Yosemite National Park Officials Declare the 2009 Fire Season is Officially Over .

Helicopter dropping water on a fire.
The 2009 fire season is over at Yosemite National Park—at least officially—and Mother Nature ended it with a big splash.

Winter Reaches the High Country Of Yosemite National Park

Well, obviously not wanting to play second fiddle to the Rockies, which already has received its first snowstorm or two of the season, the High Sierra is showing off its wintry coat today. Check out this shot of Yosemite National Park from the webcam at the Tioga Pass Entrance station.

It's Official: Picky Yosemite National Park Bears Prefer Their Meals in Minivans

Fuel economy, it seems, is just as important to black bears in Yosemite National Park as it is with many visitors. And so when the bruins shop for fuel, more and more they tend to find themselves munching out in minivans, according to a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy.
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Lodging in the Parks: Tioga Pass Resort

Though geographically outside Yosemite National Park in the Inyo National Forest, this historic way station is rightly part of the park experience if your visit at all touches on the eastern side near Tioga Pass. Dating to the early 1910s when it didn’t take a hardscrabble miner too long to realize he could make more money from the fledgling tourist industry than from hard-to-find ore bodies, the Tioga Pass Resort is a rustic melting pot of travelers.

National Park Service, Advocacy Groups Reach Settlement Over Merced Wild and Scenic River Litigation in Yosemite National Park

After years of at-times acrimonious ligation, a settlement was announced Wednesday between the National Park Service and advocacy groups over development in the Yosemite Valley and how it might impact the Merced River, a wild and scenic stream. It's an agreement that could substantially redefine the human impact on one of the most scenic valleys in the world.
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Gloryland: A Novel In his first novel, Gloryland, Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson comes full circle.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

National parks represent a spectacular legacy handed down to today’s generations, but it is one that also carries a hefty responsibility of stewardship. That becomes quickly obvious in Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This notion of responsible stewardship is not new at all. In many ways it’s trite.

"Yosemite Facelift" Offers a Good Way to Lend a Helping Hand at Yosemite National Park

Old car removed during 2007 event.
Volunteer cleanup days will be held in a number of parks this year, but one of the most ambitious is scheduled for five days next week at Yosemite National Park. "Yosemite Facelift" will be held September 23-27, and anyone who participates is eligible for some "thank you" perks in addition to the satisfaction of a job well done.

National Park Quiz 69: Camping

Camping in the national parks is a lot of fun, and so is this quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you explain the modern-day appeal of backcountry camping in the context of the classic three-stage Pastoral Retreat model elucidated by literary historian Leo Marx.

Reservations For High Sierra Camps in Yosemite National Park Now Available Via the Internet

Ahh, the Internet age. Thanks to its existence, you can now apply for a spot in one of the High Sierra backcountry camps in Yosemite National Park via the Internet.

Fire and Road Status Update from Yosemite National Park

Crew clearning Big Oak Flat Road.
The Big Meadow fire in Yosemite National Park is listed as 100% contained, and two road closures on the Big Oak Flat Road are ending. Here's an update on roads, trails and other facilities in the park affected by the fire.

Lodging in the Parks: The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

What is the most elegant, upscale hotel located in the National Park System? While an argument could be made in favor of several hotels, it is likely that most people would say it is the 4-star-rated Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

President Obama Designates September as "National Wilderness Month"

While the National Park System protects wide swathes of officially designated wilderness, there are many, many wilderness-quality acres in the parks that are not so designated, though they are managed as de facto wilderness. President Obama, with hopes Americans would become more familiar with wilderness, has designated September as National Wilderness Month.
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Audubon Touts Birding in a Dozen National Parks

The September-October 2009 issue of Audubon magazine has a Kenn Kaufman article that provides helpful information about birding in twelve national parks.

Yosemite National Park Employee Dies in Climbing Accident

A Yosemite National Park wildlife biologist has been killed in a climbing accident in the park's backcountry.

Big Meadow Fire At Yosemite National Park Up to 4,382 Acres, Restricted Access Monday Along Tioga Road

The Big Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park has grown to nearly 4,400 acres, and fire bosses plan to institute restricted access along the Tioga Road between Crane Flat and White Wolf beginning Monday and continuing indefinitely.

FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park

Whenever something doesn't go according to plan, people understandably want to know what went wrong. And so the officials at Yosemite National Park have put together this list of frequently asked questions about what went awry with the Big Meadow fire -- a prescribed burn that quickly got out of control.

Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park Now at 3,500 Acres, Some Evacuations Ordered

Fire bosses predict that it could take nearly two weeks before they'll have the Big Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park contained.

Updated: Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park Reopens Following Temporarily Closure Due to Rockfalls

dust from rockfall
The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park is known to travelers from around the world, but even an iconic park hotel has to defer to the forces of nature. The hotel was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a series of rockfalls. Following a geologic assessment of the area, the hotel is scheduled to reopen Friday afternoon.

Prescribed Fire In Yosemite National Park Out of Control, More Than 20 Times Its Intended Size

A full-on assault is under way on a fire in Yosemite National Park that started out to be a prescribed burn of 90 acres but now has charred more than 2,200 acres.

Men Who Allegedly Poached Deer In Yosemite National Park Were Cornered By Their Own Records Of the Hunts

If you're going to poach in a national park, that last thing you ever, ever, ever want to do is keep written records of your hunts. That was one of the key mistakes a trio of California men apparently made in going after trophy mule deer in a remote corner of Yosemite National Park.

What Lurks Beneath the Surface of National Park System Waters, A Diving Guide

Some of the least-known resources of the National Park System are the cultural and natural resources that lie below the waters within the boundaries of our park areas. While not as mainstream as activities such as camping and hiking, diving and snorkeling are increasingly popular ways to enjoy and be inspired by these resources.

Black Bears Racking Up Property Damage In Yosemite National Park

Wanna see a bear? Odds are good that if you hang out in one of Yosemite National Park's parking lots -- particularly the one near legendary Camp 4 -- you'll see one before too long. Just hope you don't spot a bruin breaking into your car.

On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System

The National Park Service's National Leadership Council met in Ohio last week. The meeting of the agency's top management was supposed to be the first under the direction of Jon Jarvis as Park Service director. Political gamesmanship, and apparently a dose of bureaucracy, unfortunately left Mr. Jarvis wearing his Pacific West Region director's hat.

More Fall Lodging Deals in the National Parks, High Sierra Edition

Yesterday we let you know about some fall lodging deals offered at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park. Today we'll continue to look at the High Sierra, with lodging specials from one property just outside Yosemite National Park, and another near to Devils Postpile National Monument.

National Park Quiz 67: Potpourri III

We haven’t had a potpourri quiz since March, so here’s another batch of category leftovers and hard-to fit questions. Hope you find ‘em interesting. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll just look the other way. Everybody deserves a free pass now and then.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Yellow-Legged Frogs of the Sierra Nevada

The mountain yellow-legged frog was once one of the most abundant vertebrates in the Sierra Nevada. The flash of its yellow legs could be seen and the echo of its croaking could be heard across the Sierra’s alpine lakes, even those nestled at 12,000 feet that contain watery habitats typically too cold for amphibians. Unfortunately, that empire began to crumble as long ago as 1850 when non-native trout were first transplanted into some of those lakes to increase fishing opportunities.

Just Down the Hallway: Saving Money at a National Park Lodge by Choosing a Room without a Private Bathroom

Even experienced travelers often are surprised to learn that some national park lodges still offer rooms without a private bathroom. In fact, in making a reservation at one of the lodges you might discover there is no choice other than a room that requires use of a community bathroom. While European visitors are not surprised and might even expect rooms without a private bathroom, many U.S. travelers don’t look kindly on the need to use a bathroom that is just down the hallway.

Picking a Lot of Apples This Day Helps Keep the Bears Away in Yosemite National Park

Picking apples at Yosemite.
An orchard loaded with ripe apples is more than many bears can resist, so volunteers will help harvest the crop a little early to reduce temptation in Yosemite National Park. If you're in the park on Monday, August 17, you're welcome to help pick some apples...and keep the bears away.