Recent comments

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I greatly enjoyed my trip down the Colorado downstream of Hoover Dam. It's a real treat to paddle into a little cove and find a hot spring leaking from the rocks. Concessions at Lake Mead NRA provide guided raft trips and kayak rentals.

  • Upgrades Coming to Logan Pass Visitor Center in Glacier National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    A worthy project!

    I suspect many of us have wondered if it's worth the time and effort to submit comments on government projects, so I was encouraged to note the following in this story:

    Public comment was instrumental in park management’s decision to change the preferred alternative to use of solar power as a primary energy source
    .

  • Thelma & Louise Redux? Man Drives Car Off South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    The famous/infamous scene from Thelma and Louise was shot at Dead Horse State Park, located just outside of Moab Utah. If you have never been you should go. It rivals the Grand Canyon.

  • Thelma & Louise Redux? Man Drives Car Off South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I think it's happened a few times, and not only in Grand Canyon. A few people have driven over the edge in Death Valley...usually they aren't found until the military flies overhead. I've often wondered why people love to commit suicide in the parks.

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    If you go to DEVA in the spring, be very careful where you camp if you use a tent! Strong daily heating & cooling produces strong morning & evening winds, especially near the moths of canyons. Mesquite Spring up by Scotty's Castle has some sheltered sites.

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    The only time I'd been to Death Valley was for less than 3 hours. It was 126 deg F at Badwater late afternoon in late June. I got a couple of Icees at the Furnace Creek Store. You wouldn't believe how fast they started melting.

    I will return one of these days when the weather is more conductive to hiking. I've heard every year they find some tourist who dies from heat stroke while hiking. For some reason, European tourists seem to want to trying summer hiking in Death Valley. Especially Germans.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    FYI - the NPS canned the waiting list for non-commercial Colorado River launches. It's now a weighted annual lottery system, where those who were on the old waiting list get more chances. I'm thinking a lot of people remember the scene from "Into the Wild" where Christopher McCandless is at the Lees Ferry ranger station, and finds out the wait for a launch date will be over a decade.

    https://npspermits.us/grandcanyon/river

  • Thelma & Louise Redux? Man Drives Car Off South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Holy sh*t!!! This is both sad and scary at the same time. Has anything like this ever happened before?

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Reinharden, you're definitely right about the Middle Fork being a fabulous river. But, alas, it's not in the National Park System, which is the area this post focused on.

    Now, if the Forest Service wouldn't mind swapping that section of the forest to the NPS, we'll definitely add it in next year's Top 10 list!

    As for the Buffalo River, yes, it's a great stream, but I'm told it can get awful boney during the summertime, making it a chore of sorts to paddle.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I just realized that you left of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as well as the Main Salmon, the Lower Salmon, and continuing even further downstream, Hells Canyon (although technically at that point, we're back on the Snake).

    But *no* river list for the US can be complete without the Middle Fork of the Salmon. That's probably the crown jewel of continental rivers. Right up there with the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

    If we're hanging out in Idaho, we should also probably mention the Selway (which is impossible to get a permit for)...

    #####

    A sleeper candidate that's astounding, but much harder to catch, is the 50+ miles on Arizona's Salt River. The day trip is nice, but the full trip through the Salt River wilderness area is spectacular.

    reinharden

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Seems like any list that doesn't include the Buffalo National River system in Arkansas is somewhat lacking. Not many rivers in the lower 48 states that allow for 7+ day trips down a river with no dams.

    reinharden

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    In Death Valley, the months from November through March are best for cooler temperatures because all of the other months have daily maximum temperature averaging 90 degrees or higher. As you've pointed out, Easter vacation is not a bad time to be there. Easter falls on different dates from year to year (it was most recently April 12), but it's usually before uncomfortably hot weather sets in. If you make it back to DEVA, consider taking an evening meal at Furnace Creek Inn. It's a tad pricey, but a very memorable dining experience. A cheaper, but still very satisfying experience is to grab a comfortable seat in the lobby and enjoy a glass of wine or mixed drink from the bar.

  • Free Digital Photo Workshops at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Hi, Jeremy -

    Thanks for the update! I apparently snagged info from a press release that is out of date. I'll make some corrections in the story.

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    >> Carving away at the state budget has gone way past the fat-cutting stage and is now deep into muscle, sinew, and bone. Everything is painful. Nothing is safe.

    Wow. What ignorance. How about $100K+ pensions for thousands of retired (or double-dipping) government workers and billions on services to illegal aliens?

