This one is sharing the 10 best national parks we LOVE and know you’ll love to! In this episode we also announce the launch of our new trip itineraries! If you love nature, hiking, and traveling in the U.S. then this episode is for you!
We have been to sooooo many national parks and have the goal to visit every single one of them. We love national parks! The coolest national parks in the US always blow our mind with how impressive they all, how unique they all are, and how big and vast they are with tons of place to sit, explore, hike, and just be in peaceful nature.
In this episode we tell why these national parks are the best in the country:
- Carlsbad Caverns (Episode 39)
- Sequoia National Park (Episode 5)
- Grand Canyon National Park (Episode 8)
- Yellowstone National Park (Episode 57)
- Olympic National Park
- Hot Springs National Park (Episode 22)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Episode 45)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (Episode 33)
- Grand Tetons National Park (Episode 56)
- Everglades National Park (Episode 49)
Best National Parks – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are taking you to the top 10 National Parks that you are going to love and big announcement, big launch date. Let’s take you right into it.
1 (1m 16s):
So all 62 National Parks are definitely on my bucket list. And so far I visited more than half of them. And even with only visiting half, it’s really hard for us to select only 10 National Parks because all of the parks are very beautiful and unique and they each have something to offer.
3 (1m 35s):
Yeah, we’ll definitely have to have a version two of this episode, because not only are they all so unique and all of them a sight to be seen, but we’re constantly visiting new ones. So this top 10 list can grow and change.
4 (1m 48s):
Yeah. And it’s often been said that the National Parks was America’s best idea, and there’s so much to explore and see within our own backyards, even here in the United States. And as Brittany said, it was really hard to narrow this list down to just 10, but these 10 National Parks are sure to excite and intrigue for their beauty and sheer uniqueness compared to the other National Parks. These are for sure, a top 10 to add to your must-see list that you will absolutely love.
3 (2m 18s):
And before we get into the top 10 list, we have a very exciting announcement to share with you. We are launching our very first product and it’s actually the inspiration for this episode. So you all know, we love visiting national parks and we love getting you all excited about visiting it yourself too. We love telling you what we did. We love giving you all the tips that we learned along the way, and now we have something very exciting to reveal to you.
4 (2m 46s):
So we wanted to create something with even more value than our episodes by detailing national park trip itineraries with comprehensive multipage guides. This is like a squad tip, but a itinerary really is what it is.
1 (3m 2s):
It’s a really good way to put it. And we’ve been working on these for months, pulling together information on what to see and do in these National Parks, where to stay directions for the best routes and even where to eat along the way. And we’re just putting them into these really beautiful PDF guides. And we’re so excited to share them with you guys.
2 (3m 20s):
Yes. And so we’re very excited to announce that they are now available on our website. We have put love consideration and our heart, sweat, blood, and tears into these itineraries. At least some of us have,
3 (3m 39s):
But you’ll get the clean version. There won’t be any blood on yours. And because today is the day that we are launching them, we’re offering some specials off the price. So go to our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, or our website, Travel Squad, Podcast dot com and get all the information you can get to buy them.
4 (3m 57s):
So with that said, let’s get right into that list. Ladies who wants to talk about the first one?
1 (4m 2s):
I want to say that these are in no particular order at all whatsoever, but the first national park we’re going to talk about is Carlsbad Caverns national park located in south Eastern, New Mexico and Jamal. And I actually went to this national park for a birthday trip that I planned. And you guys know Jamal hates hiking on his birthday.
4 (4m 21s):
2 (4m 22s):
You ask the hike every year on your birthday.
4 (4m 25s):
Brittany, pretty much dictates that I hike every year on my birthday. That’s really how it goes and being the good husband that I am. I sacrifice my special day to make it special for her.
3 (4m 34s):
Well, what a good wife. She knows what you want without you having to say it.
1 (4m 39s):
I know. And Carlsbad Caverns is super unique. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site. It has a very large limestone chamber. It’s the largest in north America. And you actually have to take an elevator and take it 750 feet down to enter the cave. So that’s super impressive. It’s like, I want to say 4,000 feet long and 625 feet wide. It is so cool. If you guys haven’t been definitely check it out.
4 (5m 7s):
There’s a movie line that says that’s a huge bitch. And let me tell you something, that cavern is a huge bitch, but in a really, really impressive way. I mean, I’ve been in so many different caves, but when I went into this one at Carlsbad Caverns national park, I mean, my mind was just blown away. You get down there. It’s nice and cooled. You mean it’s in the cave? There’s no sunlight. It’s around 40, 50 degrees. You see the stalagmites, the stalactites just coming out in these unique formations in this limestone cave. And it’s just so, so impressive. I mean, I love it.
1 (5m 40s):
Yeah. At one point while we were down there, Jamal looks at me and he goes, this is pretty cool to see on my birthday. So he was, he was really happy. And we think that you guys will love this national park specifically. You can take small group tours and see even more of the cave that isn’t part of the self guided tour. And it’s just really unique and it’s definitely worth checking out.
4 (6m 2s):
Yeah. Because mostly when I think of National Parks, at least I think of nature, not that this isn’t nature, but I think of mountains. I think of waterfalls. I think a big trees, Meadows or something, but no, this is a legitimate cave. And it’s just so impressive. And I think that adds to the uniqueness. You can take the elevator down, like Brittany said, or there’s a natural entrance that you could hike into it or out of it. And that’s even intense in and of itself. You just come across this mountain out in the middle of nowhere in the desert and then there’s this big black hole. And boop, let me just go down. It’s really, really cool.
