Discriminating Explorer

Discriminating Explorer: Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park's Elegant Lady, Renovated And Invigorated

When Robert Reamer approached the task of remodeling a simple lodge in the still fledgling Yellowstone National Park, he had a backdrop of a sweeping lake rimmed by mountains that remained jacketed in snow well into summer. And yet, to draw Eastern society out to this wilderness, he realized he would need more to lure them than a stunningly beautiful setting.

Estes Park, A Great Base Camp For A Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation

Your ascent to Estes Park, the front door to Rocky Mountain National Park, is anything but smooth. Climbing up through Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland, Colorado, you twist and turn and rise and fall with the road as it crawls through the canyon...and marvel at the cyclists pedaling those beastly 34 miles.

Discriminating Explorer: Enjoy Western National Parks With Tips From National Park Friends Groups

August is on the run, but that doesn't mean the time to get the most out of your favorite national park in the western part of the country has passed by. Take the following tips from friends groups in Big Bend, Glacier, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone national parks to heart and you'll create years of memories.

Discriminating Explorer: Friends Groups Sample The Secrets Of The East’s Best National Parks

Cataloochee Valley Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.

Fort Monroe: A New National Monument Has A Rich Past And A Potentially Complex Future

jet over Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe, Virginia, our newest national monument—is the largest stone and masonry fort in the United States. But this site embodies much more than just a look back at coastal fortifications. Fort Monroe's pivotal military and even cultural significance reaches back centuries before the United States and forward as recently as last year.

Parks Beyond Borders / Video Feature: Riding the Rails to Canada's Banff And Jasper National Parks

Jasper Park View
There are great national park train trips all over the world—and one of the best is riding the rails to Canada’s Banff and Jasper National Parks. Swaying through the Canadian Rockies is as good as it gets—and on the Rocky Mountaineer, the setting, service, and food are first-class. Lesser cost options make these parks a not-to-be-missed world-class experience.

Discriminating Explorer: Memorial Day Meander—The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail In North Carolina And Tennessee

Yellow Mountain Road NC Historical Marker
The 330-mile Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail—Eastern America’s first NHT—isn't just a motor trip. On this Memorial Day meander in Western NC and East TN, you can hike the actual colonial roads that felt the tread of patriot militia. Or plan for fall, during the anniversary of the October 7, 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain.

Discriminating Explorer: Two Incredible National Parks, One Great Town

Sunlight so bright it stains the rocks? It certainly seems so in the red-rock country of southeastern Utah, where Arches and Canyonlands national parks dazzle with both their scenery and their adventures.

Discriminating Explorer: Appalachian Spring

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Discriminating Explorer: Visiting Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve By Mothership

As our kayaks bobbed on the currents of Fingers Bay, a multi-fingered bight in Glacier Bay, we listened quietly for the tell-tale whoosh of the humpback spouting. We had seen it earlier as we neared the mouth of the smaller bay, and watched as the whale circled the bay, its wispy froth marking its progress.

Discriminating Explorer: Dining Your Way Across Glacier Bay National Park And Preserve

Shiny silver on the outside, the cauldron's contents were a delicious contrast of bright orange. With carapaces large as dinner plates and legs and claws folded to their sides, the Dungeness crabs were freshly steamed and stacked high. Dinner on the Sea Wolf was served.
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