Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Founder’s Day: Honoring The Legacy Of Those Who Built The National Park Service

Sure, the National Park Service could just call August 25th its birthday, but the term “Founder’s Day” seems more fitting since the Park Service was the brainchild of a great many people who contributed to its inception.

Fall Is The Best Time To Make Discoveries At The National Parks

If you’re in mood to travel, September and October are wonderful months to spend in the national parks. The crowds have departed, the animals are busy, and the fall color beckons. Now is the time park friends also host an array of workshops tailor-made for life-long learners.

Discriminating Explorer: Friends Groups Sample The Secrets Of The East’s Best National Parks

Cataloochee Valley Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.

Appalachian Trail Celebrates 75 Years As The World’s—Yes, The World's—Quintessential Hike

Appalachian Trail Lakes of the Clouds Hut Mount Washington, NH.
2012 is the 75th anniversary of the world’s quintessential hike—the Appalachian Trail.

Discriminating Explorer: Fort Monroe National Monument—Hub Of A Classic Historic Harbor Tour

“Freedom’s Fortress” is the perfect place to start a visit to one of the nation’s most historic harbors. The massive Chesapeake Bay and the historic towns that cluster at its mouth are a premier destination for history buffs and water enthusiasts.

Explore Yellowstone National Park With Yellowstone Park Foundation's Insider Tips

Yellowstone National Park is huge, covering some 2.2 million acres. How best to explore this landscape? Take to heart some of the following tips from the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Indiana Boy Enjoys Yellowstone National Park Dream Vacation After Recovering From Leukemia

An Indiana boy and his family enjoyed a Yellowstone National Park dream vacation last month thanks to a charity in his home state and the generosity and hospitality of people in the park and a nearby gateway community.

Yellowstone Park Foundation: Working Hard For Wonderland

As Congress continues to look for ways to cut federal spending, non-profit organizations such as the Yellowstone Park Foundation are becoming invaluable for the direct funding they provide the national parks. Often without their help trails would go without maintenance, wildlife research would dip, and facilities would deteriorate.

Fort Monroe: A New National Monument Has A Rich Past And A Potentially Complex Future

jet over Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe, Virginia, our newest national monument—is the largest stone and masonry fort in the United States. But this site embodies much more than just a look back at coastal fortifications. Fort Monroe's pivotal military and even cultural significance reaches back centuries before the United States and forward as recently as last year.

Take Some Insider Tips From The Shenandoah National Park Trust When You Head To Shenandoah National Park

Planning to visit Shenandoah National Park? Let the Shenandoah National Park Trust help you get the most from your visit with its insider tips.

Exploring Dinosaur National Monument Via The Green River

If you ever sat down to list the units of the National Park System that are misunderstood and under-appreciated, Dinosaur National Monument would be near the top. That realization can't be ignored if you've ever floated either the Yampa or Green rivers that cleave into and expose the underbelly of Dinosaur.

The Shenandoah National Park Trust: A Solid Base For The Future

Shenandoah National Park is one of the crown jewels of the national park system. Its partner, Shenandoah National Park Trust, is dedicated to ensuring that it remains that way for generations to come.

A View From The Overlook: The Petrified Wood Olympics

You'd be surprised by the lengths some folks would go to to take a colorful piece of rock from Petrified Forest National Park.

Exploring Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Overlooking the Knife River not far from its confluence with the Missouri, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site today preserves vestiges of what 200 years ago was the heart of Northern Plains tribal trade.

Historic Preservation In The National Park System And The 1916 National Park Service Act, Part I

It took a natural resource issue of epic proportions—the proposal to dam Yosemite National Park’s magnificent Hetch Hetchy Valley—to spark what would become a prolonged campaign to establish a central federal office to administer the national parks.

Pedaling In The Parks: A Morning Ride To Devils Tower National Monument

The 3-mile-long pedal from the entrance station at Devils Tower National Monument to the base of the rocky tooth is all uphill, a constant reminder that nothing worthwhile is ever easily attained.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park With Insider Tips From Friends Of The Smokies

Planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Use these insider tips from Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help make the trip memorable.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

All Aboard! We're Riding The Rails On A Transcontinental National Park Train Trip in Canada

VIA Rail runs from one end of Canada to the other. By itself, or with the luxe Rocky Mountaineer, this cross-country rail ramble offers easy access to countless national parks, historic sites, and marine reserves. British train writer Jools Stone took that trip across Canada last autumn on a visit to Jasper National Park. Here's his review of two great rail services: VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park—With Insider Tips From The Grand Teton National Park Foundation

No photograph can truly capture the razor-sharp way Wyoming’s Teton Range soars above the Jackson Hole Valley—but here's a guide to capturing it on a visit with tips from Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

The Plight Of The Plover At Cape Cod National Seashore

Spotting piping plover nests, eggs, and even fledglings on a sandy beach can be difficult to do, as Theresa Conn discovered during her summer with the Student Conservation Association. That's why it's so important to protect the threatened shorebirds.

A View From The Overlook: Sometimes Bad Things Don't Happen -- The Pine Lands Reserve

Every so often, but not often enough, environmentally bad things don’t happen. One example was the predicted destruction of a unique ecosystem: The Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

Protecting The Grand And Everything Below: The Grand Teton National Park Foundation

Teton Range with snow.
The Grand Teton National Park Foundation helps meet the needs that the National Park Service can't always afford to bear itself.

Parks Beyond Borders / Video Feature: Riding the Rails to Canada's Banff And Jasper National Parks

Jasper Park View
There are great national park train trips all over the world—and one of the best is riding the rails to Canada’s Banff and Jasper National Parks. Swaying through the Canadian Rockies is as good as it gets—and on the Rocky Mountaineer, the setting, service, and food are first-class. Lesser cost options make these parks a not-to-be-missed world-class experience.

Exploring Glacier National Park With Insider Tips From The Glacier Fund

Tucked far north in Montana, hard against the Canadian border, Glacier National Park is a rumpled and craggy masterpiece. Within the park’s 1 million acres rise rustling aspen glades, stands of an unusual evergreen—larch—that loses its needles in winter, even a temperate rainforest of Pacific red cedars, hemlocks and Pacific yew. This is the kingdom of grizzlies and wolves, wolverines and lynx, species that for many exist only in books, magazines, and nature documentaries.

Exploring Joshua Tree National Park

Don't let Africanized bees discourage you from visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

Traveler's View: Yellowstone National Park Deserves A Better Winter-Use Plan

Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park and the place that started the global national parks movement, deserves a better winter-use plan than the one being pushed by park officials.

Massive Landslide Coats Glacier Bay National Park's Johns Hopkins Glacier Like Chocolate Frosting

A massive landslide, one of the biggest ever seen in North America and which registered on seismographs in Canada and the United States, has covered a more than 5-mile run of the Johns Hopkins Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve like chocolate frosting on cake.

The Glacier Fund: Supporting The Crown Of The Continent

From introducing school children to nature and underwriting wildlife research, the Glacier Fund is at work daily on helping the National Park Service meet the needs of Glacier National Park.

Pedaling In The Parks: Coasting Through Badlands National Park

View from Pinnacles Overlook, Badlands NP, copyright QT Luong
Cool air, soft light, and smooth pavement greeted us as we rode into Badlands National Park, a park whose name suggests unforgiving ruggedness but which offers a sweet ride that leads you through those badlands and across windswept prairie.