Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Voices From a Drowned Treasure: The Music Temple Register

In the early 1960s, the rising waters of Lake Powell permanently submerged Music Temple, one of Glen Canyon's most spectacular side canyons. Fortunately, the remarkable site's visitor register was moved to safety.

Inn Step With Asheville, The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Premier Place to Pause

Even if you don’t explore the Blue Ridge Parkway’s miles of easy “leg-stretcher” trails, this meandering, 45-mph-motor-trail delivers the explosive bloom of Appalachian spring right through the windshield.

Jennifer Pharr Davis Hoping To Thru-Hike Appalachian Trail In Record Time

Jennifer Pharr Davis, who owns the women's record for speed-hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, has set her sights on besting the men's record this summer.

Essay Contest Winners View National Parks as "America At Her Best," Cite Need For Preservation, Benefits For Kids

Why national parks need to be preserved, how they reflect "America at her best," and how parks benefit kids were the themes expressed by the winners of the Traveler's first Take Your Family to the National Parks essay contest.

Essay Winner: 13-Year-Old Spencer Sablan on Why President Obama Should Protect The National Parks

In the 12-15 age bracket, Spencer Sablan, of Las Vegas, Nevada, took up the challenge of writing President Obama to urge him to preserve the National Park System for all it offers visitors.

Essay Winner: 17-Year-Old R.J. Huber On How To Address Threats To National Parks

In his essay in the high school division, R.J. Huber, 17, of Cincinnati, Ohio, cited threats he sees to the National Park System and proposed solutions to counter them.

Essay Winner: 11-Year-Old Marion Watson On Why National Parks Are Good For Kids

In addressing the value of national parks to kids, 11-year-old Marion Watson, of Petoskey, Michigan, not only drew colorful imagery with her essay, but wrote it on paper she decorated with colorful birds and flowers.

Just How Healthy Is National Park Food For You?

Hiking in a national park certainly is good for your health, but did you ever wonder whether that meal you purchased in the park was offsetting the benefits of that hike? In a bid to help you judge, the National Park Service is working to determine just how nutritious meals purchased in the parks are.
AttachmentSize
Food for the Parks Report.pdf1.62 MB

Kicking Off National Park Week By Getting Dirty At Joshua Tree National Park

National Park Week arrived in Southern California with hot, dry, sunny weather, and a volunteer effort indicative of the good that can be done for national parks when the need is demonstrated.

Finding Proper Museum And Curatorial Facilities In the National Park System is No Easy Task

Across its sprawling system, the National Park Service is noticeably short of adequate museum display space and curatorial facilities. But the agency has a plan to address that.

Arlington House, Home of Robert E. Lee

While National Park Week brings attention to many of the iconic national parks, there are many other interesting units in the National Park System that are interesting to visit. One is Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial.

By the Numbers: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history at a convenient location near Fisherman’s Wharf. Here are some statistics that tell the story of this remarkable place.

Stripping ESA Protections From Northern Rockies Wolf Packs Could Harm Yellowstone National Park Wolves

Yellowstone National Park wolves, which have brought balance to the park's ecosystem and tens of millions of dollars to its surrounding communities, could find themselves targeted by hunters if an amendment attached to the latest Continuing Resolution remains intact.

Sixty Years Later, "Permanent" Oconaluftee Visitor Center Opens In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Oconaluftee Visitor Center
The new Oconaluftee Visitor Center on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is airy, spacious and so beautiful.The museum focusses onthe cultural history of the park.

Traveler's Gear Box: Brooks-Range Mountaineering's Cirro Hoody Jacket

How will a backcountry user honed on down garments react to synthetic insulation? Our intrepid backcountry guide gave the Cirro Hoody Jacket from Brooks-Range Mountaineering a field test. Read her thoughts.

An Atonement at Fort Sumter

The world knows Fort Sumter as the place where the Civil War started 150 years ago, but I know it as the place where I earned redemption less than two months ago.

Recent Rescues Demonstrate Dangers Of Going Off Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Inviting as the lushly vegetated landscape that wraps the trails that wind through Great Smoky Mountains National Park might be, heading off-trail can be incredibly dangerous, as two recent incidents in the park demonstrate.

Artifacts And Archives From Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Heading South For Safekeeping

Sometime this summer a truck, or trucks, loaded with artifacts and papers at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, will be sent south all the way to Tucson, Arizona, a journey designed for safekeeping until the monument can build a proper curatorial facility.

Signs Indicate Federal Government Shutdown Would Save Little In National Park Circles

A shutdown of the federal government, while shuttering most of the National Park System, might not save much money, as local economies would be stung and the National Park Service still would have to maintain some presence in the parks.

By the Numbers: Fort Sumter National Monument

The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. One hundred and fifty years later, a national park preserves and interprets the site.

A Brief Word From Those Who Moderate Traveler Comments

Judging from some of the content of recent comments, some of which have required editing, others complete deletions, it's time to gently remind those who comment to please be respectful of others.

Latest Studies On Yellowstone National Park's Wolf Packs Shows Stable Population

In a recent interview, contributing writer Beth Pratt and Doug Smith, who leads the Wolf Project in Yellowstone National Park, talked about wolves, elk, climate change, and the Endangered Species list.

Summer Special: Windshield Touring in the Eastern Parks

The National Park System is renowned for scenic drives. These traverses, loops, and shuttles in the eastern parks deserve a place on your windshield touring short list.

Protecting the Sounds of Nature - Denali Aircraft Overflights Council is Making Progress

If you wanted to immerse yourself in nature, away from the frantic pace and sights and sounds of the manmade world, you might think the wilderness of Denali National Park would be the ideal place. And you would be wrong.

Summer Special: Visiting National Parks by Train

If you'd like to visit some parks this summer but don't relish the thought of airport security hassles or long hours in the car, perhaps train travel is the answer. Here's a sampling of options for trips to parks around the country via Amtrak.

Summer Special: Windshield Touring in the Western Parks

The windshield touring season will see motorists from all over America and the world converging on the scenic drives in our national parks. Here are some traverses, loops, and shuttles in the western parks that belong on anybody's short list.

Really Getting Away From It All: The Loneliest National Parks

The most popular national parks get visitors galore. Let's have a look at the other end of the attendance spectrum, the end that is anchored by the least-visited parks in the system.

Summer Special: Paddling in the National Parks

Great paddling adventures are ready to be had in the National Park System, whether you intend to spend just a few hours or a week or more on the water. Here's a look at some great choices for where to dip a paddle.

Summer Special: Wildflowers in the National Parks

Gray's Lily on the MST on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Summer brings a wealth of flowers to those parks that have enjoyed spring flowers like Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also brings flowers to Rocky Mountain National Park and the parks in Alaska where the snow is just melting.

Summer Special: Breathtaking, Bighorns, and Blossoms: Hiking Yellowstone’s Mount Washburn

Wildlife and wildflowers are on display throughout the National Park System. Contributing writer Beth Pratt found ample numbers of both along the Mount Washburn Trail in Yellowstone.