Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Gateway Communities: Not All Have Tight Connections With Their National Parks

In Moab, Utah, a gritty town that mines the tourism industry spawned in part by nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks, the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks is working to connect the region's youth with the parks.

Review Of National Park Service's Approach To History Points To Weak Support For That Mission

History, both protecting vestiges of it and interpreting it, is one of the central missions of the National Park Service. But a new report says the agency is largely failing that mission, both from a lack of investment as well as from an approach to telling history almost with blinders on, and that history in the parks is considered to be "endangered."

How To Bag A Reservation In A National Park Lodge

Although it can be quite difficult to get into a room at Old Faithful Inn, Many Glacier Hotel, Yosemite Lodge, and El Tovar during high season, there are ways to improve your chances of bagging a reservation at a national park lodge.

Tule Springs, With Its Rare Collection Of Prehistoric Fossils, Promoted For National Monument Status

Lynn Davis and Christina Kamrath going into the Upper Las Vegas Wash
Tule Springs outside of Las Vegas is a hotbed of Ice Age fossils. A large coalition is working hard to make it a national monument.

Appalachian Spring: The Video

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Discriminating Explorer: Appalachian Spring

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Chiricahua National Monument's "Wonderland of Rocks" Is Also a Hiking Smorgasbord

Tucked away in southeastern Arizona is an off-the-beaten-path destination often described as a "Wonderland of Rocks." The nickname for Chiricahua National Monument is certainly appropriate, but this area offers a lot more than interesting geology, including a fine variety of trails that could be called a hiking smorgasbord.

Saguaro National Park Using New Technology to Deter Cactus Rustlers

Saguaro National Park is using some new technology to help deter an old-time problem—cactus poachers. Operation PIT Tag inserts tiny micro-chips into cacti to allow positive identification of saguaro cacti which have been heisted from the park. The program makes those plants less attractive targets for rustlers, since it's easy to verify that a tagged cactus is "stolen goods."

Lodging In the Parks: Why There Are No Rooms At The Inn

Can't find a room in the national park inn of your choice? This story explains why that might be the case.

Pura Vida! Connecting Latino Students With The Wonders At Grand Teton National Park

Today it's estimated that 46 percent of the country's youth under age 18 are either Hispanic, African American, or from some other minority group, while 54 percent are Caucasian. By 2050, it's pre

Pull Up a Tent: Camp on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall camping on Price Lake Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, NC.
There's great camping all along the 469-miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting with the Parkway's own campgrounds.

The SWEAT Crew Keep the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Shape Through Great Smoky Mountains National Park

APPA - Steve Epps on Trail Crew
Keeping the Appalachian Trail in shape through Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not easy. The A.T. is so remote that the SWEAT Crew, an elite crew of maintainers, has been established by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Birding in the National Parks: Looking For The Elusive Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Congaree National Park

Ivory-billed Woodpecker. That’s all you need to say to a bird lover to stir some strong emotions. Once common across the southeastern United States, these majestic woodpeckers, as large as a red-tailed hawk, are now most likely extinct.

Student Conservation Association Works To Nurture Life-Long Love For Outdoors in Youth

Who will be the next stewards and advocates of the national parks? In a society where Baby Boomers are graying steadily if not quickly, and where the "face" of the National Park Service is decidedly male and Caucasian, it's not an unreasonable question to raise.

Indian Trader Driven Out Of Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Still Pursuing Lawsuit Against NPS Personnel

A lawsuit brought against National Park Service personnel by an Indian trader forced out of Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Arizona is continuing, with an effort to have a judge reconsider the matter.
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Teachers Become the Students At National Parks

When one thinks of national parks, visions of natural scenery at places such as Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful at Yellowstone, and El Capitan at Yosemite come to mind. Perhaps the furthest thing from a person’s mind is a vision of a classroom; but the fact is that national parks and historic sites are a perfect environment for visitors of all ages to learn

It's the Centennial Year for Washington D.C.'s Cherry Blossoms. Will the Blooms Cooperate?

This year marks the centennial for Washington, D.C.'s famous cherry trees, and that adds a little extra drama to the "big question" facing organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival every year: Will the trees bloom on the same schedule as the Festival events? The official "peak bloom" prediction for 2012 has now been released.

Planning A Western White-Water Trip In A National Park This Year? Earlier Might Be Better Than Later

Tempted to book a river trip in a national park this summer? If you're thinking of a white-water adventure in parks such as Dinosaur National Monument, Glacier National Park, or Canyonlands National Park, sooner in the summer just might be better than later due to the below-normal snowpack.

Rare Venus Transit Offers a Second Solar Spectacular for Park Sky Watchers in 2012

An upcoming solar eclipse may attract more attention, but some parks are also planning for visitors who would like to observe an even more unusual celestial event. The Venus Transit on June 5 will be a literal "last chance in your lifetime" occurrence.

Near-Total Solar Eclipse Will Cut a Path Across Western National Parks in May

Sunday May 20, 2012 will offer a Celestial Super Bowl—a near-total solar eclipse—and parks in parts of the western U.S. will offer some prime viewing locations. If you want to make travel plans for special eclipse-related activities or purchase equipment for safe viewing, just don't wait too long to do so.

PEER, National Park Foundation At Odds Over Foundation's Spending Habits

A watchdog group on Tuesday raised questions about how the National Park Foundation spends its charitable dollars, saying the organization lacks transparency and is top heavy. Foundation CEO Neil Mulholland adamantly rebutted those charges, saying they were "factually incorrect."

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.