News Release

Plan Like a Park Ranger

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Date: June 9, 2021
Contact: Sarah Herve, 928-524-6228 x245

Petrified Forest National Park--Just in time for Great Outdoors Month, the National Park Service unveiled a top-ten list of visitation tips encouraging members of the public to Plan Like a Park Ranger this summer.

Visit go.nps.gov/planlikeaparkranger for national park ranger insider tips for
great national park adventures. Visitation at national parks is increasing and expected to continue to grow through the summer.  

Amid the pandemic’s recovery, many parks and business in and around nearby communities are still operating with reduced or limited services, schedules and staffing. "We are excited to welcome visitors back to the great outdoors for their vacations at parks and public lands around the country. 

With many popular destinations expecting record visitation while parks and communities emerge from the ongoing pandemic, we hope these insider tips will help visitors make the most of their trips.” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “Today, national park rangers around the country are divulging their vacation planning secrets. Planning like a park ranger will help visitors have great experiences, make lasting memories and stay safe.” To help keep themselves and other safe, park visitors are encouraged to review CDC guidance when making their plans to recreate responsibly. Consistent with the CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. Masks are required for everyone on all forms of public transportation. National park ranger top-ten insider tips to Plan Like a Park Ranger are: 

1. Have a plan...and a backup plan 
For us, a park visit begins at home with a trip to NPS.gov. Park websites have ideas about where to go, what to see, and what to do, and most important, what we need to include in our planning. Flexibility and a backup plan are key, too, in case of changing weather conditions, road closures, etc. Learn more >Tools of the trade for planning your visit 

2. Be patient with each other and us 
We always remember to allow ourselves extra time to get from one place to another and enjoy the experience. This season, national parks are already bustling. Like lots of places you go this year, we may not yet be able to offer the past level of service as we emerge from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And keep in mind that people who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks inside park buildings and in crowded outdoor areas. Learn more > Information about the NPS response to the pandemic and operational updates 

3. Travel off the beaten path 
There are more than 400 national parks across the country. We love exploring the lesser-known ones. They can be a great option for travelers looking for all the beauty of nature, hiking trails, and rich history, with fewer crowds and lines. Petrified Forest National Park is a great example! Learn more > Advanced search for a park by topic, activity, or even close to you in your state. 

4. Reservations may be needed 
We heart reservations. Many campgrounds and lodges in and around well-known parks are already fully booked. Having a reservation guarantees you won’t arrive at a park only to find that you need an entrance reservation, there’s no place to sleep, or a popular trail is closed. There are no need for reservations at Petrified Forest National Park. Learn more > Check the park website for details or visit recreation.gov 

5. Ask a ranger 
Have a question? Ask a ranger. (Yep, we ask other rangers about visiting their parks.) We’re always here to help. We can answer questions, share park stories (we’re always happy to point you to the nearest restroom), and we can let you know what activities are available. Learn more > Ask a Ranger (Really, that’s the name of the page.) 

6. Explore the new NPS app 
We nerded out over our own app—it’s very cool. You can even access it offline if you plan ahead! The new NPS App offers tools to explore more than 400 national parks...interactive maps, tours, accessibility information, and more. And we’re adding new content every day! Learn more > One app, every park at your fingertips 

7. Keep safety in the picture 
We love to take photos. (Have you seen our Instagram?) But we like surviving the process, too—so we’re careful to take them where it is safe. Some popular trails and views may be especially crowded this year, so an unobstructed photo might require a bit of a wait. Learn more > Great tips for photography in parks 

8. Don’t pet the fluffy cows 
Keep your distance from wild animals, never feed the wildlife, and when taking pictures, use your zoom and give them room. #SafeSelfie Learn more > Great tips about what equipment to bring and how to protect yourself and those cool critters. 

9. Leave only footprints
We know that each of us—rangers, volunteers, visitors, everyone—plays a vital role in protecting YOUR national parks. Whether it’s carrying out what we brought in (including our pooch’s...well...you know), leaving the spots we visit as we found them, or staying on the trail, we’re careful to respect these incredible places. Learn more > Seven principles to leave no trace 

10. Ruffing it? 
This one’s for the dogs. Many parks allow pets on leashes and in campgrounds, some even have kennels. But sometimes these furry friends are best left at home. Discover what you can (and can’t) do with your pet and follow the B.A.R.K. principles. Petrified Forest National Park is one of the most welcoming parks for dogs and other pets. Learn more > Yep, your pet can be a BARK Ranger (See what we did there?) 
 

www.nps.gov/pefo  

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube 



Last updated: August 1, 2021

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Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
PO Box 2217 1 Park Road #2217
Attn.:

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

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