UPDATED: Officials Confirm Recent Rockfall in Yosemite National Park was the Largest in Decades

map of Yosemite Valley rockfalls
Park officials have confirmed that a recent rockfall at Yosemite National Park was in fact the largest such documented event in the park more in than two decades. Part of a popular trail buried by the debris from the event remains closed.

Where Does Your Reservation At Yosemite National Park Stand?

Rockfalls at Yosemite National Park have created a lodging problem in the Yosemite Valley, but it might not be as bad as you were initially led to think.

National Park Quiz 47: Spring

Spring arrived at 11:44 UT last Friday, March 20, so let’s make spring the key word for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 101 times: “The celestial coordinate system that employs the vernal equinox as the origin of the ecliptic longitude is known as the ecliptic coordinate system.”

Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?

The Pacific Crest Trail ranges from Canada to Mexico, running through Washington, Oregon, and California along the way, traversing not one but seven units of the National Park System in the process. While mountain bikers are not supposed to use the trail, recently some have been poaching sections in California.

National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers

This week’s quiz is all about glaciers and glaciation in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Eskers, depositional landforms composed of stratified gravel and sand, characteristically exist as long, narrow, sinuous ridges with steep sides.”

National Park Quiz 45: Green

St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away, so this week’s quiz will see if you’re ready to start thinking green. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The shamrock of Irish legend is a three-leaf clover symbolizing the Holy Trinity.”

Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park Could Shut Down For Structural Strengthening

Yosemite National Park officials hope to learn in June whether they'll have the money needed to strengthen The Ahwahnee Hotel against earthquakes, a project that could shutter the iconic lodge for two years.
True, for many the main appeal of Yosemite National Park are the soaring cliffs that frame the Yosemite Valley. But if you pay a little closer attention to the landscape, you'll see its many colorful calling cards.

Campers in Yosemite National Park in 1901 Were "Somewhat Troublesome"

Early campers in Yosemite National Park.
Bob Janiskee posted a recent story on the Traveler entitled, "Believe it or Not, Yosemite National Park Once had a Zoo." Some wags might suggest that title could also refer to campgrounds in Yosemite Valley in times past—and a old government report suggests they'd be correct.

South Korean Climber Safe After Being Swept By Avalanche From Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

A South Korean climber who was swept by an avalanche down the granitic flanks of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is recovering from his ordeal, which left him with a broken femur.

Believe it or Not, Yosemite National Park Once had a Zoo

Tourists visiting Yosemite National Park in the 1920s could view mountain lions, a bear, and deer kept in cages and enclosures. Despite drawing heated criticism, this wacky zoo persisted for more than a decade before finally being abolished in 1932.

Major Bike Race Will Affect Yosemite Traffic on February 18, 2009

Scene from a previous Amgen bike race.
If your plans for Wednesday, February 18, 2009 include travel to or from Yosemite National Park, factor in some extra time. The largest cycling event in America, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, will be passing through the Yosemite National Park vicinity.

2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat

Visitation to the National Park System in 2008 was, essentially, flat from the year before. There were spikes in some areas, and deep drops in others, but overall the 275 million visitors who were counted represented just 800,000 fewer than in 2007, according to preliminary data from the National Park Service.
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Yosemite National Park Rockfall Sprays Cars Near The Ahwahnee Hotel

Eight-hundred tons of rock plunged to the ground behind the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park the other day, injuring no one but damaging a windshield in a parked car.

How Can Yosemite National Park's Magnificent Vistas Be Preserved?

To say Yosemite National Park is an eyeful is an understatement. Everywhere you look it seems there's something to fix your gaze on -- Half Dome, Glacier Point, El Capitan, Tenya Lake. But how can we preserve those vistas for future generations?

National Park Quiz 39: Winter

This week’s quiz will find out if you are a winterwise park visitor. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you explain why the Bergeron-Findeisen process grows snowflakes only because the equilibrium vapor pressure of water vapor with respect to ice is less than that with respect to liquid water at the same subfreezing temperature.

It's Not Too Early To Start Planning This Summer's National Park Vacation

Sure, the calendar says January, there's a lot of snow out there across the country, and you haven't even thought about filing your income taxes. But it's still not too early to begin planning your national park vacation for this summer.

National Parks and the Inauguration of President Obama

While national parks weren't mentioned by President Barack Obama in his inaugural speech today, it could be said that they actually weren't too far out of mind during the first day of 44's tenure.

National Park Quiz 37: Search and Rescue

Being lost in the wilderness is a fearful thing, even worse if you’re injured and wondering if anyone is looking for you. Each year, hundreds of people go missing or are injured in America's national parks. Test your knowledge of search and rescue facts and trivia with this week's quiz.

National Park Quiz 36: Management

Take this week’s quiz and see how much you know about the various managerial arrangements for our national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking we’ll make you write “The National Park Service manages St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site under a cooperative agreement with the Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights at Saint Paul's Church, Eastchester” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Rules! Rules! Rules!

Yes, yes, I know that you always consult the Superintendent’s Compendium of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions as required under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulation § 1.7(b) before visiting a national park. But do you really know all you need to know to be a responsible park visitor?

Yosemite National Park Officials Looking For Suggestions on Preserving Badger Pass Ski Lodge

Would it be blasphemy to suggest that Yosemite National Park get out of the ski business?

With Winter Hitting Much of the Country Hard, There Are Many Ski Opportunities in the National Parks

Winter, it seems, is everywhere these days. Even poor Las Vegas has been hammered (relatively speaking, of course) by a snowstorm. And Death Valley National Park has seen snowflakes this winter. So shouldn't you be planning a national park ski trip?

National Park Quiz 34: Christmas in the Parks

It’s Christmas Eve, so let’s give this this week’s quiz a Christmas focus. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll tell Santa.

The AARP Seven-Tip List for Economical National Park Visiting is One Tip Short

The AARP recently published a list of seven senior-focused tips for saving money on national park visits. All seven make good sense, but we’d like to suggest an eighth.

Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?

The impending change of rules that would allow national park visitors to arm themselves stands a good chance of being placed in limbo, if not overturned, by legal challenges in the coming weeks and months. But if that doesn't happen, it'll be interesting to see how many gun owners actually follow the rules.

NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree

While most often we hear about fish, bird, or animal species needing Endangered Species Act protection, today a group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend that protection to a tree, the whitebark pine.
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Rescued Yosemite Hiker Has Lots to be Thankful for This Year

Yosemite winter scene
A solo backcountry trip to Yosemite National Park offered a lot more than a hiker bargained for earlier this month. A major mistake could have led to a tragic outcome, and the man has plenty to be thankful for this November.

Roughly One-Third of Curry Village to Be Permanently Closed in Yosemite National Park

Geologic reports that point to an inherent instability of the Glacier Point cliff face have led Yosemite National Park officials to permanently close roughly one-third of Curry Village to overnight accommodations.

National Park Quiz 29: Diving

It doesn't get much publicity, but some of the most interesting scuba diving in the U.S. takes place in our national parks. So grab your fins, masks, snorkels and regulators and have a go at this week's quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll put sand in your wetsuit.