For the next several weeks Spry will feature the top 10 most visited national parks in the U.S. We’ll tell you about the parks’ “hidden gems” to put on your bucket list and give you some handy oral care tips for adventuring and travel. Follow our epic tour on Instagram and Facebook @sprysmile for the chance to win some awesome prizes.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina and is the most visited national park in the United States. The area features one of America’s oldest mountain ranges, dense forest, wildflowers, rivers, and waterfalls. It also includes part of the Appalachian Trail. Some of the main attractions are Clingman’s Dome and Cade’s Cove. There are other non-natural attractions like the Smoky Mountain Opry and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smoky’s.
Secret Entrance into the Park – Most people go through Gatlinburg to get into the park, but locals have an alternate “secret” entrance by way of Wears Valley. This access is on the quieter side of the park and offers some attractions that most people don’t see. So skip the crowds and go through Wears Valley.
Gourley’s Pond at Cade’s Cove – Cade’s Cove is a popular spot to visit due to its beautiful scenery. But a lesser known, and often missed spot is lovely Gourley’s Pond since it isn’t visible from the road. To find the pond, park at LeQuire Cemetery, walk down the loop road, and find the path on your right after 200 feet. Just be sure to visit Gourley Pond when it has been more wet rather than dry.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 1/10:
Forget your toothbrush? Brush your teeth with gauze wrapped around your finger and the normal dab of Spry Toothpaste.
Grand Canyon National Park
Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. It’s shear size (Its widest point is 18 miles long!) leaves people in awe, especially when they consider that it was created merely by the Colorado River. One of its greatest attractions is the illustration of geographical history shown by the different rock layers dating back to Precambrian times. The rocks found in the upper rim of the canyon are 230 million years old while the rocks at the bottom are 2 billion years old. Camping, hiking, and rafting are popular activities to do in the canyon.
North Rim – The vast majority of people visiting the park go to the South Rim to get the ordinary picture of the Grand Canyon. While that is an awesome experience, consider going to the North Rim. There you will have fewer crowds, and the area is cooler than the south rim and has a different ecosystem with diverse animal and plant life.
Havasupai Falls – Though this place is a little more well-known (or at least recognized in a picture), many people don’t take the time to plan it into their trip. Consider going though. The area is beautiful and the day’s activities will be quite fun and memorable.
Secret Cave Behind a Waterfall – There are lots of places to explore in the park, however, a group discovered a cool secret cave behind a waterfall. The only way to access it is by rafting down the Colorado and climbing into the cave through the waterfall. To find out how to get there you can visit arizonafpv.com and ask about the secret cave.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 2/10:
Oral care should be something that you think about throughout the day, not just morning and at night. Using Spry Gum and Spry Mints is the perfect way to clean your teeth while on the move.
Zion National Park
Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is known for its red rock cliffs and unique hiking areas. The main section of the park features the Virgin River, which gives way to stunning forests and the Emerald Pools. One of the most breath-taking areas to visit is Angels Landing, which stands 1,488 feet above the Virgin River basin. However, the hike up to the landing is considered to be one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. Adventure seekers also love exploring the slot canyons, the most popular of which is The Narrows, which requires hikers to wade and swim through water for much of the hike.
Hike to Pine Creek Waterfall – There are a lot of nice hikes and waterfall features in the park, but this one is less known. The hike to the falls follows a creek and is only a mile long. Be aware, it is also in an area prone to flash floods, so as is always suggested for the park, be smart and pay attention to warnings. But once you get to the waterfall, there is a beautiful, deep pool for swimming. To get to the location, take the south entrance to the park and make your way toward the Canyon Junction where you will take a right toward Mt. Carmel Highway. The road will be straight for a while, but once it starts making a U-Curve up the mountain, look for a dirt pullout with a sign labeled Pine Creek Waterfall.
Hidden Canyon Trail – Most people who want an adventure opt for the famous hikes like Angels Landing or The Narrows. But if you want to ditch the crowds, go for Hidden Canyon Trail. It offers a similar exhilarating experience like Angels Landing but can be much more enjoyable without dozens of tourists pushing you up the trail. The hike itself follows a “hanging” slot canyon and ascends 1000 feet. Once you arrive at the hidden canyon, people describe entering into “a lost world” where you can have fun exploring. You can access the trail via the Weeping Rock trailhead.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 3/10:
Store your toothbrush properly. Common toothbrush cases can actually be more harmful than beneficial. Have a container that has holes for ventilation and make sure your toothbrush is dry as much as possible so bacteria doesn’t start growing on it.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park stretches along northern Colorado, spanning the continental divide. It is one of the nation’s highest national parks with Longs Peak towering up to 14,259 ft. The park features protected mountains, forests, and alpine tundra. The park is known for the vistas seen at Bear Lake and Trail Ridge Road, which has 11 miles of the drive above the timberline. There are hundreds of species of animals and over 350 miles of trails for all those hikers out there.
