It’s Week 7 of Challenge The National Parks!

Having passed the Summer Solstice, we are slowly approaching the fall season.  MissionFiT’s Challenge The National Parks! Week 7 hikers are stepping out, logging miles and enjoying the sites.   So, just how far have they come?

Team Standings for Week 7 of Challenge The National Parks:

  1. Team “A-Mays-ing Hikers”
  2. The Seelig Family
  3. The Bishop Family
  4. The Elmore Family
  5. The McRory Family

Our leaders, the A-Mays-ing Hikers, have traveled through Canyonlands, Zion in Utah and the Great Basin in Nevada.  They trekked farther north into the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone in Wyoming and Glacier in Montana.  Now, Mt. Ranier, also in Montana, is coming into view.  Want to find out more about the parks not highlighted below? Then click on the park name for a virtual or video tour!

Let’s visit a few of these great national landmarks:

Great Basin National Park

Astronomy at The Great Basin National Park, a stop on MissionFiT's Challenge The National Parks! Week 7

Brilliant night skies shine in Great Basin

“The “Great Basin” that Great Basin National Park is named after extends from the Sierra Nevada Range in California to the Wasatch Range in Utah, and from southern Oregon to southern Nevada.”  The park is a conglomeration of several different geologic and archaeological sites including mining, caves, lakes, creeks and an ice field.  It wasn’t until 1986 that the Great Basin National Park Act was formalized by President Ronald Reagan.

The Brilliance of Darkness

Visitors can explore the park through guided tours or any number of outdoor activities including:  hiking, backpacking, camping, nature trails, and even gathering pine nuts.  One other feature makes Great Basin special…Night.  Great Basin is one of the few national parks designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association.

Visitors can enjoy a ride on the Star Train, sponsored by the park and the Nevada Northern Railway.  Or join a park ranger on a Full Moon Hike.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then opt to find the best places around the park for stargazing!

Glacier National Park

View of Going to the Sun Road from above waterfall at Glacier National Park, part of MissionFiT's Challenge The National Parks! Week 7

It’s hard to spot “Going-To-The-Sun” Road

“With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker’s paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.”

But what would Glacier National Park be without…GLACIERS?  When you think of a glacier, the image of something massive and foreboding might come to mind.  Twenty-five acres is the minimum size for a glacier.  To compare, just over 6 Super Walmart stores can fit within the boundaries of the smallest glacier.

Red Rocks & Blue Ice Meet in Glacier National Park

Red Rocks and Blue Ice

History Lessons from Rock

Glaciers also give scientists a good idea of how the earth responds to the shifting sands of time.  Glaciers are named because of their constant movement, caused by gravity.  Melting causing “receding” while snow accumulation causes “growth”.

Mission 66

Glacier National Park is one of the many national parks that benefited from “Mission 66.”  This 10 year program was started in 1966,  designed to update and refit many facilitates within parks, including visitor centers.  Learn more by reading about Mission 66 from the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks;  America’s Best Idea”.

Mt. Ranier

“Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers.”  One of the better ways to visit Mt. Ranier is by virtual tour.

Climbing and hiking are among the activities visitors can enjoy.  However, Mt. Ranier is rugged country so be prepared when you venture off the beaten path.

Fire & Ice

Mt. Ranier is an active volcano, erupting regularly.  But hidden in the heights are 25 known glaciers and numerous snowfields.  Many trails and tours throughout the park will lead you to either feature of this vast wilderness.  Take a 360 Tour.

Mt. Ranier, one stop on MissionFiT's Challenge the National Parks! Week 7Flowers Blooming

The wildflowers bloom, even though the weather is unpredictable. Most species of wildflower bloom in mid-July through August.  However, the first frost hits the meadows by the end of August resulting in a very short natural floral show.  Two species of wildflower bloom around the park:  Forest and Subalpine.  Both are easily identifiable by type and color.


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