Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Traveler's View: The Arrogance Of Congress

The arrogance of Congress is withering and shameful.

Update 3: Closed For Business: America's National Parks

Once-in-a-lifetime trips to majestic places such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone crumbled Tuesday as Congress's failure to avert a shutdown of the federal government interrupted countless vacation plans as closure gates came down across the National Park System.

Updated: National Parks Just Hours Away From Closing

With Congress at odds over whether to pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government in business, National Park Service and concessions staff were preparing Monday for possible closure of the National Park System.

National Park Service Shutdown Plan Calls For Furlough Of 21,379 Employees

If Congress and the Obama administration fail to avert a budget impasse next week, the National Park Service will move to furlough more than 21,000 employees in the process of closing down the National Park System.
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Traversing The Range Of Light: 24 Days On The John Muir Trail

High among the pinnacles of Mt. Whitney’s sheer western face, we hiked upward with measured breath and watched from our shifting, precarious vantage as the sun’s first light peeled back the long gown of night, revealing the contours of so many miles we’d recently walked, cragged mountain faces and clear sky aglow in lakes like mirrors, far below.

Glamping Far And Away In Yellowstone National Park

If you have ever stood on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and looked way across the water to the southeast, into that area of the park where few visitors go, and wished to experience life in the backcountry without hiking with a heavy backpack, go glamping!

State Of Florida Pledges $90 Million To Help Fund A Bridge To Somewhere In Everglades National Park

In 1928 a highway known as the Tamiami Trail was built across the southern Florida peninsula, and while it was a boon for developers, the dam-like road fill created serious problems for Everglades National Park. A partial solution—replacing some of the road's berm with bridges—got a welcome boost with a recent pledge of $90 million from the State of Florida.

How National Park Service Brochures Have Changed Over The Past 50 Years

Brochures promoting national parks have changed -- a lot -- during the past 50 years.

Fall In The National Parks: West Yellowstone, A Great Fall Base Camp For Yellowstone National Park

West Yellowstone is a welcoming Montana town that serves as a perfect base camp for exploring Yellowstone during the fall.

Nostalgia Plus Nature Equals Two Parks In One At Prince Edward Island National Park

Prince Edward Island, one of the three Maritime Provinces on Canada's Atlantic coast, includes a lovely landscape that evokes a Grandma Moses painting of rural New England. A prime attraction on the island is Prince Edward Island National Park, where the combination of some serious literary nostalgia and fine natural features create what amounts to two parks in one.

Fall In The National Parks: A Quieter Ride Through Fall Along The Natchez Trace Parkway

Fall, that lofty season when Eastern hardwood forests don foliages red, gold, and orange, lures us like motorized lemmings into national parks to admire nature’s wizardry. We inch along, practically bumper to bumper at times, to be dazzled in a final seasonal hurrah before the paint-by-number leaves are shed and winter’s first squalls convince us that being inside really isn’t such a bad thing.

A Sampling Of Canada's Maritime Provinces Parks: Fortress Of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Many Americans aren't familiar with the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, but in the mid-1700s, this heavily fortified town in present-day Nova Scotia was one of the most important ports and military posts in North America. A visit to the largest historical reconstruction in Canada offers a fun and enlightening glimpse into the past.

Fall In The National Parks: A Perfect Season For Catching The Wild Side Of The Park System

Wonderment and joy unfold in the national parks come fall when the wild kingdom becomes more visible, literally voicing the call of the wild in parks such as Great Smoky Mountains or Rocky Mountain or winging overhead in any number of parks.

Musings From Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

I’m sitting on the shore of Lake Superior just looking across the water from the mainland of northern Wisconsin toward Madeline Island, one of 22 islands that comprise the Apostle Islands. A parade of sailboats works upwind across the water and I’m breathing air so fresh it still has labels attached. I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. With regrets.

