Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

Photography In The National Parks: A Day Trip To Lake Clark National Park And Preserve

Katmai National Park and Preseve in Alaska tops the marquee when brown bears are mentioned, but there's another national park in Alaska that will surprise you with its bear-viewing opportunities.

Exploring National Parks Through The Lens Of Steven Bumgardner

Intricate details of Yosemite National Park -- the seasonal run of frazil ice, moonbows, and "neon red asparagus" -- all have fallen before the lens of Steven Bumgardner. How did he get his start capturing the essence of Yosemite, and what's next on his schedule? Traveler did a quick Q&A with Steven to learn the answers to those and other questions.

Musings From Devils Tower National Monument

One of the first thoughts I had upon rolling through the gate at Devils Tower was that Teddy certainly got it right when he used the Antiquities Act to designate this tall stump of rock as America’s first national monument.

Is National Park Service Abrogating Its Responsibility With The Tour Of Utah Bike Race?

Federal lands make up the majority of Utah's landscape, so it shouldn't be surprising that state roads crisscross those lands. But when a state road crosses a national park, and that road is going to be traversed by a bike race, should National Park Service approval be required?

Student Conservation Association Working On Repairing Gateway National Recreation Area's Hurricane Damage

Hurricane Sandy last fall left Gateway National Recreation Area a mess, particularly along Great Kills Park. Fortunately, the Student Conservation Association came to the rescue.

Traveler's Five Picks For New National Parks

Creating national parks doesn't happen every day. Lately, it seems the quickest way to create one is to legislatively redesignate a national monument as a national park. But it doesn't hurt to dream, does it? Here are five picks from the Traveler for new national parks.

National Park Service's 2012 Search-And-Rescue Caseload Reflects Many Ill-Prepared, Out-Of-Shape Visitors

Search-and-rescue missions in the National Park System in 2012 cost the agency nearly $5.2 million, and in many cases the individuals spurring the rescues were ill-prepared or out of shape.

If You Live In A National Park, You Understand The Theory Of Relativity

A comic strip in my morning newspaper offered an amusing explanation about the Theory of Relativity, and it has a definite application to life in a park: "If you put in a swimming pool...you'll discover relatives you never knew you had." That's a concept anyone who has ever lived or near in a national park can understand!

Essential Friends + Gateways: Best Kept Secrets In The National Parks

It's summertime. The crowds are out at the parks. Can you escape them and find a bit of solitude? Well, not entirely, but with the following suggestions from Traveler's Essential Friends, you can break from the crowd.

The David T. Vernon Collection: Living History Comes Home To Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park, known for craggy peaks, wildlife, and adventure sports, also ranks among the country’s top spots for Native American art and artifacts. When Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott first arrived in 2004, she was amazed to discover the incredible David T. Vernon Collection, one of the most diverse Indian art collections in the world.