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No Backpacking In Arches National Park For Now

Feb 15th - 17:28pm | Rick B.

Thanks for pointing that out backpacker. I'm seeing docs right now for both my arthritis [my typing is lousy] and my vision [cataract surgery soon]. You understood what I was saying and my observations were still spot on. Just watch out for them black helicopters.

Feb 15th - 17:21pm | tomp2


Feb 15th - 14:00pm | SmokiesBackpacker

"Parnoid Fantasy".   (Try spell checking Rick B., but I swear I'm not out to get you.)  The NPS frequently employes "resource degradation" as a justification for reducing backcountry camping.  Yet they provide no data to back it up.  The NPS has successfully reduced backcountry camping throughout the system.  But, guide services are BOOMING.

Feb 15th - 12:07pm | wild places

Looking for an education. Why can't this be done with people using the back country overnight? Or at least using it on a smaller scale? Guess I'm struggling to come up with how allowing back country camping would interfere with a study but not day hiking.

Feb 15th - 11:14am | Rick B.

Beyond 'broad statement' it sounds closer to 'parnoid fantasy'.

Feb 15th - 10:30am | Trailbuilder

That is a pretty broad statement to say that all National Parks do not want backpackers. This article suggests they are looking into ways to protect the resource not keep out backpackers.

Feb 15th - 08:47am | SmokiesBackpacker

This is where the NPS would like to go with all backpacking.  They would like to end it permanently outside of guided trips by concessionaires.  The NPS doesn't want people in the backcountry and their fee schemes are a great way to do it.

UPDATED: Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

Feb 15th - 17:25pm | Rick B.

With two caveats [this is from an allied agency, USGS, and that it is dated 2013 so the dollar amounts have changed] I believe this link will help with your questions:

Feb 15th - 16:47pm | Barbara Tanks

If I want to camp at National Parks, what does the Senior Pass do for me?  

UPDATED: National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers Being Called To Standing Rock

Feb 15th - 17:15pm | Rick B.

Unless they are there to protect the water protectors, it is a misuse.

Cell Phone Tower Issue At Theodore Roosevelt National Park Raises Questions Of Connectivity In National Parks

Feb 15th - 15:17pm | SteveM

This is another effort to dictate how, when, and where people can visit Wilderness. High-tech cookware and clothes are allowed, but invisible waves passing through air are not?

Former Big Bend National Park Ranger: Border Wall Would "Completely Ruin The Experience"

Feb 15th - 13:26pm | justinh

Thanks, Jason!

Feb 15th - 12:50pm | Jason Abrams

As a member of the Greater Big Bend Coalition, I can tell everyone that we will aggressively battle any plans for a wall or remote surveillance towers in Big Bend.  We are taking this issue to Congress.

Feb 14th - 21:11pm | Gary Wilson

The wall won't happen.  It's a big empty promise, that trumpty dumpty used to get both sides riled up into hysterics.  When all is said and done, we will probably have closer ties to Mexico than we do now when the next administration comes about, because of these hysterics.

Feb 14th - 16:27pm | Pam S

I can't even imagine a wall going thru Big Bend National Park.  Not to mention the sheer logistics of building said wall. An insane idea form an isane man. 

Feb 14th - 11:23am | Lee Dalton

But . . . but .  . . but without the Wall how will we ever Make America Great Again? The wall is necessary to prepare us for the Next Great Leap Forward: American deveopment of large scale mining operations on the Moon.

Feb 14th - 10:03am | tahoma

The Congressional Budget Office estimates "maintenance costs will exceed the initial construction costs within seven years".  Don't miss John Oliver lampooning Trump's absurd idea:

Feb 14th - 09:27am | J.Lowell Nafziger

Abandoning the Rio Bravo Binational area would deprive Americans of access to the Sierra del Carmen, arguably the most spectacular mountains in the region.  And as justinh points out, the great float trips would no longer be practical, which is one of the main draws of the Park.

Feb 14th - 08:53am | justinh

I believe the boundary between the park and Mexico is the middle of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo.  It might be difficult to float Santa Elena Canyon with that fence in the middle of the river.  

Feb 14th - 06:40am | Rebecca Latson ...

Yeah, I kinda wonder how they would maneuver that big ole wall around the Santa Elena Canyon.  Would the canyon and trail be totally walled off?  That would be a shame.

Photography In The National Parks: Snowshoes, Cameras, And Winter In Glacier National Park

Feb 15th - 12:23pm | Matthew Wakelee

Glacier is probably my favorite National Park.  I've been there three times, but never in winter.  Great photos Rebecca.  I absolutely loved the bottom one.

Feb 15th - 07:31am | randy muir


Feb 15th - 06:19am | Rebecca Latson ...

Hi There, Amarillobymorning -  Thanks for the kind words.  As for any armchair guide in the near future, I have my national park visits all mapped out for this year and I'm afraid I won't be in Utah this year.  The places you plan on visiting certainly sound like a good stop for me at some point in time, perhaps in 2018 (I have visited Canyonlands, but only for a day).  Enjoy your travels!

Feb 15th - 06:14am | Rebecca Latson ...

Thank you, Dewayne, for your kind words.  I didn't know about the telescope  - that sounds really cool and I'll bet it's amazing on a clear night.

Feb 14th - 15:48pm | [email protected]

Hello Rebecca, some really nice photos of lake Mcdonald. would like to do some night photography there in the future, i was there twice in 2014, early April and the weather was not good for photos and was back in August with 14 of my friends.

