Rooms Available For September and October Visits to National Parks in the West

If you're flexible enough to take a fall trip to some of the iconic national parks in the Western United States, there are a number of lodges that are reporting late-season availability. Lodges in Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley national parks all show some rooms available during the months of September and October.

National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!

Were you able to identify Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park?

National Park Mystery Spot 2: You Walk Around, I’ll Walk In

Can you identify this national park mystery spot with just six clues?

Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park

Death Valley scene.
An intended one-night camping trip to Death Valley National Park had a tragic ending for a mother and her 11-year-old son. They were stranded for five days after their vehicle got stuck in a remote area of the vast desert park. The mother was rescued but her son did not survive the intense heat.

Death Valley National Park Working To Protect Fish That Live in 90-Degree Hot Spring

A tiny fish, one that lives in a 90-degree hot spring within a limestone cave and whose fate once was pondered by the U.S. Supreme Court, is now the focus of a Death Valley National Park plan designed to help the species avoid extinction.

By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather

If it’s this hot where you are, you need to go somewhere else.

Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park

The ranger wore a concerned look and a pair of latex gloves. When I tried to approach him he warned me not to come near him. This did not look good.

Softness Continues To Be the Story Across National Park Lodging

Though summer is officially here and the Fourth of July is within sight, there continues to be a softness in the demand for lodging space in the national parks this summer and into the fall.

June 30 is Deadline for Comments on Death Valley Wilderness Stewardship Plan

If you’d like to comment on wilderness resource values and management alternatives in the largest named wilderness in the continental U.S., you’ve still got time, but you’d better hurry. The deadline for public input on the Death Valley Wilderness Stewardship Plan has been extended to June 30.

National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans

In this summer of economic discontent, businesses that operate lodgings in the National Park System are coming up with their own strategies for luring visitors.

Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks

A spate of fatalities in the national parks this spring sends a sobering message: parks can be dangerous places. But they don't have to be if you remember some simple rules when visiting the parks.

Hiker Dies at Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Death Valley unfortunately lived up to its name earlier this week, when an Ohio hiker failed to return from a day trip in the park.

Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire

Remains of the Barker Ranch.
Some otherwise ordinary sites achieve notoriety in unlikely ways. That was the case with the Barker Ranch in Death Valley National Park, which burned under mysterious circumstances earlier this week. Its link with history? Charles Manson.

National Park Quiz 53: Castles

Castles here, castles there, castles everywhere. If you know your national park castles, you’ll do just fine on this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Medieval castle walls have visually distinctive battlements featuring alternating crenels and merlons.”

National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West

DEVA-Artists Palette, Kurt Repanshek photo
The National Park Service has been trying to raise its "climate friendly" image in recent months, but it's concerned about the potential impact huge solar power arrays on Western lands could have on national parks.
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Creature Feature: Feral Burros are "Equina Non Grata" in the National Parks

Guys who holler “watch this!” just before they do something incredibly stupid aren’t the only jackasses in our national parks. We’ve got the real kind too, and where there are feral burros the habitat is degraded and native wildlife suffer. Cute though they may be, burros are unwelcome in our national parks.

Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park

Canyon at Death Valley.
A 58-year-old woman sustained serious injuries earlier this week in an isolated canyon at Death Valley National Park. Two rangers on patrol in the area heard calls for help and set a rescue into motion.

Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?

Desert Five-Spot, Jimmie Affholder photo.
With all the talk of late about the prospects for a colorful, and plentiful, bloom in Death Valley National Park, let's start talking flowers in earnest. For instance, have you ever seen a Desert Five-Spot in the park?

National Park Quiz 42: Rocks and Minerals

This week’s quiz will find out whether you are a rock star. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll give you a sledge hammer and make you turn big rocks into little ones.

Will Recent Storms in Death Valley National Park Fuel A Spring Bloom?

Rain and snow have pelted Death Valley National Park somewhat frequently this winter, which raises the question of whether there will be a tremendous spring bloom in the park?

Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park

Got time for a mid-winter break? Over 60? Then the folks at Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch in Death Valley National Park have a slight break on lodging to offer you.

Deadly Threats You Never Heard of Lurk in Our National Parks

Some deadly diseases you’ve never heard of lurk in our national parks. It's extremely unlikely that you'll ever be infected, but the odds are not zero. And if you are among of the unfortunate few, may the Good Lord have mercy on you.

Resolved: I’ll Visit at Least These Five National Parks in 2009

In the past, my national park visiting has been too intermittent and unfocused for comfort. But this year my New Year’s Resolutions are going to provide a sense of purpose and direction. Five parks is a very doable agenda. My list includes three Sure Things, a True Confession, and one Unfinished Business.

Snow Falls in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park hasn't been immune from the cold, snowy weather of late, as this photo of the Furnace Creek Inn shows.

Musings from Death Valley National Park

Badwater, Death Valley National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Having not played golf in at least 15 years, I couldn't tell if the elevation of the Furnace Creek Golf Course was responsible for my lackluster drives, or whether they were the product of operator failure.

Trails I've Hiked: Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park

You won't find many long-distance hikes in Death Valley National Park, which probably is a good thing considering how hot it can get during the summer months. But for those looking to stretch their legs, the trail through Golden Canyon is viewed by many as the "to-do" hike in the park.