National Parks Traveler
- Week of: Sep 13 2015 | Standing Ready At Grant Grove... | Photographer: National Park Service
- Week of: Sep 13 2015 | Hillsides And Hollows Of Color | Photographer: Harold Jerrell
- Week of: Sep 8 2015 | Clouds Over Badlands National Park | Photographer: Cathy Bell, NPS
- Week of: Aug 16 2015 | Burning Off The Morning Fog | Photographer: National Park Service
- Week of: Aug 14 2015 | Starry, Starry Night... | Photographer: National Park Service
- Week of: Aug 1 2015 | High, Wide, And Handsome At Gates Of Arctic... | Photographer: Penny Knuckles
- Week of: Jul 27 2015 | As Far As The Eye Can See... | Photographer: Kurt Repanshek
- Week of: Jul 7 2015 | Sinking Into An Olympic Sunset... | Photographer: Shawn Sheltren, NPS
- Week of: Jul 2 2015 | Darkness Over Badlands National Park... | Photographer: National Park Service
- Week of: Jun 28 2015 | Hurry Sundown...At Canyonlands | Photographer: Andrew Kuhn, National Park Service
The motorboat pulls away and disappears across Ross Lake, leaving us in a silence as expansive as the wilderness surrounding us. We shoulder our backpacks and hike up the Big Beaver Trail through a forest drunk on photosynthesis. Ancient cedar and Douglas fir trees rise taller than it seems our necks can tilt backward to view them. We pass red cedars as thick as 15 feet at their base—trees that germinated a millennium ago, around the time that Leif Ericson sailed the East Coast of North America. True to the trail’s name, we pass sprawling beaver ponds.
Visitors come to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for many reasons. They want to hike the more than 70 miles of the rugged Appalachian Trail that meander through the park, to camp in its dense forests, to cool off in one of its many streams, or to take a leisurely drive along the scenic Newfound Gap Road that crosses the heart of the park to connect Tennessee with North Carolina. Regardless of the reason, they come—in droves. Every year, 8-10 million people travel to the Smokies, making it the most-visited national park in the country.
Imagine: An open road, the top rolled back, the windows down, pastoral views drifting by, with your favorite tunes streaming from your stereo. Once the Greatest Generation refocused on home life after World War II, they were able to, “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” Highways and byways meant relaxation, recreation, all with a backdrop of roadside nostalgia.
Fall in the Rocky Mountain parks isn’t quite as colorful as the season is back East, as they lack the endless acres of hardwood forests. But the high peaks, sometimes dusted in snow, make up for that. Watch the aspens, larch, scrub oak and maples paint the landscape with masterful strokes.
As wondrous and mesmerizing as slot canyons in southern Utah and northern Arizona can be, they can be even more deadly, as last week's tragedy at Zion National Park underscores.
Imagine a place in Southern California without freeways; a place without strip malls, smog, and millions of people. Imagine an ocean where the golden fish, the Garibaldi, is prolific with hundreds of other species in an underwater forest of kelp beneath wave-battered sea caves. Imagine a place that is still California as it once was, a century ago, with adobe ranch houses, sweeping vistas of cliffs and beach, mountains and valleys, grasslands and cypress groves, and unbelievable quiet.
Thinking of heading to Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona in October and wondering what there is to do? Here's a comprehensive schedule of events from the park staff for your consideration.
Eight individuals from across the country have won a week-long adventure, thanks to the National Park Foundation and support from partners REI, Subaru, Aramark, Columbia Sportswear, Southwest , and the National Park Service.
It takes a while to reach Channel Islands National Park off the coast of California, so once you get there plan to spend a few days at least. The following video shows some of the landscapes, above and below water level, that you can explore at Santa Cruz Island.
The wonders of flint will be the main attraction this weekend at Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument in Texas, as FlintFest 2015 is held to celebrate flint and mark the monument's 50th anniversary.
If you're cruising down the Natchez Trace Parkway this weekend, stop by the visitor center near Tupelo, Mississippi, to take in Dulcimer Days.
In 1864 a bucolic meadow turned into a roiling, bloody battlefield for nearly a full day as 20,000 Union troops attacked thousands of Confederate soldiers determined to hold their lines.