I am incredibly lucky when it comes to exploring National Parks, meaning it rains at least half the time I visit one. (Remember that time in Sequoia National Park and Yosemite? If you don't, check it out here, it's pathetically worth it) But, the rain doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy your vacation in nature (I mean rain is important for the trees, flowers and wildlife. It's all for a good reason), it just means you have to enjoy it in a different way than you probably had planned. So, here are my top tips after visiting the Rockies and Yosemite under heavy rain.
Go hiking, but choose your trail wisely
Unless it's thundering (you should not go outside while it's thundering), the rain shouldn't keep you from hiking. A good raincoat and hiking boots, and even rain pants if you have them, will work wonders. As much as possible, try to select a hiking trail that has a lot of tree coverage so you won't get rained on as much. Also, if you can't see the mountains, it generally means you won't be able to see a thing from the top, so it's probably better to keep the mountain climbing for a clear day. If you are visiting the Rockies, you can always head to a trail that leads to a bright blue lake. They are just as beautiful in the rain. It was pouring while we were in Jasper, so we did the Five Lakes trail to see five different coloured lakes and it ended up being one of my favorite place in Jasper.
Try one of the activities
National parks always have a bunch of activities on offer. From canoeing to horseback riding or visiting a museum, there are activities for everyone. Rainy days might be the best time for those activities (okay, maybe not canoeing, but the other stuff). Most visitor centers have a small museum that explain the history of the region, from its natural history to how it was discovered and came to be a national park. Sometimes there's even a movie. I especially enjoyed the one in Yosemite that talked about the different species you can meet in the park and how the park evolved over the years since its inauguration. It's also a good time to visit the Hot Springs in Banff and Jasper. You will be the only one there and the atmosphere will be even more relaxing.
Take some well deserved "me" time
If you are like me, you probably need vacations from your vacations. I am always on the go, getting up early and trying to see and do as much as possible (I am getting better at planning some rest and relaxation time, but it's a work in progress). Rainy days are the perfect excuse to unwind and relax. So grab a book and lounge by the fireplace or go and write down your recent adventures in a cafe with a view. Get the hot chocolate with the marshmallows and treat yourself! If you are feeling up to it, this might be a good opportunity to look at what you have done so far and plan ahead the rest of your vacation.
Mother nature always has surprises for us, and trips usually don't go completely according to plan, but that's what makes good stories. And remember that no matter the weather, you are lucky just to be there. And the rain means you have a chance for a rainbow! So get out there and enjoy your vacation in nature!
Have more tips, you think I should know about? Write them down in the comments below so I can add them and maybe enjoy my next rain filed vacation even more!
Other articles you might enjoy