Arches National Park in the Round

Professor Bob has never been to Arches or Canyonlands national parks, though he's threatening to visit this spring. In the meantime, here's something to whet his anticipation -- a 360-degree view of Double Arch in Arches National Park.

Spring in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks: The Logistics

Arches and Canyonlands national parks are colorful siblings that are great to visit any time of year, but to spare yourself the high heat of summer one of the best seasons to visit is Spring. Here are some keys to accomplishing such a trip.
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Looking To Gain A Little Structured Education On Your National Park Trip?

Can you tell by looking at a wildflower in Yellowstone National Park what the underlying geology is? Or, while hiking through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, can you identify a bird simply by its song? Do you want to get relatively up close to the elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore? Here's how you can do all those things and more.

A National Park Visiting Wish List for 2010

Last year’s travels took me to half a dozen national parks new to my resume. This year there are five new ones and five old friends on the horizon. A guy could do worse.

2009 in Review: Traveler’s Checklists

We posted Traveler’s Checklists for 19 different national parks in 2009. Check ‘em out. You’re sure to find helpful advice and useful tips a-plenty.

Interior Issues Report on Drilling Near National Parks in Utah

A review of how the U.S. Bureau of Land Management handled energy leases near national parks in Utah shows some areas where the system broke down and carries recommendations for, at a minimum, review of previous leasing decisions. Some tracts, the report said, should be removed from leasing.
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Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation

Contrasting views on how public lands should be managed and enjoyed collided in a congressional committee hearing Thursday as distinct lines were drawn over whether more than 9 million acres of red-rock landscape in Utah's outback should be protected as official wilderness or left open for off-road vehicles, mountain bikes, and energy development.

U.S. House National Parks Subcommittee To Consider Red Rock Wilderness Act Legislation

Legislation scheduled to be taken up Thursday by a U.S. House subcommittee wouldn't create any national parks if passed, but it would go a long way toward providing some serious buffer zones around four national park units in Utah through the creation of officially designated wilderness.

Headed Into the Fiery Furnace? Get a Reservation In Advance Online

A hike in the Fiery Furnace
Most of us go out of our way to avoid a "fiery furnace" situation, but many visitors to Arches National Park are the exception. Ranger-guided hikes into the park's version of the Fiery Furnace often fill in advance, so the park is experimenting with online reservations through the end of October.

Classic Road Bike Rides in the National Parks of the Intermountain West

Experiencing our national parks’ grandeur from the saddle of a road bike is a bit like summiting a high peak. The arduous pedal through the park is rewarded with the scenery and equally thrilling descent from the park roads’ high points. Fall is sublime for cycling in national parks, so with the season quickly approaching, now is the time to experience the Mountain West’s greatest national park road cycling routes.

On Canyoneering, Politics, and Teens Studying Climate Change in the National Parks

Slipping from the top of the arch into the abyss below was a difficult move that rattled my psyche. Even though the sandstone band I was perched on was not much more than 4 feet wide, it was stable. Putting my faith into the rope cinched to my climbing harness and dropping into the 100-foot void went completely against my desire for self-preservation.

Do People Who Get Lost Really Walk in Circles? New Research Offers an Answer

Person walking in woods
Every year brings another round of news stories about people who become lost in parks. How quickly they are found often depends upon how much wandering they do trying to get "found." Do such people really walk in circles? New research offers a possible answer.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Bighorn Sheep in the Southwest

Canyonlands National Park is one of the most rugged national parks, with a harsh summer sun that bakes the dry, canyon-riddled landscape. But those deep canyons’ steep rocky slopes, which offer ample grasses and shrubs, and an openness that puts predators at a disadvantage, are an optimal environment for bighorn sheep. In fact, Canyonlands’ bighorn population has been so stable that Utah’s wildlife biologists long relied on it for stock to re-establish herds elsewhere in the state.

Visitation to National Parks Is On the Upswing, Entrance-Fee-Free Weekends Partly to Blame

There's a growing problem with national park visitation. In short, too many people are returning to the parks, creating problems for staffing and people management.

Zion National Park Gets Commemorative Licence Plate, But It's No Delicate Arch

Zion National Park is celebrating its centennial this year, and the state of Utah's gift is a commemorative license plate honoring Zion. But it pales in comparison to the state's license plate that depicts Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Hollywood Loves Natural Arches (and Unnatural Ones, Too)

Yesterday’s Mystery Photo featured Double Arch, an Arches National Park favorite that has appeared in several movies. Here’s how to learn more about how Hollywood uses -- and messes around with -- natural arches.

NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities

National parks can, and do, provide an economic lifeline to their surrounding communities. In its latest report, the National Parks Conservation Association points out just how valuable southeastern Utah's parks are to their nearby communities.

Group says Landscape Arch in Arches NP, Not Kolob Arch in Zion NP, is World's Largest Span of Stone

If you stood beneath both Landscape Arch in Arches National Park and Kolob Arch in Zion National Park, could you tell which span is longer? Probably not, but a group has come up with a standardized way to measure arches and says Landscape is the longer span of stone.

National Park Quiz 54: Authors

This week’s quiz will find out if you are as well-read as you think. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write a ten-page essay explaining, with appropriate illustrations and citations, the difference between an author and a writer.

National Park Quiz 52: Celebrities

This week’s national park quiz marks the completion of one whole year’s worth of these puzzlers. Can you believe it? Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll sic the paparazzi on you.

Traveler Checklist: Arches National Park In May

It's purely personal opinion, but I believe May to be one of the best months of the year to visit Arches National Park. It's not too hot, the spring rebirth is evident in the vegetation, and the crowds haven't yet arrived.

Can You Still Get Off the Beaten Path in National Parks?

How much have the national parks changed since you were a kid? Have they changed? When you return to a park that you haven't been to in decades, is it like returning to an old friend, or visiting someplace totally alien?

Five Units of National Park System to Benefit From Trails Dollars

A coming infusion of $330,000 will help five units of the National Park System improve their trail networks.

Delicate Arch Road at Arches National Park Reopens After Flood-Inspired Improvements

Delicate Arch.
Winter can be a great time to visit Arches National Park, but the off-season is also a good time for maintenance and repairs. The road to Delicate Arch, one of the park's signature attractions, had been closed this month for major work inspired by flooding in 2006, but it's now open again for public use.

Secretary Salazar Scuttles Oil and Gas Leases Near National Parks in Utah

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in a move that repudiates the Bush administration's energy policies, on Wednesday scuttled a series of controversial oil and gas leases near national parks in Utah.

Bush Administration: Slash and Burn on The Way Out of Office?

As the end of the Bush administration nears, it's natural for many to look back on the past eight years and try to assess the sum impact. In the case of public lands and natural resources, it's relatively easy to castigate the outgoing administration for its seemingly heavy hand on that landscape.

BLM, NPS Modify Oil and Gas Lease Auction near National Parks in Utah

Some tweaks to a proposed oil and gas lease auction in Utah could spare some potential impacts to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument, but conservationists say the National Park Service still dropped the ball.

Arches National Park Finds Its Birthday Overshadowed By Drilling Concerns

Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
How happy can a birthday celebration be when it's overshadowed by the possibility of a blight on the landscape? Of course, one person's blight is another's prosperity. But in the case of Arches National Park, it would seem that we as a nation need to better define how we value those special places called national parks.

President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah

A decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to open thousands of acres of public lands abutting national park properties in Utah could be halted by President-elect Barack Obama once he takes office, according to his transition team.