Summer Special: Wildflowers in the National Parks

Gray's Lily on the MST on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Summer brings a wealth of flowers to those parks that have enjoyed spring flowers like Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also brings flowers to Rocky Mountain National Park and the parks in Alaska where the snow is just melting.

Summer Special: Choosing A National Park River To Float

So many rivers and so many different paddling experiences can be found in the National Park System. So how do you figure out which one you want to float on your summer vacation?

Summer Special: Guided Adventure in Utah's National Parks: Why and How to Do It

If you want outdoor adventure in a Utah national park, but feel you don't have the necessary skills or local knowledge, it's time to call in a guide. Here's what you need to know to make the right choice.

Summer Special: A Potpourri Of Summertime Adventures In the National Park System

Summer easily is the best time of year to get out and get sweaty in the National Park System, if only because the warmer weather makes more opportunities available. In time to help you plan your summer vacation, here's a potpourri of outdoor adventures in the parks.

Higher Paddling Fees Coming To Canyonlands National Park

It's soon going to cost private river groups a bit more to go padding in Canyonlands National Park.

Keeping Track of What The National Park Service Is Up To In Your State

As it continues to improve its web presence, the National Park Service has made it easier for you to find information on the parks in your state...as well as on other Park Service-related entities, such as properties on the national register, or wild and scenic rivers, or historic trails.

Mineral Bottom Switchbacks Linking to White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park To Open March 29

If all goes as planned, mountain bikers, hikers, and paddlers will once again be able to access the Green River and tie into the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park via the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks late this month.

Drier Conditions Expected to Lead to More Dust Storms Over Arches, Canyonlands National Parks

As the effects of climate change intensify in the Southwest, future visits to Arches and Canyonlands national parks could coincide with more dust storms than what currently is considered usual, according to a joint study by U.S. Geological Survey and University of California scientists.

River Runner Offering $200 Off Certain Float Trips Through Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park

If you ever wanted to wake up with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or even chai along the Green River as the sun glints off the cliffs of Dinosaur National Monument, or enjoy dinner along the Colorado River as it roars through Canyonlands National Park, you can do it this summer at a discount if you act soon.

Reader Participation Day: Where in The National Parks Do You Head To Bird, and What Birds Do You Hope To See?

Birding is one of the many popular activities in the National Park System, and by carrying your binoculars and perhaps a field guide to help you identify what you see, you quickly can expand your "life list" during a park visit. If you're a birder, where in the system do you go, and what are you looking for?

Arches National Park Taking Input on Proposed Climbing Management Plan

Arches National Park soon could have an official management plan to guide climbing and canyoneering in the park where the geology offers climbers a sprawling playground of options.
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Please Welcome Traveler's New, and Returning, Sponsors!

Here at the Traveler we'd like to warmly welcome two new organizations, and one old friend, back to our list of sponsors: Holiday River Expeditions, the North Cascades Institute, and the Yellowstone Association Institute.

Dining At The Parks: Big Drop Omelets On The Colorado River Through Canyonlands National Park

OK, you've landed your permit for a float trip through Canyonlands National Park, or Dinosaur National Monument, and you're faced with creating a menu for a crowd of famished paddlers. Consider serving up "Big Drop Omelets" for breakfast!

Now's The Time To Apply For "Artists in the Parks"

If you've got some artistic flare, and a desire to spend some time in the high desert of southeastern Utah, now is the time to get your application in for the 2011 Community Artist in the Parks Program.

A Year's Worth of Trails to Hike in the National Parks

Hiking trails are one of the best ways to enjoy national parks. They lead you out into nature, get you some exercise, and quite often showcase some gorgeous vistas. Here's a look back at some of the great trails we've mentioned on the Traveler during the past 12 months.

A Year in the Parks

The past year was very kind to me in terms of getting out to visit some of the incredible units of our National Park System. Here's a look back at a year in national parks.

Traveler's Checklist: Bryce Canyon National Park, Winter Edition

Though summer draws the bulk of Bryce Canyon National Park's 1.2 million annual visitors, a strong argument can be made that winter is a more fascinating time to visit this red-rock icon. The sharp contrasts between fresh-fallen snow, cerulean skies, and the park's red-hued amphitheaters are spectacular. If you can manage a winter escape, here are some tips for touring Bryce Canyon.

Republicans On House Natural Resources Committee Planning Big Changes For Public Lands

Fresh off their Election Day tidal wave, and energized by it, Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee are planning big changes for public lands in the West, changes that could greatly impact national parks.

Reader Participation Day: Do You Love Fall Colors, or Spring Blooms?

During my recent hike in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail, I came upon a tight crook in the trail that carried Ivy Creek downhill amid a flurry of gold, red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. There can be no more spectacular setting that the hardwood forests of the East. Unless it's set ablaze by the pastel daubs of spring wildflowers in places such as Glacier, Saquaro or Canyonlands national parks.

Exploring Canyonlands And Arches National Parks By RV

Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by asteroids.

Study Shows that Dirty Snow Reduces Colorado River Runoff

Human-produced dust, mostly from grazing and farming, settles on mountain snowpacks in the Upper Colorado River basin and significantly reduces runoff. Eliminating this "dirty snow" phenomenon, which impacts national parks as well as the regional economy, would require a huge reduction in soil-disturbing activities.

Storm Aftermath Makes it Impossible to Negotiate White Rim Loop in Canyonlands National Park

One of the best mountain bike adventures in the National Park System is the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. However, a potent storm that swept through the park last month has washed out a section of the route and officials are not sure when it will reopen.
Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River Part travelogue, part warning shot across the bow, Jonathan Waterman in his latest book takes us on a year-long journey down the Colorado River from source to the Sea of Cortez that should scare the wits out of those in the Southwest convince them to read the dusty writing on the wall.

Updated: NPCA Names Dirk Kempthorne to Its Board of Trustees

Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association, a somewhat curious, and likely controversial, move in light of his oversight of the national parks.

Updated: Severe Weather Pounds Canyonlands National Park, Strands Rigs Below White Rim

A powerful thunderstorm that raked Canyonlands National Park did substantial damage to routes along the famed White Rim and has stranded some vehicles at the bottom of the Mineral Bottom switchbacks, park officials said Friday.

Secretary Salazar Hopes To Negotiate R.S. 2477 Solution With Utah Officials

Long a bone of contention between state, local and federal authorities when it comes to public lands access is a nearly 150-year-old law initially passed to help advance westward expansion. Now Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hopes a pilot program in Utah can generate a solution to R.S. 2477 controversies.

John Wessels Appointed Director of National Park Service's Intermountain Region

John Wessels, who has served as the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region associate director for administration, business and technology since 2004, has been named director of the region, the largest in the agency.

National Park Mystery Photo 25 Revealed: It's The Cowboy Camp At Canyonlands National Park

Cowboys and the landscape that today is Canyonlands National Park long went together. Early in the 1900s, one cattle company actually grazed from the area now known as Natural Bridges National Monument all the way north into the Needles District of Canyonlands.

Reader Participation Day: California, or Utah, For A National Park Trek?

If you had the option of either traveling to Utah for a swing through its national parks, or to California to sample its national parks, which would you choose?

One More Request For Your Help In Keeping The Traveler On-line

As we bring an end to our week-long fund-raising drive to keep the Traveler on-line, we'd like to thank the many readers who responded with donations, and make a final request to those sitting on the fence.