Around the Park System: Family Camping in Kings Canyon, Road Update from Mount Rainier, Science in Glacier

A family camping program is being offered next month at Kings Canyon National Park. Grant Grove photo by NPS.

With the summer season well under way, there's lots going on in the National Park System. At Kings Canyon National Park there are two family camping weekends coming up, at Mount Rainer National Park the Stevens Pass Road is about to reopen, and at Glacier National Park there are some great science programs for visitors to enjoy.

Kings Canyon National Park

Have you ever slept in a tent? Or toasted marshmallows under the California night sky surrounded by ancient sequoia trees? Have you wanted to do these things, but lacked the knowledge or the equipment to try it on your own?

Now is your opportunity to learn how to camp in a national park! Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are offering two how-to-camp weekends for families next month. The park staff will provide tents, sleeping bags, camping equipment, all food, and instruction for families who are interested in learning these skills.

The program, Camping Adventure with My Parents, will be offered twice: Saturday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 23rd; and Saturday, August 29th to Sunday, August 30th. Both will take place in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park.

For more information, and to register for the program, please go to www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit. At that site, you can download registration forms. Completed registration forms must be received by Friday, August 7, 2009.

Forms can be faxed to 559-565-4391; e-mailed to , or mailed to Valerie Pillsbury, Kings Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 926, Kings Canyon NP, CA 93633.

Limited space is available. Participants will be notified by phone of their acceptance. For more information, please call Valerie Pillsbury at 559-565-4301.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier Acting Superintendent Randy King says the final inspection for the flood damage repair of the Stevens Canyon Road at milepost 14.1 is scheduled for Thursday, July 30. The park expects the road will be ready to reopen to the public by 5:00 p.m. on that date.

This section of the Stevens Canyon Road (east of Backbone Ridge Viewpoint) was damaged during a January 2009 storm and has been closed to through traffic all season. Park visitors could access the road up to the Grove of the Patriarchs from the east and to Box Canyon from the west during the repairs. Visitors wanting access to Paradise from the east were required to use the Skate Creek Road/Forest Service Road 52 at Packwood, or State Routes 12 and 7 through Morton during this time.

Glacier National Park

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park officials are extending an invitation to park visitors to attend the Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day on Thursday, August 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., at the Lake McDonald Lodge Auditorium in Glacier National Park. The event is free of charge.

The day’s presentations are divided into four thematic groups: vegetation; social and cultural research; aquatic resources; and wildlife. Within these categories, a wide variety of topics will be covered, including: Geo-travelers in the Crown of the Continent, The Roosevelt Visit to Glacier National Park in 1934, Keeping Track of Fish Communities in the Waterton Lake, Grizzly Bears: Roads, Conflict and the International Peace Park, and The Northern Hawk Owl in Glacier National Park.

The first two thematic groups will be held in the morning with the second two groups held in the afternoon. There will be a lunch break from noon until 1:15 p.m. Refreshments will be available during breaks, courtesy of the Glacier National Park Fund and Glacier Association.

More than 100 people attended each of the previous forums. The event alternates between Glacier and Waterton Lakes national parks.

Office of Public Instruction (OPI) renewal units will be available for U.S. teachers who attend this conference. Contact Laura Law, Glacier’s Education Specialist, at 406-888-5837 for more information.

A detailed agenda is available at visitor centers in Glacier. It is also available online at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/ccrlc.htm. For more information, call the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at 406-888-5827.