Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Fall Spectacular: What's That Sound? Where To Listen To -- And Look For -- Wildlife in the National Parks

In the fall, animals and birds prepare for winter. Bears eat constantly to fatten up before they slow down. Many birds are already on their migration path. Elk and other ungulates are preparing for the mating ritual, the rut. Take a look -- or stop and listen -- in many national parks this Fall and you'll catch a glimpse of this autumnal spectacular.

Fall Spectacular: Elk Once Again Bugle In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A male elk ambles through the field checking his harem. He sidles up to each cow and sniffs her rump. Raising his massive rack of antlers, he sees two young bucks, chases them out of the field, and resumes his inspection. He lifts his face to the sky and bugles – a loud, mournful sound that resounds throughout the area. Bugling tells females he’s here and warns other males to stay away.

Fall Color, Hikes, And Wildlife in The National Parks

Visit a national park in the Fall and you'll likely be enveloped by the brilliant colors of the season, crisp temperatures perfect for hikes, and wildlife on the move. In a week-long series we'll point to the best the park system can offer during this season.

Fall Spectacular: Wetting Your Paddle in the Waters Of Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Though Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are renowned for their hiking opportunities, they also offer expanses of water perfect for wetting a paddle, whether in a canoe or sea kayak. And fall can be a perfect time for paddling, as the temperatures are moderate, bugs are gone, and wildlife are highly visible.

Fall Spectacular: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Mirror of Time

Paddling along a sandy shore, watching ripples of sand and light beneath the kayak, I could imagine for a moment I was in the tropics, not here in northern Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior. As we glided along, channels between islands opened and closed; new islands appeared.

Are Wolves Effective In Keeping Elk From Overbrowsing Aspen in Yellowstone National Park? Apparently Not

When wolf packs were successfully returned to Yellowstone National Park back in the mid-1990s, they were followed by droves of scientists and researchers keen on learning how the predators might impact the rest of the park's wild kingdom.

Climate Change Report Carries Foreboding Forecast for Shenandoah National Park, Historic Jamestown

Imagine Shenandoah National Park without its autumnal showcase of colors, or a sign along the Virginia coastline noting that the site of the Jamestown colony is offshore and under water. Both scenarios could be realized in less than a century if human-influenced climate change isn't slowed, according to a report.

Poll Shows Maine Residents Support Creation of National Park, Sustainable Logging From the North Woods

Polling conducted for the National Parks Conservation Association shows Maine residents overwhelmingly would prefer to see their state's "North Woods" preserved as "parkland" and sustainable timbering rather than dotted with vacation homes.

Is Another "International Park" on the Horizon for the NPS?

The U.S. already has a cross-border park arrangement with Canada (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) and proposals for some type of agreement with Mexico across from Big Bend National Park have been floating around for decades. Now there's news of renewed interest in expanded cooperation with another country, but it doesn't involve either Canada or Mexico. Can you locate "Beringia" on a map?

Mountain Biker/Attorney Argues For Making Wilderness Safer

Sometimes, it helps to read the fine print. And then Google it. When the New York Times ran an op-ed piece the other day on the dangers of an unsigned wilderness area, it simply identified the author as an attorney. It turns out he's also an avid mountain biker, which helps explain his motivation in assailing The Wilderness Act.
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Donate To a Good Cause And You Could Wind Up with a Log Cabin Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For a $100 donation you could help a good cause and possibly find yourself with the keys to a log cabin near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Need to Cull Elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park Points To Larger Problem Across National Park System

After much debate, discussion, and consideration, elk culling operations are scheduled to get under way in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in November, when the first of 240 volunteers will be guided into the park's South Unit with instructions to kill as many cow elk as they can.

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.