A Sampling Of Canada's Maritime Provinces Parks: Cape Breton Highlands National Park

If you mention "Canadian National Parks" to travel buffs, that nation's spectacular western sites such as Banff and Jasper National Parks will likely come to mind. There are, however, some worthy candidates for your "gotta plan a trip" list on the opposite side of the county in Canada's Maritime Provinces. One not to miss is Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Fall In The National Parks: Great Park Hikes For A Great Season

Fall hiking in the East conjures immediate thoughts of Acadia National Park in Maine, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, or Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. All three are justly famous for fall color, have hundreds of miles of hiking trails…and lots of traffic on the roads, especially on autumn weekends.

Exploring The Parks: Yellowstone National Park By Canoe

Ahab had his white whale, Moby-Dick, which drove him to his death. I had the Common Loon, a fish-loving, deep-diving waterfowl that mocked me with its tremolo call as I stood on the shore of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

Fall In The National Parks: Great Accommodations With Great Views

What better way to end a fall day of hiking in Glacier National Park than to enter the Many Glacier Hotel and settle comfortably into one of the armchairs before the cracklin’ fireplace in the hotel lobby? Along with the popping wood and flickering flames, the soft smell of wood smoke mingles with the steam wafting from your hot chocolate, Irish coffee, or hot tea.

Five Days Off The Grid In Yellowstone National Park

Shoshone Lake, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Five days paddling around Shoshone Lake in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. Warm, mostly sunny, days and cool nights with occasional passing showers. No bugs of any significance. It was, as you might assume, sublime. Best of all, it was time spent with my two sons and an old friend, untethered from the grid.

Musings From AirVenture National Park

Haven't heard of AirVenture National Park? Well sit back and let Lee Dalton tell you all about it.

Estes Park, A Great Base Camp For A Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation

Your ascent to Estes Park, the front door to Rocky Mountain National Park, is anything but smooth. Climbing up through Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland, Colorado, you twist and turn and rise and fall with the road as it crawls through the canyon...and marvel at the cyclists pedaling those beastly 34 miles.

Fall In The National Parks: Some Other Park Fall Drives Not To Overlook

While Acadia, Shenandoah, and Great Smoky Mountains national parks often get the main billing for fall color drives, there are other nooks and crannies in the National Park System that will surprise you with their colors. Here are a handful of fall foliage eye catchers In the parks.

Climbing The Bodie Lighthouse At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Bodie Lighthouse at CAHA
Visitors can now climb the Bodie Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Though shorter than its more famous cousin, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Bodie Light offers guided tours with a ranger.

Fall In The National Parks: A Kaleidoscope Of National Park Leaf-Peeping Drives

There is a magical quality to fall visits to Shenandoah National Park as mile after mile of trees blazing with vivid reds, oranges, and yellows come into view along Skyline Drive. In Rocky Mountain National Park, the aspen groves you see along the lower reaches of Trail Ridge Road turn so vividly gold in the fall that they take your breath away.

Fall In The National Parks: Ride Off Into The West, And A National Park, From A Dude Ranch

It’s after a soft, pattering rain, with the clouds clearing and the sun streaming through, that the essence of the Western landscape rises up. The pungent scent of sagebrush is wicked up by the moist air, mingling with the sweet aroma of pine.

Fall, The Best Of Seasons In The National Parks

For many, fall is the most sublime of seasons in the National Park System. Forests are cloaked in their autumnal best, wildlife is on the move and readily visible, crisp temperatures are perfect for hikes and bugs are gone. You can even smell the season, both in the moldering leaves and the woodsmoke curling above cabins.

Exploring The Parks: Brooks Lodge And The Bears Of Katmai National Park

Last month I joined up with Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris for a tour to photograph the coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos) of Katmai National Park, Alaska. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and one I so enjoyed that I am hoping to return in 2014.

Friends Of Acadia Trying To Soften Sequestration Blow On Acadia National Park

Not a year into his role as president and chief executive officer of Friends Of Acadia, David MacDonald's task was ratcheted up a few rungs by the federal budget sequestration and its impacts on a national park that already was struggling with a thin budget.

Musings From Pipestone National Monument

They may be separated by a few hundred miles of prairie, but Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming share parts of a common story. Both hold sacredness for the Indians who once lived and roamed freely across these wide and beautiful lands.

Musings From Badlands National Park

Wind never seems to stop blowing at Badlands. But in summer, that’s a good thing because it provides a little relief from the heat.