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 45 weeks ago

    The Alsek River at the northern tip of Glacier Bay National Park has to be in the top 10.

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I remember camping in Death Valley with my parents and brother and sisters back in the very late 50s, early 60s. We always went over Easter vacation from our home in the bay area. I can say that I have checked off most of the sight as you did but we never ate at the hotel. I clearly remember the frost that covered the folks car in the mornings but the afternoons were nice and warm...great for sighseeing.

  • Free Digital Photo Workshops at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Hi Jim,

    I wanted to let you know the program is alive and well in the Grand Canyon, but some of the details in your article are a bit out of date. Rob and Ann are not leading the program this year. There are, however, 8 very talented photographers that teach the courses to the small groups. There is a lot of opportunity for one on one interaction with the instructors.

    After wrapping up in the Grand Canyon on Jul 27, the program moves to Yellowstone National Park (Aug 2 - 9). Then, the program wraps up for the summer in Acadia National Park (Aug 20 - 27).

    For more detailed location information, as well as a list of the Explorers of Light scheduled to lead, check out the official schedule here - http://usa.canon.com/parks - click the 'workshops' tab after it loads up. I've been involved with this program the last two years and can tell you it is really a lot of fun.

  • Night Sky Viewing Programs at Acadia National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Thanks Jim. Nice write-up. Yes, let's have more night sky programs at other national parks. The night skies are an integral component of our national parks, many of which, have terrific viewing conditions.

    rob
    ---
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography

  • Jon Jarvis Finally Nominated to be Next Director of the National Park Service   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Those of us with a special love for Crater Lake National Park applaud the Obama appointment of Jon Jarvis as the next NPS Director. Jon served Crater Lake as resources managment specialist during the early 1980's. This was a special time when Congress initiated directed funding for lake monitoring and research.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I'm impressed by the photographic evidence that remote camera picked up in the Cascades. Quite a menagerie! The yellow lab was almost as surprising as the wolverine.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I am deeply sceptical. My opinion is that America (especially Hollywood) has done precious little favours to great American literary works over the years. I think Panama Red and Rudolf the Red have it right. This film sounds like a good idea, but in the end true justice will not be served, leaving this Bible for the Champions of the Underdog, the defenders of the American West from the slow, stranglehold of Walmart death that is gripping the last fabrics of the fragile quilt that is/was the American Dream, a scar that shall never heal. Much like our fabled Route 66, what seemed like a timeless, right of passage, TMWG has now entered the doldrums of Pop Culture Nostalgia. At least Robert Redford went horse back riding with Edward Abbey; he could probably give a little grit to a film that already sounds like its missing teeth. Cathy better get it right.

  • St. Louis Man Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Did Barry Goldstien graduate from Parkway North? If so, I was friends with him in highschool.

    B

  • Jon Jarvis Finally Nominated to be Next Director of the National Park Service   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Jon Jarvis is indeed a special choice for Director of the National Park Service. He appreciates good talent, even with people who have different perceptions than his own. He respects unique parkscapes, such as his time at Craters of the Moon where he showcased old wagon ruts from some historic trail to the public. Jon values employees, in a way that is respectful and genuine. He also knows how to handle more salty political types commonly found in Washington. Wrangell St. Elias however is his gem, community engagement, polished new facilities all a big part of his legacy. But he has always loved the lesser-known Prince William Forest Park, a unit under the NPS, where he secured his professional credentials with resource mgmt and law enforcement. I truly admire his character. However, he will need to bridge the divide with other NPS wings, and he does not yet have the background for the really big political battles which could come down the pike. As one of his professional biographers, I look forward to writing about his new post and the challenges that loom ahead...

    Ben Lord

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Thanks for this encouraging report, Bob! A wolverine was also recently photographed near Mt. Adams, far south of their supposed range in the Cascades: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009390936_skunkbear27m.html

  • Night Sky Viewing Programs at Acadia National Park   5 years 45 weeks ago

    In honor of this International Year of Astronomy and the special opportunities presented to visitors of national parks to view the night sky away from the pollution of city and suburban lights, I would hope that the NPS promotes programs like this throughout the national park system.

    Parks are places where the full glory of a dark and starry night can be enjoyed by anyone curious enough to stay out after dark. If there are scheduled NPS interpretive programs with knowledgeable naturalists of the sky equipped with telescopes and astronomical binoculars, so much the better.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830