What to Ask Before You Go
The following questions are designed to help you in planning your next trip to a public outdoor recreation area:
- Visitation - When is an area the most and least crowded? What programs are being offered at various times of the year and during the days you are planning to visit?
- Operating hours - Most parks are open year-round (except major holidays),
but some areas within each park may have special hours.
- Climate - What is the recommended clothing for the time of the year
you plan on visiting?
- Directions - Ask for directions to the park or other areas and to
specific points within the park.
- Transportation - Find out about parking at campsite visitor centers;
inquire if there are shuttle services available.
- Fees, costs, rates - Because public lands are managed by so many different
agencies, always find out if there is an entrance fee. If you plan on
using campgrounds or special services and concessions, call and find
out about any fees. Some of these areas require reservations several
months in advance.
- Facilities and opportunities - Many of the outdoor recreation areas
managed by federal and state agencies have amenities such as visitor
centers, trails, roads, special programs, lodging options, and activities
specific to that facility. Find out which of these amenities are available
and ask about accessibility for each. Remember to use specific language
in your questions if you want specific answers.
- Accessibility information - Most of the information is located at
the visitor center. Some parks and recreation areas have Web sites,
which provide a good place to start. We encourage you to call ahead
and inquire about specifics at each location you plan on visiting.
- Other information - Inquire about recommended activities, reservations, permits, special events programs, and adjacent visitor attractions.