Parks in the News

Search Continues for Missing Backpacker in Grand Canyon National Park

Search-and-rescue teams are continuing to comb the rugged backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park for a missing backpacker who ventured down into the canyon to find an unusually rich waterpocket.

Zion National Park's "Recycled" SAR Vehicle Saved Money and Can Help Save Lives

New SAR vehicle at Zion NP.
It's already seen service as an ambulance in three other locations around the West. Now this mechanical workhorse has been "recycled" once again, and it will provide a much-needed primary response vehicle for search and rescue missions in Zion National Park.

Gateway National Recreation Area Seeks Solutions to Weekend Traffic Snarls at Sandy Hook

The Sandy Hook Unit at Gateway National Recreation Area has seen major weekend traffic snarls this summer. Road construction just outside the park is partly to blame, and park and state officials are making some changes. They offer these tips for visitors.

To Make “Glory,” Hollywood Moved the Atlantic Ocean

Battle scenes from the movie “Glory” highlighted Fort Sumter National Monument’s recent commemoration of the 146th anniversary of the assault on Battery Wagner by the 54th Massachusetts, the Civil War’s most famous African American unit. The Atlantic Ocean was not where it was supposed to be, however, and that took a little explaining.

Interior Secretary Scales Back Snowmobile Use in Yellowstone National Park, Calls for More Public Comment

With a new administration in Washington the pendulum on snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park is swinging back towards fewer machines. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday directed the National Park Service to follow a course that could limit recreational snowmobile use in Yellowstone to 318 machines per day for each of the next two winters.

Update: Search Under Way For One Overdue Hiker at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park rangers were intensifying efforts Thursday to find a lone backpacker in a remote and rugged section of the park. While initially they thought as many as four backpackers were in the group, after interviewing friends and family of Bryce Gillies they now believe there is only one missing hiker.

What are the New Seven Wonders of Nature? The Polls Are Now Open

Earth from space.
"Top whatever" lists seem to be popular these days, and a group is conducting an ambitious world-wide poll to determine the "New Seven Wonders of Nature." Their 28 finalists were announced earlier this week, and a U.S. national park is on the list. Voting is now underway to pick the winners.

Civil War Battlefield Preservationists Looking For Your Help to Keep Wal-Mart At Bay

The latest skirmish over the fate of land viewed as hallowed ground dating to the Civil War comes next week in Virginia, where a public hearing is scheduled to debate a proposal by Wal-Mart to build a Supercenter on a portion of the Wilderness Battlefield.

Triple-Digit Temps, Cool, Swift Waters Led to Drownings at Sequoia National Park

Hot summer temperatures reaching into the triple digits and cool, swift-running waters conspired last weekend to claim the lives of two young girls who looked to the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park for momentary relief from the heat, according to park officials.

Catch Live Yellowstone National Park Webcasts, Live, Twice a Week

Twice a week for the next three weeks you'll be able to bring a live Yellowstone National Park ranger into your home.

California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year

Despite all the warnings passed out by Yellowstone National Park officials and rangers, from time to time visitors looking for that perfect photograph overlook the fact that the park's bison not only are wild, but can be highly temperamental. A California man discovered that in a most painful way Wednesday when looking for a close-up and the bison he was focusing on decided he wanted no part of a photo shoot.

New Concessionaire Chosen to Manage Lodging, Dining, and Retail at Bryce Canyon National Park

A shift in concessions management is coming at Bryce Canyon National Park, where the National Park Service has granted to Forever Resorts a 10-year contract for lodging, dining, and retail operations long held by Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

Denver Businessman Tabbed to Take Over As CEO of National Park Foundation

A Denver businessman has been chosen to take over as chief executive officer of the National Park Foundation, the congressionally chartered fund-raising arm for the National Park System.

Tinder-Dry Conditions Prompt "High" Fire Danger Warning in Grand Teton National Park

Building summer heat and declining moisture are combining to produce dangerous fire conditions in Grand Teton National Park and the adjacent Bridger-Teton National Forest. The potential for wildfires has been bumped up to "high" in those two preserves.

