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.

Lodging Sale At Yosemite National Park, Where You Can Leverage 50% Savings This Fall on Second Night Stay

A sale on lodging in Yosemite National Park this fall means you can get half-off on your second night's lodging.

Reader Participation Day, Fine Arts Division: Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, or Maynard Dixon?

If cost were no object, whose national park painting would you hang on your wall? Would it be a Thomas Moran, an Albert Bierstadt, or a Maynard Dixon?

After 82 Years, It's Time For A Substantial Upgrading of The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park

Eighty-two years have elapsed since The Ahwahnee Hotel, the most opulent lodging in the national parks then, and now, welcomed its first guests. Well, all those seasons and all those guests have taken a toll on the grand dame, and Yosemite National Park officials are contemplating a substantial rehabilitation of the property.

National Park Quiz 66: Cemeteries

You won’t need to be a genealogist to enjoy Quiz #66. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Contrary to popular opinion, there is no letter ‘a’ in the word cemetery.”

Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration

What are we to think when a U.S. senator brands Jon Jarvis, a highly respected regional director of the National Park Service, as representing "the extreme policies of the Obama administration"?

Scientists: Climate Change Seems Responsible for A Loss of Large-Diameter Trees in Yosemite National Park

Climate change with its warmer and drier seasons appears to be responsible for a decline in large-diameter trees across much of Yosemite National Park, according to a recently released study.
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Know When to Say When – Stranded Visitor Rescued from Tiny Ledge at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite rescue
Rangers at Yosemite National Park have seen plenty of visitors in perilous situations, but apparently even they were shocked when they saw the dire situation of a man stranded on a tiny ledge.

National Park Quiz 63: Pools

The theme of this week’s quiz is a term that has at least 13 different meanings. We’ll pretty much stick with the standard connotation, but not entirely. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you clean the Traveler wishing well and count all the pennies.

Technology a Key in 3 Recent Rescues at Yosemite National Park

Rescue at Yosemite July 6.
The combination of highly skilled rescue personnel and modern technology made three recent rescues at Yosemite National Park amazingly quick and efficient operations. Not so many years ago, such situations would have required many hours or even days and a small army of rescuers.

Yosemite National Park Returns To Square One on Yosemite Valley Plan

After a series of legal setbacks, Yosemite National Park officials once again are setting out on the path to develop an acceptable development plan for the Yosemite Valley, one that is expected to fully take into consideration impacts to the wild and scenic Merced River.

Park Shuttle Bus Systems are Growing in Popularity Around the Country.

Shuttle bus systems are growing in popularity as one way to reduce the impacts of private vehicles on parks—and on the experience of visitors. Here's a look at some of those systems at NPS sites around the country.

Two Forest Fires Burning In Yosemite National Park

If you're planning to spend the holiday weekend in Yosemite National Park, you might run into smoky conditions on occasion due to two fires burning in the park.

Rescued Park Visitors Return to Yosemite National Park to Thank Good Samaritan

Ranger Abbe and the pair he rescued
In today's busy world, we don't often hear about recipients of a good deed taking time to formally thank a Good Samaritan. Two California residents made it a point to return to Yosemite National Park recently to thank a ranger they credit with saving their lives.

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.

Field Notes From Yosemite: Yosemite's High Country, A Tradition in Educational Excellence

Nestled peacefully in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, at roughly 8,600 feet above sea-level, sits Parsons Memorial Lodge, a modest fieldstone structure built in 1915 to celebrate the life and good works of Edward Taylor Parsons. It’s surrounded by some of the most recognized topographical icons in the Sierra Nevada, such as Cathedral Peak, Unicorn Crest, Mountains Dana and Gibbs.

Badger Pass Icon Nic Fiore Passes; Taught Thousands to Ski At Yosemite National Park's Ski Area

Nic Fiore, an icon at Yosemite National Park's Badger Pass Ski area, has died at the age of 89. During his 57-year-career at Bridger Pass he taught an estimated 137,500 people how to ski.

Apparent Fall Attributed For Death of Concession Worker at Yosemite National Park

There's been another death in Yosemite National Park. Rangers say a 23-year-old concession company employee from Florida apparently fell to his death from a cliff above Mirror Lake in the Yosemite Valley.