, Salem is just over 3 hours outside of Crater Lake National Park. Salem offers a variety of artwork and museums amidst a picturesque setting. A relaxed university town, Salem makes for a lovely next stop after your visit to Crater Lake.

Mount Hood National Forest – Just over 3 hours from Crater Lake National Park, Mount Hood National Forest is home to spectacular Mount Hood. A popular ski and outdoor recreation destination, there are plenty of things to see and explore in Mount Hood National Forest. 

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – Located along Oregon’s Pacific coast, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is about 3.5 hours from Crater Lake National Park. Home to gorgeous sand dunes situated beside the ocean, visitors will love exploring this unique area.

Umpqua National Forest – Just 40 minutes outside of Crater Lake National Park, Umpqua National Forest makes for the perfect stop before or after your visit to the park. Located in Oregon’s Cascade Range, visitors to the forest will be enchanted by its natural beauty.

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.


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.


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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Places to Visit After Great Basin National Park

A vast national park located in eastern Nevada, Great Basin National Park is defined by mountainous landscapes and the Great Basin Desert. A remote wilderness with plenty to explore, Great Basin National Park attracts visitors looking to reconnect with nature. Once you’ve had your fill of the park, continue your journey to one of the following nearby destinations!

Baker, Nevada- Just 5 miles from Great Basin National Park, Baker, Nevada provides the closest civilization to this remote destination. You’ll be able to find lodging, food, and supplies in Baker before, during, or after your visit to the park.

Ely, Nevada – An hour outside of Great Basin National Park is the next largest town you will find in the area. This remote mountain town boasts a grocery store, restaurants, and various lodging options.

Salt Lake City, Utah – Under 4 hours and just across the border from Great Basin National Park sits Salt Lake City, Utah. Renowned for its famous Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City is also the Mormon headquarters of the world and offers plenty of skiing and outdoor recreation activities. 

Las Vegas, Nevada – Las Vegas is about 5 hours south of Great Basin National Park. Celebrated for its casinos, nightclubs, live shows, and everything in between, Las Vegas will provide a stark contrast to your time spent in Great Basin National Park.