Leap Day in the National Parks | NBC Bay Area
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Leap Day in the National Parks

Find an offbeat experience to spend the calendar's complimentary day.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    National Park Foundation
    The famous "sailing" stones of Death Valley National Park might make for a perfectly quirky sight for a quirky day.

    WHEN DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS, in the autumn, many people say they appreciate that "extra" hour, and they make big plans for it, from seeing a friend or eating at a special restaurant or grabbing 60 extra minutes of shuteye. It's a positive way to look at time, or at least our human-made construct of time, and it is an outlook that could be extended to Leap Day. Figure that this special and slightly surreal date only comes along every four years, but bingo: You've got a whole day to work with, where last year the same day did not exist (nor will it next year). So what to do with that 24-hour stretch? Will you fill it with the usual stuff, or, in the spirit of the Daylight Saving Sunday in November, will you try and make it rather special? The National Park Foundation has fab ideas for you in this realm, which its calling "7 Unexpected Ways To Enjoy Leap Day." Naturally the notions from the NPF are fully built around our glorious parks, with a pair of the picks landing within the Golden State. Those Leap Day outing recommendations include...

    THE SEQUOIAS AND DEATH VALLEY, which, truly, are two pretty surreal, to return to that term once again, national parks. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park gets its offbeat blue ribbon for serving as the historic home to some of the largest living things on earth -- holler for the big trees -- and Death Valley National Park is a noted destination for all sorts of "is that real?" stuff, like the Badlands and the famous Racetrack, a vast and stunning playa that is home to the "sailing stones." Regardless of how you spend your Leap Day, remember that quirky destinations, those wondrous places that shake us out of our day-to-day routine, exist all year long, and not just on Feb. 29, whenever Feb. 29 pops up again. But pairing an unlikely day with some unusual sights feels as right as time and as cool as a calendar year that boasts an extra 24 hours.