"River Runners for Wilderness" Lose Bid to See Motorized Rafts, Helicopters Banned from Colorado River Corridor in Grand Canyon

A coalition of river runners that believes muscles, not motors, should drive rafts down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park has been rebuffed in its bid to see the National Park Service agree with that belief.

Confirmation Hearing For Jon Jarvis As National Park Service Director Set for Next Week

For those keeping score at home, know that the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing next Tuesday to consider a number of Interior Department nominations, including that of Jon Jarvis as the next director of the National Park Service.

Know When to Say When – Stranded Visitor Rescued from Tiny Ledge at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite rescue
Rangers at Yosemite National Park have seen plenty of visitors in perilous situations, but apparently even they were shocked when they saw the dire situation of a man stranded on a tiny ledge.

Second Drowning In Two Days at Sequoia National Park Claims 14-Year-Old

For the second time in two days, in the same stretch of river, a young girl has drowned at Sequoia National Park.

Man Dies Within Sight of Longs Peak Summit In Rocky Mountain National Park

A Colorado man within sight of the summit of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park died Monday from a cardiac episode. It was not immediately known whether the 62-year-old from Durango, who was in the so-called "homestretch" area en route to the summit of the 14,259-foot peak, had summited.

Interior Secretary Moves to Block Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park

Taking a step the Bush administration refused to take, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has issued a temporary ban on uranium mining on roughly 1 million acres surround Grand Canyon National Park.

Historic Touring Coach Returns to Mount Rainier to Stay

Historic bus.
For twenty-five years in the 1900s, a Kenworth Touring Motor Coach transported visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. It made its last trip in 1962, but thanks to a generous donation, the historic vehicle is returning to the park to stay.

Eradicating Everglades Pythons Will be a Formidable Task

Federal officials are finally fast-tracking efforts to eradicate Burmese pythons from the Everglades. If this can be done, and that’s a very big if, it will take teamwork, technology, hard work, and good luck.

Take Care if You're Visiting Alaska National Parks, As Bears Aren't Being Bashful

Two recent bear incidents in national parks in Alaska should send a message to all visitors that they have to be particularly vigilant when traveling in bear country.

Are Our National Parks No Longer for the People?

Chesler Park, Canyonlands National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo.
Are national parks no longer for the people? Have environmental groups succeeded in legally creating roadblocks to prevent their enjoyment? An Ohio man believes so. But what do you think?

Cardboard Boats Sail and Sink for the Last Time at Gateway

Nine sank, one survived, and a good time was had by all. But alas, the 11th regatta was the last. Will walking on water be next?

Septuagenarian Kayaker Overshoots Takeout on Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, Spends Night On A Sandbar in the River

Wyoming's Snake River carves both lazy oxbows and braided channels with swift currents through Grand Teton National Park. It's a great float, but as a 71-year-old Indiana woman discovered the hard way, you have to make sure you hit your takeout point before the current pushes you downstream. She didn't and ended up spending a cool night on a sandbar in the river.

Big Bend National Park Helps Protect Night Skies. You Can, Too—Here's How!

Photos comparing old and new lighting at Panther Junctions.
NPS areas are becoming increasingly valuable as places where we can enjoy the night sky with minimal light pollution from civilization, and protecting the "dark" can also save money. A project in Big Bend National Park demonstrates what can be done, and shows what all of us can do, wherever we live.

Mount Terror Lives Up to Its Name at North Cascades National Park

Picket Range.
A recent mountaineering accident at North Cascades National Park left one climber seriously injured and a second one stranded on a remote, rugged peak. The location of the incident was certainly appropriate: Mount Terror.

Survey Results Label the French as the World’s Worst Tourists

An annual survey of hoteliers identifies the French as the world’s worst tourists and the Japanese as the best. Brits and Germans are deemed polite, and Canadians don't complain. Does this match your own perception of international tourists in our national parks?

Heat Exhaustion May Have Helped Save a Hiker's Life at Grand Canyon National Park

View from the Grand View Trail.
Heat exhaustion is a recurring and serious problem at Grand Canyon National Park. In a bizarre twist, a recent case at the park had a rare and unexpected spin-off—it may have helped save a hiker's life.
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