Category Archives: Active Travel

Escape Adventures’ Top Fall/Winter USA Cycling Tours

Biking Death Valley © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Fall already?! The leaves are changing and everything is becoming either pumpkin-flavored or knitwear. But don’t plan your hibernation just yet. There are still adventures to be had and plenty of time for a last minute family getaway. Grab your bike buddies, and check out Escape Adventures’ top 3 picks for fall/winter cycling tours. 

1. Arizona – Best of Phoenix, Black CanyonExplore all the Sonoran Desert has to offer with the Best of Phoenix and Black Canyon Trail (BCT) Mountain Biking Tour. This trip is ideal for close groups of biking friends looking for a warm winter excursion. Highlights include exploring McDowell Mountain (a 21,099-acre regional park), riding conservancy lands, and ripping more than 40-miles of fast and flowy singletrack. 

2. Utah – Best of Moab: Best of Moab is less of a winter trip, and more of a fall mountain biking escape. Plan on getting out there sometime in September or October, but not after Halloween. About 245-miles south of Salt Lake City, Moab and its dramatic surroundings have served as the backdrop for many Western movie classics. Now, it is on every mountain biker’s “bike-it list.” While the beauty of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park has drawn nature-lovers for generations, it’s the land surrounding the parks that defines Moab. With Escape Adventures, you’ll experience the best hits and hidden treasures of this world-class adventure travel destination. 

3. California/Nevada – Death Valley & Red Rock: While big swathes of North America deal with snow and icy roads, we consider it a great fortune to offer an exemplary outdoor wintertime cycling adventure in the heart of the Mojave Desert, from Death Valley National Park to Red Rock Canyon. The wild beauty of Death Valley is too hot to handle during the summer months, but come winter, it’s juuuuust right! We promise amazing cycling, eyefuls of arid majesty, glittering salt flats, gypsum-colored sand dunes, and ghost towns! 

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Western River Expeditions Advises Booking Well Ahead for Epic Canyon Rafting Trips

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon.
 
Here are a few good reasons why to act now:
 
Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.

As a result, Western River Expeditions has filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. If you’re looking to raft the Grand Canyon in 2022, Western recommends checking availability online now for the Grand Canyon 3 & 4-Day Expeditions at https://www.westernriver.com. The company also suggests looking at Cataract Canyon, just upstream from Grand Canyon.

“While Cataract Canyon doesn’t carry the same name recognition as Grand Canyon, the scenery and whitewater along this section of the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park are absolutely stunning,” says Brandon Lake, CMO for Western River Expeditions. “Guests can often find some availability on a Cataract Canyon expedition when Grand Canyon may be sold out.”

If a 2022 trip is not in the cards, mark your calendar for 2023! Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon trips for 2023 go on sale (tentatively) on Nov. 30, 2021. Cataract Canyon itineraries, which are more impacted by spring runoff than the dam-controlled flow through the Grand Canyon, are in demand for the high-water trips of May and June 2022. See dates and availability at https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting.

For 2023 in the Grand Canyon, these options exist:

Even though hearts may be set on the longer 6 and 7-day options, itineraries of 3 and 4 days are easier to come by. These shorter trips are more popular with families with young teens and first-time canyon rafters. Space is still available for these trips for April-September 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October the operator escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

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Active Adventures and Austin Adventures Unite to Create Global Adventure Travel Company

The merger between Active Adventures of Queensland, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Billings, Montana will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

BILLINGS, MT — United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Austin Adventures of Montana and Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers. 

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merged adventure travel company.

“It’s about precious time together – creating lifetime memories, being inspired, and connecting with the people and environment around us. It’s about feeling you can trust the company you are on that journey with that all the little details will be taken care of to create the best experience possible.”

“To expand our offerings to our loyal customers, it was critical we find a like-minded brand to join forces with. Just like us, Austin Adventures was born out of a deep passion for sharing authentic, curated, and inspirational adventure experiences with their guests.” 

What does the merger mean for travelers? More choice of destinations, dates, and trip styles:

  • 100+ adventure trips available across the globe
  • More departure dates available throughout the year
  • More life-changing experiences – to be able to share with family and friends
  • Two customer service teams in different time zones, providing extended hours to help adventurers find the best trip to suit them

Each brand brings its own specialties and experiences that form an expanded, unified collection of adventure opportunities across the globe. Now, Austin Adventures’ tours will be available for booking on Active Adventures’ website, adding adventures in the USA, Canada, and Central America for both brands, including specific family departures. Active Adventures’ unique hiking, biking, and kayaking experiences in New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Himalayas, and Africa will be available via the Austin Adventures’ website. 

Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures, stressed that the homework has been done to make sure the match was a natural fit and would create new opportunities for each company’s loyal guests. “We were founded in different countries, yet our companies have very similar stories. Each business is like a family – now we’ve just created one bigger family!”

Shared features:

  • Skilled local guides who have in-depth knowledge of every destination and years (if not decades) of experience
  • Small group sizes – average of 12-18 travelers per trip with two guides.
  • One-of-a-kind experiences, away from the crowds
  • All-inclusive, multi-day, fully guided, multi-activity adventures in the most stunning adventure travel destinations around the world
  • Authentic, personalized service – taking care of every detail, so guests can just relax and enjoy their vacation
  • Hand-picked accommodations in amazing locations
  • Great food and memorable meals are part of the adventure and experience

The two brands have come together as one global team across New Zealand and the USA, with operational bases around the globe.

“We share the same commitment to putting our guests at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to sharing many more special experiences with our guests and partners,” says van Lieshout.

With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive small group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal, and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand- picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining, and activities showcasing the best of each region. Each of their 100+ trips are crafted to perfection, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically, but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com.

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Autumn Fun in Moab: Zip Lining, River Rafting and Hummer Tours

Hummer tours are on Moab Adventure Center’s short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah.

Moab Adventure Center, a division of Western River Expeditions, has a short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah. This region becomes an artist’s dream world when fringed by the Colorado River’s yellow cottonwoods along the Colorado River and the golden aspens of the LaSal Mountains.
 
After the summer rush, daytime temperatures in September and October cool down to around the mid-70s to mid-80s. Fewer people around means more elbow room to be had on every adventure in not just one but two National Parks – Arches and Canyonlands.
 
Here are seven suggested adventures that continue through the end of November, with the exception of rafting which concludes the end of October.

  1. Fall River Rafting Adventures are full or half days, some served up with a BBQ lunch on a world-renowned stretch of the Colorado River, winding through scenes made famous by dozens of popular movies. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-river-rafting
     
  2. Horseback Adventures come with cowboy-trained quarter horses. A professional wrangler leads the way on trails made famous by John Wayne himself.  Rides are three hours in the mornings and 90 minutes in the afternoons. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-horseback-riding
     
  3. Hummer Tours are conducted in style and comfort aboard the world’s most serious 4×4. Spectacular backcountry opens up in the hands of professional guides who help visitors explore seldom-seen, awe-inspiring Moab overlooks. Tours are two, three and four hours including a sunset safari. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-hummer-tours
     
  4. Zipline Tours are always a thrill, but how about skimming over sheer sandstone cliffs and canyons on Moab’s only zip line? The Raven’s Rim Moab zip line tour begins with a spine-tingling ride to the top of the cliff faces overlooking Moab, swooping like a bird of prey landing on each of six gaps.  https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-zip-line
     
  5. Hot Air Ballooning can be likened to riding a magical carpet for 3.5 hours over the astounding red rock landscape of Moab. It’s an unbelievable way to experience the sights of Moab in the quiet of the early morning. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/hot-air-balloon-rides-moab-utah
     
  6. Arches National Park Tours are stunning, morning or evening. Arches National Park Tours showcase the more accessible of more than 2,000 arches, the highest concentration on the planet, after which the park is named. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours
     
  7. Mountain Bike Tours requests a commitment of 4.5 hours to experience why Moab has become the undisputed mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether beginner or advanced the Moab Adventure Center offers professionally guided mountain biking tours on all of Moab’s classic rides.     https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-mountain-biking 

America’s red rock playground, Moab, Utah, home of two national parks that are coveted icons to explore in post-pandemic lockdowns, has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity this summer.

This influx means that visitors should “nail down your accommodations and your preferred guided excursions as soon as possible and certainly before you arrive in Moab,” said Cort Wright, manager of the Moab Adventure Center. This is the go-to outfitter for securing pre-set backcountry and national park access and tours. Moab Adventure Center specializes in all there is to do in Moab and bundles assorted activities and lodging to maximize enjoyment of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding Colorado River country.
 
