Summer is the perfect time to go camping and hiking in the great outdoors. There’s no better place to enjoy the outdoors than at one of the many national parks. But there are so many national parks out there that it can be very difficult to choose which one to visit. You could always go with the national park easiest to get to, but even then, it can still be hard to decide. Let your intellectual interests help you! Here are some recommendations on what national park to go to — based on your major or the major most closely related to yours.
Biology: Channel Islands
There are many wonderful biomes in the state of California. Each of them is filled with a plethora of different plants and wildlife. Channel Islands National Park is a good place to see a lot of that wildlife. If you’re a biology major or you just like the biological sciences, then this park is right for you. Not only are there kelp forests teeming with fish and other aquatic animals, but there are island foxes on land. Come for the wild animals and stay for the breathtaking views.
The classic national park up in the Sierra Nevada is never a bad choice when it comes to picking one to visit. It has an additional appeal for English majors, however — some of the most well-known writing about California was written in and about Yosemite National Park. John Muir may have written nonfiction, but his writing still has an impact on people and wildlife conservation to this day. Besides, not many of the national parks have great reading written about them — some that has even become classic literature. Plus, this solves the issue of what you should read when visiting.
Archaeology: Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde National Park is known for its Native American sites. With villages built into the cliff side and rocks painted with petroglyphs, it’s a place that has a strong connection to the people of the past. What else would an archaeology major want in a national park? The visitor center also has the park’s museum and research collection — so there’s an added bonus.
Art: Petrified Forest
This national park is a great fit for an art major. The part that should be most appealing to art majors isn’t the tree stumps preserved as stone, which the park is named for, but the painted desert. Being surrounded by something so magnificently “painted” should make an art major feel right at home. In all seriousness, though, this national park is a beautiful and strange landscape that looks very little like the Bay Area. If you want something new to draw or paint, this park might be the muse you’re looking for.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of where to go to begin discovering what the national parks have to offer. No matter what national park you choose to visit, you’ll be met with stunning sights and wonderful nature. You can’t go wrong with any of the national parks, so hopefully this list has helped you choose.
Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected]dailycal.org .