3 (6m 34s):
That’s so cool. This wasn’t a squad trip when you guys went, I am dying to go here.
1 (6m 38s):
Got you. Definitely have to go.
2 (6m 40s):
What happens if the electricity goes out when you’re in that 750 foot drop in the elevator?
4 (6m 46s):
Well, I guess you’re in the elevator shaft until the electricity comes back on. But the good news is if you’re already down in the chamber, there’s a natural way in, so you can just hike it back
2 (6m 55s):
Out. I mean, if you could see,
4 (6m 57s):
You can see, I mean, they’re going to have a emergency light Zana. You see this is you. No, no, no. I don’t think you’re teasing. Cause this is always you thinking the worst of any situation. Oh my God. What if there’s bears? Oh my God. What if there’s cougars? Oh my God. What if the power goes out? Like, come on seriously.
2 (7m 12s):
Well, you know, you just, you never know, you gotta be prepared. I, you know, I was a girl scout. You gotta be prepared.
4 (7m 16s):
Well, I’m sure they have a backup plan and I wouldn’t be concerned. And if you guys want to hear more about Carlsbad Caverns in particular, do check out episode 39. We had a whole episode on it
3 (7m 28s):
For number two on our list, you could be prepared by bringing, say a stale banana flavored bagel. Number two is Sequoia National Park. This place is so beautiful. It’s located in the Southern Sierra, Nevada mountains in California. And it’s so unique because of these massive trees. Not necessarily tall skyscraper trees, but extremely huge around
4 (7m 53s):
Massive girth. Right? Kim
3 (7m 55s):
4 (7m 55s):
Girl. No, you love the girl.
3 (7m 58s):
You can wrap yourself around the girth and look like an ant on it.
4 (8m 1s):
Well, they are very girthy, but you said not necessarily tall. That’s true. The Sequoia trees are not necessarily the tallest in the world. They are the largest in terms of volume, but they are actually taller. That’s another thing that really makes them unique as they’re one of five tree species that actually grows to be over 300 feet. So even though they are technically the largest, they are not the taller, but in terms of sheer size, they are still so impressive to see.
1 (8m 28s):
We think that you guys will love this national park because exploring the giant forest is so humbling. You see all of the massive trees and in this forest specifically, there’s five out of the 10, most massive trees in the world. So it’s super cool to see you’ll feel like a little ant. You can be a little tree-hugger wrap your arms around the trees as well. Get lost in the forest. And Sequoia National Park also has crystal caves and Morro rock, which are both unique and definitely worth a visit to go see.
2 (9m 0s):
I just created a little rhyme about it all. It’s going to be so worth when you’re on the turf to feel the girth on mama earth. Ooh,
3 (9m 11s):
Wow. You are a rapper. You have a rap career going, just
2 (9m 15s):
Pulled that out of nowhere.
4 (9m 17s):
It’s quite impressive. I’m not going to lie, Anna, when you want to be witty, you just pull them out. And I’m so impressed.
2 (9m 22s):
I just know how to rhyme I guess.
4 (9m 24s):
But you know, I agree with Brittany. They’re just so unique. I mean, we’ve all been to Sequoia on a squad trip. That’s why Kim brings up the stale bagel in Sequoia. It actually touches another national park King’s canyon. We got lost on a hike. We had no food. It was like 16 miles. So we enjoyed that steel banana flavored bagel, but truly when you’re in the forest, it’s just so impressive to really be in there. And I’ve been in lots of forests in the mountain areas, but something about this is just truly majestic that you’ll definitely enjoy it.
3 (9m 54s):
Yeah. And if you guys want to check that episode out, it’s episode number five, really funny episode
4 (10m 0s):
On stories on that too.
2 (10m 1s):
Episode five is still to this day. We have many episodes. We’ve been to many places. This is my favorite episode that we’ve recorded because I think it’s so funny and you’ll be able to hear Jamal and Kim banter about their best tips for taking pictures for each other and for strangers,
1 (10m 21s):
Jamal and I actually just recently went to Sequoia National Park and we explored a new trail called the Congress trail that we’ve never been on, on this as a squad. And it’s actually a really witty because on the Congress trail, they have a tree named the president. It’s the third largest tree in the world. And then you go down the line and there’s a grouping of trees, large trees named the Senate. And then you walk a little bit further and there’s a bigger grouping of trees called the house.
4 (10m 49s):
Like the house of representatives can look at these bloody people up
2 (10m 53s):
Donald Trump’s after getting his face on a Mount Rushmore. Pretty soon, he’s going to have a tree in Sequoia.
4 (10m 59s):
It’s going to be called the Dawn Dawn. So the next national park on our list that you’ll absolutely love. It’s a classic. I’m sure when we think of National Parks, this is probably one of the top five that comes up for most people, regardless if you’ve been or not the grand canyon national
2 (11m 16s):
3 (11m 16s):
It is grand
4 (11m 18s):
Zana thought it was going to be a little bit more grand than it really was when we were there. Didn’t use Aina.
2 (11m 22s):
I was at the quilt, but yeah, like it was a, I thought the Grand Canyon would be a little bit more grand than
4 (11m 28s):
Rocky mountains were going to be more Rocky than,
2 (11m 30s):
Oh, that’s what it is. That’s what it is. So anyways, I morphed it into that. I thought the grand canyon was going to be a little bit more granted than that. And so Jamal posted a picture and I made that comment just to be funny. And I guess my mom saw it and she told Jamal, so it sounds like Zana didn’t really like the Grand Canyon and Jamal, like what we thought she had a great time. When did she tell you this? And so my mom made the comment that she posted that and then we all laughed. So in Jamal said that I was like, whoa, look at that. Mom’s spread and rumors about,
4 (12m 1s):
Well, she didn’t understand the movie quilt and the joke you were trying to make in my comment, but
3 (12m 6s):
Didn’t relate to that.
4 (12m 7s):
But point you never under well, Zane and I always go on and on about movie quotes. So Brittany and Kim seemed to be left out on that, but I can assure you, the Grand Canyon is grand and you’ll love it. Why don’t you tell us why lady?
2 (12m 21s):
I think like it’s so cool because the rock matter that you find their dates back to a little over 2 billion years, which is a
4 (12m 31s):
Billion with a, B, B
2 (12m 32s):
Billion with a B. And that’s pretty crazy because the United States doesn’t even have that much history as a country
4 (12m 39s):
Or narrative apparently,
2 (12m 41s):
You know? So it’s like so interesting to just, I mean, obviously, you know, the earth has been here for like X amount of years, but to just know that that was like brewing here on our home turf on our home country.
4 (12m 52s):
Well, it’s really cool too, because the canyon was carved by the Colorado river. That’s still running through it. So to this day, it’s still getting formed. It’s so many miles long, so many miles across. I mean, clearly it’s just grant.
2 (13m 4s):
Yeah. I mean like the people that are going to be on this earth 2 billion years from now, I mean, it’s like, I can only imagine what they’ll see when they go to the Grand Canyon. Then
3 (13m 12s):
I love the Grand Canyon because you feel tiny in there. And I love that just to be reminded of how massive and beautiful nature is. We went there on a squad trip on an American Southwest road trip where we saw a few different things in the area and looped back to San Diego,
4 (13m 29s):
Which is one of the itineraries that we are dropping for. You guys, Grand Canyon is in an American Southwest road trip.
3 (13m 35s):
Yes, it’s, it’s a really great road trip. Just a few days. We actually have a whole episode on an episode number eight. So go listen to that one too, if you’re interested. And so I just have a special place in my heart for the Grand Canyon.
2 (13m 46s):
Yeah. And you know, what’s crazy about the Grand Canyon is on the app, all trails, which gives you, you know, the hikes that you can do in a specific area. They have 54 hard trails just for the Grand Canyon. And that’s just hard.
1 (14m 1s):
Oh my that’s very impressive
4 (14m 4s):
Range that the Grand Canyon,
2 (14m 5s):
Well, I mean, I didn’t check to see the easier the medium, but like, like I said, 54 hard and they were ranging up to like 18 to 27. I think it was 27 miles. And I’m just like, oh my God, who’s hiking 27 miles through the grand canyon. But there are people who are doing that.
1 (14m 21s):
And we know that you guys are going to love this national park. It’s such an iconic American experience. And there’s so many different ways to actually see this national park. You can hike down into the canyon. You can view it from the rim. You can actually raft down the river as well. Or you can even take a helicopter tour and pass over
4 (14m 37s):
It a mule down to we saw that happening. So
1 (14m 40s):
Cool. I also heard someone tell me that they’ve hiked rim to rim from the Southern rim to the Northern rim and one day, which is also super impressive.
2 (14m 49s):
Does anyone else feel immature when you hear, say rim
6 (14m 54s):
To rim job?
4 (14m 55s):
Well, I thought it was only me thinking about it, but I’m glad to see it. See, this is why the squad gets along. When Brittany said rim to rim, we all thought to ourselves the worst possible implication of it. But you know, another thing before we move on from the Grand Canyon that I thought to be really unique about it is we live here in California. It’s actually pretty close to us and consideration to a lot of other National Parks. First time I had gone was actually on the squad trip here that we’re talking about and you see photos of it and you see all this rock formation and you really think like, man, this is in the middle of the desert, it’s Arizona. It’s going to be hot. And that’s definitely the case, but what they don’t really show you when they’re focusing those photos on the canyon is that the rim of the canyon is at such a high elevation.
4 (15m 41s):
And it’s really foresty up there. Like when we were driving, getting to our hotel, we were at a lodge that made me feel like we were in the woods in a cabin, which we really, really were. So don’t be deceived, even though it looks really desert and barren at the high elevations of the canyon rim, it’s definitely forced it. And I found that to be really, really unique and cool.
2 (15m 60s):
Yeah. And you just gotta be careful when you do go, because during the summer, obviously you don’t want to pass out from the heat. So they do have signs about water or turning around the trail that we did was I think the south kebab trail. Correct. And if I’m not mistaken, it was going to be 14 miles round trip. Correct. And we only made it seven round trip based on the time in which we started. Was that correct?
3 (16m 23s):
Yes, that was correct.