“Arrangements made in advance help deliver the peace and privacy you expect when surrounded by this natural playground,” Wright said. In fact, for early bird planners, Moab Adventure Center is offering excursions in 2022 at 2021 rates when booked this season. (www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-lodging)
 
The company has seen growing demand unleashed by the desire to return to nature and outdoor recreation. Compared to their record 2019 season, programs have seen phenomenal growth through the end of July 2021, including Moab Zipline Adventure, Arches National Park Sunset Discovery, The Ultimate Moab Canyoneering AdventureMoab Hummer Tours, and Full-Day Colorado River Rafting Adventure.

 “Making reservations well in advance of arrival helps assure that we can gear up to accommodate your specific adventure requests,” Wright said. “Now is the perfect time to plan for a fall escape to Moab. Everyone loves autumn in Moab. Just about every trip operates right through the end of October and all land-based tours through mid-November.” 
 
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs. Visit https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/.

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Escape Adventures Introduces 5-Day Mountain Biking Tour Across Bears Ears National Monument

Escape Adventures is introducing a 5-day mountain biking tour across the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument.

(Moab, Utah) — Escape Adventures is introducing a 5-day mountain biking tour across the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument.

The trip starts at Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah, a 19th century Mormon settlement, and climbs high into the Abajo Mountains. Highlights include an array of archaeological sites and ruins, The Notch, Duck Lake, Sego Flat, Reef of Rocks, Maverick Point Overlook, Skull and Crossbones, The Causeway, and Jackson Ridge. Wildlife is abundant, and views atop the Abajo Mountains extend for 75-miles in all directions. This first-class camping tour starts at $1,299 per person. For more info, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/bears-ears-mountain-bike-tour/. View the full itinerary here

“This roughly 80-mile mountain biking tour covers a broad expanse of red rock, juniper forests and high plateau, while exposing riders to early human and Native American historical artifacts,” said Escape Adventures Director, Jared Fisher. 

Named after a pair of monumental 2,000-ft twin buttes, Bears Ears National Monument is a remarkable remnant of 200-million year old sand dunes. Capped in shades of pale orange to light red sandstone, the Bears Ears formation is so distinctive it can be seen, even at great distance, from nearly every direction. Framed by Dark Canyon Wilderness and the Beef Basin to the west, Comb Ridge on the east, the Grand Gulch Plateau and Cedar Mesa to the south and Canyonlands National Park to the north, this mountain bike tour takes riders through the most unique and historical landmarks southeast Utah has to offer. 

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour, including all transportation, food preparation, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

More information at https://escapeadventures.com/

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Adventure Travel Rebound: 9 Trip Ideas for 2021

Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.

Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.

Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021. 
 
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/

2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry.  https://aquariustrail.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/

4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/

5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

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TD Five Boro Bike Tour is Back in NYC, Aug 22

Cyclists will again take over New York City’s roads and bridges, for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, taking place August 22, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back! Bike New York and its city government partners announce that the popular ride will once again welcome bike lovers from across New York and around the country on its new date of Sunday, August 22, 2021.

“Preparations are underway for the 43rd edition of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re thrilled and so grateful that we can once again host our celebrated car-free ride this year—and what better time to announce it than during Bike Month.”

The event, which typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for cyclists, returns to a city energized by cycling thanks to the 2020 bike boom and an increased demand for Open Streets across the five boroughs.

“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” said New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”

“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic—especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs—it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Podziba remarked. “The Tour has been a landmark event for NYC for decades, and it’s a true highlight for international tourism. We hope our ride will continue to support the city we call home as we all strive to come back strong from these hardships.”

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a safe and welcoming space to reconnect, to celebrate,” he added. “Bike New York is hard at work making the 2021 Tour into the joyful and safe day of community fun that cycling enthusiasts have treasured for nearly half a century.”

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a fundraising event for Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Proceeds from the ride fund public classes that reach over 25,000 children and adults each year, with special focus given to improving cycling access and resources to residents of neighborhoods historically overlooked in infrastructure improvements. In addition to free classes held at Community Bike Education Centers located in all five boroughs, Bike New York has introduced bike safety education programs into area middle schools, co-developed a job training and placement program for bike mechanics with Brooklyn’s One Community, and helped pilot a free bike rental system in Shirley Chisholm State Park. 

Though the organization’s 2020 education and events calendar was suspended in response to the pandemic, Bike New York introduced virtual programming to inform new bike boom cyclists and keep seasoned members of the city’s cycling community engaged and connected. The 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour will support the return of Bike New York’s in-person classes while sustaining their online offerings, which reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide in 2020.

Details about the August 22 event, including registration information, total number of participants, and changes to the event format, will be released in the coming weeks. “With the safety and well-being of participants being our highest priority, we will continue working with our government partners to monitor the changing Covid-19 climate and will adapt the Tour to satisfy all requirements that may be in place at any given time until ride day,” Podziba confirmed.

Riders are advised to subscribe to Bike New York’s newsletter and social media for the latest updates about the 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

For info: https://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/

See:

32,000 Cyclists Take Over NYC Streets for 41st TD Five Boro Bike Tour

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ExploreBetter Online Guide Aids Summer Travel Planning to National Parks

National Park concessionaire Delaware North launches online guide to make extraordinary outdoor adventures in America’s most iconic natural destinations more accessible for all

Hiking the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park. With travelers flocking to national parks this summer, national park concessionaire Delaware North has launched ExploreBetter.com, an online guide to aid planning © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Americans are dusting off their bucket lists ahead of summer travel season, and iconic natural destinations such as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks are high on their lists. ExploreBetter.com is an online lifestyle platform that can simplify travel planning and make extraordinary outdoor adventures more accessible to first-time and even experienced National Park and other outdoor enthusiasts. 

Already, the national parks are among the most popular destinations being snapped up by travelers bursting to get out after a year of confinement. And just in time, the CDC has lifted masking and social distance requirements for those who are fully vaccinated; it is expected that the mask requirement will also been lifted for federal buildings and federal lands. At this writing, masks were still required on airplanes, trains, buses and at airports and ports.

ExploreBetter.com shares trip-planning destination insights, accommodations, activities and inspiration featuring Grand Canyon, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks as well as New York’s Niagara Falls State Park. In addition to crowd-pleasing activities such as guided tours and other sightseeing suggestions, ExploreBetter.com is also the place for inside tips on active adventures like rock climbingfishing and stargazing as well as romantic, wellness-oriented and even pet-friendly activities.

With content curated by site publisher and long-time National Park concessionaire Delaware North, ExploreBetter.com draws on insider knowledge of the parks and surrounding regions. The site plans to include contributions from members of the Bay Area Travel Writers, one of the country’s oldest regional professional travel journalist organizations, in the near future.

“First-time visits to National Parks can be overwhelming, and even seasoned visitors need fresh ideas. We’re simplifying travel planning so first-time visitors can plan with confidence and experienced visitors can always find new and exciting reasons to return,” explained Andy Grinsfelder, vice president of sales and marketing for Delaware North’s parks and resorts division. “As partners in the stewardship of many of these iconic destinations, we want visitors to experience unforgettable moments and forge deeper connections, not just with one another, but with their surroundings.”

With 2020 National Park visitation down by roughly 90 million visitors due to pandemic travel restrictions, ExploreBetter.com is intended to help encourage and restore responsible and sustainable visitation to National Parks and other iconic destinations. An upswing in National Park visitation was seen in data collected by U.S. Travel beginning in the spring of 2021, which fits with research that shows Americans continue to desire leisure trips to outdoor locations that are safe, socially distant and allow them to relax, disconnect, spend time with family and have new experiences. 

At the lodging properties it operates, Delaware North last year implemented its Rest Assured Commitment to Care comprehensive health and safety program, including re-engineered operating procedures to minimize contact risk and bolstered hygiene protocols aligned with guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Delaware North Parks and Resorts operates lodging, food, beverage and retail services, recreational activities, and educational programming at destinations in North America, Australia and New Zealand. This includes lodging in and near many iconic national and state parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Shenandoah, Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Olympic National Parks and Niagara Falls State Park, as well as at cultural attractions such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. To learn more about Delaware North’s hospitality management expertise, visit https://www.delawarenorth.com/divisions/parks

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Reservations Being Accepted for Glamping on New York’s Champlain Canal

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

Glamping Sites May Be Reserved Here

Reservations are now being accepted for a glamping experience on the Champlain Canal that will attract visitors to the State’s historic upper Hudson Valley and boost the local economy that is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

“This overnight destination combines an exceptional camping experience with opportunities to see and visit the vibrant and rich canalside landscape in entirely new ways, embodying the mission of the entire Reimagine the Canals program,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “By investing in long-overlooked sites along the State’s Canals, we will showcase the very best of our State to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, preserving the rich history of the Canal system while stimulating local economies at a time when they most need it.”

