• Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

    9 Must-Do Experiences in Bryce, Grand Canyon, & Zion

    Three of America’s most spectacular—and coolest—national parks without a single are-we-there-yet moment? You can do it on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><u>Family </u></a>or <u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon/" target="_blank">Multisport</a></u> trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion</a>. We take care of all of the logistics. Mountain bikes? Check. Mule rides into Bryce Canyon? Check. Timing visits perfectly to canyon rims for sunset, hiking through waterfalls, and great inns with swimming pools? Absolutely! So without further ado, here are 9 of the best experiences in Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion - all of which will echo in your memory for years to come.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">#1 Sunset at the Grand Canyon (North Rim)</a></b><br>A short walk to a vista point overlooking <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Roaring Springs, Bright Angel Canyon and the South Rim</a> at sunset is epic! Not only are the colors majestic, but you&#39;ll also have the chance to do some awesome birding. Swifts and swallows can often be seen along cliff faces, and, with luck, you may even see a bald eagle. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BwT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">#2 </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Sunrise at the Grand Canyon</a></b><br>A memorable sunrise walk along the rim of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> allows early risers to enjoy the vibrant colors that reflect off the canyon walls. Our personal favorite trail is the Transept Trail, which follows the canyon&#39;s rim through quaking aspens and ponderosa pines.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BwY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Mule Ride into Bryce Canyon</a></b><br>Experience <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon on mule back</a> along a trail that offers a spectacular viewpoint, where it&#39;s possible to see over 120 miles! On <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys&#39; Bryce adventure</a>, you&#39;ll have many photo opportunities at several vistas, including a favorite natural bridge, which isn&#39;t a bridge at all, but rather a picturesque red rock arch.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Boy" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#4 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Amphitheater at Sunrise</a></b><br>Take a sunrise walk along a portion of the Rim Trail overlooking the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> Bryce Amphitheater</a>. Bask in the views of the cliff walls and rock formations as they come to life with vibrant gold colors while the sun rises in the distance. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bp3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#5 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park</a></b><br>Stroll through Arizona&#39;s Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park to see stunning, coral-colored dune fields surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and juniper forests. After the walk, if you&#39;re feeling adventurous, you must take advantage of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">sand surfing down the dunes</a>! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Boo" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#6 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Riverside Walk Past Gardens of Wildflowers</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion National Park </a>is characterized by a range of colorful canyons, sandstone cliffs, rocky deserts, and cool forested plateaus. Take a stroll along the river, where you&#39;ll enjoy beautiful hanging gardens of wildflowers in the spring and summer, and vibrant foliage in the fall months.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BpX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#7 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Explore Zion&#39;s Emerald Pools</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Emerald Pools is a Zion classic</a>: an oasis in the middle of the desert. The walk is a collection of short trails that meander past a small, lushly-vegetated stream that rolls down from the cliffs and forms several breathtaking pools.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BpD" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><b>#8 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bike Through Zion</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion National Park</a> is characterized by a range of colorful canyons, sandstone cliffs, rocky deserts and cool forested plateaus. Take a bike ride in the park, which is one of the most bikefriendly national parks in the country. Explore the Par’us Trail, which comes from the Paiute word meaning “bubbling, tumbling water.” This relaxing path winds along the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> Virgin River</a> and is ideal for an easy-going ride on flat terrain.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bot" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><b>#9 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Tube Down the Virgin River</a></b><br>Partake in a tubing adventure down <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Zion&#39;s Virgin River</a>! Fun, and highly scenic, tubing is a tremendously popular way to see Zion.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bwi" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> 

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  • Sunset Over the Grand Canyon

