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RVing In The Parks: Five Great Western Campgrounds In The National Parks

RVers who enjoy America's national parks know that most government campgrounds weren't designed to accommodate today's recreational vehicles. However, some exceptions exist, especially in the vast open lands west of the Mississippi. Here are the best national park campgrounds for RVs in California, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
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Red-Legged Frog Tadpoles Released In Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Things hopefully will be hopping in the near future in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, where hundreds of California red-legged frog tadpoles have been released as part of the first-ever effort to expand the range of the threatened species in Southern California.
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Essential Summer Guide '14: Spanish Galleons, Elephant Seals, And Great Birding At Point Reyes National Seashore

It's the stuff of legends, of treasure seekers. Somewhere, not far from land, lies buried treasure in the seabed of Drakes Bay. Within the remains of the 16th century Spanish galleon San Agustin there could be priceless heirlooms, or merely shards of porcelain dishes that the ship was carrying from the Philippines to Mexico. What is known is that the wreck of the San Agustin in 1595 in waters now within Point Reyes National Seashore is the first recorded shipwreck on the West Coast.
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Parks And Local Economies—Observations From Glacier National Park

A recent article in the Traveler highlighted a report that describes the economic impact of NPS areas on "local communities, states and the nation." While some will quibble about the methodology used or the accuracy of the numbers, there's no question that parks are an important factor in the economy of local communities. I was reminded just how much that's the case during a recent visit to Glacier National Park.
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Trails I've Hiked: Grinnell Lake By Boat And Boot In Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is often described as a "hiker's paradise," and over 700 miles of trails offer plenty of choices for what the park describes as "adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude." Glacier also offers some fine shorter hikes that offer a taste of the backcountry with only moderate physical demands, and one of the most popular is the combination boat trip/hike to Grinnell Lake.
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Exploring The Parks: Oregon National Historic Trail In Wyoming

Plant yourself -- leaning into the wind, of course -- on the open prairie near South Pass City, Wyoming, and you can quickly envision the setting that faced Conestoga-riding emigrants more than a century ago in their exodus to the West Coast. Endless miles of sagebrush, the Wind River Range looming ever-present to the north, a boundless sky dotted here and there with distant rainstorms.
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Olympic National Park Working On Long-Range Mountain Goat Management Plan

Mountain goats are spectacular animals, even iconic in places such as Glacier National Park, but they can cause problems in parks where they don't belong. At Olympic National Park, where a 1920s era introduction project brought non-native goats into the landscape, officials are embarking on a management plan for how to deal with the animals. Adding weight to the need for such a plan was the fatal goring of a hiker in the park four years ago.
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Traveler's View: Anti-Government Politicians Bear Watching This Election Year

How much federal land is too much? When it comes to the state level, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas believes 50.5 percent is too much. While he recently failed to force the federal government to reduce the size of its holdings, the Republican and other anti-government politicians bear watching, particularly with the coming fall elections.
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Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem

In a 25-page motion attacking not just the propriety but also the legality of a backcountry user fee at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a group of backpackers has not only asked that the fees be tossed out, but shined some light on the conundrum of how to afford our public lands.
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Yosemite National Park Concession Prospectus Includes Significant Lodging Changes

The recently issued prospectus for operation of the majority of Yosemite National Park’s concession facilities includes several significant changes related to the park’s lodging. Lodging, a major revenue generator for the winning bidder (and the National Park Service), is expected to generate from $52-$57 million in 2016, the year the new lease kicks in.
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Denali National Park Officials Looking To Widen Pullout At Government Hill

Great photo spots in the national parks often tend to lead to wide, crowded spots in the road if there's not an overlook already established or the one that exists is too small. At Denali National Park in Alaska, officials are working to "uncrowd" one such spot and make it safer for you to pull over, enjoy the view, and snap a few photos.
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Tool From USGS Lets You Assess Sea-Level Rise, Storm Overwash, Coastline Changes At Your Favorite National Seashore

With hurricane season upon us, what are the odds that your favorite national seashore might be impacted by a Category I storm? How might sea-level rise in the years ahead affect your favorite beach? The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a tool that can give you some insights to those questions.
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Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks

Horses have a long, long history in America. They came to the New World with the Spaniards, and have carried riders ever since. In many national parks horses are icons, seen as both honorable steeds that carry mounted rangers and as work horses that carry both visitors and gear. But they also have impacts on the landscape, and there have been calls to ban them from the parks. But should they be banned?
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UPDATED: Oklahoma Woman Dies From Climbing Accident At Grand Teton National Park

An Oklahoma woman hoping to summit the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park was killed when she fell negotiating a short section of the climb below the Upper Saddle at an elevation of 13,160 feet, while a backpacker on the last day of a week-long Teton Crest trip was injured in an unrelated accident nearby.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide