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Essential Fall Guide '14: Find Your Place In The West At A Dude Ranch Near A National Park

There’s a sense of place in the West. It flows from endless stands of lodgepole pines, glades of aspen tinged gold by the season, horizons that spread the sky wider than you’ve ever noticed. Spend a little time here, and it seeps into you. It’s the distant bugle of a bull elk, a band of pronghorn darting across the open range, the chortling flock of sandhill cranes, southbound, high overhead. They all fill your senses with the West as it’s always been, as it always should be.
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Grand Teton National Park Seeking Input On Managing Moose-Wilson Corridor

A wonderful stretch of backroad in Grand Teton National Park is the Moose-Wilson Road, a narrow road -- almost a lane -- that connects the park headquarters with Wilson. It's generally quiet, attracts moose and bears, and is highly picturesque. But increasing traffic, and wildlife, are creating problems, problems that park staff hope they can reduce or eliminate with a management plan for the corridor.
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Essential Fall Guide '14: Fall Is Not The Season To Stay Inside

For many, fall conjures images of blizzards of golden leaves, the eerie bugles of bull elk, and the first crisp, possibly snow-dusted, days of year’s end. For the northern half of the country these are the realities of the National Park System. There are the breathtaking days of hiking, watching wildlife on the move, and even tasting the season in the bounties of wild berries and other fruits.
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Mother Nature Handles Two Lightning-Caused Fires At Mount Rainier National Park

It's been a tough fire season in parts of Washington State, so when lightning strikes started two fires at Mount Rainier National Park recently, there was plenty of local media interest. A section of the popular Wonderland Trail was closed and a fire crew headed into the backcountry, but in this case, Mother Nature had it covered.
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Olympic National Park Rangers To Guide Hikes Along Elwha River As Restoration Continues

As the dynamic restoration of the Elwha River drainage in Olympic National Park continues in the wake of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams being dismantled, the opportunity to see the landscape's renewal first-hand arrives on Tuesday, when the first of a small number of ranger-led hikes into the drainage will be offered.
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Essential Park Guide, Fall '14: Your Travel Guide To The National Parks

For many, fall conjures images of blizzards of golden leaves, the eerie bugles of bull elk, and the first crisp, possibly snow-dusted, days of year’s end. For the northern half of the country these are the realities of the National Park System. There are the breathtaking days of hiking, watching wildlife on the move, and even tasting the season in the bounties of wild berries and other fruits.
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Secretary Jewell To Visit Acadia National Park To Highlight Science And Youth

National parks harbor some of the greatest landscapes for scientific exploration, whether terrestrial, marine, or freshwater. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will stress that connection Friday when she visits Acadia National Park and applauds the work the Schoodic Institute does to connect and engage youth with earth sciences.
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Concessions Contract Will Cost Grand Canyon National Park $100 Million, But Benefit Park In Long Run

A new concessions contract for businesses on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will cost the park $100 million, an amount that could impact just about all operations in the park, Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said Wednesday. In the long run, however, the move stands to benefit both the park and its visitors, observers believe.
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Learn About The Faces Behind The Monuments On August 23 Tour At Chickamauga Battlefield

Like almost any other site commemorating the Civil War, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park features hundreds of monuments and markers, and many of them bear the likeness of individual soldiers. If you've ever wondered about the stories behind these faces, you can join a special walking and driving tour at the park on Saturday, August 23.
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Reader Participation Day: How Much Should The National Park Service Rely On Volunteers?

