Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

2010 in Review: Creature Features

Tarantulas, banana slugs, crocodiles, muskoxen and more. The Creature Features we posted in 2010 represent quite a menagerie. Here's a complete list with handy links.

Books We've Read, And Liked, in 2010

There were quite a few books relating to national parks that arrived in 2010, and while we didn't get to read them all, the ones we did we liked. Here's a look back at our Fireside Reads from the year.

2010 in Review: Traveler's Checklists

This year we posted 16 Traveler's Checklists to help you plan your park visits. Did you miss any? Here's a list with handy links.

Yellowstone National Park’s ‘Psychedelic’ Wolves: Using Thermal Imagery To Study Disease

A wolf howls in yellow. They sleep in blue. And a wolf in motion in the sunlight is a rainbow.

Jennifer Pharr Davis Discusses Speed Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking, And Youth in the Outdoors

For some, hiking can be addicting. For Jennifer Pharr Davis, it became both an avocation and her vocation.

A Year in the Parks

The past year was very kind to me in terms of getting out to visit some of the incredible units of our National Park System. Here's a look back at a year in national parks.

By the Numbers: John Muir National Historic Site

John Muir, perhaps the best friend the national parks ever had, died on Christmas Eve, 1914. Here are some numbers that tell the story of the National Historic Site created to preserve and interpret the place he called home for the last 24 years of his life.

Some Members of the Continental Army That Wintered At Valley Forge in 1777-78 Were "Fond of Strong Liquor"

Stories passed down about the harsh Continental Army encampment at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 often note the brutally cold, snowy weather and the under-equipped and hungry troops. Should we be surprised that some of the soldiers were "fond of strong liquor"?

A Highway Project in Congaree National Park Sparks Legal Challenges

Plans to replace a defective bridge on the Congaree River call for rebuilding a causeway system crossing a flood plain in Congaree National Park. The plan's critics insist that modifications are needed to minimize environmental impacts and improve recreational access.

GAO Study Says More Interagency Coordination Needed To Address Illegal Border Crossings in Southwest

Six years after a Government Accountability Office review found poor coordination between federal land managers and Border Patrol officials tasked with combating illegal border crossings in the Southwest, a new analysis finds not much has changed.

House Republicans Continue To Blame Environmental Regulations for Border Security Woes

Despite two Government Accountability Office reports that say environmental regulations are not impeding the work of the Border Patrol, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are standing by that claim.

Traveler's Checklist: Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island NS - Dungeness Ruins
Is Cumberland Island National Seashore harboring a secret, or is it merely the victim of bad karma? Or is it just a coincidence that three powerful men connected with the island died in their prime? What about the three structures, each named Dungeness, that burned under mysterious circumstances?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Brings Blight to the Beach at Hawaii's Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Debris from an enormous trash-laden vortex in the North Pacific is delivered to Hawaiian Archipelago shorelines, making beach cleanups a never-ending task at Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Pruning the Parks: Holy Cross National Monument (1933-1950)

Colorado's Mount of the Holy Cross was once a national park.

American Indians in the Civil War? Petersburg National Battlefield is Part of the Story

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is nearly here and a recent event at Petersburg National Battlefield underscored a bit of history that often escapes much notice—the role of American Indians in the conflict.

Appalachian Mountain Club Pursues Sustainable Forestry In Northern Maine

Should controversy surround the decision by the Appalachian Mountain Club to pursue sustainable logging in northern Maine? A group pushing to see the area designated as a national park is furious over the club's move.

Traveler's Checklist: Bryce Canyon National Park, Winter Edition

Though summer draws the bulk of Bryce Canyon National Park's 1.2 million annual visitors, a strong argument can be made that winter is a more fascinating time to visit this red-rock icon. The sharp contrasts between fresh-fallen snow, cerulean skies, and the park's red-hued amphitheaters are spectacular. If you can manage a winter escape, here are some tips for touring Bryce Canyon.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Ready for Winter Season to Open

A snowy November has created a good base throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks for the upcoming winter season, which kicks off on Wednesday.

By the Numbers: Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site in southwest Georgia preserves the remains of the Civil War's deadliest prisoner of war camp.

Visiting Everglades National Park’s Royal Palm Area

We are on our way to Key West, where the weather is more accommodating to those of us past middle age. In truth, Key West is a fun place for people of any age. Warm weather, a fun atmosphere, strange people, wild chickens roaming the streets, and the ghost of Ernest Hemingway looking over your shoulder all make for an enjoyable vacation.

Is It Quixotic To Work Towards Restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park?

Many long have dreamed of the day that the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park would be drained of its reservoir and allowed to mirror the more-renowned Yosemite Valley. Those dreams are kept alive by the folks behind Restore Hetch Hetchy.

A Handy List of Holiday Events Across the National Park System

With the holiday season ramping up, more than a few special events are planned across the National Park System. Here's a glance at some of them.

Study Says Half Dome Permit System In Yosemite National Park Apparently Does Not Enhance Overall Hiker Safety

A permit system implemented for hikers heading to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park does not appear to be improving safety conditions, according to a report that analyzes this past summer's hiking numbers.
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Traveler's Checklist: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This popular park situated in the Cleveland-Akron urban region of northeastern Ohio offers a nice selection of scenic delights and outdoor recreational pursuits.

Trails I've Hiked: Queen's Garden-Navajo Loop At Bryce Canyon National Park

If you visit Bryce Canyon National Park in winter, and there is snow on the ground and blue sky overhead, the one hike you must take is the Queen's Garden-Navajo Loop Trail.

Counting Birds in National Parks This Holiday Season

'Tis is the season for counting birds as the 111th annual Christmas Bird Count rolls out across the country, and more than a few national parks are welcoming you to count birds.

National Parks On Average Are The Backdrops for 41 "Suicide Events" Annually

For an overwhelming majority of visitors, national parks offer spectacular vistas that provide surroundings perfect for enjoyment, contemplation, and relaxation. For a small, yet significant, number, though, the parks are where they decide to die.

How Do You Move a 25-Ton Cannon? Dry Tortugas National Park Found an Ingenious Answer

How do you hoist and move a 25-ton cannon? These days, the answer usually involves a crane or other heavy equipment, but those aren't options at one of the most remote national parks in the country. The staff at Dry Tortugas National Park solved the problem with a combination of old-fashioned technology, ingenuity and teamwork.

Creature Feature: The Desert Tarantula Looks Big, Hairy, and Scary

The tarantula's fearsome appearance belies the fact that this docile, reclusive creature is nearly harmless.

Missing From the System? Tule Springs Harbors Ice Age Fossils In An Urban Setting

Not far from the bright lights and card tables of Las Vegas there's a stretch of desert so relished by developers that street names were attached to blueprints of suburbia. Now, though, that landscape and its unique collection of Ice Age fossils is being promoted as the country's next national monument.