Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Eastern National Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of National Parks Passport With Special Edition

How many times have you headed off on a national park trip and conveniently forgotten your Passport to Your National Parks? Have you ever run out of space for cancellations more quickly than you would have thought? Well, the folks at Eastern National have tackled those problems while celebrating the Passport's 25th anniversary.

Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, National Parks Conservation Association Oppose Bike Race At Colorado National Monument

With supporters of a professional bike race through Colorado National Monument soon to sit down to discuss the matter with the National Park Service, both the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the National Parks Conservation Association are united in opposing the race.

Issue Of Climbing Fees At Denali National Park Raises Questions Of Fee Equity

Climbing at high elevations is a highly specialized sport, and the support network for those who aspire to summit Mount McKinley in Denali National Park is a million-dollar proposition. While park officials believe climbers should bear more of that cost, the climbing community is pushing back.
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Climbing Community Differs With National Park Service Over Fixed Anchors In Wilderness

If you've ever sat back in El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite National Park to watch climbers ascending that massive granite wall from which the meadow takes its name, odds are you never noticed the "hundreds" of fixed anchors climbers have over the years drilled into that monolith. And yet, they're there.
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"Lost" Petroglyphs Rediscovered at Virgin Islands National Park

Armed with photos from an old roll of film and the location of some of Virgin Islands National Park's best-known petroglyphs, park archaeologist Ken Wild set out with volunteers to solve a mystery.

Searching for Spring Flowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Azaleas on Gregory Bald
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. The display of wildflowers is amazing from early March to late November. Here's where to find the best flower trails for Spring.

Give Us A National Park, But Please, Not Its Regulations

We love our national parks. We love the wildlife they hold, the seashores with their sparkling sands, the forests with their wildlife and hiking trails, the soaring red-rock cliffs and plunging canyons. But please, don't ask us to abide by their regulations.

Hiking all the Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Grapeyard Trail
The Smokies 900M Club recognizes those who have hiked all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But are there similar clubs for other parks?
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What's Real And What's Not Behind Reality TV's Nature Shows?

Have you ever wondered what's real, and what's not, in those reality TV shows that take you into the backcountry to explore survival? Well, read on.

2010 National Park System Visitation Dips To 281.3 Million, Down 4.2 Million From 2009

Bad weather, lack of a presidential inauguration, and safety concerns along the Southwestern border with Mexico apparently were the major drivers behind a slight dip in 2010 visitation to the National Park System from 2009 levels.

The Annual Meeting of the Dumb and Dumber National Park Visiting Society

Organizations that start out small and simple can expect to end up large and complex, but what can be expected of an organization that starts out small and stupid?

Traveler's View: No Professional Bike Racing At Colorado National Monument

If a professional bike race charging through Colorado National Monument is the key to the rugged red-rock landscape and its treasures in western Colorado being redesignated as a "national park," then it's time to end the discussion over a name change.

Can We Afford The America's Great Outdoors Initiative?

Months in development, the America's Great Outdoors initiative is a broad road map drawn by the Obama administration to both reconnect Americans with the outdoors and outline how the country can preserve much of its natural landscape. But how timely, in light of current fiscal and political winds, is it?

America's Great Outdoors Report Touches On Possible Additions To Roster of National Monuments

There is was, a bit over halfway through the 110-page America's Great Outdoors report: how President Barack Obama could use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate national monuments through presidential proclamation.

America's Great Outdoors Report Carries Lofty Goals That Need Widespread Support For Success

Though bold and lofty in its vision, with chapters devoted to youth, communities, both public and private lands, and heritage, the Obama administration's detailed report on how to reconnect the country to its outdoors landscape is threatened to be undercut by today's fiscal and political realities.

Efforts to Regulate Off-Leash Dogs at Golden Gate National Recreation Area Spark Debate

The only NPS area in the country that currently allows off-leash dog walking has found that efforts to impose new limits on canines is a lot harder than one might expect. After years of litigation and meetings, the park has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a dog management plan for public comments, and it's sparked plenty of additional debate.

The National Park System's Cultural-Historical Wing: America's Story in 10 Chapters

The more than 200 national parks established to preserve nationally significant cultural-historical resources "tell America's story" by interpreting about ten broad themes that increase our awareness and understanding of what American culture is and how it got that way.

Updated: National Park Service Budget Would Grow by $138 Million Under President's FY12 Proposal

President Obama's FY12 budget request, if approved by Congress, would give the National Park Service a $2.9 billion budget, an increase of nearly $138 million above current funding levels.

Traveler's View: The National Park Service Failed Its Mission With Plan For Addition Lands at Big Cypress National Preserve

Faced with a wondrous opportunity to truly preserve a large swath of Florida still bearing wilderness characteristics, one that can play a critical role in the recovery of North America's most endangered mammal, the National Park Service instead looked the other way.
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Hard Choices Ahead: Are New NPS Areas Compatible with Calls for a Balanced Budget?

Two bills introduced this month by Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) illustrate major challenges that lie ahead for parks and for the nation's economy. Are proposals for possible new additions to the National Park System compatible with calls for a balanced federal budget?

By the Numbers: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park preserves some of the world's finest publicly accessible caves.

Traveler Classic: Rare Motion Pictures Show Civil War Veterans at Gettysburg

With the Civil War 150th anniversary commemoration gathering steam, this is a good time to reach into the Traveler archives for one of our all-time popular posts: links to videos showing movies of Civil War veterans at the Gettysburg 75th anniversary reunion in 1938. Get ready for goosebumps.

Grand Teton National Park, The Land of Legends

Technology and art often are intertwined to bring a subject to life. For Mike Cavaroc, Grand Teton National Park was the subject, and time-lapse photography was his tool for bringing the park to life.

Traveler's Checklist: Crater Lake National Park

Copyright QT Luong
Despite its deep, shimmering namesake lake, Crater Lake National Park is one of the lesser visited of the great national parks. For those who make the journey, that's a great reward. For those who don't, well, they're missing something special.

Grand Canyon National Park Releases Draft EIS On Park Air Tours

Years of modeling, planning, and talks, interrupted by lawsuits and inter-agency differences, have produced a proposed air-tour management plan for Grand Canyon National Park that officials believe will restore natural quiet over much of the iconic canyon.

A Short History of the Flat Hat's "Lemon Squeezer" Pinch

The Montana Peak, that symmetrical quadrant pinch in the crown of the ranger's iconic "flat hat," was born out of the need for a practical solution to an Army trooper's significant problem.

Will This Be Remembered As Our Preamble To Losing The Wolverine?

Are we willing to stand idly by while the wolverine heads down the path of the dodo, the carrier pigeon, and the Caspian tiger?

Enter Traveler's "Take Your Family to the National Parks" Essay Contest!

If you've always dreamed of visiting a national park, and wanted to take your family along, here's your opportunity. Three grand-prize winners of the Traveler's first Take Your Family to the National Parks essay contest will win lodging for four members of their family in one of the country's national parks, and some gear to help to help them enjoy the trip.

Keeping Track So They're Never Forgotten: National Park Service Workers Who Died on The Job

The list is long, more than 200 names stretching over a century and then some. It's a somber one, as well, tracking the deaths of National Park Service employees from a wide range of fates, from heart attacks to rockfalls to cold-blooded murder.

Updated: Budgeting At Grand Canyon National Park Is Not Always As Simple As You Might Think

The recent debate over mule rides in Grand Canyon National Park has left park officials, who say they have to live within their budgets and the public's desires, strongly criticized by mule backers, who say trail impacts might be less of an issue if park managers were smarter with how they spend their money.