Posted February 10, 2020 Comments 0 Responses Three Days in the Southern Black HillsBy Courtney JohnsonThe provenance of the term “Black Hills” derives from the Lakota, Pahá Sápa, and refers to the darker look of the undulating South Dakota landscape from a distance. The Black Hills is divided into two geographical areas; The Northern terrain encompasses Sturgis, Spearfish and Deadwood, while The Southern region encompasses Rushmore, Custer State Park, Jewel Cave National Park and Wind Cave National Park. “Water was something he loved, something he respected. He understood its beauty and its dangers. He talked about swimming as if it were a way of life.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.Within national parks, monuments, and forests, there are plenty of natural swimming holes offering striking and idyllic scenery and an opportunity for off-the-trail fun. Cool down in the summer heat or soak your tired muscles at these twelve gorgeous swimming holes, some of which are part of the National Park Service, and some part of the U.S. Forest Service. The Best Apps for Exploring National ParksBy Courtney JohnsonFrom trail maps and guest tips to traffic conditions and dining options, national park visitors are upgrading from paper maps (still available at park entrances and visitors centers) to apps, where helpful information is at one’s fingertips. Many parks actually have their own apps, while other companies like REI and Chimani have created tools for maximizing a visit to a national park. Because cell service varies at each park, download any relevant apps before arriving at the park—do this even though many apps don’t require cell service to work. Take advantage of an abundance of information on national parks with a few of the apps below: Contributor Courtney Johnson takes us on an trip planning adventure to Yellowstone National Park. If you came to see the geothermals, if you love all things water, if you are a hiking sightseer, if you want to stargaze, if you are an animal lover, if you want to climb, if you like to ride your bike, this is the Yellowstone guide for you! By Courtney JohnsonThe holidays are a perfect time to explore a national park, national recreation area or national monument. Beyond winter hiking, snowshoeing and skiing, many offer unique ways to celebrate the season.