Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

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.