    A Guides Best Kept Secrets to National Parking

    National Parks are beginning to reopen just as we head into the prime time of the year to visit them. Like the closures themselves, the re-openings are happening on a park-by-park basis. Some parks are already open or have announced reopening dates, including Denali in Alaska, Utah parks including Bryce Canyon and Zion, and Grand Canyon. <br><br>Glacier Park superintendent Jeff Mow, working from his home in Whitefish, sends some words of wisdom from 20 years in the parks, <i>“Most visitors get really focused on standing in that one spot, or you know there’s that photo they saw on social media and they said, &#39;I really haven’t been to Glacier until I take that exact same photo with my own phone.&#39; And we literally see people lined up in a line just to sort of stand in this one spot for that same photo. I’d like people to think more broadly about how they visit.”</i><br><br>With Mow’s words of wisdom ringing in our ears, we asked our expert local guides to share with us the secrets to getting the most out of the parks once you are there in person.<br><br>So there you are in your first slot <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">canyon</a>. Whorled walls of stone twist up to a narrow sliver of sky. Except for a burble of sandstone-red water, it’s totally quiet. Just ahead, a young woman has stopped, head bowed. You don’t want to interrupt so you sidle past quietly. And you can’t help but notice that she’s praying … to her smartphone. Specifically, to the guidebook she downloaded to figure out what she’s seeing.<br><br>For too many visitors, that’s how <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">national park</a> visits work — plenty of awe, and an awful lot of head scratching. Of course, the National Park Service offers excellent visitor centers, but they take you inside to learn about the great outdoors. Park rangers are amazing sources of information, but they’re stretched to the max by shrinking budgets and the tourists who arrive without a plan or a clue about what to do. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group riding mules in the Grand Canyon" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9ml" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>You, on the other hand, can take your time, go deeper than the crowded lookout points, and get an intensely personal take on these national treasures in the company of the experienced<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> local guide on your Classic Journey</a>. Our friend Marcia, who’s been a professional guide for 15+ years, says it just right. “I like to help you get a little outside your usual comfort zone and have a blast.”  She adds an observation that we’ve seen over 20 years of exploring in the national parks: “80% of visitors drop out in the first 20 minutes of a hike. So leaving the crowds behind really contributes to the sense of discovery and fun.”<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Ask questions until you’re hoarse.”</b></a><br>Because you’ll be part of a small group of no more than 18 travelers, your guide has plentiful time to satisfy your curiosity — whatever form it takes. How tall were the Puebloans? Are those layers of stone slanting up or down? How do trees survive flash floods? Is the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> still getting deeper? You get answers that help you understand what you’re seeing, as you see it.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Avoid erosion overload.”</b></a><br>It’s no joke! You’ll see countless kinds of outlandish rock formations. But where do you look first? In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>, there are hundreds of hoodoos, those pillars of crimson stone. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion’s slot canyons</a> branch and curve out of sight. Every view of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> is, well, grander than the last one. Many overwhelmed visitors call it a day without realizing what they’ve missed. An informed guide brings it all down to size and makes sure you see the crème de la crème sights with an elegant efficiency.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Commune with the neighbors.”</b></a><br>With so much focus on the geology, it’s easy to overlook the fact that human habitation in these parts dates back about 12,000 years. Your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys guide</a> makes certain you learn about the Ancestral Puebloans and visit their ruins. You’ll also meet the couple that maintains the home of Maynard Dixon, one of the region’s leading artists. They have lunch ready just as you arrive. And a local cowboy musician tunes up his guitar for the evening, right after he’s done tending his mules.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Puebloans Grand Canyon" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fBdN" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Stay comfortable.”</b></a><br>The premier accommodations in these parts are already booked up far in advance, but you don’t have to worry. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> reserves these coveted spaces one to two years in advance, so you’ll stay at the classic park lodges that most visitors only get to peek into. You’ll also love the Desert Pearl Inn, a scenic and super-civilized resort set on the banks of the Virgin River at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion</a>. And your guide takes your comfort to an even higher level by timing walks carefully, advising you whether it’s a day to wear shorts or jacket, and making sure you stay hydrated. When you go national parking, it really pays to know the right people!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Grand Canyon

