Summertime: What National Parks Are On Your "Must Visit" List?

One-hundred-and-forty-five years had passed since Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by "friendly fire" in the woods at Chancellorsville, and yet it might have been yesterday. Thick forest still hangs over the waning vestige of the Old Mountain Road where the general was riding, beyond the front lines, on the night of May 2, 1863, when members of the 18th North Carolina mistook him and his aides for a Union incursion.

There's A New Way To Come Up For Air At Mammoth Cave National Park

What do you get with 54 tons of concrete, 3,500 stainless steel bolts, and 35,000 pounds of structural steel? A new way to head toward the surface at Mammoth Cave National Park.

Cape Cod National Seashore: How Do You Define Historic?

Walter Gropius, founder of the influential German Bauhaus school of design, implored the managers of the brand new Cape Cod National Seashore to design facilities, such as visitor centers and bathhouses, with an innovative approach. Rustic cabin design found in Western national parks wouldn’t work here, but Modern design featuring modest scale and a light footprint on the land would.

Mount Rainier National Park Ready to Open Sunrise For Visitors

If you're not interested in heading to Paradise, you can always go to Sunrise at Mount Rainier National Park. Located on the volcano's eastern flanks, the Sunrise area opens for the summer on July 3.

Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End

It took longer than usual, but the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park has been opened from end-to-end.

NPR on the National Parks

National Public Radio is on the road in the National Park System this week, visiting both iconic and obscure parks. But is there a chink in NPR's coverage?

Park History: Mammoth Cave National Park

Long before anyone thought of national parks, folks were heading down into Mammoth Cave to see the sights. And if you've ever visited this incredible underground labyrinth, you'd understand why.

What's In Your National Park Reading Room?

After tramping through national parks for upwards of four decades, I've understandably picked up a few books on the parks. Among my collection are the usual trail guides and park guides, natural history selections and park histories. While many folks no doubt have a few park-related texts on hand, such as hiking guides and park guides, how might the park aficionado round out their library?

Exploring the "Other Half" of Our National Parks: Stargazing Under Protected Dark Skies

The renowned amateur astronomer and telescope maker, John Lowery Dobson, 92, once said, "National Parks are special places where dark skies and curious minds collide." Dobson and the famed Sidewalk Astronomers have spent three decades taking their home-made telescopes to the national parks to meet park visitors willing to stay out after dark to help them explore the "other half" of their parks.

Mount Rainier National Park Shuttle System Stretching to Ashford

So many folks flock to Mount Rainier National Park, and Paradise, specifically, in summer that the park uses an electric sign at the Nisqually Entrance to alert incoming visitors to parking problems at Paradise. Well, on weekends a new shuttle line could make that sign inconsequential for the informed traveler.
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Geotourism Map Shows You Around the Crown of the Continent

There's a new map you should toss in your bag if you're heading to Glacier National Park. It's not a traditional road map, but rather a map that helps you navigate the "Crown of the Continent" and all it has to offer.

Research Indicates Annual Precipitation Might Control Yellowstone National Park's Geysers

The eruptive fury of Yellowstone National Park's geysers, those wonderful spouters of steam and hot water, seems to be determined by annual precipitation in the park, according to a study published in the journal Geology.

Yosemite National Park Waterfalls Approaching Full Throttle

Thanks to this past winter's hefty snowpack, the now-melting snow is accelerating the intensity of Yosemite National Park's waterfalls. If you're fortunate enough to have the time to visit the park, a trip to the Yosemite Valley in the coming weeks should reward you with an incredible display of the park's waterworks.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best

Perhaps you’ve noticed that Cape Hatteras National Seashore has made the top ten in Dr. Beach’s 2008 list of America’s Best Beaches. To put a finer point on it, Cape Hatteras Beach is ranked number eight.

Star Party Scheduled for June 21-28 at Grand Canyon National Park

Star gazers will have an opportunity to scan the heavens from Grand Canyon National Park later in June during a week-long star party that will feature activities on both North and South rims.

Most, But Not All, Of Olympic National Park Within Reach For Memorial Day Weekend

The aftermath of a tough winter can be seen throughout Olympic National Park, but officials say most of the park should be accessible for visitors during the coming Memorial Day Weekend.

Free Shuttle Buses Will Make It Easier To Visit The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

Negotiating the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park during the busy summer season can be a nightmare if you're trying to find a parking spot or crossing the road. With hopes of making it a bit easier this year, the National Park Service is implementing a free shuttle service from Tusayan to the South Rim.

Facilities at Mount Rainier National Park Slow to Open Due to Heavy Snowpack

You can add Mount Rainier National Park to the growing list of Western parks where this past winter's heavy snowfall is pushing back the openings of campgrounds and even some roads.

Glacier National Park Slowly Opening For the Summer Season

As summer slowly approaches, more and more of Glacier National Park's landscape is becoming snow-free and accessible. Still, not all of the park's campgrounds will be open for the coming Memorial Day weekend.

Is Your Backcountry Safety Net A Personal Locator Beacon or Cell Phone?

Do you skimp on backcountry preparations, figuring you've got your trusty personal locator beacon or cell phone to summon help at a moment's notice? It's tempting, no? Why prepare yourself equipment-wise and possibly skill-wise when help is just a push button away?

Too Much Snow Delays Opening Of Yellowstone National Park's Norris Campground

When it snows in the Rockies, it really snows. The most snow in a decade this past winter has resulted in too much snow to open the Norris Campground in Yellowstone National Park on schedule.

Returning to Paradise At Mount Rainier National Park

After a two-year hiatus, you can now return to Paradise. Mount Rainier National Park's Paradise Inn, that is. Following much-needed structural repairs, the beautiful inn will open for business on Friday.

Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park

Here's an update to the Voyageurs National Park boat tours story. There currently are boat tours available, but not on the scale that will be possible thanks to the $1.4 million a congressman from Minnesota has directed to the National Park Service so it can build a 49-seat boat.

Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?

Where do you find the best view of sunrise in the National Park System? Would it be on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, or, perhaps more logically, at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park?

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.

Opening For Spring is a Struggle at Olympic National Park

Last fall's storms and this past winter's snows are slowing the opening of Olympic National Park this spring. But little by little the park's various areas are opening. That said, before you head out you might want to call the park to check on conditions.

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.

Bear #399, And Other Grizzlies, Are On the Prowl In Grand Teton National Park

Mountain snows slowly are beginning to melt, the aspen are beginning to unfurl their leaves, and the bears are rummaging about. All the more reason to pay attention to not just your surroundings in the national parks, but your cleanliness in terms of food.

National Park Week Activities

National Park Week is being celebrated this year from April 20 through April 26. Across the system there are dozens, if not hundreds, of special events planned. Here's a look at some of them.

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.