Can’t Wait to Hit Up National Parks After the Shutdown? There’s a New Show on Journy for You
[pictured above: Rock the Park hosts Jack Steward and Colton Smith in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska]
For 35 days, the US government was partially shut down and services in our national parks were reduced. While you may be bummed that your favorite park was closed temporarily or vandalized, you should know that there are ways to help. Visiting national parks as the National Park Service reopens them, being respectful of flora and fauna, packing out your trash and leaving everything as you found it can go a long way. Your entrance fee supports maintenance and upgrades to water and sewer systems, roads, and bridges.
There are 60 national parks: how do you choose and what can you expect? Journy’s newest show Rock the Park (which won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Travel Program!) offers ideas and inspiration for your travel itinerary. Over two seasons, lifelong best friends and hiker enthusiasts Jack Steward and Colton Smith visit as many of America’s national parks as possible. These parks are protected areas known for their grandeur, natural beauty, unique geological features, and unusual ecosystems by the National Park Service.
Vast lands you don’t see everyday seem more fun and less tricky with Jack, Colton, and sometimes their GoPro navigating the way. We recommend starting with the first episode to see this Katmai bear scarf down raw salmon.
- Katmai National Park (Alaska) (season 1, episode 1)
- Hosts Jack and Colton get up close and personal with the massive brown bears of Katmai National Park. They watch bears fish for salmon and dig for clams along the Pacific Coast and camp out in the back country surrounded by bears.
Then, pick your adventure from these highlights, accompanied with episode guides:
- Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) (season 1, episode 2)
- Jack and Colton kayak with whales and sea otters, witness glaciers crashing into the sea, and trek to a mammoth glacier.
- Death Valley National Park (California) (season 1, episode 16)
- Jack and Colton head to Death Valley National Park in search of one of the scarcest resources in the park… water.
- Joshua Tree National Park (California) (season 1, episode 17)
- It’s a rocky ride for Colton and Jack as they explore the Chasm of Doom and climb The Eye of the Cyclops.
- Mauna Loa (Hawaii) (season 1, episode 19)
- Jack and Colton take on the largest volcano on Earth, battling altitude sickness and the threat of severe weather along the way.
- Santa Monica Mountains (California) (season 1, episode 22)
- Jack and Colton are in the largest urban national park in the U.S., experiencing a canyon-to-coast adventure with mountain biking and whale watching.
Then they hit the waves for their first surfing experience ever!
- Sequoia National Park (California) (season 1, episode 15)
- Jack and Colton trek through the land of giants in Sequoia National Park: they take on a 150-foot climb straight up a sheer granite rock wall.
- Yosemite National Park (California) (season 2, episode 21)
- Colton and Jack are in for some ups and down while visiting Yosemite National Park in California. They also learn about the park’s efforts to reduce trash going to landfills.
Northwest and North:
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin) (season 2, episode 5)
- Hosts Jack and Colton explore the iconic sea caves carved into the cliffs of Lake Superior with both kayaks and scuba gear below the surface. Plus, they check out a 100-year-old shipwreck sunk by Superior’s wrath.
- Craters of the Moon (Idaho) (season 2, episode 9)
- Lava caves and cinder buttes are giving Jack and Colton a park experience like no other as they explore the strangest 75 square miles in North America.
- Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah) (season 1, episode 12)
- Jack and Colton saddle up and check out the land of hoodoos, then go back-country camping: ultra-light with no tent. It’s just them and the creatures of the canyon floor.
- Glacier National Park (Montana) (season 1, episodes 6, 7; season 2, episode 6)
- Jack and Colton prepare for a possible encounter with grizzly bears.
- The guys have a run-in with a bear and a showdown with bighorn sheep as they hit the trails, including the epic Going-to-the-Sun Road of Glacier National Park.
- Jungle Jack Hanna joins the guys on a story-filled hike through bear country. The guys get a good look at a grizzly and take on some of the roughest whitewater rapids they’ve ever experienced.
- North Cascades National Park aka “American Alps” (Washington) (season 1, episode 4)
- Going off the beaten path takes on new meaning for Jack and Colton, as they’re pushed to the limit and forced to overcome fears in a quest to make the climb of their lives.
- Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) (season 1, episodes 13, 14) (season 2, episode 26)
- Jack and Colton learn about the supervolcano that lies deep beneath the park and check out the hot spots it creates. Then they track the park’s elusive wolves and other awesome wildlife.
- They experience the power of the Yellowstone River at its own Grand Canyon, towering waterfalls, and white water rapids.
- It is destination fire and ice as Jack and Colton head to Yellowstone for a winter adventure in the Rockies.
- Zion National Park (Utah) (season 1, episode 11)
- Jack and Colton trek miles through an icy cold river, then hold on for their dear lives while climbing one of Zion’s scariest trails.
Northeast and South:
- Acadia National Park (Maine) (season 2, episode 15)
- Colton and Jack head to Maine’s Rocky Coast for a taste of Acadia National Park. Spotting seals and dolphins to Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons… it’s an unforgettable wildlife adventure down east!
- Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia) (season 2, episode 1)
- The guys visit one of the last undeveloped beaches on the Atlantic coast. Cumberland Island National Seashore is home to tons of wildlife and Jack and Colton see it all from manatees to manta rays, and alligators to wild horses.”
- Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida) (season 2, episode 2)
- Dry Tortugas National Park has Colton and Jack taking their exploration into the sea, diving deep to check one of the largest coral reefs in the world and the marine life that call it home, from stingrays, to goliath grouper and even nurse sharks.
- Padre Island (Texas) (season 2, episode 4)
- Colton and Jack hit the beach for a raucous wind surfing race. Then it’s hush-hush in the hatching room where the guys see endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles emerged fromtheir shells before making their own mad dash to the ocean.
- Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) (season 1, episode 9)
- Jack and Colton take on Old Rag, one of the most dangerous trails in Shenandoah National Park, then belay each other 110-feet straight up a rock cliff.
If you’re not planning to visit a national park for an extended period of time, here are other ways to help after the government shutdown:
- Volunteer to help clean up parks. Sign up with the National Parks Conservation Association and you will be contacted with upcoming opportunities.
- Donate to the National Park Foundation.
- Become a corporate partner of the National Park Foundation.
- Sport National Park Foundation gear.