From the top of Togwotee Pass east of Jackson, the Teton Range anchors Wyoming’s western horizon, its glacial horns seemingly clawing at the sky. It’s a view as stunning as it is breathtaking, and one that never leaves your memory.
Some stories, whether focused on travel or a specific issue, deserve a longer treatment.
No dotted line lets you know when you cross from the Mount Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest into Mount Rainier National Park, or vice versa. Verdant forests of mountain hemlock, Western red cedar, and Douglas fir conceal the border between the two landscapes, a border broken only occasionally where roads and trails weave through the trees.
Flying into Kalispell, your eyes dart here and there, trying to take in all the peaks clawing skyward. While this laid-back Montana town is the western gateway to Glacier National Park, it's also seated in the Crown of the Continent, an idea as much as a phrase that captures Rocky Mountain wildness.
I recently headed south from home toward Arizona where grand daughter number one just finished becoming a mechanical engineer. The end of something like six years of grueling work – with a cum laude to boot – meant that a proud grandpa absolutely had to be in the crowd at Arizona State to cheer her on. She even managed to do it without student loans although she does owe a bunch on the beautician’s training that helped pay the bills.
Big Bend National Park offers an incredible mix of experiences, from the rugged mountainous part of the park down to the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry on the Rio Grande River, which offers much different and a unique experience.
Maine isn’t all rocky coastlines. Travel to the Pine Tree State’s interior and you’ll find a mythical, verdant, forested woodland of hemlock and balsam that inspired Henry David Thoreau’s treatise, The Maine Woods
Not long into the development of the world’s first national park system, ranchers in and around the valley floor of Estes Park, Colorado, came to an obvious realization: keeping guests happy was easier, and more profitable, than cattle.
The deafening roar of the 225-horsepower Mercury engine propelled our skiff across the turquoise expanse of Biscayne Bay. It was hard to imagine that less than an hour earlier I’d been sipping a café cubano in the heart of downtown Miami. Here we were though, making headway toward an offshore reef to explore some of South Florida’s renowned marine habitat.
For more than a century, freight trains have rumbled up and over Marias Pass, skirting the south boundary of Glacier National Park, casting rolling shadows on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River below. Until recently the major threat was a grain car derailment, which on occasion left bears woozy from eating fermented grain. Today a derailment involving a 100-car train hauling highly combustible Bakken crude oil risks an environmental catastrophe unprecedented in National Park Service history.
Located roughly mid-way between New York City and Philadelphia, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a verdant, mountainous oasis cut by a cooling river that attracts millions every year, with most coming during the summer months to relax and gain a bit of respite from the region's notorious humidity. Those millions, though, can be oppressive when squeezed too closely together.
Is that number, $2.5 million, accurate, Budweiser, or is there a zero missing? I mean, you get to be a proud partner of the world's most incredible national park system for two years, get to have your corporate logo on the same page as the National Park Service arrowhead, and all it costs you is $2.5 million?
The National Park Service reminds me of a proud old ship sailing confidently across the North Atlantic. The captain is beaming and the passengers seem contented, at least, those traveling first class on the upper decks. It’s below decks that the problems lurk. The crew is perhaps too easy going, believing the ship will always reach New York. However, the engines are old, the iron plating is thin, and the rivets are working loose.
Find yourself deep in the Southwest in spring and you’ll enjoy the mild weather, perfect for this trio of parks.
Well, readers, as you might have guessed, the Traveler had a pretty extreme technical meltdown this afternoon. Fortunately, it's back and running. Unfortunately, it lost two days' worth of copy...and comments. We can somewhat easily replace the copy, but not so easily replace the comments.
As I gazed out on the bay and up to the roof of Acadia National Park, it was hard to believe that it had been 40 years since I first set foot on Mount Desert Island. I was only about nine or 10 years old at the time, and on my very first trip to a national park. I didn't understand Acadia National Park, or know what to expect. To me it was just our family vacation.
National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis waived agency policies against partnering with alcoholic beverage companies so the National Park Foundation could sign a multi-million-dollar agreement with Anheuser-Busch, a deal that provides Budweiser with valuable branding placements during the Park Service's centennial campaign.
Rising before the sun, I was out the cabin door not long after its rays started cascading on the Continental Divide. The early departure was necessary to catch the gentle morning light warming the landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park. I also wanted to snag a parking spot at Bear Lake and head up the trail.
On a day set aside to celebrate the Earth and the environmental movement, the Interior Department and National Park Service gave us dollars and cents.
The National Water Trails System currently includes 18 trails in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin for a total of 2,674.2 miles of NWT.