Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

'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.

Birding in the National Parks: Chasing The Snowy Owl

The United States has been invaded. None of the presidential candidates are talking about it and I haven’t even seen it mentioned on the national news reports yet. Birders, however, are well aware of this invasion and we welcome our new owl overlords.

Updated: Suspect In Mount Rainier National Park Shooting Found Dead

An Iraqi war veteran wanted in connection with the slaying of a ranger in Mount Rainier National Park was found dead Monday afternoon in a drainage near one of the park's hallmark waterfalls just south of Paradise.

Ranger Shot And Killed At Mount Rainier National Park

A 34-year-old Mount Rainier National Park ranger was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday as she tried to apprehend a man who fled a check stop at Paradise. Fellow rangers were prevented from reaching the downed ranger for about 90 minutes as the shooter pinned them down with gunfire.

It Takes A Group Effort To Keep You On Top Of the Latest In the National Park System

Though there are only a handful of names on the Traveler's masthead, giving you a year's worth of news, features, and commentary really takes a group effort. With that in mind, we'd like to extend a heart-felt thanks to those who have contributed to that effort with their prose and photos.

Gone and Mostly Forgotten: 26 Abolished National Parks

In 1895, Mackinac National Park became the first national park to be abolished. It would not be the last. More than two dozen other sites or areas with independent identities have been pruned from the National Park System.

National Parks By the Numbers: Recapping the Year's Statistical Recaps

Traveler's "By the Numbers" articles provide interesting (and often surprising) statistics for selected parks. We published 13 of them this year.

Books We've Read This Year, And Actually Liked!

Despite the impending doom that pixels were expected to hand the printed word, we're happy to report that publishers are still turning out books, and more than a few that crossed our desks this year are worth your attention.

Winter: A “Secret Season” in the South’s Loftiest National Parks

When the snow closure signs go up on portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains, cross country skiers and snowshoers are often seen striding and stomping into a winter wonderland.

National Park Service Reviewing West Virginia Site For Possible National Park and Preserve

Over the years there has been passing interest to a wild and scenic corner of West Virginia being added to the National Park System, and in the coming weeks the National Park Service will begin to take a look to see if the area in question is suitable for inclusion.

Birding in the National Parks

This past year we started a bimonthly column on birding in the national parks, which is a great way to enjoy the parks while learning more about the hundreds of species that flit about the National Park System. Here's a look back at those columns.