Individuals and families can rent safari style pre-pitched tents that are each furnished with a Queen-size bed featuring a memory foam mattress, side tables with solar lights, pillows, linens, extra blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies. Additional amenities that can be found at the campsite include fire pits, a picnic-and-grill area, hammocks, a supply store, cell phone charging station, bathroom and shower facilities, and games such as cornhole.

The glamping site, nestled along the banks of the Champlain Canal and Hudson River, is adjacent to Lock C-5 and the Empire State Trail and is within walking distance to neighboring Hudson Crossing Park and downtown Schuylerville. Campers will have easy access to a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and to many dining, shopping, and entertainment venues such as cruising aboard the Caldwell Belle or visiting the nearby Saratoga National Historical Park.

“Camp Rockway offers families, groups and couples an opportunity to enjoy the Champlain Canal, while still preserving and celebrating the Canal’s historic impact. New Yorkers can safely connect with nature, and each other, while also supporting the economies of canalside communities,” New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said. T”his is all thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision to Reimagine the Canals into a tourist and recreation destination, breathing new life into one of the State’s greatest assets while supporting a more resilient New York.”

“This new glamping site is proof positive of the tremendous impact of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals program, preserving the immense history of the Canal while showcasing how its infrastructure and properties can be made part of the foundation of the future of our State,” New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said. “Glampers will enjoy world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while remaining safe and socially distanced, as well as lift up local Schuylerville businesses with increased tourism.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation to bring glamping to Upstate New York, offering both residents and visitors alike a whole new way to experience the history and beauty of the Canals,” Camp Rockaway’s Kent Johnson said. “We look forward to helping New Yorkers get out of the house and into the outdoors in a safe and responsible way during this summer season, and for many years to come.”

This new glamping experience is the latest innovation from Governor Cuomo’s $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative that is revitalizing the Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and the resiliency of canalside communities.

Visit https://camprockaway.com/schuylerville/.

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Explore Idaho by Bike, Soak in Natural Hot Springs & Cycle Highest Highway in Northwest on New Escape Adventures Tour

Hell Roaring Lake Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Escape Adventures is introducing a multi-day cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most rejuvenating natural hot springs.

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures is introducing a multi-day cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most rejuvenating natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of road rides (190-265 miles total), remote natural hot springs, wild rivers, colorful mining towns, and cycling the highest paved road in the American Northwest. Offered June-September with first-class camping accommodations or casual inns, the price per person double starts at $1,399.

“Picture yourself cycling through Idaho’s breathtaking Sawtooth Range, sleeping under the stars, and soaking in some of the world’s most beautiful and rejuvenating natural hot springs,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “It does not get much better than that.”

The Sawtooth Range and Wilderness are home to nearly 400 lakes created by receding alpine glaciers, and there are 57 peaks with an elevation over 10,000 feet. This striking mountain landscape was a favorite playground of Ernest Hemingway, who is buried in the Ketchum, ID area.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Sweep through scenic Boise and cycle to the Lucky Peak Reservoir beneath steep columns of basalt up to Idaho City.  As you leave Idaho City, climb for 13 miles (2,500 feet) to Banner Ridge where views are nothing short of phenomenal! Enjoy a wonderful soak in Kirkham Hot Springs nestled on the South Fork of the Payette River.

Day 3-4: Continue through untamed Idaho high country, routing toward Red Fish Lake and sweeping up 30 miles to Banner Summit. Beyond Stanley, buckle up for one of one of the most stunning wilderness areas in the Intermountain West: The Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Next, climb toward Galena Summit, the highest paved road in the Northwest. Then, a brisk 30-mile downhill leads to Sun Valley.

Day 5: Spend an enjoyable morning in Sun Valley, interpreting the historic sites, and then head to Hailey – “Idaho’s hometown.” Finish the day at the gloriously picturesque Silver Creek Preserve. Have lunch here amidst the great splendor. Shuttle back to Boise.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included.

Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

For more information, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has organized adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type, and from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels.  https://escapeadventures.com/

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