Lulu City – Did you know there is a ghost town in the park? Lulu City was once an old mining town. Now you can explore all the ruins including cabins and see interpretative signage. The trail itself is quite nice too; it follows a creek, which actually turns into the Colorado River once it reaches Poudre Pass.
Lake Verna & Spirit Lake – Adams Falls is a very popular hike in the park. But if you want to get away from the crowds, head up to Lake Verna and Spirit Lake. You can find the trail seven miles up from the East Inlet Trail. It is quite a beautiful sight. The hike is a bit strenuous so be ready for a good workout.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 4/10:
Here’s how to store your toothpaste if you have limited space. Put pea-sized dots on parchment paper and let them dry. Once they’re dry put them in a plastic bag. When adventuring, place dot in mouth to hydrate it and then brush as normal.
Yosemite National Park
California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is home to one of the most famous national parks in the United States, Yosemite National Park. Yosemite was actually the first area of land set aside by the United States for preservation and protection. Known for awesome sequoia trees and the towering granite walls of Half Dome, and El Capitan, Yosemite offers amazing vistas and eye-catching scenery. Yosemite is a rock climber’s paradise but also offers approximately 800 miles trails, so there is something for every level of hiker. At 2,450 feet tall (5th highest in the world), the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls, is located here.
Pothole Dome – Most people want to conquer a dome but don’t want to take on the likes of Lembert Dome or Half Dome. Instead, opt for Pothole Dome. It is a fairly short hike at 2.5 miles round trip but has a good scenic payoff at the end that everyone in the family can enjoy.
The “Glowing” Waterfall – You may have seen it in pictures and thought it can’t quite be true. But Horsetail Fall, when the light hits it just right, will glow like a band of flowing fire. The best place to see this phenomenon is east of the El Capitan picnic area from mid to late February.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 5/10:
People often wonder if they should bring floss, especially when they don’t have a lot of space in their pack. Though room may be limited and you think you may not use it, floss has may other useful applications that could be helpful while on your adventure. For example, you can use it as a fishing line, to fix things like eyeglasses, or as a temporary shoelace replacement.
Yellowstone National Park
With its 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone National Park stretches across three states, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It is home to hundreds of different species of animals including, bears, wolves, bison, elk, and antelope. In fact, one of the greatest experiences of the park is seeing the wildlife up close. Yellowstone sits on top of enormous volcanic hot spot, which allows for its famous geysers and hot springs. Although this unique geological area is the major reason 3.8 million people from around the world visit the park, the park also offers amazing canyons, rivers, and forests. Some of the most famous places in Yellowstone are Old Faithful, the Yellowstone Caldera, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Lone Star Geyser – Most visitors go to Old Faithful when they want to see a geyser go off. But if you want to beat the crowds head over to Lone Star Geyser. It doesn’t erupt as often as Old Faithful (every 2.5-3 hours) but you will be able to experience an amazing sight and have a little more peace and quiet. To get to the geyser, hike along the Firehole River for 2.7 miles.
Two Ocean Plateau – In a less-frequented part of the park lays the Two Ocean Plateau, a beautiful marshland. It gets its name because it drains into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. If you want a backpacking adventure, this is a great place to go. It has some backcountry campsites that will offer an amazing experience.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 6/10:
Many people fly to get to their adventure spot. Make sure to bring some Spry Gum to help not only with air pressure changes, but to clean your teeth after having your soda and snack.
Acadia National Park
Primarily on Mount Desert Island in Maine, Acadia National Park spans across 47,000 acres. The highest point on America’s Atlantic Coast, Cadillac Mountain, is located in the park and makes up part of the varied environment, which consists of rocky beaches and forests. Jordan Pond, Schoodic Point, and Thunder Hole are popular attractions at the park. Among the common national park wildlife like bear and moose, you can also see whales in the park.