    Pro-tips to avoid national park crowds

    The ‘new normal’ is gradually emerging, but with many hotels and National Parks reopening just in time for last weekend’s Memorial Day holiday, daunting reports have been flooding in, complete with photos of jam-packed parking lots, hours-long lines and crowded trails. <br><br>As the phrase ‘far from madding crowds’ rings more true than ever, travellers from coast to coast are wondering will worries of overcrowding and social distancing mean not being able to enjoy some of the most spectacular places on earth? Will travel bucket lists have to wait? <br><br>With apologies to Thomas Hardy, informed travellers have found a way to visit the same spectacular places as the crowds, but stay far from them. <br><br>To find out how, we asked experts whose jobs are to know the most popular places better than anyone how to avoid the crowds when everyone starts to travel again. <br><br>Follow these pro tips to enjoy crowd-free travel as we go into the double whammy of reopening and summer season. <br><img alt="USA Grand Canyon Tour Crowded Overlook" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi44" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The good news is, absolutely not! <br><br>We asked local guides and hoteliers to share expert advice on how to avoid the crowds when everyone starts to travel again. <br><br>Follow these pro-tips to enjoy crowd-free travel as we go into the double whammy of reopening and summer season. <br><br><b>Stay central </b><br>Eliminate the crawling daily commute to your destination and instead, wake up exactly where you want to be. Whether that means in the National Park wilderness or in the center of a historic downtown, you’ll be staying among the sights and sounds you came for and get to experience them unflooded by day visitors, from dramatic dawns to silent starry nights. <br><img alt="US National Park Luxury Hotel Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3G" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Kris from Bryce Canyon Lodge says, “Staying within Bryce Canyon National Park means no lining up at the entrance station or circling around the parking lot until you catch a free space. While everyone else is having to deal with that, you’re already here. Breakfast among the scenery or set out for a sunrise walk. At night, you’ll see constellations that hotels in city locations couldn’t even dream of.”<br><br><b>Go against the grain</b><br>Just because the majority of visitors explore somewhere a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s always the best way. <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/tag/alaska/" target="_blank"><img alt="USA Alaska Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3p" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>“This is the least crowded state in America, but if I took you to one of Alaska’s harbors on a cruise docking day, you wouldn’t believe me for a second.” Eric S., our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">Kenai Peninsula Trip</a> leader tells us “that’s because the majority of visitors come here by cruise ship and those visitors go to the same sights that a day on land allows, before returning back to their cabins. So, I would say, think outside the box (or outside the boat!). We have some incredible hotels in locations that let you venture deeper into Alaska’s diverse and immense landscape (when you see them, you will agree with me that a cruise ship can’t compete!). Rather than run by a crew from who-knows-where, these lodgings are run by locals who often have generations of stories to share and will give you insight into what living year-round in Alaska really looks like. Don’t forget, they also have the inside scoop on where to find the freshest crab legs and the most delicious cup of smoked salmon chowder!”<br><br><b>Pick a private tour </b><br>Private tours allow for personal space, and let you explore at your own pace. <br><img alt="USA Napa Valley Sonoma County Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> “Signing up for a public tour of a historic landmark is better than not taking a tour at all” admits Linda, who leads our Charleston &amp; Savanah tour “but if you want an unhurried experience without having to contend with hordes of other visitors, my advice is to travel with a tour operator that offers private tours just for your small group. In Charleston, Drayton Hall is my favorite. I always choose a timing that fits well within the day’s schedule, and you can ask as many questions as you like.” <br><br>Christopher, who mans the front office at Vintage House Hotel agrees, “<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/napa/" target="_blank">Napa</a> has so many ways to experience wine, but a private wine tasting is by far the most intimate experience. There are no distractions. You can tailor it around what you like—a walk through the vineyard, a long lunch, you could even do a local cheese tasting and pairing. The best part is, with smaller groups that usually means more wine!”<br><br><b>Have a local take the lead </b><br>Save the strains of self-guiding and avoid tours that import in trip leaders. <br><img alt="USA Hawaii Big Island Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3Q" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Kathleen, who owns the Volcano Retreat, has learned the best way of exploring: “We moved here from San Francisco in 1991 and have taken all kinds of tours since then. No-one knows <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hawaii-big-island" target="_blank">Hawaii&#39;s Big Island </a>like the back of their hand like the islanders born and raised here—the days and times to avoid, the trails less trodden, the best back-up plan for trail closures. While everyone else is following the same itinerary Google search results first throw up, with a local you can venture deeper and differently. They’ll know the exact times when places are most spectacular and least crowded. And they’ll have awesome stories to share along the way. And you’re supporting our local economy, for which I thank you!”<br><br>Peter, New Mexico’s <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Santa Fe to Taos Trip</a> leader: “When you visit the high desert of New Mexico, where Native American tribes have left such well-preserved art, architecture and cuisine, being shown around by someone whose family line dates back centuries is incredible. Who better to show you around historic Taos Pueblo than a local member of the tribe, who happens to be a good friend of mine?”<br><br><b>Go beyond the 10-minute trails <br><img alt="USA Vermont Fall Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3z" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>Don’t stop at the nearest, shortest trail. They don’t know what they’re missing.<br><br>“Venture further,” advises Bruce, our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vermont/" target="_blank">Vermont Stowe to Middlebury Trip</a> leader, “ask any guide or ranger, I am sure that they will agree. I’d say 90% of visitors literally park their cars, take a 10-minute walk, snap some photos for Instagram and then leave. Often, they spend longer trying to find a parking space than they do exploring! It’s a shame. But it’s good for those of us who know better! And you don’t even have to be a super fit backpacker with the stamina for a 5-hour hike up a Vermont mountainside. I can think of so many stunning walks that virtually no one takes that are easy going, rarely crowded and show you our famous fall landscape like you’ve never seen before.”<br><br><b>Look for limits </b><br>Don’t be deterred by group restrictions, actively seek them.<br><img alt="USA Zion National Park Narrows Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Marcia Burns, who leads our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon and Zion trip</a> tells us more. “The Bureau of Land Management enforces group size limits to certain areas of wilderness. For example, here in Zion, the Narrows upstream of Orderville Canyon allows no more than 12 people and you need a permit to access. I feel like the words ‘restriction’, ‘limit’ and ‘enforcement’ put people off, but now more than ever, they are a good thing! You get to experience the most stunning parts of a National Park in their true wilderness form. It doesn’t feel like Disneyland!”<br><br><b>Picnic instead of cafeteria </b><br>Don’t lose time in the lunch line. Make the dining as good as the destination. No rush. No reservation needed. <br><img alt="US National Park Culinary Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3a" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img> <br>“Exhilarating walks and sights sure work up an appetite.” Eric K, who leads our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion</a> trio tells us, “but bear in mind that will also be the case for every single other person visiting. Come lunchtime, people pour into the one or two nearest cafeterias here. Precious time that could be spent exploring is lost as you line up for a free table and wait for your food. My way around this lets you enjoy good food, at your leisure, while enjoying the destination at the same time. And it’s simple: a picnic! You’ll have views restauranteurs can only dream of. I know amazing spots where you can lunch with no one else as far as the eye can see. And I know incredible local restaurants and delis that will pack you a lunch of hand-crafted specialties, so you can skip that mass cafeteria food.”<br><br><b>Get a driver</b><br>Don’t drive and definitely skip the shuttle. Instead, let a local take the wheel, while you sit back and soak up the scenery.<br><img alt="US National Park Private Car Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3f" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The expert recommendation from Janice, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalpark/" target="_blank">Montana’s Glacier National Park Trip</a> leader, is to “make sure you book a trip with a private driver. Driving on your own only takes you as far as the parking lot, which can be a nightmare to navigate. Then you have to choose between the packed-out trails leading from the parking lot, or a free shuttle, with its long wait lines and what makes me think of herded-cattle once everyone is piled on. In Montana, don’t settle for an over-a-stranger’s-shoulder glimpse of our legendary Going To The Sun Road. Doesn’t it sound nicer to sit back with a driver who knows exactly how you like the air conditioning?!”<br><br><b>Swap sunset for sunrise </b><br>Everyone loves a sunset, but the silent spectacle of sunrise is worth an early wake up call.<br><img alt="US National Park Sunrise Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3k" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>As Head Chef at Friday Harbor House, Jason’s work hours make him a seasoned sunrise-seer, “If you ask me, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sanjuans/" target="_blank">San Juan </a>sunrises are by far the best. To escape the crowds, my favorite time of day is dawn. I have to get up early for my job and am so thankful I do. What a way to start each day and usually I am the only person up to enjoy it. When our guests ask for a recommendation, sunrise is always my suggestion and I promise them a mouth-watering breakfast to follow!”<br><br>Jamie, who’s a baker at the Grand Canyon Lodge, is also an early-riser, “It’s no secret how stunning the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> is at sundown. But, for that reason, you will find a steady stream of cars as sundown approaches, with packs of people taking photos from the best-known overlooks. Skip the evening crowds and rise early to watch the colors of the rising sun dance on the canyon walls. Rather than hearing cars and tourists, listen to the surrounding silence that almost seems to echo. Everyone else who comes here completely misses it. Beyond being uncrowded, often there is not another soul in sight. So, even if you are not a morning person, set an alarm and you won’t regret it.”

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