2 (16m 24s):
We didn’t do too much. I wish we could have done it, but based on time that we started and just weather
4 (16m 29s):
’cause we were moving on somewhere too. But think about this. I mean, if you’re at the Grand Canyon, you’re starting at the top and hiking and so the hard part is hiking out. So the longer portion of your hike is going to be when you’re actually leaving the canyon itself.
2 (16m 43s):
I remember just hiking down and we were so excited to be taking pictures. Oh, I’ll get my picture here, get my picture here. And then we coming up and no one wanted a fucking picture.
4 (16m 53s):
Got enough going down.
2 (16m 54s):
Oh my God, you’re so hot. You’re so sweaty. You’re just ready to get out. Okay.
1 (16m 57s):
And we went in December. I can’t imagine how hot it would be in the middle of
4 (17m 1s):
3 (17m 2s):
There was actually snow at the top of the rim. And it’s so surprising because it’s in Arizona, which you typically think of as being a really hot desert, but there is snow enforced there.
4 (17m 13s):
And that’s why I found the forest to be so surprising. So really unique in that own right to very iconic Americana and really unique national park. In general.
2 (17m 22s):
One more thing to add is when you are going to your lodging, just watch out for the road because there are elk crossings.
4 (17m 29s):
Yeah. I almost hit one in total, their car. You want to hear the full story? Check out episode eight.
2 (17m 33s):
Yeah. So number four on our list is Yellowstone National Park.
1 (17m 39s):
So we actually haven’t released an episode on Yellowstone National Park, but we do plan to release it in a few weeks as episode number 57. And this is the first partial squad trip that we took during COVID. We took this trip in late may, early June, myself, Jamal, and Kim and Yellowstone is primarily located in Wyoming, but it also extends into Idaho and Montana.
4 (18m 2s):
Yeah. And Yellowstone just for your own information is America’s first national park. So this one is the gym of the mall. This is what everyone said is so beautiful. We have to protect and started the whole national park system Yellowstone right here. And you’re in Yellowstone, it’s in the mountainous areas. So full of wildlife, but what really makes Yellowstone so unique is its geothermal activity. It sits on top of a super volcano. 25% of the world’s geysers are located in this park alone. So if you think you’re going to be excited to see bison Grizzlies, you will, it’s cool that the geothermal formations make Yellowstone.
4 (18m 43s):
So, so unique compared to the rest.
3 (18m 45s):
It’s hard to say which one is the most unique because they’re also different. But if I had to pick one, I would say this one because it’s unlike anything that you’ll ever see anywhere else, especially all crowded together, the way that it is, you can see a lot of cool stuff all in one spot.
1 (19m 1s):
Yeah. It’s the first time I’ve really seen such unique colors of geothermal Springs and so much wildlife in one place. And I was just really amazed about everything I saw in the park. There’s just so much to offer. You can spend days exploring this national park and not get tired of what you see.
4 (19m 18s):
I mean, it’s just so huge. So saying that you could spend days, there’s absolutely correct.
1 (19m 23s):
We did spend days there
4 (19m 24s):
And this is like America’s safari when you go to Yellowstone. So again, yes, it is so unique because of the geothermal activity, the Hot Springs, the geysers, but truly this is the American safari bears, wolves, bison, Fox, anything you can think of in terms of like big game animals in the United States that they are here in Yellowstone.
3 (19m 47s):
It’s also a good park if you’re not super into hiking, but you still love nature because there’s a lot of really cool, beautiful things you can see and not have to hike ticket to them.
4 (19m 57s):
That’s really true. I didn’t even think about that. I noticed that when we were there, but I’m glad that you brought that up because a lot of this stuff is like, look out points, look at nature, see things. So yeah, not a lot of hiking, not to say that there isn’t, but truly you don’t have to really put in hard days. A lot of them can be easy days if you want
3 (20m 14s):
1 (20m 15s):
And some of the longer trails are actually paved as well and flat. So it’s very accessible for a lot of different people.
4 (20m 21s):
So number five on our list is going to be a limpic national park. Now this park is in Washington state in the Northwest corner. And my God, this place is like Narnia. If you know what I mean?
3 (20m 35s):
So pretty I have been twice now everything is covered in lush Moss. There’s flora, there’s rain forest, there’s real drier forest there’s river systems draining from the glacier Olympic mountains. There’s 70 miles of wilderness coastline. It has so many different ecosystems. And in 1981, it became a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as an international biosphere reserve. So it’s very, very cool. And despite how amazing and cool and different it is, it’s fairly less trafficked than some of the other popular national parks in the country.
4 (21m 9s):
Yeah. And what I really like about this park is when you just visualize maybe what you know, in your head or what you’ve seen of the Pacific Northwest in terms of its nature and rugged forests, I mean, this is it. And the Olympic National part, just so green, so watery with streams, waterfalls, it’s just so iconically beautiful. And even the coastline along the ocean, jagged Boulder, rock beaches. I mean, just so impressive and pretty at the same time,
1 (21m 35s):
You guys are gonna love the eerie nature vibes as you walk through the whole rain forest. And while you walk through that rain forest, don’t forget to bring a rain jacket. Cause it does drizzle out there or I’m an umbrella. Don’t be Zayna,
4 (21m 50s):
Zayna always forgetting things. Umbrellas top on that list.
2 (21m 53s):
Umbrellas are not that needed in San Diego.
