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Discriminating Explorer: Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park's Elegant Lady, Renovated And Invigorated

When Robert Reamer approached the task of remodeling a simple lodge in the still fledgling Yellowstone National Park, he had a backdrop of a sweeping lake rimmed by mountains that remained jacketed in snow well into summer. And yet, to draw Eastern society out to this wilderness, he realized he would need more to lure them than a stunningly beautiful setting.
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Musings From Timpanogos Cave National Monument: To Fee or Not to Fee, That Is The Question

User fees are becoming more and more prevalent on public lands used for recreation. Are they worth it? Occasional contributor Lee Dalton, retired from a National Park Service career, muses on that matter after visiting Timpanogos Cave National Monument in central Utah.
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A Most Difficult Trail....

Pacific Creek, Oregon Trail. Copyright Kurt Repanshek

Crossing Wyoming was a tedious, and dangerous, task for those heading to a new life in Oregon or perhaps California. Here, at along the Oregon Trail at Pacific Springs not far from South Pass City, Wyoming, with the Wind River Range in the distance, emigrants would stop to rest themselves and their livestock. For some, it was their final stop, as several graves are in the area.

Kurt Repanshek
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Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees

Water provides the energy needed to drive the machinery at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, but without waterwheels to capture that energy, well, all that energy would be lost. To keep things running, the park site currently is working on building five new waterwheels by hand. What's missing, though, are some good trees. Large white oak trees, specifically, that can be fashioned into shafts for the waterwheels.
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Exploring The Parks: Musings From Aztec Ruins National Monument

Aztec has nothing to do with the Aztecs of Mexico and Central America. But it does have everything to do with Ancestral Puebloans. It may be one of many places people from Chaco moved to when Chaco was abandoned. Occupation here began in about the late 1000's and flourished until around 1130. By the late 1200's, this settlement was abandoned as so many others had been. As is the case elsewhere, no one knows why.
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Essential Summer Guide '14: Mix History And Wilderness At Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cast across more than 36,000 acres, Cumberland Island National Seashore is, as its name implies, on an island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Make the ferry boat crossing from St. Marys and you’ll discover history of those long ago enslaved here, blueblood manses, about 18 miles of waveswept beaches, and nearly 9,000 acres of official Wilderness.
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Exploring The Parks: Rendezvous at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site recently hosted its 32nd annual Fort Union Rendezvous that takes place each year during the third weekend in June. This year’s event commenced Thursday with Kids Day in the fort courtyard. Activities throughout the weekend included demonstrations of pottery making, gunsmithing, blacksmithing, bow making, flintlock firing, and frontier cooking. Muskrat skinning and brain tanning were offered for the strong of heart.
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Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013

While the number of search-and-rescue missions conducted in the National Park System in 2013 dropped slightly from the previous year, the number of individuals never found jumped fourfold, to 56, according to the National Park Service's annual Search and Rescue Report.
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Applicants Sought For 2014 @American_Latino Expedition

The call has gone out folks. Applications are now being taken for the 2014 @American_Latino Expedition, a contest designed to engage diverse audiences and inspire exploration and stewardship of America’s national parks, all the while highlighting American Latino culture, history, and contributions across the National Park System.
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Trails I've Hiked: Sipapu Bridge Trail In Natural Bridges National Monument

Often overlooked by visitors seeking memorable experiences at Utah's iconic "Mighty Five" national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, and Zion), the lesser-known Natural Bridges National Monument showcases three stunning natural bridges: Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo.
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Cape Hatteras, Where The 'National Seashore' Concept Was Born

Sun, salt spray, and sand are the main ingredients for a traditional Outer Banks vacation. Here on the North Carolina coast, where barrier islands bare the brunt of the Atlantic Ocean, families have been coming for decades to enjoy not only those aspects of summer but some of the best fishing along the Atlantic coast.
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Exploring The Parks: Dingmans Falls At Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Straddling the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a 70,000-acre swath of forests cut by a river, with tributaries flowing in throughout the parkscape. It offers a quick and easy escape from urban areas of the metropolitan New York-New Jersey, as well as from the Philadelphia area.
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Glacier National Park Park Recovering From Impacts Of Major Spring Storm

Getting roads, trails and other facilities ready for the summer season at Glacier National Park is always a challenge for the park staff, but a recent major storm dealt a serious setback to some of those efforts. After a number of closures last week, work has resumed on the popular Going-to-the-Sun road.
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National Park Service To Mark 75th Birthday Of Old Santa Fe Trail Building

Signs of the Civilian Conservation Corps -- trails, roads, buildings -- can be found throughout the National Park System, though one of the work crews' iconic productions is outside the parks, in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, in the heart of the city's old section, stands the largest adobe office building in the United States.
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Exploring The Parks: Musings From Island In The Sky At Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is divided by the Green and Colorado Rivers into three distinct districts. Needles, Island in the Sky, and the Maze. There are no roads connecting them because the rivers and some very deep ditches are in the way. Island in the Sky is about a two-hour drive north of the Needles. The Maze is another matter. It can be reached only via a very long and circuitous route.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide