National Park Quiz 20: The Last Frontier

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination has put Alaska in the national spotlight, so let’s orient this week’s quiz to the national parks of The Last Frontier. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “Alaska’s state fish is the Oncorhynchus tshawytscha” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed

Black bears in Denali and Grand Teton national parks recently were killed, one because it was acting aggressively, another because it obviously had come to associate humans with food.

Climber’s Body May Remain Buried on Mount McKinley Summit in Denali National Park and Preserve

When a climber died on the Mount McKinley summit on July 4th, his companions buried his body in one of the least accessible places on the North American continent. It will probably stay there until at least next year, and might be left there for good.

Another Climbing Fatality Reported on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve

Just three days after an Illinois man died atop North America's highest mountain a second climber has collapsed and died on Mount McKinley.

Illinois Man Becomes First Climber to Die on Summit Of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve

A 51-year-old Illinois climber who reached the summit of Mount McKinley has become the first mountaineer ever to die on the summit of the 20,320-foot mountain. Due to the danger involved in retrieving the body, Denali National Park and Preserve officials have opted to leave the deceased climber on the mountain at this time.
Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering How truly self-reliant are we, really? When you head down the trail, do you go confident that you can manage any situation you find yourself in? If you "push the envelope" by embarking on, say, a remote canyoneering adventure, a summit climb, or a river trip, how much confidence should you place not just in your own ability but in search-and-rescue teams to quickly respond when the unimaginable occurs?

Air and Ground Search Under Way for Missing Backpackers in Denali National Park and Preserve

An air and ground search is under way in Denali National Park and Preserve for two backpackers missing in the Savage River drainage.

National Park Quiz 6: Watchable Wildlife

Wildlife viewing is a prime attraction of our national parks. Not every wildlife species we might encounter in the parks is as charismatic as a bison, a bald eagle, or a sea otter, but every species is interesting in its own way. Take this week's quiz and see whether your knowledge of watchable wildlife is as keen as you think. Answers are at the end. No peeking.

Fallen Climber Rescued on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park

A solo climber who slid nearly 2,000 feet down a steep pitch on Mount McKinley has been rescued by Denali National Park mountaineering rangers. Rangers hoped to transfer the 44-year-old man from the mountain to a hospital once weather allowed.

Search Scaled Back for Climbers Missing On Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve

After four days of overflights rangers in Denali National Park and Preserve are scaling back their search for two Japanese climbers missing on Mount McKinley.

Improving Weather Aids Search for Missing Climbers on Mount McKinley

Improving weather Monday was welcomed by National Park Service rangers searching for two overdue climbers on Cassin Ridge of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Two Japanese Climbers Overdue on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park

A search is under way at Denali National Park and Preserve for two Japanese climbers who failed to descend from Mount McKinley on schedule. Poor weather has been hampering search efforts.

National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?

A two-week search for a missing hiker in Yosemite National Park. A search for a missing snowshoer on Mount Rainier. Recovery of bodies from climbing accidents in Grand Teton National Park. A week-long, and unsuccessful, search for a missing 8-year-old at Crater Lake National Park. Each year, thousands of search-and-rescue missions cost the National Park Service millions of dollars. And each year the agency eats the costs.
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Vet Removes Snare From Neck of Wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve

A volunteer effort has been able to remove a trapper's snare from around the neck of a wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve. Unfortunately, a second wolf that also was caught up in a snare has not been seen.

Traveler’s Delightful Dozen: Windshield Touring Trips in the National Park System

We love our cars, we love our parks, and we love to drive our cars in the parks. Well, at least when the traffic isn’t too bad, and we really don’t mind just going along for the ride. The windshield touring season is nearly here, so it’s time to start thinking about park trips. All of the national parkways are recommended. Here are a dozen other traverses, loops, and shuttles that belong on your short list.

Snared Wolves At Denali National Park and Preserve Cast Ugly Shadow on Trappers

Wolf trapping that went wrong has left two wolves with snares cinched around their necks roaming Denali National Park and Preserve just as tourist season is about to arrive.

Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks

Dozens of movies have depicted actors and actresses cavorting, romancing, running, hiding, fighting, and yes, even dying in national parks or places destined to become national parks. Here are ten of Traveler's favorite movies with a national park connection of some sort. Note that we don’t restrict the field to films shot on location in parks.

Online Registration Possible For Climbing in Denali National Park

Beginning the planning for a climb of Mount McKinley or Mount Foraker in Denali National Park and Preserve is just a click away, thanks to an online registration program launched by the National Park Service.

Who Visits Alaska's National Parks?

Even though the world as a whole is getting smaller and smaller, Alaska still manages to cast an image of being that rugged land far, far away to the north. And yet, quite a few folks are managing to head to Alaska to visit the national parks there.

Twenty-seven Years Ago, Eight National Parks Came to Be

Never before have, and probably never again will, so many national parks come into existence on the same date. Given birth by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act were Denali, Gates of Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark and Wrangell-St. Elias national parks.

A Springtime Visit to Denali National Park and Preserve: Is It For You?

Denali National Park and Preserve, with its soaring mountains, rushing rivers, and wildlife menagerie of moose, wolves, caribou, wolves, bears and more, is one of those tantalizing destinations within the national park system. Rooted in Alaska only 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it can seem almost mythical to those in the Lower 48 who don't normally roam far afield.

Marketing Alaska's National Parks; Why Not All National Parks?

I hate jumping to conclusions. But that apparently is exactly what I did when I surmised that the proposed $1.5 million centennial project involving the Alaska Travel Industry Association would benefit the cruise-ship industry more than the parks.

Climate Change in Alaska Opens Window to the Past

Warming temperatures are remaking the Alaskan landscape. Sea ice is shrinking, permafrost is melting, glaciers are retreating, polar bears are changing their habits. In Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the warming trend is opening a window into the past, as melting glaciers are revealing artifacts from both the somewhat recent past and prehistoric cultures.
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Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics) One of the most direct books I've read on avoiding bears in the backcountry is Dave Smith's Backcountry Bear Basics, which just came out in its second edition.