Celebrate the National Park Service’s 103rd birthday at these parks

Cheers to more than 100 years! Every year on August 25, the National Park Service celebrates its birthday with free admission to more than 400 areas including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historical parks, seashores, recreation areas, trails, and more. 

Although national parks have top-notch campgrounds, camping isn’t for everyone. More travelers are choosing to stay in vacation homes as alternative accommodations near national parks. In fact, demand for vacation rentals near parks like Mount Rainier National Park and Shenandoah National Park has gone up 63% and 42% year-over-year respectively. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or rafting, you can relax cuddled on the couch with the whole family after a long day outdoors. 

In honor of the establishment of the National Parks Service, Vrbo curated a roundup of properties near some of America’s most beautiful parks. 

Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado

Are the mountains calling? Rocky Mountains National Park has over 300 miles of hiking trails to lakes, waterfalls, and summits for all levels of hikers. When traveling to the park, it’s important to plan ahead by looking at the weather and researching your hike’s distance, altitude/elevation, and condition to ensure a safe hike. Parking is limited and trails get busy, so arrive early to get a head start. 

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the area has increased by 24% year-over-year. This home in Estes Park is just two miles from the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and features a private playground for the kids. 

Rent this kid-friendly ranch-style home! 

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is named for its beautiful red-rock arch formations. The contrast of rock with the blue sky is perfect for capturing the perfect picture to remember your trip. Activities include auto touring, backpacking, biking, and rock climbing. It’s a great destination for an adventurous family or group of friends, and some of the greatest sights don’t even require getting out of the car! 

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the area has increased 14% year-over-year. Stay in this creekside cottage that offers all of the comforts of home, with natural light from the Utah sunshine throughout. 

Rent this creekside cottage! 

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Escape to the California desert at Joshua Tree National Park where you can find the Joshua Tree and an abundance of other unique botanicals. One of the most popular park attractions is Skull Rock, a boulder with two hollowed-out eye sockets eroded over the years to resemble a skull. 

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the area has increased 25% year-over-year. This home overlooks Joshua Tree Village and has 360-degree mountain views.

Rent this picturesque home! 

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier — an active volcano towering 14,410 feet above sea level — is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous 48 states, with 25 major glaciers and even more snow and ice patches covering 35 square miles of the mountain. The park maintains 360 miles of trails for day hiking. 

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the area has increased 63% year-over-year. Stay in this charming cabin with a private hot tub and fire pit in the backyard. 

Rent this pet-friendly cabin!

Shenandoah National Park - Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is one of the best spots in the US for leaf-peeping in the fall, but the valley views are available year-round. If you’re traveling with family, consider Stony Man Mountain, one of the park’s iconic peaks that’s great for beginners. For the more experienced hikers, take the 9-mile trek up Old Rag Mountain. It’s recommended to plan about 7–8 hours for this hike and also pack lots of water and snacks! 

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the area has increased 42% year-over-year. Plan a trip with the whole family in this vacation home that sleeps up to 14 guests. The home is centrally located to many family-friendly activities like go-karts, ziplines, and mini golf and is 20 minutes from Shenandoah National Park. 

Stay in this 5-bedroom home!