4 (21m 56s):
Well they’re needed when you go other places it’s like gloves. She’s at a loss for words, over
3 (22m 1s):
Number six on our list is Hot Springs. National Park
4 (22m 5s):
Love Hot Springs in
3 (22m 6s):
Hot Springs, Arkansas, SAS,
4 (22m 8s):
3 (22m 10s):
This place is interesting because while yes, it does have nature and it’s beautiful. It’s actually a city as well. The town is the National Parks. That’s really cool. It has hot spring water under the ground. So it’s this unusual natural phenomenon of the hot water boiling out of the earth and coming steam up from the ground, the streets and the nature parts of the national park. It’s really cool.
4 (22m 34s):
They even had parts on the public streets where they had a tap to the thermal water. And what was really interesting about it too, is when you think of thermal water, you may think of it as sulfuric kind of that ag smell to it. But no, this thermal water and Hot Springs had none of that. I mean, people literally go here who are residents to go fill water from the public thermal taps. Granted they’re hot. They just let them cool down. They put them in big five gallon jugs, but I can’t tell you how many people that we saw do that. And what really like Kim said makes it unique is this national park is a town, not the whole town itself, but the main row that has the bath houses is the portion of the national park. And we experienced the bath houses when we were there.
4 (23m 16s):
And why don’t you ladies, tell us a little bit about those bath houses and what you can do there.
2 (23m 20s):
Well, Jamal, you can go there and cure your syphilis.
4 (23m 24s):
Why are you telling everybody I have syphilis right now? One, I don’t have syphilis, but funny that you mentioned that because we found out when we were in hot Springs, Arkansas, that a lot of people used to think that the Hot Springs had healing properties. So a lot of people with syphilis back in the day in the early 19 hundreds, went there to try to cure it. One of those people being Al Capone and guess what Al Capone died in Alcatraz, San Francisco of syphilis. And he went to Hot Springs quite frequently to go try to cure it.
2 (23m 56s):
So one, they’re no longer using the Hot Springs to treat syphilis, see your doctor about some penicillin, but Back in the day, that’s what they used to do.
1 (24m 7s):
So the main row is called bathhouse row and it previously had a whole bunch of bath houses lining it. They’re actually down to, I want to say two bath houses. We visited one of them and they had four different pools of varying thermal water temperatures. And so we actually wanted to visit each pool and go in from the coolest to the hottest. So that’s exactly what we did. We felt really nice and refresh. You get to sweat everything out as well. The hot one,
2 (24m 34s):
Except for syphilis,
1 (24m 35s):
Except for six
4 (24m 36s):
1 (24m 37s):
The hottest pool, they tell you, it’s only If you more degrees than like the lowest pool. And you’re like, how different can it be? But really it gets hot pretty quickly, but we had a really good time just relaxing at these bathhouses. And the quaint streets filled with tourists was really cool to see. It feels like a small like city vibes in a small town. And I also loved that this national park is the only national park to have a brewery in it. And they use the hot spring water to make their beer. It’s
3 (25m 6s):
4 (25m 7s):
I mean, we definitely went to that brewery and had a few beers before we went into the bath houses. I mean, they turned these into lush posh experiences. I mean, if you think about going to Vegas and what a spa treatment’s going to be like these bath houses, are it nice water, nice pools, you can get massage. They have steam rooms that they’ve made from the natural steam coming from the earth and them really, really unique experience all around and even more unique by the fact that this is actually a city itself.
3 (25m 35s):
And there’s so much history in this tiny town in Arkansas, not just with the bathhouses and the syphilis, but it was a huge hub for American gangsters.
4 (25m 47s):
Yeah. And they used to have baseball spring training out there before they had it in Florida. And then
3 (25m 52s):
Why did the MLB leave Hot
4 (25m 54s):
Springs? Very good history. A topic to bring up Kim MLB left Hot Springs for spring training because too many of the players were catching syphilis because they were banging people out there trying to cure their syphilis in the hospital.
2 (26m 7s):
This is also the place where the roots of Las Vegas were formed because what’s his name? Bugsy,
4 (26m 13s):
Bugsy Siegel, the guy who was the founder of the Flamingo hotel and casino, which is still in Las Vegas. That was his original stomping grounds before he made his way out west to Vegas. Yeah.
2 (26m 23s):
Yeah. And so we even ate at a place that used to be a speakeasy and you can still see just the old remanence of how it was set up back in the day. So very nice. And then one of my favorite things is not only is this super quaint street to stroll down and then you have the Hot Springs right there, but they also have a trail right there alongside the city. And so you can go hiking and overlooking the city.
3 (26m 48s):
They also have the traditional bath house. You can see what bath houses look like back in the day and its heyday and these private old tubs and these old contraptions that they had in the locker rooms. And just people were really in the bath houses.
4 (27m 3s):
Some of them looked like torture chambers when we were in there. So yeah, one of the bath houses that you can no longer frequent as an actual bath house is a museum of the national park. And that’s what Kim is referencing so unique to see him.
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They need to bring more bathhouses back to bathhouse row. I
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Am trow bath houses.
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We’ll just create a Travel Squad bath house right here in San Diego.
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They also have a bomb ass cupcake shop there along the streets.
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Hell yeah, they do. There’s a lot of really good eats in the small quaint town.
