Spring in Yosemite National Park following a wet winter is spectacular. Waterfalls roaring, thundering, pouring over granite cliffs, cascading down boulder-strewn canyons. Rainbows in waterfalls. Merced River at flood stage. Lush green meadows. Trees bursting with new spring growth. Lovely white blossoms on graceful branches of dogwood trees reaching out over the Merced River. Snow-capped peaks in the backcountry.
Exploring the Parks
The rich cobalt blue waters of Crater Lake are the centerpiece for this national park in southern Oregon. Its geologic birth has left an enormous volcanic caldera, in which the lake rests today. The story of the lake’s birth is as fascinating and striking as the park itself.
Despite a few lingering snow squalls, spring has settled over the National Park System, and summer isn't too far off. Road trips, hikes, and exploring the parks are on your to-do list. To help you out with that, turn to our Essential Park Guide Summer 2016.
Matt Holly is a lifelong parks and maps enthusiast. He put his interests together and created the website National Park Maps, which now has more than 1,000 free maps.
Our only previous visit to Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska occurred nearly four decades ago while headed east to Indiana from Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. Driving on U.S. 36 that spans northern Kansas, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a short detour north into southern Nebraska and visit Homestead National Monument, a NPS area that would be a new park unit for us.
Enos Mills learned at a young age how beneficial the outdoors could be. The “father of Rocky Mountain National Park” was just 15 years old in 1885 when he made his first climb to the top of Longs Peak in what later would become the national park.
There is a place in Death Valley National Park, far, far off the beaten path, where strange things occur. Strange things such as rocks effortlessly coasting across the landscape. Let's take a look at this odd place in a short video.
National parks are phenomenal vacation destinations and a great place to bring your home on wheels. But when you do, some challenges are inevitable. Navigating a park’s curvy interior roads can be tricky, and campsites are astonishingly narrow for modern RVs. In Southern California, two neighboring parks perfectly illustrate the range of accommodations for RVers: Death Valley and Joshua Tree. One is more RV-friendly than the other, but both offer an unforgettable camping experience.
Every year millions of people visit America’s emotional and political center, the District of Columbia. It’s here that the relics of liberty are housed, along with the center of government. A walking tour of the National Mall and Memorial Parks must be on your list when you’re visiting.