Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

You Can't Always, or Fairly, Blame Technology For Visitor Woes in National Parks

The New York Times got a lot of mileage with its story this week about technology leading visitors into harm's way in national parks, but that's really not the case, is it? Wouldn't it be more correct to say people lead themselves into harm's way more often than not?

Easy Park Hikes – Boreal Forest Trail at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska—the largest area in the National Park System—is primarily a park for a superlative backcountry experience, but if your only chance to sample this amazing area is a stop at the park's excellent visitor center, you should also allow time for an easy hike on the Boreal Forest Trail.

Becoming A Junior Ranger At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the great aspects about being a youngster in the national parks is becoming a Junior Ranger. Watching my granddaughter, Hannah, become a Junior Ranger in GreatSmoky Mountains National Park was as much a treat for me as it was for her!

Updated: NPCA Points Out Threats to Grand Canyon National Park in New Report

Does the Obama administration have the political fortitude, let alone the political capital, to protect Grand Canyon National Park from the myriad threats facing it? That's a good question in light of a report that highlights those threats and, in the process, exposes the shortcomings of the administration.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Turning to 240 Volunteers To Help Reduce Elk Herd

Facing too little habitat and too few predators, elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park this fall will be targeted by a three-month-long culling operation that could bring 240 volunteers into the park's South Unit to shoot elk located by radio collar.

Olympic National Park's Hoh Rain Forest: The Video

One of the most incredible settings in Olympic National Park is the Hoh Rain Forest. A tangle of green, littered with nursery logs, home to Roosevelt elk and banana slugs, and cut by gin-clear streams, this section of the park can hold your attention for hours on end.

Dumb Crooks, National Parks Version

One might think that people who are involved in illegal activities would try to avoid attracting the attention of the Proper Authorities, but fortunately for the sake of law and order, that's not always the case. Three cases of Dumb and Dumber from separate parks confirm that crime still doesn't pay.

UNESCO Report on Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Calls for Additional Protections

Efforts by the governments of British Columbia, Montana, and the United States seemingly have removed mining-related threats to Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park. But an international team of scientists believes both Canada and the United States must work harder to protect the resources of the International Peace Park.

National Park Road Trip 2010: Return to the Beginning

Greetings from St. Louis, Missouri. It is Wednesday morning and we are at Union Station, which at one time was the busiest train station in the world.

Teach Your Children Well...When it Comes to Hiking in National Parks And Elsewhere Outdoors

How many of us take it for granted that kids know how to stay safe when hiking and how to tread lightly on the landscape? When Catherine Dold's nieces came to visit for a stay in the Rockies, she wanted to ensure their safety, and so she created a "Certified Good Hiker Kit."

Pocket Guides Help Explain The Nature You See in National Parks

A series of inexpensive folding pocket guides can help you easily identify some of the nature you see in national parks.

Easy Park Hikes - Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Small historical parks are often overlooked as possible locations for easy park hikes, and that's a shame, because many of them offer some fine opportunities. That's definitely the case at Carl Sandburg Home National Historical Site in North Carolina, which includes both an easy hike or two plus just a little exercise on a nice network of trails.

Ranger Fran is an Honest Man

At Congaree National Park, a surprise disclosure prompts Ranger Fran to modify his Owl Prowl introductory spiel. It's the ethical thing to do.

Musing From Canada's National Parks

Hopscotch the crags of the Rocky Mountains north from Glacier National Park across the border into Canada and you'll find yourself in a mountainous realm, one cupping lakes slowly being fed by melting glaciers and with forests rich in wildlife.

National Park Road Trip 2010: Moving Swiftly Down the Missouri

Greetings this Sunday morning from Council Bluffs, Iowa, where we enjoyed a hotel stay following six consecutive nights of tenting along the Missouri River. Both the humidity and temperature are rising as we move southeast, making the cool Montana nights of a little over a week ago a fond memory.

