Writer, editor and travel enthusiast Jennifer Snyder is always sharing national park moments with us on Twitter, so we reached out to her to hear more about her love of America’s national parks. She told us everything from her first national park memory at Redwood National and State Parks to her advice for planning a park adventure.
Q: Full name?
A: Jennifer E. Snyder
A: I consider both Sacramento and Crescent City, California my hometowns.
Q: What was your first national park experience?
A: I spent some wonderful moments in and around the Redwood National and State Parks when I was a young girl. I just remember staring up at those massive trees in wonder. I’ve visited many times since and that same sense of wonder hits me every time I return.
Q: What is your best national park memory?
A: My best memory is also my most recent. My husband and I visited Glacier National Park for the first time last summer and we both fell in love with the park. My favorite memory has to be from one of the many trips we took along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. One morning on the way to East Glacier, we spotted a deer and her newborn fawn as they crossed the road. The poor fawn fell to the ground right in the eastbound lane and we weren't sure if it would get up. Traffic came to a complete halt and we all sat in our respective cars with tense looks on our faces. After what felt like hours, the fawn got to its four wobbly hooves and caught up with mom on the other side of the road. I think everyone watching let out a collective sigh of relief. To be honest, I got a little emotional!
Q: What is your favorite national park(s) you’ve visited so far?
A: My husband and I both declared Glacier National Park as our new favorite during the first hike of our trip. Grand Teton National Park is a close second.
Q: How many national parks have you visited in total?
A: We have so many parks left to see! Over the last several years, national and state parks have taken priority in our travels and we’ve come to realize what we’ve been missing out on all of these years! We have six parks under our belt and we’ve visited several of them more than once. We definitely have a priority list of parks we’d like to visit next.
Q: What is the most unique experience you have had in a national park?
A: I’m not sure if it’s necessarily unique, but being the only souls on a trail in Glacier National Park was a pretty special experience. We live in California and are surrounded by people every day. Being able to experience such solitude in a national park was incredible.
Q: What national park(s) are you most excited to visit in the future?
A: We’re looking forward to the day when we can start planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, etc. I’ve heard amazing things about all of the parks in that area of the U.S. and would love to make that trip happen.
Q: What tips do you have for planning a trip to or visiting national parks?
A: I have many tips, but I think the most important thing to remember is that even if you have a good idea of things you’d like to do and see, be ready to improvise. I try not to count anything out when planning a trip to a national park. Millions of acres have been preserved for us to enjoy in our national parks and there is always an alternative itinerary.
Q: Do you have any tips for visiting national parks as a group or family?
A: I think the best tip is to begin discussing everyone’s interests and priorities early on in the planning process. It’s also a really great idea to decide that it’s okay if everyone’s interests don’t align. If two people want to go hiking and three people want to take a scenic drive, just go your separate ways for that day and meet up around the table or campfire and share stories in the evening.
Q: Is there anything else about the national parks you’d like to tell us?
A: We’re incredibly lucky to have such a vast park system in the U.S., yet oftentimes the adventure waiting for us in our own backyard is taken for granted. My hope – and my goal in sharing stories – is to inspire people to get out and take advantage of what has been preserved for us. Experiencing a national park is something I think everyone should do at least once over the course of a lifetime.
Jennifer Snyder is a writer, editor and travel enthusiast based in Northern California. She recently left the 8-to-5 world to pursue each and every one of her creative passions. She currently creates lifestyle, travel and nonfiction content on a freelance basis, while nurturing her photography habit as much as possible. You can follow her adventures on her blog.