Last updated: October 13, 2022
Plan Like a Ranger and You'll Have a Great Visit
Why on Earth would you want to plan like a park ranger?
As rangers, we share your love and reverence for national parks. We love them like a second home, in fact, for some of us, they are our homes. We even visit when we are off duty. Could you imagine visiting the place where you work after hours just because you love it? We care deeply for these special places and the visitors we serve and want to help YOU have a great visit by offering some "insider tips" so that you can #PlanLikeARanger.
It's easy to decide a place to go, but how many times have you visited someplace where the very thing you want to see most is unavailable, or the tickets are sold out, or the parking lots are full? How frustrating! Planning like a ranger can save you time and stress when it comes to visiting a national park.
Whether we are planning a visit to our favorite spot in the park on a day off, or after work, or planning a first-time visit to a different park, it all starts with a plan, and some back-up plans. Rangers answer a lot of questions, and we also ask lots of questions. We plan, plan, and plan some more which goes a long way toward having a safe and rewarding experience, both for us, and for our visitors.
Let our experience be your guide to a good time in Americas greatest treasures: our national parks. We can help you to plan for a great visit.
Here is our list of top ten tips for visiting Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area:
Visit the park website, follow us on Facebook, or call ahead to find out all the things you can do in the park, what you should bring with you, and what you should leave at home. Make a list and check it twice to make sure you have everything you need; there is nowhere to purchase food or supplies once you’re in the park.
Find out where you can bring a grill, have a picnic, bring a pet, or swim before hopping in the car. These activities are only allowed in designated areas and are prohibited in some areas. Plan your destination based on the activity you would like to do. Not all areas allow all activities.
Visit the park website or call ahead for important information for a safe and fun visit. Always wear a life jacket when on or near the water and be sure to check for Ticks during and after your visit. Bring plenty of drinking water and ice to stay hydrated.
- Travel on Tuesday… or Wednesday, or Thursday to beat the crowds. Weekends are the busiest times in the park. To avoid the crowds, consider traveling on a weekday. Plan a day around sightseeing and perhaps a nice lunch or dinner. How about a hike and then some shopping?
The early bird gets the…view: Visit in the early mornings or early evenings to avoid crowds and get the best views. Afternoons are the busiest time of day in the park. Most sites are open sunrise to sunset, but hours do vary so check ahead.
Have a Plan B… and C in case the places you wish to visit are already full when you arrive. If the parking area is full, the site is also full. Many popular destinations reach capacity by 9 am on summer weekends.
- Skip the most popular destinations: With 70,000 acres, over 150 miles of trails, and 40 miles of the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, beauty and adventure can be found throughout the park, not just at the most popular areas like the trails on Mt. Minsi and Mt. Tammany or at waterfalls. A new favorite place awaits!
Coordinate plans with other members of your party who are traveling separately. Cell service in the park is limited in some areas and you may not be able to reach friends and family traveling in separate vehicles. If a site fills before all the members of your party arrive, they may not be able to enter the site and join you. Gather at a chosen point near the park and stay together if possible.
- Recreate Responsibly. Help take care of the park by following all rules and regulations and by taking all trash and waste home with you when you leave. Don’t forget the trash bags to help with clean-up at the end of the day!
- Practice Leave No Trace © principles: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, Be Considerate of Other Visitors. To learn more about what you can do visit Leave No Trace Seven Principles (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)