Our Xplore Team Shares Their Favorite US National Parks
Our love of the National Parks is at the core of Natural Retreats. Matt Spence, our CEO, fell in love with National Parks as a child. This love and respect for the parks inspired Matt to found Natural Retreats with the goal of giving travelers an opportunity to connect with one another and the beautiful outdoors.
"When I was a boy, my father took my brothers and me to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming. Coming from England, the wonder of the parks had a profound impact on me – never before had I seen such incredible natural phenomena! Now that I am a grown man and have children of my own, I realize how special this experience must have been for my dad," Matt recalls. "Hiking around the crystal waters of Jenny Lake, witnessing the Old Faithful Geyser and searching for bison became so much more than just a vacation. This directly led to the founding of Natural Retreats, many years later."
We asked our US Xplore Team to share a bit about their favorite National Parks and love these personal responses!
Grand Teton National Park
"I was lucky enough to spend a summer working at the entrance to Grand Teton National Park and quickly fell in love. I love how diverse the park is - you can hike up a mountain, through a meadow or take a boat ride on one of the lakes, all in the same day. Animals truly roam free and the views are stunning. It’s one of my bucket list goals to hike to the top of Grand Teton!"
Xplore Team Member, Nicole
"I love Grand Teton National Park because no matter the season, there is always a way to enjoy it. When I lived in the area, my husband and I spent almost every weekend in the Park and never ran out of things to do or places to explore."
Xplore Team Member, Brittany
Joshua Tree National Park
"It's hard to pick a favorite National Park but, seeing as it's spring, Joshua Tree jumps to mind. It's my favorite time of year to visit and watch the high desert come alive in the spring rains. It's also a fantastic time of year to climb."
Xplore Team Member, Jason
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
"I love that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is accessible for all kinds of nature lovers, from avid hikers to people that love to auto-tour on motorcycles or cars. There is such great history, be sure to visit the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Pioneer Homestead. And the area is so full of natural beauty with great ways to explore, like horseback riding."
Xplore Team Member, Diana
Yellowstone National Park
"My favorite National Park has to be Yellowstone. I've made many road trips there and I never get over the scenery and how absolutely breathtaking it is. The summers are especially amazing, in the evenings you can see the stars so clearly its almost like you can reach out and touch them!"
Xplore Team Member, Joan
"My absolute favorite National Park experience was in Yellowstone. We saw an incredible amount of wildlife, enjoyed the faithfulness of Old Faithful, marveled at the colors of the of the hot springs and the beauty of the forests - including the devastation of a recent fire. It was a magical place filled with some of the most beautiful and unique experiences in the boundaries of one park!! Yellowstone is a park everyone in the US should visit at least once in their lifetime and I cannot wait to make new memories there with my family."
Xplore Team Member, Colleen
"My favorite National Park, yet traveled, is Yellowstone National Park - and not just for the fishing! It offers over 2.2 million acres of land and holds 2,600 plus miles of trout holding streams. The native Yellowstone Cutthroat is the main draw to these waters which also hold wild, stream-bread rainbow, brown and brook trout. Landing a trophy Cutty while watching elk graze 50 yards away is truly unforgettable!"
Xplore Team Member, Stephen
Yosemite National Park
"My favorite memory in Yosemite was when I took my mother and aunt up to Glacier Point lookout. It is an amazing view of the Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. As they both stood there in silence taking in the beauty before them, my aunt turned to me and with a tear in her eye and a hushed reverent voice said, 'now I know where God lives.' That is what I still think of when I think of Yosemite - the place where God lives."
Xplore Team Member, Todd
Rocky Mountain National Park
"I absolutely love Rocky Mountain National Park because, as a Denver resident, it's right in my backyard! It's loaded with endless hiking trails, gorgeous vistas and beauty for the whole family to enjoy."
Xplore Team Member, Jacquie
Jason in Bryce Canyon National Park
Brittany in Grand Teton National Park
Hannah in Glacier National Park
Noemi in Arches National Park, Moab
Nicole in Grand Teton National Park
Jacquie in Rocky Mountain National Park
Diana in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Stephen in Yellowstone National Park
Stay at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa and spend your days exploring nearby Grand Teton.
Vacation like a star in Palm Springs and spend a day climbing and exploring nearby Joshua Tree National Park.
Stay with us at Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy free entrance at America's most popular National Park.
Stay with us at Mammoth Lakes and pay an unforgettable visit to nearby Yosemite National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park is just one reason why Winter Park is known as Denver's Playground!
Glacier National Park
"This is a place very near and dear to me, my favorite National Park and truly a treasure that is off the beaten path. I was working at a ranch in Montana and my best friend and I had a week off so we spent it driving to Glacier and crossing over into Canada. We ended up leaving Canada early and coming back to Montana because it just didn’t compare. Spent the week hiking, camping, and in awe of the scenery."
Xplore Team Member, Hannah
Arches National Park
"I love escaping the big city for the quiet trails of Moab. There is nothing better than cruising down the trail as the sun sets behind you!"
Xplore Team Member, Noemi
Assateague Island National Seashore
"I take my family camping on Assateague Island every summer and we love it! It combines our love of camping, beach and almost untouched nature. In the evening, it's not uncommon for a wild horse to come lay down by the warmth of the fire - such special moments!"
Xplore Team Member, Summer