In honor of National Park Week we debunk ten common misconceptions about our wonderful National Parks.
- Eruptions at Old Faithful are so reliable you can set your watch to them (you may end up late for meetings as predicting the interval between eruptions has a margin of error of 10 minutes)
- Mount Rushmore is a National Park (it’s actually a National Memorial, but it is part of the National Park Service)
- The Grand Canyon is the most popular National Park (Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited park with 8-10 million visitors each year)
- You can fish off the Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park (fishing from the bridge was prohibited in 1973)
- You can camp wherever you like in Yosemite National Park (though once true, unrestricted camping in Yosemite Valley is no longer allowed due to the damage it causes.)
- The National Park Service oversees 397 parks (they oversee 397 units which include 124 historical parks or sites, 75 monuments, 58 national parks, 25 battlefields or military parks, 18 preserves, 18 recreation areas, 10 seashores, four parkways, four lakeshores, and two reserves.
- All National Parks have entrance fees (Only 147 charge fees ranging from $5-$25, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free as is Mt. Rushmore – though there is an $11 parking fee).
- You may encounter deadly tarantulas at Zion National Park (although tarantulas do inhabit Zion National Park, they are generally docile and if they do bite their venom is non-toxic to humans).
- Glacier National Park is full of glaciers. (it once was, but of the hundreds of glaciers that formed the dramatic landscape of Glacier National Park fewer than 25 active glaciers remain.)
- During National Park Week (April 21-29) it’s free to get in all 397 parks (wait…this one is True! But while it’s free to get in all 397 parks, getting to them is another matter, especially with record-high gas prices. That’s why we created our new National Parks trip-planning pages to help park lovers budget for their trip and save money along the way. Check them out to begin planning your next visit to a national park).