Getting Your First Close-up View of Denali National Park and Preserve

Native Athabascans called it the “High One.” And at 20,230 feet, Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park is a high one. In fact, it's the highest mountain in North America. Everything about Denali National Park is huge, wild and empty.

Visiting the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

A mile south of Washtuchna, Washington, State Road 261 – which has been curling through close hills – suddenly straightens and drops down the wide Washtuchna Coulee. On either side of the road the land sweeps up to rocky outcroppings and ledges. Drive 60 mph and you’re shooting across the landscape at about the speed of the ice age floodwaters that first tore open this former river channel some 15,000 years ago.

By the Numbers: National Monuments

In 1906, the Antiquities Act authorized the president to create national monuments by presidential proclamation. Fifteen presidents serving since then have invoked the Act to protect nationally significant natural and cultural resources.

National Park Road Trip 2010: The Corps of Discovery Returns to the Dakotas

Greetings from Bismark, the capital of North Dakota, one of our country’s few economically vibrant states. A low unemployment rate (4.1%), a state budget surplus ($800 million over two years), and an optimistic outlook; that’s what comes with a limited population sitting atop loads of coal, oil, and natural gas.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site Offers Window Into the 19th Century

A signature triple-note staccato rings sharply across the ranch compound from the smithy's anvil in the blacksmith shop, signaling another creation from fire and iron. Though only symbolic these days, the hammering at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site recalls perhaps the greatest cattle baron America ever produced.

A Tale Of Two Lakes in Two Canadian National Parks

There is in the Canadian Rockies a bounty of water. Water streaming in rivulets dripping from glaciers, water impounded by glacial moraines and tinted aquamarine by glacial flour, and water running swift in rivers both thin and deep.

National Parks Road Trip 2010: Great Falls to Fort Benton

Greetings from Havre, Montana, well north of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail that at this point requires a canoe trip through the rugged Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

Secretary Salazar Hopes To Negotiate R.S. 2477 Solution With Utah Officials

Long a bone of contention between state, local and federal authorities when it comes to public lands access is a nearly 150-year-old law initially passed to help advance westward expansion. Now Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hopes a pilot program in Utah can generate a solution to R.S. 2477 controversies.

National Parks Road Trip 2010: Return to the Missouri Headwaters

Greetings from Great Falls, Montana, where the Corps of Discovery encountered five large waterfalls on the Missouri River that delayed by several weeks their trip to the Pacific Ocean. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had expected a single falls they would be able to portage in a day. Rather, they found five significant falls that required nearly two weeks of backbreaking toil.

Easy Park Hikes: Badlands National Park

Sometimes a short, easy hike is just what you need for a nice change of pace during a park visit. Here's a pair of suggestions for a visit to Badlands National Park that offer fine views of the classic scenery that gives the park its name.

Pruning the Parks: Verendrye National Monument (1917-1956)

On July 30, 1956, Verendrye National Monument was delisted from the National Park System and transferred to the state of North Dakota. Congress decided that the claim of historical significance on which the 1917 national monument proclamation had been based was spurious.

Inupiat Heritage Center On Top Of The World

Greetings from Barrow, Alaska at the “top of the world” and the northern most city in the United States. It’s also the home of the northern most National Park Service unit – the Inupiat Heritage Center

Trails I've Hiked: Hidden Lake Overlook in Glacier National Park

Just getting out of your rig in the parking lot atop Logan Pass in Glacier National Park offers spectacular views, but with a little effort and perhaps two hours of time you'll be searching for a word to amplify "spectacular."

National Park Road Trip 2010: The Nez Perce

Greetings from Bass Creek Campground in Montana. As our exploration of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail continues, we find more interesting places to tell you about.

National Park Road Trip 2010: Lewis & Clark on the Columbia

Greetings from Lewis & Clark Trail State Park in eastern Washington, where we are finishing our seventh week on the road. Heading east on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, we've followed the Columbia River and found memorable places galore.