I wrote about the website Dirt in My Shoes in my Yellowstone blog posting. I believe this website and resource is so helpful it is worthy of its own article. I am not compensated in any way for this article, I just like to share helpful information and valuable resources. This is one of the best resources I have come across regarding the National Parks.
I have had many people ask me how I plan our visits to the National Parks. Meaning, how do I decide what to see because it is difficult to see it all in any National Park in one visit. It usually takes a considerable amount of time and research on my part to create an itinerary that maps out what we will do and see during our visit to a National Park. I use the National Park books and resources that I blogged about previously: http://livingjoydaily.com/2017/09/20/national-parks-materials-i-recommend/
Again, it takes lots of time and energy to research each National Park. I came across the Dirt In My Shoes websites and I am so thankful!! I purchased a two-day itinerary for Yellowstone National Park for $9.99. It was worth every penny! Ash, the founder of this website has created itineraries for self-guided tours of many National Parks. She is a former National Park Ranger. When you go to her website to purchase an itinerary for a specific National Park, she has options for number of days you are spending in this park. This is amazing!! We had two full days in Yellowstone, so I purchased the two-day itinerary from her website. She has options for one day itineraries, three days, and so forth. She has invested a great deal of time and energy creating these itineraries. They are much better than any itinerary I could create myself. Her experience in the National Parks and countless hours in each park researching the best things to see is what makes her itineraries so valuable. She also provides a description for each stop she recommends along with maps. Paired with the free map you get when you enter each National Park, you are set! I didn’t even break out my National Park books for Yellowstone because her information was everything I needed.
Honestly, I think you are crazy to visit a National Park without purchasing her guide for the park you are going to visit. I won’t go to another National Park without buying her guide for the park we are going to visit. The itinerary provides a description of each stop. She also includes suggestions for the best hikes in each park and where to find each trailhead (super helpful info!).
I used her guides for both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. I have to say that those two parks are now my top two favorite parks we have ever visited! It has a lot to do with what we saw. Her written guides from Dirt in My Shoes pointed us in the right direction and we had the best experiences in these parks because of her itineraries.
Her website also has a blog that provides super helpful free information! Because of her article about the top 10 things to do in Glacier National Park we got to see moose! She wrote in that article to check out Fishercap Lake. It is a super small lake located in the Many Glacier region of Glacier National Park. She said in her article that this location is the closest she can provide to a guaranteed moose sighting. The lake isn’t even on the National Park map it is so small. We never would have known to go there if it wasn’t for her guide. Guess what? We saw a mama and baby moose in the wild at Fishercap Lake because of her blog article! It was the best experience ever!! Brielle said our hike to Fishercap Lake and seeing the moose was “Epic!”. I would have to agree. Thank you Ash for your article and excellent advice!
You can check out her blog postings and itineraries for the National Parks on her website: https://www.dirtinmyshoes.com/