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We talk about it all in episode 22. So if you guys want to go back and listen to that one, it’s a good one. If you’re interested in going
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And we’re talking about Hot Springs a lot, I feel like we can’t get off the topic because of how cool that really, really was. So again, you want to hear more go listen to that episode, such a unique National Parks.
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In fact, one more thing to add before we move on is that you can often hear us talking about how Hot Springs is one of our favorite places that we’ve visited that is completely underrated or someplace that we just didn’t think that we were going to enjoy as much as we did. We mentioned that a lot in a lot of our episodes,
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The seventh national park on this list is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is on the big island of Hawaii and Jamal and Britt. You guys went there,
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The big island who, why we specifically went to this national park one because we want to go to all National Parks, but I’m going to say it again. My Hong Kong Disneyland trip got canceled due to COVID as we were going to Hong Kong, supposed to go in March. And we figured to ourselves, you know what, let’s go to a national park, let’s go to Hawaii. And we did Hawaii Volcanoes and it definitely did not disappoint.
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So Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world, kilowatts and move on a LOA. And when you go to this national park, you can actually feel the heat and steam coming from steam bents. As you walk through the park, they also have a lava tube. So really unique geological structures within the park that you’re not going to find out a lot of the other National Parks that we’ve mentioned so far.
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And when we went, we weren’t fortunate enough to see actual lava flow. You can see lava flow. A lot of the times at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we had gone here in 2020 about two years ago in 2018. As a matter of fact, when we were all going to Kauai, this was erupting. Do you ladies remember that? And as we were flying to Kauai, the pilot even said, Hey, if you look out the window, you can see all the smoke from the volcanoes. And they had to evacuate all the people who lived in the area, other residents. So I mean, this is really, really active. So it’s really unique to see, but what I found to be the most amazing thing about it, even though we didn’t get to see lava flowing is you are on the top of a volcano high up in the Hawaiian island mountains.
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So it pretty much is rainforest and jungle out there. But then when you look out to the volcano itself, it’s just sheer black death. You can see the volcanic rock. So it’s just such a crazy disparity of colors and landscape. And one of the most unique things I’ve seen to see so much greenery and life around and then an area right by it. That’s just so dead and void, but so pretty and beautiful at the same time. You can’t describe it until you’ve seen it. It’s quite amazing.
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And I went as COVID was hitting the United States. So it was very interesting. I want to say that this national park doesn’t get a lot of visitors in general. And when we were there, we were pretty isolated on some of the trails. We were the only peoples on the trail and we would only pass people like every 30 minutes or so. It was just so spares with people. I also love that in some of the hikes, you get to hike through the rainforest, like Jamal said, and we actually crossed the caldera floor, which is like the floor of the volcano and walk all the way across it. And then hike back up the other side, back into the rainforest and just to see how crazy it is between those two ecosystems, the rainforest, and then just like the desolate caldera floor.
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It’s really just a humbling experience. And I’m so glad I got to experience it while we were there.
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So the next part that we want to talk about for you guys, number eight on our list is Bryce Canyon, National Park located in Southern Utah,
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Bryce. This is one of my most favorite places. And I remember before we went, a lot of people were telling me like, oh my gosh, you’re going to love it. I’ve always wanted to go. You’re so lucky, blah, blah, blah. And I’m thinking to myself, it’s just a national park and we got there and oh my gosh, you guys, it is not just a national park. It is so special.
4 (31m 33s):
Well, you seem really excited about is I don’t want you to tell us what’s special about it. I mean, there’s
2 (31m 37s):
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What did you love?
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They have so many hoodoos and I have never heard of a Hoodoo before in my life. And then I think, I don’t know if it was Jamal or Brittany, but someone was like, who do? And I was like, I don’t even know what that is. But eventually I realized that those are the rock formations. They are columns or pinnacles of weathered rocks. I don’t even know how to describe it. Other than the definition that I got off a Wikipedia
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And they’re this beautiful orange color, the whole vast place is orange. They have white swirls. They have darker orange and reddish swirls. It’s just so pretty. The coloring of it, the hikes are really pretty. The hoodoos just pop out from the ground or make little peep holes in the rocks. And some of them look like characters. Like we saw one that looked like
1 (32m 22s):
3 (32m 23s):
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A couple of them formed together to look like tower bridge in London, just as well. So I guess whoever named these structures clearly loved the UK. I mean, you have the Hoodoo that’s named after queen Victoria. Cause it looks like her bust and whole figure. And then you have the tower bridge one. So, I mean, these are just really unique structures that come up from the earth. You could just imagine them as towering, pinnacles of rocks, there’s hundreds, if not thousands of them littering the whole canyon area. And it’s just so beautiful to see that desert landscape. And when I was there, I thought to myself, this is probably the iconic shot that people thought of when they thought of the wild west back in the day, like during America’s expansion from the east to the west, this was the wild, wild west.
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What it looked like, just such dramatic landscape like that. And it was so, so cool to see.
1 (33m 10s):
Yeah, it’s another place where you can also do another rim job. We actually did a round As we hiked the fairy tale loop trail and Bryce. So you start on the rim, you hike down into the canyon with all of the hoodoos and then you hike back up and make a loop onto the rim. So you do a complete rim job.
4 (33m 29s):
I love that rim job. We eat those rims right up. Yeah, we did killed it.
