With the way the world is operating these days, there really is no better time than now to pack up the car and hit the road. Once your family catches wind of your grand idea, they are going to be thrilled that you’re coming to see them, but we’re a ways out from any dedicated family holiday, so this road trip is going about you, stretching the legs, and taking in the natural wonders of our National Parks. With 60 plus parks spread across the country, you shouldn’t have to drive too far before you run into one. And while everyone knows Yellowstone, Yosemite, and even the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the highest yearly visitors, there are a few that are a little more oriented to putting the tread of your shoe to dirt for miles on end.
Parks for a Run
1. Channel Islands National Park, California - Island Trails
If you need a big city point of reference, LA is the closest but the Channel Islands are far enough from the hustle and bustle that you’ll be sure to get lost in the trails. The park is made of 5 islands, all offering an expansive network of trails for hikers and runners alike. The trails range from easy to strenuous, 2 - 20 miles, and keep in mind that a lot of these trails are more suited to experienced cross-country runners, surefooted and well-balanced runners, but that’s what makes its fun. There is a chance to see wildlife along the coastal trails and even running across the islands, the views are expansive and oh, so Californian filled with fields of sunflowers. And as they say, “when in Rome” why not fuel with our Sunflower Gel.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - Loch Vale
Deep in the Rocky Mountain National Park in the shadows of Long’s Peak lies the Loch Vale Trail. Starting just shy of 9,300 ft above sea level, Loch Vail is sure to have you feeling winded before you can even get into stride. It is an easy 6-mile loop, but along the way expect to rise to over 10,000 ft where picturesque alpine lakes await. You’ll encounter switchbacks, rocky terrain, and a coniferous forest beyond what most could dream of. And while the air will be thin, the Cacao Almond gel has a bit thicker consistency to help put one foot in front of the other.
3. John Muir Trail through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks
The JMT certainly is near and dear to our hearts as MUIR Energy was conceived in the High Sierras while founder Ian Muir McNally was out on the trail. While the JMT does require a little more planning than just a packed car pulled over alongside the road, the 211 miles takes most a few weeks but has been completed in under 20 hours. The JMT is just a segment of the Pacific Coast Trail, but whether it’s run or hiked, it continues to be an experience of a lifetime for all those lucky enough to embark. And because MUIR Energy was born on the JMT, the first of our gels to go to market (Red Raspberry) is the anthem to the winding road ahead.
4. Acadia National Park, Maine - Carriage Roads
Beyond one of the best lobster rolls you’ll ever have and the famous LL Bean headquarters, Maine’s Acadia National Park offers up some of the best trail running the Northeast has to offer. The trail system is a winding network comprising 45 miles of old carriage roads circling and spanning the island. And if you know anything about the Northeast, come fall, the region turns into an unimaginable sight as the leaves turn fiery red, yellow, and orange. Acadia National Park was the first park to be established east of the Mississippi and with wild blueberries growing across 44,000 acres of the state, it seems the Blueberry Bergamot would be fitting for your carriage ride.
And if you’re lucky to extend a weekend getaway into a week or even month long road trip, you’re going to need the full list of US National Parks to help guide the way and most likely a Custom 48 Pack for in and out of the car.
Stuck in front of the computer and need to take a virtual tour right this instant, grab your MUIR jar from the cabinet, spread the simple and clean ingredients on some toast and embark on a virtual tour of the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.