Little Hunters Beach – Located on the southeast side of the island, lays Little Hunter Beach, a secluded pebble beach located in a little cove. It isn’t a place for swimming, but is great if you want a little more privacy to investigate and take in the coastal beauty (the spot is a favorite for painters). One of the most interesting parts of Little Hunters Beach is the unique rounded stones covering the shore, which make interesting sounds when the water comes in and pulls the water over each other.
Asticou Azalea Garden – If you want a little bit of a different spot to visit while on your trip, consider the Asticou Azalea Garden. It isn’t actually park of the park, but it is close. The garden features interweaving paths you can wander while taking in amazing landscaping and fresh aromas. The perfect spot to stop, relax, and reflect.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 7/10:
Need a way to get rid of that ABC gum? You can use it as fish bait. Bubblegum for trout and catfish. Spearmint for crabs.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park lies in Washington state on its Olympic Peninsula. One of the most unique aspects of the park is the amount of different ecosystems found in the park. It has towering mountains with glaciers, to sprawling old forests and rainforests, to rocky coastline. In fact, the park houses one of the few temperate rainforests in the world. Some of the most popular spots in the park are Hoh Rainforest, Ruby Beach, Crescent Lake, and Hurricane Ridge.
Lake of the Angels – In the section of the park that is less frequented lies the beautiful Lake of the Angels located in the Valley of Heaven. Though the destination is breathtaking, be prepared for a highly difficult hike. It is reported that in some parts the trail is nearly vertical and falling isn’t an option. So physical and mental toughness is crucial. But if you’re up for the challenge, this is a hike for the ages.
Deer Park – If you want to visit a less-known spot closer to the more popular side of the park, check out Deer Park. This campground is high up in the mountains and offers amazing views along with access to top-notch trails.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 8/10:
Is there anything that can replace brushing at least for a night or two? Whether you forgot your supplies, or just don’t have room or time, you can use Spry Gumto replace tooth brushing every so often.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park lies in northwestern Wyoming, being made up of the Teton Mountain Range and Jackson Hole. The Grand Teton peak is one of the most recognizable mountains in the U.S. The park is a popular spot for fisherman, hikers, backpackers, and climbers. The park is home to a lot of different animals, including the fastest land mammal in the western hemisphere, the pronghorn. Grand Teton National Park is only 10 miles away from Yellowstone National Park, making the area a solid place to visit.
Leigh Lake Beach – You read that right, there is a “beach” in the park, though it can be hard to find. But that only makes it the perfect spot for you to go for a nice, secluded adventure. To find the beach, take the path towards String Lake from the Leigh Lake Trailhead parking lot. Go North until you reach the Bearpaw Lake Trail. Take the trail to continue around String Lake and continue for approximately 2 miles. Seasoned hikers can continue another half-mile around the lake for a sandy beach.
Avalanche Canyon – The name may scare some people away from this glorious gorge, but it is an amazing experience. A former park ranger detailed out about a secret hike, but he heavily suggested that hikers not travel it alone. The hike starts as a thin offshoot of Taggart Lake Trail. Stay on the north side of the canyon and soon you’ll have some awesome views of a large waterfall and Lake Taminah.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 9/10:
Diet: Limit gummy, sticky, or sugary foods. If you do have some treats, definitely have some Spry Gems afterwards to get everything under control. Your teeth will be much happier.
Grand Teton National Park
Known as the “Crown of the Continent” Glacier National Park ends our National Park Tour in spectacular fashion. Glacier lies in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, spreading northward all the way to the border. In fact, the park is part of the world’s first International Peace Park. Not wanting the land to be divided, representatives from America’s Glacier National Park and Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park agreed to join ranks to preserve the wilderness. Glacier is known for its amazing vistas and of course mountain goats. But there is an array of animal species which hasn’t changed much since Lewis and Clark times. The Park’s “Going to the Sun” road is a modern marvel and is one of the many attractions people love at the park.
Boat Tour at Rising Sun – Glacier National Park is known for its many boat tours, but the one at Rising Sun is less frequented. It offers some amazing views and experiences which you’ll definitely treasure. This tour is different from the others because the part of the park where its at is distinct form anything else.
Kintla Lake – There are so many lakes at Glacier, but this one is off the beaten path and supremely beautiful. You can get there with a vehicle but the road there is a bit rough, so make sure you have the proper SUV for the trip.
Oral Care Tip for Adventuring and Travel 10/10:
Make sure you have mints on hand. They are a great way to get rid of that bad breath that is so common when traveling or adventuring. Mint containers like Spry Gemsare also perfect for storing extra matches.
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