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.
Exploring the Parks
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.
Even in its death throes, the super bloom that swept across Death Valley National Park was extraordinary.
Ready for crystal-clear water, white sandy beaches, and vibrantly colored tropical fish? How about a dose of history, complete with prison cells, an historic fort, and stories from one of our most iconic writers? Maybe you’d like to snorkel a coral reef or see hundreds of species of birds all in one place. Well, then, it’s probably time for a day trip out to Dry Tortugas National Park on the Yankee Freedom III.
Up in the northwest corner of Yellowstone in the middle of the valley of the Lamar River lies a place known as the Buffalo Ranch. It’s the place where most of a few remaining bison in the world were saved from extinction. It’s also the place where wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone in 1995.