How much should the National Park Service rely on volunteers? That's a difficult question, as there are teachers, retirees, and others with valuable knowledge and skills that the parks could benefit from, particularly as the agency struggles to make ends meet. But does Apple, or JP Morgan, or any Fortune 500 company rely as much on volunteers for day-to-day operations as does the Park Service?
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Parks Can Provide Great Viewing Platforms For Night Sky Events Like A Super Moon

Parks, especially those in locations with minimal night sky distractions from artificial light, can be great locations for observing—and photographing—celestial events such as Monday's so-called Super Moon. A number of parks offer special night sky programs, but your opportunities to enjoy those out-of-the-world scenes aren't limited to organized events. As the photo accompanying this story confirms, the right locale and timing can provide a chance for a super photo.
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Trails I've Hiked: The Best Easy Hike In Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park offers a cornucopia of hikes, from casual strolls to serious expeditions, so choosing the best of any category of trails in this park is admittedly both a challenge—and just a bit subjective. That said, if you're looking for a short hike that offers magnificent views, and is easy enough to be completed by almost any visitor, one rises to the top of my list.
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Birding In The National Parks: Birding By The Season Through The National Park System

National park travelers are keenly aware of the changing seasons. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a completely different experience in August than in October. The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon need to be seen both in the blistering July sun and the January snow to be fully appreciated. And, of course, there’s Yellowstone – a bustling city on a summer weekend and a tranquil white wilderness on a bright February morning.
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NPS Tries Again To Find A Bidder For Major Visitor Facilities at Grand Canyon National Park

The South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park is the home of some of the best-known concessioner-operated visitor facilities and services in the National Park System, and the agency has announced the availability of a prospectus for future operation of those functions. The new 15-year contract is one of the largest in the NPS in terms of revenue and lodging inventory.
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Exploring The Parks: General Washington's Headquarters At Morristown

In central New Jersey, just a short distance from New York City, the Continental Army hunkered down in a place called Jockey Hollow for a long, cold, harsh winter of monitoring the British troops across the Hudson River in New York City. Today you can get a feel for this setting -- though it's heavily urbanized these days -- with a visit to Morristown National Historical Park where General George Washington and 10,000-12,000 troops spent what's believed to be the coldest winter on record.
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Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

At Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, the National Park Service should welcome a discussion into a form of backcountry travel that, if properly managed, need not alter the decades-long experience of visiting these two magnificent parks, but rather enhance it for a small number of wilderness travelers.
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Man Hopes To Run Entire Length Of Blue Ridge Parkway For Charity Fundraiser

A North Carolina man plans to begin an ambitious attempt to run the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway on August 9, and hopes to complete the 469-mile trip in only nine days. His purpose is to raise money for a camp that serves special needs kids and for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
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Survey Shows Visitors Would Support Higher Entrance Fees To See Yellowstone National Park Bears

Bears in Yellowstone National Park and visitors who watch bears cost money, both in terms of the park's approach to bear management, and its approach to "bear jams" on the park's roads. And, interestingly, a study shows that a majority of Yellowstone visitors would pay as much $50 extra dollars in entrance fees to ensure the opportunity to see bears in the park.
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Unmanned Drone Crashes Into Famous Hot Spring At Yellowstone National Park

A ban on the use of drones in National Park Service areas has become a hot topic this summer, and that was literally the case last weekend at Yellowstone National Park when one of the unmanned aircraft crashed into the largest hot spring in the park. Park officials now have to figure out what threat the debris may pose to the spring itself.
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Grand Canyon National Park: Past And Present

Grand Canyon National Park: Past and Present follows a format that is similar to two other books by the same authors: Yosemite National Park: Past and Present and Yellowstone National Park: Past and Present. These three large-format coffee table books present pages filled with reproductions of historic memorabilia juxtaposed with current photographs and text describing the parks’ history, attractions, and, to a lesser extent, natural resources.
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100th Anniversary Of Arapaho Pack Trip Celebrated On August 9 At Rocky Mountain National Park

In 1914, the Colorado Mountain Club, hoping to persuade Congress to support the establishment of a national park in the Estes Valley and Grand Lake area, arranged for Arapaho elders from the Wind River Reservation to provide Arapaho names for local landmarks. Part of that effort involved a two-week pack trip through the area, and the centennial of those activities is being celebrated with a series of events on August 9 at Rocky Mountain National Park.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide