Stories We Particularly Liked From Around the National Park System In 2013

With more than 1,300 stories posted on the Traveler during the past 12 months, there are a few that we particularly liked, either because of the prose, the subject matter, or the particular window on the parks they opened. Here's a look at some of our favorites.

Secret Sleeps: Tips For Snagging A National Park Campsite This Summer

There is nothing as traditional as camping out in the national parks for summer vacation. Reserving a campsite on www.recreation.gov can lock in a site long before you hit the road, but sometimes you just don’t get around to doing that. So what to do?

Read the rest of the story by Kurt Repanshek and Randy Johnson

Fossilized Remains Of New Dinosaur Species Unearthed At Big Bend National Park

For many, Big Bend National Park would not be the first place you would associate with fossilized dinosaur remains. However, the park located in south Texas continues to surprise researchers with the fossils that turn up.

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Biscayne, The Closest National Park To Miami, Remains A Mystery

Miami’s number one boating destination has an identity crisis. While it has won over Washington, D.C., politicians, residents look right past it.

Read the rest of the story by Jim W. Harper

Cape Cod National Seashore Rebuilding Facilities With Climate Change In Mind

Hurricane Sandy and the Blizzard of '13 are history, but in their wake National Park Service managers are rebuilding with an eye on more of the same potent storms in the years ahead. At Cape Cod National Seashore, that also means keeping sea level rise in mind.

Read the rest of the story by Kurt Repanshek

America’s Premier Hut System is 125 Years Old—A Classic Appalachian Trail Adventure

When Europeans go “backpacking,” many ditch the gear and stay in the rustic, ubiquitous—and full service—mountain hostels called “huts.”

Read the rest of the story by Randy Johnson

Learning About Whales Getting A Little Easier At Olympic National Park

Knowing where to look for whales, and how to identify the whales you see, is getting easier at Olympic National Park thanks to The Whale Trail, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the park staff.

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Parks Beyond Borders: Are African Forest Elephants On A Path To Extinction?

If you were to ask Americans to compile a short list of wildlife most associated with Africa, it's a pretty safe bet that elephants would be included. Unfortunately, it has gotten a lot harder lately to find as many of the iconic animals in central Africa, and a just-released study has confirmed a "devastating decline" in the population of forest elephants.

Read the rest of the story by Jim Burnett

Walking Le Chemin De St. Jacques In France

Le Chemin de St.Jacques in France, also the Grand Route 65, is a pilgrimage and hike, a segment of the El Camino de Santiago. You walk through forests and villages and past farms. A three-part series.

Read the rest of the story by Danny Bernstein

Windows On Nature: The Ten Best National Park Webcam Sites In America

Webcams provide us with windows on the world. They allow armchair travelers to follow activity outside a Dublin pub, monitor traffic on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, and check on what’s happening at the International Space Station. Webcams also provide windows on nature, some of the best of which comes by way of cameras stationed in our national parks.

Read the rest of the story by David and Kay Scott

Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

Experiencing the natural world, and specifically national parks, seems richer when you have kids who can share the experience with you. But how do you raise outdoors-loving youngsters?

Read the rest of the story by Michael Lanza

Himalayan Shangri-La: The Annapurna Circuit, Experience An Ancient Culture On This Classic Nepal Trek

The old school bus rumbles to life with a painful metallic grinding and we roll forward, our chariot rocking side to side down a rutted, muddy street of a small crossroads town called Dumre in central Nepal. Angling down a hillside, the bus lists heavily to starboard and moves too slowly to escape its own cloud of choking exhaust, which drifts in through the open windows.

Read the rest of the story by Michael Lanza

Glamping Far And Away In Yellowstone National Park

If you have ever stood on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and looked way across the water to the southeast, into that area of the park where few visitors go, and wished to experience life in the backcountry without hiking with a heavy backpack, go glamping!

Read the rest of the story by Deby Dixon

One Day In Yosemite National Park

If you only had one day in Yosemite National Park, what would you do, what would you want to see? While many head to the park's namesake valley for a one-day visit, there's so much more to see in this sprawling Sierra wonderland. To prove that point, 30 filmmakers gathered in Yosemite on June 26, 2012, and spread out across the park's landscape to capture its essence, as they saw it.

Watch the video produced by Steven M. Bumgardner

Upgraded Web Catalog Offers On-line Peeks Into National Park Service's Extensive Museum Collections

Museum collections in National Park Service sites across the country include an amazing variety and mind-boggling number of items. Thanks to an expanding Web Catalog on the NPS Museum Collections website, it's now possible to search for and view thousands of images and records from those collections.

Read the rest of the story by Jim Burnett

World's Largest Natural Sound Library Now Available On-line ... And It's Free

National parks are great spots to enjoy observing wildlife, but one of the challenges for many visitors is the question: "What bird (or animal) is that?" Now there's a source of help in wildlife identification for both experts and amateurs: The "world’s largest natural sound archive" has gone digital, and it's available on-line ... and free of charge.

Read the rest of the story by Jim Burnett