A Trio of North America’s National Parks
Let’s venture deeper into three of the continent’s most impressive national parks, all of which you’ll have the chance to visit while cruising with us.
Olympic National Park
The Olympic National Park in Washington State is really something special. The park’s 922,650 acres of outstanding landscapes have earned it a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It was established in 1938 after an Act of Congress was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The park has several climates and ecosystems within its borders, ranging from temperate rainforest, alpine highlands, peaceful lakefronts, as well as a wild Pacific coastline that feels totally untouched by humans. Your expedition with us will see us headed up to Hurricane Ridge in the alpine section of Olympic National Park, affording stunning views on days with clear weather.
During the summer, there are plenty of hiking routes, from short to more challenging. The Sol Duc Hot Springs includes outdoor mineral pools where you can relax and enjoy massage treatments. Near the hot springs, you’ll find an ancient forest with towering trees that are over 200 years old, as well as the Salmon Cascades, where you can see fish spawn in the autumn.
Hoh Rain Forest is the park’s most enchanting rainforest, reminiscent of a scene from a fairy tale. It's located close to the highest point in the park, the 7,980-foot Mount Olympus. No matter where you find yourself in this enormous park, you will be surrounded by the most beautiful nature, abundant wildlife and adventure at every turn.
Redwood National and State Parks
This California-based national park is especially well-known for being home to some of the world’s tallest trees. Established in 1968, Redwood includes three state parks in a total area of 139,000 acres. This park has a lot to offer, and is an underrated gem among North America’s parks.
This means that you’ll get to enjoy an outstanding experience without being besieged by tourists. If you visit the park during spring or autumn, you’re likely to see a wide variety of migratory birds swooping through the towering trees. During springtime, the forests are bursting with colour from a mass of blooming Rhododendron plants.
The park offers all kinds of experiences, but especially popular are walks through some of its groves, like the Lady Bird Johnson Grove or the Tall Trees Grove, where you’ll find the Libbey Tree, a redwood which was the tallest tree in the world until 1994. The Hyperion Tree, a coastal redwood standing at 115.85m, is now thought to be the world's tallest. It also lives in Redwood National Park but its whereabouts are unknown so as to protect it.
The Klamath River is a great spot for rafting, while the Yurok Reservation offers the perfect location for river fishing. It’s also a great way to experience a different culture, as it’s home to California’s largest Native American tribe, the Yurok people.
Torngat Mountains National Park
Torngat is located on the northern tip of Canada’s Québec-Labrador Peninsula. The word ‘torngat’ comes from the Inuktitut language meaning ‘place of spirits’. This national park is more untamed than the others, and its rugged appeal makes it definitely worth a visit.
One of its most spectacular features is that the mountains come right to the Labrador Sea. Deep-sided fiords cut into the mountains at the coast and allow for exploration far inland. The park was considered a reserve from the end of 2005 until 2008, when, after a long park establishment process that lasted almost five decades, its status was changed and it became Canada’s 42nd national park.
The park is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Inuit, who have cared for this spectacular wilderness for millennia, considering it to be their ancestral home. They track wildlife like polar bears, whales and herds of caribou, navigating fjords dotted with icebergs and rocky outcrops, and often battling harsh and changeable weather conditions.
The remoteness of Torngat, only accessible by plane or boat, means that in spite of its wild and dramatic landscapes, the park is one of the more rarely visited ones, with only approximately 600 tourists every year. If you get the chance to visit, you will have the national park almost all to yourself.
Hiking is a good way to see all that the park has to offer. As bears roam the park freely, the best way to get around is to follow one of the trained polar bear guards, who know the territory inside and out and use tracking techniques passed down through generations. The strong bond between the Inuit and Torngat will certainly give you a sense of appreciation of our spiritual connection with nature.