Our National Parks have allowed generations to discover history, nature, and wildlife in irreplaceable ways. From the highest peaks of Denali to the lowest dips of the Grand Canyon, families around our country enjoy the splendor of the outdoors. Throughout National Park Week, as we celebrate the ways in which our treasured outdoor spaces enrich our lives and uplift our spirits, the National Park Service will again offer free admission to America's National Parks so more people can explore our country's vast natural beauty.
Parks in the News
Portsmouth Village, one of the oldest seafaring villages on the East Coast, will be the backdrop for the annual Portsmouth Homecoming at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina.
A live performance, a chance for kids to reshape the landscape, and a new exhibit highlight National Park Week at Chamizal National Memorial, which was established 50 years ago to celebrate the culture and history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in El Paso, Texas.
One of the most gorgeous approaches to Yellowstone National Park is from the east, through the Sunlight Basin northwest of Cody, Wyoming. The road descends in a series of switchbacks down the Absaroka Range and onto the forested valley floors. And if you're heading to the park in mid-May, you just might want to spend a little time in Cody, Wyoming, to take in the fourth annual Spring Into Yellowstone festival before you head into the basin.
Four fatalities, 18 medical transports, and 66 patients in less than two years has Lake Mead National Recreation Area proposing to close the Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails from May 15 to Sept. 30 annually.
The Current and Jacks Fork rivers in Missouri will flow more freely after Ozark National Scenic Riverways hosts a cleanup event April 22-23. Volunteers will tackle litter in the river and along the roads, trails, and riverbanks of the park by boat, kayak, canoe, and foot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A fire possibly sparked by campers at the Long Pine Key Campground in Everglades National Park had spread across nearly 4,000 acres, though crews reported that it was 40 percent contained.
Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite National Park, its image is recognized worldwide. It’s even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From late-May to early-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile round-trip day hike. The main challenge is the nearly one mile vertical climb from the valley. Then there’s the final 425 feet, aided by a 45-degree inclined cable banister.
Spring is just around the corner, but Olympic National Park is still dealing with damage from one of the wettest, stormiest winters on record, leaving roads inaccessible and keeping some campgrounds closed for the summer.
The seemingly never-ending battle against bark beetles in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado will continue this spring and summer as crews spray an insecticide on stands of trees thought to be at risk from the beetles.