Exploring the Parks
There are a lot of whitewater runs in the National Park System just waiting for you out there. Some for experts, others intermediates, and a few that will help a novice gain confidence.
If you’re trying to find your way off of the Los Angeles freeways, away from the urban crowds, just offshore is an island wilderness waiting for you. Channel Islands National Park is close, wild, and beautiful. These five islands, just 18 miles from Ventura, beckon to those with a need for quiet and solitude.
The view from atop the Grand Teton is incredible. To the west, the Jedediah Smith Wilderness stands. To the north, Yellowstone National Park. To the east, Jackson Hole, with the moraine that is Timbered Island so very well defined. If you haven't climbed to the top of the 13,770-foot peak in Grand Teton National Park yet, or can't, you can still enjoy the view.
A winter cross-country ski trip into the Towers and Lamar areas of Yellowstone National Park is a spectacular way to see both wildlife and scenery.
I stopped at Zion on the way home from Death Valley. At first it seemed to be almost as busy as it is on a summer day. What little did I know then.
A window into the last Ice Age in the present-day desert outside of Las Vegas brings a missing link into the National Park System along with a small, but enticing, possibility that fossilized human remains are buried next to those of ancient bison, camels, and even lions.
Tortured. Tormented. Twisted. Schizophrenic. That’s Death Valley’s geology and geomorphic history. A tangled stratigraphy that doesn’t have sensible stratifications.
Winter isn’t the best season to be outdoors in the East, but what better season to truly appreciate what the Colonials endured 240 years ago?
Grand Teton National Park in winter is a wonderland...if you like cold, snow, and blue skies!
The 1950s and 1960s were a period of strife coupled with significant progress in America’s struggle with civil rights. Marches, sit-ins, and violence were accompanied by legislation, desegregation, and, in some instances, accommodation. Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Greensboro, and Washington, D.C. are remembered as some of the principal battlegrounds in the conflict and struggle for equal rights.
Among individuals associated with the Cherokee and their forced journey to a land they didn’t consider home, none was more influential than Sequoyah, the Cherokee who gave his people a system for recording and reading their language.
Though only about 4 minutes long, this video took Will and Jim Pattiz a month to film. They chose Olympic National Park because of it’s incredibly rich diversity - glacial mountain peaks, lush rain forests, alpine meadows, high-altitude lakes, wild rivers, wilderness coast, and teeming wildlife were all the excuse they needed.
Archaeologists for years have puzzled over the scale and range of prehistoric activities that created the remarkable flint quarry sites at Alibates, Texas. No doubt some Native Americans, in search of flint, merely picked up exposed chunks or cobbles lying on the ground. Others chiseled boulders directly from the bedrock.
The Missouri River, often referred to as the “Big Muddy” due to the large amount of sediment it carries, once served as the country’s major thoroughfare to the West, first by trappers and traders, and later by Lewis & Clark as the Corps of Discovery searched for a water route to a western ocean. Today it offers an incredible waterscape for paddlers in search of beauty.
There are 3,381 miles that separate my quaint and humid Baton Rouge neighborhood from the front door of Mount McKinley in Alaska's Interior. I have no doubt you can envision the stark contrast between the two, but let me give you a first-hand perspective.
When planning a national park camping trip, many RVing newbies are surprised to learn that a stay in these public campgrounds is quite different from the usual RV park experience. From 1950s-era campgrounds with short parking aprons that are unsuitable for modern RVs, to strict generator use hours, the learning curve can be steep for inexperienced RVers. If you're a new RV traveler and considering a national park campground visit, here are five simple ways to have a great RV camping experience.
The two of us recently returned to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for the first time in many years. It was a good time to visit northern Wisconsin, in light of the oppressive early September temperatures and humidity of south Georgia. The trip turned out to be quite an adventure beginning at 2:30 a.m. on the morning of departure when we received a call from Delta that our flight had been cancelled.
Exploring miles of boardwalk and a dense canopy of old growth hardwood trees might be what many visitors remember about Congaree National Park. But about ten times a year the waters from the Conagree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain wilderness, opening up a whole new surreal world for paddlers and an opportunity to discover the forest from a unique perspective. Kayak through the woods and experience this special place through the eyes of local veterans Eric Guzman and Edye Joyner.
Most of us arrive in a national park by car, truck, or perhaps train, and then spend our visit either walking or driving around, stopping at scenic overlooks, exploring history, or searching for wildlife. One mode of transportation not to be overlooked, though, is watercraft. Here are five incredible national park excursions by boat that are worthy of your consideration.
Once upon a time known as Deep Blue Lake, for obvious reasons, Crater Lake is the focal point of its namesake national park, but not the only highlight of a visit to this southern Oregon gem.
Never been to Denali National Park but have it on your bucket list? Rebecca Latson gives you photos and a story as to why you should make that bucket list item come true sooner rather than later.
Western rivers are the lifeblood of the landscape, threading through canyons and sweeping past the plains. The Green River is one such, born high in the Wind River Range of Wyoming and flowing steadily down to its confluence with the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park. In Dinosaur National Monument, the Green has cut through the Uinta Mountains, creating the Gates of Lodore.
North of Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, and a host of other national park units in California, you might say Lassen Volcanic National Park gets no respect. You might also say it's a jewel in the rough, one that doesn't draw crowds, instead allowing you to enjoy this incredible landscape in relative solitude. A measure of solitude, of course, when compared to the Yosemite Valley, the Giant Forest, even sections of Death Valley come the cooler winter months.
In the latest episode of a series they dub the Dalton Discoveries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service videographers take to the Dalton Highway in far north Alaska to explore the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In central New Jersey, just a short distance from New York City, the Continental Army hunkered down in a place called Jockey Hollow for a long, cold, harsh winter of monitoring the British troops across the Hudson River in New York City. Today you can get a feel for this setting -- though it's heavily urbanized these days -- with a visit to Morristown National Historical Park where General George Washington and 10,000-12,000 troops spent what's believed to be the coldest winter on record.
Many national parks preserve aspects of the past, and in the case of Fossil Butte National Monument, that past goes back 55 million years ago, a time when the landscape of western Wyoming was very different from the windswept plains we see today.
The Brooks Range is the northernmost portion of the Rocky Mountains, extending over 700 miles from the Bering Sea to the Canadian border. Steep, rocky slopes and glacier-carved valleys dominate this vast, rugged landscape along the east-to-west running Continental Divide. The Brooks Range is nearly entirely protected and open for all to enjoy.
Plant yourself -- leaning into the wind, of course -- on the open prairie near South Pass City, Wyoming, and you can quickly envision the setting that faced Conestoga-riding emigrants more than a century ago in their exodus to the West Coast. Endless miles of sagebrush, the Wind River Range looming ever-present to the north, a boundless sky dotted here and there with distant rainstorms.
"Chatham." That one word captures a rich and poignant chapter of American history spanning nearly 250 years.