Visiting the Parks

Mammoth Cave Offering Free Tour on August 25

If your schedule allows you to be in the vicinity of Mammoth Cave National Park on August 25th, you'll be able to go on one of the cave tour's for free in celebration of the 91st birthday of the National Park Service.

How Much is that Campsite--Update

As a follow-up to my post a month ago about Yosemite campsites winding up on Ebay, I've discovered that the folks in Sequoia don't allow the sale or transfer of backcountry permits.

Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail Ready for Hikers

Here's a sign things are getting back to normal at Mount Rainier: Repairs to the Wonderland Trail have made it possible for hikers to take to the 93-mile-long Wonderland Trail that wraps Rainier.

Hidden Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore

Entrance to the Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore
Hidden out of public view, behind the heads of Mount Rushmore is a room called the Hall of Records. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, envisioned a room to store America's most important documents. Time and money ran out before it could be completed, but part of his vision remains. Read on for more details and photos of the room.

Friends of Dick Proenneke

One of the more popular posts on the original National Parks Traveler was about Dick Proenneke, a modern-day mountain man if ever there was one who headed off to Alaska in 1967 to live in the wilderness. I often learned that folks discovered the Traveler site by Googling for Dick. Well, now there's a Yahoo! Groups page dedicated to him.

The Essential Bryce Canyon

Surrounded by southern Utah’s rugged wilderness, I’m confronted by, of all things, butterscotch. In a landscape of warm kaleidoscopic colors that change with the swinging of the sun, butterscotch currently is the color of the limestone ramparts that brought fame to Bryce Canyon National Park. And, I find as I plant my nose against the rough and rumpled bark of a 100-foot-tall Ponderosa pine, butterscotch is the unmistakable scent wafting from the tree.

Mammoth Cave Testing New Route to "Snowball Room"

In a bid to make the "Snowball Room" more accessible to park visitors, Mammoth Cave officials are testing a new route to the room located 267 feet underground. Instead of having to endure a 4-mile walk via the Grand Avenue Tour, this route involves a mile-long walk along mostly level ground.

Glacier's Shuttle System Rolling Along the Sun Road

Folks heading to Glacier can now let someone else do the driving once they reach the park. The park's Going-to-the-Sun shuttle system is now up and running and can drop you at a number of campgrounds and trailheads along the Sun Road.

West Yellowstone: A Gateway Town Worth Hanging Around

Of Yellowstone's five gateway towns, West Yellowstone is my favorite. It's the closest to the park, as Yellowstone's West Entrance is at the end of Yellowstone Avenue, and it has this wonderfully funky vibe flowing through it.

Sandy Hook: A Good Place to Escape Manhattan's Heat

Peel through the controversy surrounding the Sandy Hook area of Gateway National Recreation Area and you'll find a seaside setting perfect for fleeing Gotham's high summer heat and humidity.

Olympic Backcountry Still Buried in Snow

Planning a backcountry visit to Olympic National Park any time soon? If so, you might want to be sure to pack crampons and an ice axe, as last winter's heavy snowfall has left a good bit of the high country still buried this far into the summer.

National Geographic Rates the Best Parks

Horses at Theodore Rooselevel National Park; NPS Photo
National Geographic's Adventure Magazine has created a list of the 5 best parks in 7 different categories; hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, trekking, driving, climbing and lodges. Did they get it right?

Product Testing in West Yellowstone

Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park; NPS Photo
You'll have to excuse the somewhat reduced rate of posts for the next few days. Not only is it a holiday weekend, of sorts, but I'm off product testing in Yellowstone.

The Essential Grand Teton

The Tetons are the focal point of their namesake park.
Grand Teton National Park holds up western Wyoming's border, soaring to nearly 14,000 feet. While the young crags with their snowfields hold your eye, there's much more to do in this park than grab a rope and ice axe and climb to the roof.

Great Smoky Trails Reopened

It took nearly a month, but all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that were closed by the Buck Shank fire have been reopened.

Off The Well-Worn Path: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Rasberry Island Light House, NPS Photo
Still wondering where to head for your summer vacation? Well, if you live in or anywhere near the Midwest, there's a gorgeous national lakeshore with a nice chain of islands to explore, called the Apostle Islands.

The Essential Yellowstone

The Essential Glacier

Grand Teton's Snake River

The Essential Acadia

The Essential Arches

Colter Bay Cabins: Nice, But Hot

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