Can You Still Get Off the Beaten Path in National Parks?

How much have the national parks changed since you were a kid? Have they changed? When you return to a park that you haven't been to in decades, is it like returning to an old friend, or visiting someplace totally alien?

Presumed 400-foot Fall Kills Man in Zion National Park

A 48-year-old man has been killed in Zion National Park, apparently the victim of a 400-foot fall from the Canyon Overlook near Zion Tunnel.

National Park System Would Gain Official Wilderness Under Omnibus Lands Bill

A massive lands bill introduced today by Senator Jeff Bingaman would, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, designate hundreds of thousands of acres of official wilderness across the National Park System.

Zion National Park Looking for Help With Annual Bird Count

Like to count? Like birds? Like to count birds in Zion National Park?

Utah Man Dies in Fall at Zion National Park

A short fall in Zion National Park has killed a 55-year-old Utah man.

Zion National Park Has Lured Artists For Decades

Kolob Arch, Zion NP. Kurt Repanshek photo.
As you enter Zion Canyon, it's impossible to avert your eyes from the sandstone ramparts that frame the cleft cut by the Virgin River. They're just that impressive.

Zion National Park Planning To "Rehabilitate" Mount Carmel Highway

Talk about ambitious. The folks at Zion National Park are planning to do the first substantial rehabilitation of the Mount Carmel Highway in nearly 80 years, something that will not be an overnight job.

Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System

The shuttle system that takes visitors into and out of Zion Canyon at Zion National Park long has been singled out for its success. But even a good thing can have problems.

Colorado Man Falls to His Death in Zion National Park

A 34-year-old Colorado climber working on one of Zion National Park's more popular climbing routes has fallen an estimated 300 feet to his death.

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest

Sweeping panoramas, fluted slot canyons and fossilized sand dunes are among the subjects that Jon Ortner brings into focus with Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest, an expansive coffee table book.

Another Look at Those GPS Rangers in the National Parks

It was just about a year ago that I wrote about the invasion of "GPS Rangers" into the national parks. Back then I wasn't so keen on this hand-held electronic tour gizmo, but there does seem to be a hidden blessing in it.

Traveler's Picks for Where to Get Wet in the National Park System

We definitely are in the dog days of summer. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park the temperature's been well into the 90s, and with the high humidity, well, you really do need to find a place to cool off. With that understood, here are Traveler's Top Picks for where to get wet in the National Park System.*

Backcountry Volunteer Survives 100 Foot Fall While Canyoneering at Zion National Park

A 23-year old canyoneer is badly hurt after a botched rappel sent her tumbling 100 feet into Zion National Park’s Pine Creek Canyon.

Battling Invasive Species in Arches National Park

Our national parks are places of incredible beauty and rich history. But they also are under siege. Across the National Park System, the landscape is being invaded by non-native species that are not just out of place, when you consider what should be growing, but in some cases are actually driving out the natives.

Zion National Park is a Magnet for Canyoneers

Zion National Park has become a magnet for canyoneering enthusiasts. With more than four dozen remote and technical slot canyons feeding into Zion Canyon, the park is just about as good as it gets for practitioners of this rapidly growing extreme sport.

Fire Restrictions Ban Campfires at Zion National Park

Dry conditions in the Southwest have prompted Zion National Park officials to institute fire restrictions, including a ban on campfires and smoking on trails.

Coal-Fired Plants Obscuring National Park Vistas

On a clear day, you often can see for miles and miles. But as a report from the National Parks Conservation Association points out, clear days are harder and harder to find in our national parks under the Bush administration's relatively laissez-faire approach to coal-fired power plants.

National Park Quiz 1: Are You Centered?

Do you know where the national parks are located? This little quiz will test the accuracy of your National Park System “mental map.” The answers are at the end. No peeking!

In the News: Loss of Cougars in Yosemite National Park, "Uranium Rush" at Grand Canyon National Park

Critics of the National Park Service's mandate to conserve natural resources often say the national parks were not intended to be kept inside bell jars. And that's certainly not happening. Proof can be seen in how the loss of cougars is thought to be adversely affecting Yosemite National Park and the recent rush to find uranium near Grand Canyon National Park.

Zion National Park Shuttle System To Resume March 21

Spring can't be far off, as the shuttle buses at Zion National Park will soon resume hauling visitors into and out of Zion Canyon.

Zion National Park's New Backcountry Management Plan Reduces Daily Traffic in The Narrows

It won't be quite so crowded in Zion Narrows under the new backcountry management plan adopted by Zion National Park.

Park History: Zion National Park

Sandstone monoliths and a tight slot canyon are what most stands out about Zion National Park, and rightfully so. When you enter Zion Canyon your eyes can't help but be drawn to the Sentinel, the Three Patriarchs, and the Mountain of the Sun.

With The Off-Season Here, Lodging Deals Are Popping Up Throughout the National Park System

Students are back in school, the weather is turning, the leaves have mostly fallen. Also falling are the costs of booking a room in national park lodges for the next few months.

If You Have to Ask the Price, The Ahwahnee And Jenny Lake Lodge Are Probably Out of Reach

Earlier this summer we ran a list of the Top 10 Lodges in the park system. Admittedly it's a "soft" list, one that definitely is not objective. But what some might find objectionable are the nightly costs for staying in some of these places.

RS2477 And the National Parks

East Rim Trail in Zion; East Zion Tourism Council Photo
The other day a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit that aimed to open Surprise Canyon in Death Valley National Park to ORV traffic. That post generated a lot of debate over the propriety of a road in that rugged canyon. Those who filed the lawsuit claimed they had a right to the road thanks to a Civil War-era statute known as R.S. 2477. Well, Death Valley isn't the only park that could suffer from this statute.

Zion Fire Complex Nearing 10,000 Acres, Yellowstone Fire Grows

Continued dry, windy conditions have allowed the Dakota Complex of fires in Zion National Park to grow to nearly 10,000 acres in the park's backcountry. Fire bosses say they've contained just 10 percent of the fires, and the current weather conditions, the rugged terrain the fires are located within, and the possibility of thunderstorms are compounding efforts to get better control over the blazes.

Fires in Zion Force Backcountry Closure

If you're heading to Zion National Park, I hope you're not planning to head into the backcountry. Beginning today park officials have shut down backcountry travel, including canyoneering, because of fires burning there.

Park Shuttles, More Than Just A Bus?

Drawing of Glacier's new shuttle; The Douglas|Group/DEA
Riding a bus in the city is part of the daily grind; kids take them to school, adults take them to work. Should we settle for having to ride a bus on a vacation to a national park too? My feeling is now 'yes, we should'.