I find it really interesting that most people can name at least three national parks, but barely anyone could name three national forests, myself included. For some reason, national forests fly right under the radar. They have some really exciting attributes that should set them above national parks in lots of ways.
1) You can camp for free on national forest land. There are certain restrictions, but in general, there are lots of free lands to post up at while you are exploring. Once I finish building my car camping setup I plan on using this for sure! Free is nice :)
2) They are less busy than national parks. Some of the more popular areas in national parks become quite crowded, especially on weekends. I am envisioning Ole Faithful, Angel's Landing, among others. I would imagine that National Forests would not experience this crowdedness as often.
3) That isn't to say national forests aren't beautiful! Around me in Utah, there are so many national forests that have incredible hiking and backpacking trails. My buddy often talks about his favorite hiking trip through Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
4) National Forests are huge! If you take a look at the map below, the dark green color spans large amounts of land. Out west is filled with National Forest!
So I don't know about you, but I foresee national forests around the US being a large part of my future adventures. I plan on not letting them fly below the radar for much longer.
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Until next time!