Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Traveler's Checklist: Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument has become an even more popular tourist destination now that the Civil War 150th anniversary commemoration is under way. Here is information to help you plan your visit.

Kemp's Ridley Turtle Nesting Season Off To Good Start At Padre Island National Seashore

Relatively small in size, and easily camouflaged in the beach sand, the Kemp's ridley sea turtle didn't come ashore at Padre Island National Seashore to bask in the sun, but rather to lay her clutch of eggs and retreat to the Gulf of Mexico in less than an hour.

Road Trip 2011: The National Park Lodges

"On the road again." That's what David and Kay Scott soon will be singing, as our lodging experts are heading out on a swing through the National Park System to update their book on national park lodges. And you're invited to tag along.

War And Consequences: The American Indian Movement Vs. The National Park Service At Fort Laramie, Part II

What parts of history did the National Park Service leave out in its interpretation of the 19th-century Indian Wars and the role of Fort Laramie, now a national historic site?

War And Consequences: The American Indian Movement Vs. The National Park Service At Fort Laramie

Has the National Park Service failed to adequately and fully explore Native American history at Fort Laramie National Historic Site, skewing history to avoid discussing the darker side to the Indian wars? A long-time Park Service historian thinks so.

How Stable Is The Future Of Isle Royale National Park's Wolf Population?

Inbreeding, gender woes, and even climate change could be conspiring to doom the future of Isle Royale National Park's wolf population.

Distilling The Facts About Securing The Southwestern Border With Mexico Can Be Tricky

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop's continued attacks on environmental laws he maintains are preventing the U.S. Border Patrol from securing the Southwestern border with Mexico raise conflicting accounts and accusations that the Department of Homeland Security sees the issue as a cash cow not to be corralled.

Manassas National Battlefield Park - Battlefield And So Much More

Henry house
Manassas National Battlefield Park protects Civil War battlefields where the North and South fought twice. But it's also a good place to hike and bird.

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.
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.