Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Traveler's View: Republican Presidential Contenders' Dim View of Federal Lands Is Short-Sighted

Though national parks, per se, haven't come up during any of the debates among the Republican presidential candidates, their statements on federal lands in general look down upon the public landscape.

Through The Looking Glass: What Value Will We See In Wilderness In 2064?

Areas set aside under The Wilderness Act draw frequent debate today over what uses are acceptable within officially designated wilderness. But how will we view wilderness in 2064, when The Wilderness Act notches its 100th birthday? That topic recently was explored by Jeff Rose and Dan Dustin for Park Science.

By the Numbers: Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park, the largest national park in the 48-state U.S. , is a prodigious generator of interesting statistics. Here is a generous sample.

Discriminating Explorer: Visiting Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve By Mothership

As our kayaks bobbed on the currents of Fingers Bay, a multi-fingered bight in Glacier Bay, we listened quietly for the tell-tale whoosh of the humpback spouting. We had seen it earlier as we neared the mouth of the smaller bay, and watched as the whale circled the bay, its wispy froth marking its progress.
This short slideshow was pulled together from photos collected during a week-long exploration of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Though they don't capture every incredible aspect of the park, they should be enough to get you thinking about adding Glacier Bay to your national park "life list."

Discriminating Explorer: Dining Your Way Across Glacier Bay National Park And Preserve

Shiny silver on the outside, the cauldron's contents were a delicious contrast of bright orange. With carapaces large as dinner plates and legs and claws folded to their sides, the Dungeness crabs were freshly steamed and stacked high. Dinner on the Sea Wolf was served.

Pondering the Presidents In the National Park System on President’s Day

Here's some President's Day trivia: How many presidents are memorialized in the National Park System? The answer? At last count there were at least 32 places throughout the park system where a past president is honored.

Birding in the National Parks: Kindling An Affair For Bird-Watching

Olympic National Park offers three distinct landscapes for birders -- coastal settings, emerald rain forests, and alpine vistas.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking To Backcountry User Fee To Improve Services, Protect Resources

As federal dollars flowing out of Washington, D.C., continue to be hard to come by, more and more national park managers are looking towards user fees to make ends meet. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park such a fee for backcountry has brought both commendation and condemnation.

Revisiting the Organic Act: Can It Meet the Next Century’s Conservation Challenges?

Can the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 continue to serve the National Park Service well in its second century? Professor Robert B. Keiter, the Wallace Stegner professor of law at the University of Utah, addresses that question in the following essay.

'Tis the Season for Scenic Drives and Easy Hikes at Saguaro National Park

Winter and spring are popular seasons for visiting Saguaro National Park, and for good reason. It's a great time of the year to enjoy the Arizona desert, and two "roads less traveled" and a variety of trails offer access to fine desert scenery.

Sale of Plastic Water Bottles Banned At Grand Canyon National Park

​ Grand Canyon National Park will eliminate the in-park sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers within 30 days under a plan approved today by National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director John Wessels.

Summit On The Parks: Where To Now?

It's been a week since the conclusion of America's Summit on National Parks, but in truth the work is just beginning.

Faraway Ranch Tour at Chiricahua National Monument Gets Five Stars

Here's one recipe for an outstanding tour of a historic ranch: take a century's worth of Old West history, add generous measures of compelling personal stories and classic southern Arizona scenery, and stir well by a talented interpreter. The result, at Chiricahua National Monument's Faraway Ranch, earned five stars during my recent visit to the park.

Birding in The National Parks: Bald Eagles No Longer A Ghost Bird in the National Parks

I lowered my binoculars and muttered, “Oh, it’s just another eagle.” With that statement I recognized a few years ago that I officially had started taking Bald Eagles for granted.

TRACK Trails Offer Nationwide Weapon Against “Nature Deficit Disorder”

A new grant appears likely to popularize outdoor education and exercise for families with national franchising of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's TRACK Trails concept.

What's the Word at Chiricahua National Monument After Last Summer's Major Wildfire?

The news last summer from Chiricahua National Monument wasn't encouraging—a major wildfire was burning across much of the park known as the "Wonderland of Rocks." How did the park fare, and what's the situation for visitors today? Here's an update from a recent trip to the area.

Talking About Video Games, History, And Teens At America's Summit On National Parks

Thirteen hours at America's Summit on National Parks raised questions about video games as an enticement, in-park history lessons, and how the economy affects affection for the national parks.

America's Summit On National Parks Opens With Advice From Past Park Service Directors

America's Summit on National Parks opened with encouragement to continue to grow the National Park System, and to reach out to younger generations with technology, but not to the detriment of real communication with visitors.

What Will Evolve From America's Summit on National Parks?

A two-day conference designed to explore the future of national parks in America draws a wide range of speakers, from the obvious -- National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis -- to the not-quite-so-obvious -- Alan Latourelle, the chief executive officer of Parks Canada.

Traveler's Checklist: Fort Frederica National Monument

FOFR-outline of houses
Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island was a flourishing town and fort in the 1700s. Here the British defeated the Spanish in two battles and British rule in Georgia was assured.

Friends of Acadia Works With Youth To Plan The Future Of Technology In Acadia National Park

Much time has been spent discussing ways to engage youth with the national parks. At Acadia National Park, staff worked with Friends of Acadia to bring a team of teenagers into the park last summer to work on how technology could enhance a visitor's experience in the park, without replacing any of the traditional interpretation methods.

Consider A Foot Path From Canada To Texas Through The Great Plains

We already have footpaths that cling to the spines of mountain ranges in the East, the West, and along the Rocky Mountains, but what would you think of one that roamed the prairies from Canada down to the high peaks of northwestern Texas?

On The Eve Of America's Summit On National Parks, Some Questions To Mull

On the eve of America's Summit on National Parks, it's timely to recall Edward Abbey's belief that "(T)he chief reason so many people are fleeing the cities at every opportunity to go tramping, canoeing, skiing into the wilds is that wilderness offers a taste of adventure, a chance for the rediscovery of our ancient, preagricultural, preindustrial freedom."

Birding in the Parks: Not Too Early To Plan To Attend Birding Festivals in the National Park System

Earlier this month, while we were having positively spring-like weather here in the Midwest, I wrote about Snowy Owls, the most iconic of winter birds. Two weeks later, my world is buried under blankets of snow and I’m in the mood to talk about Spring.

Being On The Coast, Shipwrecks Should Come As No Surprise To Acadia National Park Visitors

Acadia National Park is surrounded by water and much of its history and resources relate to its maritime location. It should be no surprise, then, that there are many shipwrecks in the waters around the park.

Fort Caroline in Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve; the French are Coming

Fort in Fort Caroline
Fort Caroline in Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve commemorates a short-lived French community in North Florida. The reconstructed fort will fulfills a child's dream of long-ago adventure.

House GOP Expected To Resume Push To Exempt Border Patrol From Environmental Laws Across National Parks

When Congress returns to Washington later this month, watch for Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee to resume a push to exempt the Border Patrol from a wide variety of environmental and National Park Service regulations.

Traveler's View: A Time To Pause In the Parks

We like to think that national parks are just that: serene, picturesque "parks" where we can, if only for a moment or two, escape the ugliness and stress of the world beyond their borders. But as the New Year's Day shooting at Mount Rainier National Park that left a young ranger dead proved only too well, national parks are not always the sanctuaries we'd like them to be.

Memorial Service Set For Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson

A memorial service for National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson, who was murdered at Mount Rainier National Park on New Year's Day while trying to intercept a man, has been set for Tuesday in Tacoma, Washington.