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You can hear all about that rim job. On episode 33, we went into Bryce Canyon the whole weekend that we spent there.
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Well, since we’re on the subject, I just want to bring up, you were impressed by the Hoodoo girth to where you’re not Kim, the
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Girth and the length,
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The girth and the length. Quite impressive to say the
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1 (33m 52s):
Okay. So the next national park, we’re gonna talk about number nine is grand Teton national park. And we have not released an episode on this, but this will be a future episode, episode 56 and grand Teton national park is located in Northwest Wyoming.
4 (34m 5s):
Yeah. And what makes the Grand Tetons really unique is they are actually the youngest range within the Rocky mountains itself. And as a matter of fact, this is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the entire world, not the Rockies itself, but the actual Teton range within the Rockies. Some of the youngest mountain formations in the world. And even though they are young, they are still so quite dramatic. Eight of the peaks within the 40 mile range are over 12,000 feet high. So just the sheer height than magnitude of these mountains are just so amazing. And I truly thought that this was one of the most beautifully serene national parks that I’ve ever been to and seeing,
1 (34m 45s):
Yes, Grand Tetons National Park has just such dramatic landscapes. And we saw beautiful lakes, glaciers, mountains. We saw the snake river and every time we went out into nature, it was just so serene and so beautiful. And we had to get tons of crazy beautiful nature shots.
4 (35m 3s):
Got a couple of full moonshots of you, ladies too. You know what I’m talking about?
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It’s true. Yes. And Grand Tetons is right next to Yellowstone. So you can couple that trip together. And these two parks are pretty heavily trafficked and heavily visited by tourists. So plan your trip to when you want to go or just plan your trip very well with your route. You’re going to take and where you’re going to stay along the way, which is why we’re really excited that this is one of the first itineraries that we have coming up
4 (35m 28s):
Just dropped today for you guys. So be sure to check it out and be sure to get it. You’re not going to be disappointed if we talk about the best types to do within the parks, the most optimal route, where to stay, what to eat. So really
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Get your bear spray.
4 (35m 42s):
Yeah. Where to get the bear spray. You’re definitely going to need that. Zander. You would’ve freaked out on this trip, Grizzlies all up on the trail, man.
2 (35m 49s):
No, I wouldn’t have, because we had bear spray and this guide tells you specifically where we kick while not we, cause I wasn’t there, but it’s very specific about where they picked up the bear spray and where they dropped it off and the better route that they should have taken of where they could have dropped it off because there are multiple locations. So we’re very detailed about that and what we would recommend for you. So you don’t make, I don’t want to say our mistakes cause we didn’t make mistakes, but could have been
4 (36m 19s):
More optimal. Yes. But before we move on from Grand Tetons National Park, one last thing that I did want to say, and I mentioned it earlier, when I said it was one of the most serene, beautiful parks that I’ve actually been to let alone scenic landscapes I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean the mountains are just so tall. The Grand Tetons itself looks to me to look like the matter horn. So if you’re not going to be able to make the Switzer or ever see it in your life, I feel like the Grand Tetons is the American version. And it’s so cool because these tall mountains, like I said, most of them over 12,000 feet high, just shoot up out of this green meadow valley out of nowhere, no foothills or anything like that, you know, build up to the mountains, just sheer, straight shooting up mountain ranges.
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And it’s so impressive to see. And I found that to be really, quite unique about it that I wasn’t expecting when we went
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Last, but not least on our top 10 National Parks list is Everglades National Park in Florida,
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South Florida, south of Miami,
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I don’t really love Florida, but I love Everglades National Park. Let me say that
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Everglades National Park is the third largest park in the contiguous United States. And it’s primarily on a swamp and it really lives up to the swampy crocodile field landscape that Florida is known for. And we had the best experience in Everglades, National Park, myself, Jamal and Vina took an airboat on the swamp land.
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Well, don’t forget my parents and my sister and as was well, cause this was a family excursion right before we went on a cruise. Yes.
1 (37m 47s):
So Jamal’s parents and Nashville were also there and we rode the airboat on the swamp and it was a hoot.
4 (37m 54s):
Yeah. You described use that word to describe it. Last time you called it a hoot.
1 (37m 58s):
It really was your mom’s face. As we were on the airboat, she looked so happy. She was having the time of her life.
4 (38m 6s):
It was pure adrenaline. And let me tell you something. I had that same feeling. You’ve see the Everglades you think to yourself like, oh my gosh, look at all this tall saw grass, which is basically grass that grows out of the water and these swamp lands that they have out there. And no boats can really go out there with normal propeller. So they have the big fan air boats and my God is just so loud. And then you’re gliding on the water and you’re making all these sharp turns, seeing this crazy landscape, seeing Crocs seen alligators, one of the only places in the world where you can see both of them together in one ecosystem. So it’s just really, really unique and quite fun to do because realistically that’s the only way you can see Everglades is by boat because it is all pretty much swampland.
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Do you remember when we got off the boat and saw that big crock, just sitting there Brit? Yeah,
1 (38m 54s):
It was just staring at us. Like it was going to eat us for lunch.
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Zana thought it was going to Chomper.
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I mean, we were on the boat and I remember seeing big ass crocodiles, just staring or just chilling too, you know, like it’s crazy. And the guy who’s driving the boat with super burly and hot
4 (39m 10s):
That’s so your type Tuesday night, you always like the lumberjack style type. Not that it’s really lumberjack out there, but that’s the best way to describe the big burly that you just mentioned.
2 (39m 19s):
Big Bernie. Like if he was about to take off his flannel, you know that you’re going to find a chest full of hair,
4 (39m 24s):
That’s your thing, huh? That’s
2 (39m 25s):
My thing. So he was hot. So a have fun out there and bring a ponytail because it’s a mistake to wear your hair down. Your hair will be completely in your face.
4 (39m 35s):
And not only that probably tangled, not that I have long hair, like you ladies for that, but if you don’t have it up yet at squad tip, It’s going to be tangled because just the air blowing in your face is just insane. I can’t believe all the times that you’ve been out to Miami came, you haven’t gone. I know you tried to go one time and weren’t successful.
3 (39m 55s):
The reason I didn’t go is because you, you can take an Uber or Lyft there, but you can’t get one back. So we didn’t go. They do have organized tours that you can buy from Viator or people on the streets. In the tourist offices. They sell them fairly cheap for the transportation for the day. So if you are carless while you’re visiting Southern Florida and want to go check one of those out,
1 (40m 16s):
And if you want to hear more about Everglades National Park, please check it out in episode 49 and you really can’t go wrong visiting this national park. I think it’s the only national park that you can go to and write an airboat. How cool is that?
3 (40m 28s):
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All of these National Parks on the list have something that makes them unique like this one’s in the swamp. We have some in the mountains, we have some further geysers in there, Hot Springs and it’s so cool. Our country is so cool. So I think that about wraps up our episode and it’s a special time of the week now,
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It’s time for questions Of the
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Coming in hot with questions of the week. Ask us now, before we ever hold your peace
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And then an email at DM or the Graham crushes of a week,
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Ready to hit the club and start dancing now. So the question that we received this week is from Claude, from SF. I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s San Francisco or San Philippe or
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Probably San Fran
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Possibly it probably. So Claude is asking what national park is high on your list that you want to visit, but you haven’t visited yet.
4 (41m 39s):
Fantastic question Claude. Why don’t want to you ladies take this first.
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I would like to go to Zion. I know that the squad has been, I’ve never been with them. I do hear them say really wonderful things about that, but I’m going to go with the Zion because I also am not a hundred percent sure on all of the National Parks out there. That’s them. I just go with them on vacation.
3 (42m 0s):
My list is pretty big, but I have to pick just one. It’s going to be Mesa Verde national park in Colorado because I love ancient ruins. They just get me going
1 (42m 12s):
All the time. Can I get you
4 (42m 14s):
Going really hard on Mesa Verde? I
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Love it. They have ancient ruins built into the rock formation so you can tour it and you can walk through it, learn about the history. Love it.
1 (42m 24s):
I really want to go to great sand dunes national park in Colorado. And I just realized that you could go sandboarding or sand sledding, which I think would be super, super fun to do, especially as a squad. So I’m so excited to do that. I can’t wait until we go and live out our dreams sledding on.
3 (42m 42s):
I could see us getting a big sled and just bobsled teaming down. Oh my God. Yeah.
2 (42m 50s):
Oh my God. We can take an egg with us too.
1 (42m 53s):
I can’t wait. Kissing an egg is no kind of style
4 (42m 56s):
For anyone who doesn’t know they don’t. Why don’t you tell us the movie? Because as Kim said earlier, sometimes she’s not up to the movie quotes.
3 (43m 2s):
4 (43m 2s):
Everyone does it. Well, who doesn’t know it?
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we let them all well not we Jamal and I grew up on cool runnings and you guys sank up, put an egg in his bobsled uniform. It was his lucky egg. So I think that we should all put a lucky egg in our clothes. And
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When we go to sand dunes down to do the sandboarding
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Jamal, what’s yours
4 (43m 28s):
For me, I’m going to go with Acadia national park in Maine. It’s on an island in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Maine, obviously part of Maine, but just such amazing forested areas on this rock island, beautiful waterfalls. I really want to get to Acadia national park. That’s high on my list. And I think it’s because it’s in the top Northeast corner of the United States. So in a sense to me here in the Southwest corner of the United States, it’s the complete opposite side. So I need to get there.
2 (43m 58s):
I retract mine and I’m going to go with Acadia after hearing that I still want to go to Saigon, but I’m going to choose a KDS number UNO.
3 (44m 7s):
Conjury also looks really cool.
4 (44m 9s):
I forgot about . Connie is in South Carolina and this was on our south road trip that we were going to do before we readjusted our plans here and just got back from that trip from the Washington national parks, we were going to do congruency first.
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We’ll get there.
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We’ll get there. See, there’s just so many to deal. I mean, hard to name one, but I think the ones that we listed were good ones for sure.
3 (44m 35s):
Absolutely. So that about wraps up this episode, top 10 National Parks are going to love. We hope you also love the itineraries that we’ve just put out. Please go check them out. Let us know what you think. Follow us on Instagram, YouTube, everywhere. You can find us at Travel Squad Podcast. Send me in your questions as the week.
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You please, if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please make sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.
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And as always guys, you know the routine, please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. Be sure to check out our YouTube page rate and review it on there just as well and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,
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Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you guys
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Stay too and find out.
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