Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Family Nature Summits Heading To Rocky Mountain National Park Next Year

ROMO - 2004
Family Nature Summit is an outdoor-oriented family nature camp which attracts about 350 people each year. In 2012, it will be in Rocky Mountain National Park and should be a splendid week.

Walking the Cotswold Way in England on Private Land

OPen vista on the Cotswold Way
In the United States, we almost always hike on public land, land owned by a government entity. But in Great Britain, national trails and national parks are on private land. The Cotswold Way goes through fields and pastures, past ruins, and even through golf courses.

By The Numbers: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Johns Hopkins Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Though its name inspires thoughts of massive rivers of ice, Glacier Bay National Park is much, much more than glaciers. With its borders you'll find some of the country's tallest mountains, tangles of temperate rain forest that harbor brown and black bears, and rich waters that attract both birds and whales. Here's a glimpse of some of the park's significant numbers:

Update: As Historic Fort Monroe Moves Rapidly Toward National Park Status, Questions Cloud the Push for Preservation

If Virginia's historic Fort Monroe is preserved within the National Park System, as seems very likely, will the site be left exposed to the degrading effects of adjacent development?

National Park Road Trip 2011: Looking Back Over All The Miles...

How did you spend your summer? David and Kay Scott traveled nearly 11,000 miles, visited 29 units of the National Park System, and toured 62 lodges. Here's a recap of what they found.

Birding in the National Parks: Puffins, Murrelets And More In Glacier Bay National Park

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Glacier Bay National Park, outside of glaciers, of course, but it didn't take long for me to realize this Alaskan park is a birder's paradise. From the "poor man's puffin" to dwindling numbers of Kittlitz's murrelets, I was rewriting my birding success, and not in days, but in minutes.

National Park History: Yosemite's Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon (1871-1884)

Even before Yosemite became a national park, tourists who endured the wearying journey to Yosemite Valley and suffered the valley's many discomforts were refreshed by some very special amenities at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon.

Is The Time Right For A "Maine Woods National Park"?

Inspired in no small measure by others who gave so much to the National Park System, Roxanne Quimby is offering 70,000 acres for a national park embracing Maine's North Woods.

Musings from Glacier Bay National Park

It was a familiar sound, and yet unfamiliar. I was out of place: heading into the woods at Bartlett Cove along the coast of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, not the Rocky Mountains, and the whooshing sound startled me.

History To Be Made With Dismantling Of Dams Impacting Olympic National Park Watershed

Nearly a century after they rose up and blocked the Elwha River to generate power, two dams on the river with headwaters in Olympic National Park will begin to be removed this weekend in a historic event aimed at restoring the watershed.

Archaeologists Find Curious Prehistoric Artifacts At Noatak National Preserve

A curious set of prehistoric clay disks has been discovered in Noatak National Preserve in northwestern Alaska, leading archaeologists to believe they've encountered a new aspect of the region's past.

Birding in the National Parks: Fall Migration's On the Way

You might not like it, but fall is in the air. Sure, the temperatures might not feel like it, but the migratory birds know what time of year it is and soon will be taking flight. Around the National Park System there are more than a few parks where you can see this in action.

Crisp September Weather Brings Crisp Apples, Along with History, To the National Parks

Finally, the most-anticipated month for visiting national parks has arrived. That's right, September, the month when apples ripen and are ready for picking. From Pennsylvania to Utah and on west to California, the desire to bite into a nice crisp apple, or pick a bag or bushel for pies and sauce, are luring visitors to parks.

Many National Parks Get The Indian Story Wrong

Earlier this year we ran a story by former Park Service historian Richard West Sellars that examined how fully the National Park Service at Fort Laramie National Historic Site recounts the history of the 19th Century Indian Wars. The following article from Robert Pahre takes a broader look at how the National Park Service interprets Native American history.

National Park Service Issues 5-Year "Call To Action" Plan For Moving Toward Its Second Century

A more expansive, and inclusive, National Park System, stronger educational outreach, and a revised approach for managing today's natural and cultural resource challenges are among goals laid out in a blueprint for leading the National Park Service into its second century.

Bear Watching Mayhem In Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Bears in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have been in the news a bit this summer, both because of their behavior and the behavior of tourists watching the bears. The following column, which Todd Wilkinson posted on his Wildlife Art Journal site the other day, will have you scratching your head over how there haven't been more bear-human incidents this summer.

By the Numbers: Voyageurs National Park

This northern Minnesota park's waterway system, consisting of four large island-studded lakes connected by narrows, was once the route of the French-Canadian voyageurs. A large peninsula with a glaciated, boreal forest landscape completes the ensemble.

Birding In the Parks: Reviewing Binoculars from Vanguard

The truly essential items for the birder’s or wildlife watcher’s gearbox are few, but binoculars are pretty difficult to do without.

Traveler's Checklist: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis

The Arch taken from the Courthouse
Standing under the iconic arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is awesome. But the site has so much more worth exploring.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Changing Landscape is the Only Constant

Change is constant, and magical, at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here change is taking place right in front of you.

The Million Club: National Parks That Had More Than A Million Visits in 2010

Crown jewels like Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite get huge numbers of visitors, but most of the Million Club's heavy lifters don't even have National Park as part of their name.

University of Georgia Study Finds That Cold Water, As With Warm Water, Can Kill Coral Reefs

University of Georgia researchers have determined that unusually cold seawater, as with unusually warm seawater, can be deadly for the coral reefs that can be found in places such as Virgin Islands and Biscayne national parks.

Persistent Pedestrians: Black Bears in Big Bend National Park

Black bears, once thought to be long gone from Big Bend National Park, have been on the comeback, though the recent drought could create problems for the small population, as Meghan Hicks has learned.

Traveler's Checklist: Petersburg National Battlefield

Virginia has plenty of Civil War battlefields, many of which are part of the National Park System. One that seems to rise above others, though, is Petersburg National Battlefield, which history has left with a massive crater from a poorly executed Union attack.

Shutting Down Small-town Post Offices Could Make Things Tough For Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers

How far are you willing to go out of your way for a meal? For Appalachian National Scenic Trail thru-hikers, that question could take on more relevance if the U.S. Postal Service closes down some of its smaller operations in a cost-saving move.

Where Can You Enjoy The Best Wildlife Experiences In the National Park System?

Here at the Traveler we put our heads together to come up with a list of where best to watch wildlife in the National Park System. We're sure you can help us grow this list.

By the Numbers: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

"Two" has important meaning in the context of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and so do many other numbers.

Birding in the National Parks: Down The Park Road Towards Flamingo in Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park offers some of the best birding in the National Park System, but you need to be alert for the hazards -- gators, poisonous snakes, mosquitoes, and sharp, slippery rocks, as Kirby Adams discovered.

Issue Of Hunting Brown Bears At Katmai National Preserve Arises Again

Four years ago we brought you a video that touched more than a few nerves. The subject was hunting brown bears in Katmai National Preserve and raised the question of whether it was really sporting or ethical. While the resulting uproar died down, it's creeping up again as Park Service officials seek public comment on a proposal to allow two sport-hunting guide businesses to operate in the preserve.

At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Birds, Turtles, And Humans Have Created An Air of Controversy, Part II

Having deflated the tires of his Suburban so each held only about 20 pounds of pressure, John Couch drives me out onto the seashore under a bright June sun. The ocean is rhythmically slapping the beach, the air is warm, not yet too humid.