Feb 14th - 13:52pm | Amarillobymorning

Excellent tips. Love the examples of Lake McDonald at different times of day. When can we expect more Armchair Guides? Hint: We'll be in the Blanding area of Utah -- Canyonlands, Valley of the Gods, etc. -- in a few months in case you want to churn one out real fast. ;>)

Problems Plague World-Class Museum At Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Feb 15th - 12:23pm | Patrick Christman

An obvious question: whom from the Park Service "signed off" as the original HVAC system was acquired, installed, tested, and certified as to meeting the contract specifications and performance requirements?

Feb 14th - 20:01pm | Lee Dalton

Good comments, Barbara and Robert.  At least a good decision by the current superintendent should be a reasonable starting point. 

Feb 14th - 17:46pm | Robert0117

I noticed what Barbara West mentioned on my visit to Chaco last spring.  There was far less staff at the park and they were not as knowledgeable as staff I have dealt with in the past.

Feb 14th - 14:10pm | Barbara West

This article, while fair, leaves out crucial information about Chaco's current management -- that is by combining the management of Chaco and Aztec at Aztec, there is literally nobody home at Chaco. The senior staff is not at the park;they are at Aztec, seventy five miles away.

Study: $389 Million Of Park Service Backlog Is Responsibility Of Concessionaires

Feb 14th - 21:40pm | Rip

amen !

Feb 13th - 12:32pm | ecbuck

Dahkota, f you can look at this chart and claim the recent trend of defense spending is up, it will explain many of your comments here.  

Feb 13th - 11:54am | dahkota

ec - You are absolutely wrong on the facts. But I suspect that won't change your opinion. Defense spending is up in the last 15 years. It has risen 50% (adjusted for inflation) while every other program (non-military) has only grown by 13.5%. In fact, in 15 years, the total defense budget has doubled.

Feb 13th - 10:05am | Rick B.

KJ - your problem, unfortunately, is that you are paying attention to the most visible republicans; those elected to political office. Those people toe the line to their bought and paid for corporate masters who profit by defiling the environment.

Feb 13th - 08:50am | ecbuck

KJ - You are absolutely wrong on the facts.  But I suspect that won't change your opinion.  Military spending is down dramatically in the last 10 years while Park spending is on the rise.

Feb 13th - 08:35am | Wild Places

Having become very much a skeptic these days I have to wonder what the motivation is behind a liberal group coming out with a report like this. Whatever that motivation might be it is nice to have a little more light shed on this. I also suspect that the NPS greatly inflates these figures because they know they wont get everything they ask for.

Feb 13th - 08:06am | beachdumb

I do not understand why republicans hate clean air, clean water & our park system??? Nonsense. Republicans want clean air, clean water and a successful park system. They hate regulations that defy common sense and are based on fake/false science/data.  

Musings About National Park Diplomacy

Feb 14th - 16:38pm | Danny Bernstein

What a great story! International visitors focus on the western parksIt's a red letter day for me when I meet international visitors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or on the Blue Ridge Parkway - even better when I see them on a hiking trail.!!I always volunteer to take their photos (got to use those international words).Danny Bernstein

Watch For Bison On The Roads In Grand Teton National Park

Feb 14th - 12:53pm | [email protected]

Plains Bison Have Officially Returned To Banff National Park

Feb 13th - 23:38pm | RDP

This FAQ has some details:

Feb 13th - 17:57pm | Kevin H

What happened to the bison that were residing in Banff in the 1950's and 60's

Student Public Lands Internship At Southern Utah University Marks 10th Anniversary

Feb 13th - 11:12am | Caleb S.

Amazing program for students! 

Effort To Overturn Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument Designation Not Expected

Feb 13th - 10:49am | Anonymous

Funny photo caption at bottom - though snowmobiling may indeed be popular, the photo depicts a snowmobile and operator busily grooming a cross-country ski trail!

National Park Service Proposing Changes To How Objects Left At Vietnam Memorial Are Handled

Feb 13th - 10:45am | John

Being a volunteer at the wall I know there will be no way to tell if there is a connection or not. There are some thing that are left only the loved ones know the meaning of. Being selective would be a huge mistake and a discredit to those who served..

Moose And Wolves: Managing For Wilderness Values At Isle Royale National Park

Feb 13th - 10:44am | Julia

There are NO coyotes on Isle Royale, so please do NOT provide false information.  Dr.

Keeping Things Quiet In The National Parks

Feb 13th - 09:01am | Julie

So we should not even bother to visit national parks because we use a motorcycle? Maybe leave that at the campsite and bring the rv instead? That's what the motorcycle is for!

Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park

Feb 13th - 08:16am | Becky Brashears

I visited the Tredegar Iron Works and museums yesterday.  An 80o day in February is not to be wasted!  The National Park Service museum is free and they validate parking, so you can visit the museum and them take a walk to Belle Isle.

Climate Change Presentation Coming To Grand Teton National Park

Feb 13th - 08:14am | ecbuck

I wonder if they talked about the fraud at NOAA?  

North Cascades National Park To Test Backcountry Permit Reservations Program

Feb 13th - 07:56am | justinh

I'm so glad North Cascades is piloting this.  It's so competitive to secure a Copper Ridge-Chilliwack loop permit that, when coming from the East Coast, knowing in advance whether I'll have the permit will make all the difference in planning a trip.

Feb 13th - 07:32am | SmokiesBackpacker

Someone needs to close the backcountry fee floodgate so widely opened under Jarvis. Manufactured data in the form of padded visitation numbers is always the justification for these fees.  Sadly, no one ever challenges the NPS when they put out this false data and the folks who may agree that the NPS does pad numbers will fall in the "well, they need the money" club.

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