Series: NPS Trip Planning Guide

Make your fun adventure a safe one too! No one plans on getting hurt while out exploring in a National Park. However, nature is unpredictable, structures are historical, and your equipment can unexpectedly fail. Planning ahead can be the key to a fun and safe adventure. Remember, safety starts with you! Learn more about how you can be prepared for your adventure!

  • Chapter 1: Trip Planning 101: Introduction

    Hikers on Bunsen Peak Trail in Yellowstone National Park

    Learn more about our article series on trip planning to a national park! Read more

  • Chapter 2: Before the Trip: "Know Before You Go"

    Visitors reviewing a map of the park with a park ranger in a visitor center.

    You've decided to take a trip to a national park either alone, with your family and friends, or as a group leader. Do you know what information you should research and what skills you should practice before you head out? Use these trip planning principles to help you, your family, friends and group members prepare and "Know Before You Go". Read more

  • Chapter 3: Ten Essentials

    The Ten Essentials laid out on a table

    No matter what activity you choose, it is important to plan ahead. Make a fun adventure a safe adventure! Having the Ten Essentials with you can help you be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes, or unexpected delays. Read more

  • Chapter 4: Trip Plan

    Visitors biking in Yellowstone

    You've put a lot of though into planning for your trip. Have you prepared a trip plan that you can leave with a family or friend who is not going on your trip incase an emergency arises and you don't arrive back when expected? Learn more about what to include in your trip plan. Read more

  • Chapter 5: Emergency Planning

    Search and Rescue responder preparing a litter to carry out an injured visitor.

    As a Trip Leader, you have worked hard to plan your group adventure in a national park. Everyone is ready and excited to experience nature in some of the most beautiful places our nation has to offer. Read this article to learn more about preparing for an emergency, such as an injured or lost person, during your trip. Read more

  • Chapter 6: Arrival at the Park: "Ask a Ranger"

    Visitor checking in with a ranger upon their arrival at the park

    It's the morning of your trip and you're preparing to travel to the park. The information in this article provides some important considerations before leaving and when you arrive at the park. Make sure you and your group are ready for your adventure when you arrive! Read more

  • Chapter 7: During the Trip: Assess & Adjust

    Students kayaking on a river.  Everyone is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket

    You are setting out on your adventure with your family, friends or group. Use these principles to avoid some of the common mistakes made that could lead to an injury while recreating in a national park. Read more

  • Chapter 8: After the Trip: Share the Experience

    A group of visitor striking camp

    You just wrapped up an amazing adventure in a national park! Take time after your trip to assess what went right and what went wrong. Identify lessons learned and share your experience with others! Read more