Montrose Assoc. of Commerce & Tourism Offers Tips for Visiting a National Park this Summer

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Montrose, Colo., is home to one of the nation’s most breathtaking national treasures – The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of nearly 400 parks in the national parks system. Each year more than 275 million visitors converge on the nation’s special places. Whether one plans a trip to Black Canyon or one of the other national parks this summer, Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism has these tips every park visitor should consider to create the most memorable, relaxing and enjoyable vacation story possible.

In America we live a really harried lifestyle and often forget to stop and smell the roses. Our natural places can help us put the fast-paced lifestyle into check and put our lives into perspective.

Montrose, Colo., is home to one of the nation’s most breathtaking national treasures – The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of nearly 400 parks in the national parks system. Each year more than 275 million visitors converge on the nation’s special places.

“When visitors come to the national parks they are able to create stories to take back with them,” says Black Canyon Park Ranger Paul Zaenger. “The wilderness of the parks enables many people to see themselves as a part of the whole community of life on Earth.”

Whether one plans a trip to Black Canyon or one of the other national parks this summer, Zaenger has these tips every park visitor should consider to create the most memorable, relaxing and enjoyable vacation story possible.
1.    Slow down and be selective. Zaenger advises that it is better to do fewer things and really enjoy them than try to pack lots in and not remember most of it. “In America we live a really harried lifestyle and often forget to stop and smell the roses,” says Zaenger. “Our natural places can help us put the fast-paced lifestyle into check and put our lives into perspective. That’s something I’d encourage everyone to consider, whether coming to Black Canyon or any other natural treasures – give it some time.”

2.    Stay late, go early. Zaenger encourages visitors to take a picnic with them so that they can enjoy the park during the early morning or early evening hours. “There’s a peace and stillness that comes over the parks at daybreak and sunset,” says Zaenger. “There’s simply nothing like it!” Zaenger also notes that the wildlife is typically more active earlier in the day.

3.    Utilize the park rangers. Zaenger says the first stop at any national park should be at the visitor center, where travelers can get up-to-date information on park conditions and tips on how best to spend one’s time in the park. Additionally, suggests Zaenger, visitors should inquire about ranger-guided programs, which tap in to the expertise of the employees and enrich the park experience for visitors by educating them on the park’s history, science and geology.

4.    Take advantage of park discounts. A National Parks Annual Pass is a good value, particularly if there are multiple parks on a traveler’s vacation itinerary. The pass, available online or at the park, costs $80 and provides access to most areas for an entire year. Additionally, a senior pass (available for those 62 and older) costs only $10 and is good for a lifetime. Finally, Zaenger encourages visitors to take advantage of free entrance days at the national parks. Check online for the updated schedule, which includes June 9, Sept. 29 and Nov. 10-12.

About Montrose
Montrose is a uniquely-authentic town that has carved out a place for itself in the landscape and culture of Colorado. Montrose, a host city for the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, is the gateway to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison where the North Vista Trail was recently named a “Top 10 Canyon Hike in the U.S. Parks” by National Geographic. Additionally, Montrose was named to Outdoor Life’s annual list of the 200 best towns in America for outdoorsmen. Seventy-three percent of the land surrounding Montrose is public land, making it a Mecca for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, road biking, four-wheeling and mountain biking in the summer and fall and snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.

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