Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Land Of Caves, Keys, And Ancient Art

“Pirates used to hide in these keys,” Carlos, our guide, tells us as our boat swings behind a small, steep-sided island. Numerous forested islets dot the shoreline like floating haystacks. “English and French pirates hid in Samaná Bay to ambush Spanish gold ships leaving Santa Domingo. The 58 cays and inlets made perfect hiding places.”

Will A Proposed Solar Power Plant Near Mojave National Preserve Defeat Good Planning?

Renewable energy projects can pose a challenge for environmental organizations—they may like the "green" aspects of solar and wind power, but in the wrong location such projects can have big impacts on values such as scenery and wildlife. A proposed solar project near Mojave National Preserve has united opposition by numerous groups, and now the question is whether the developer will succeed in defeating years of good planning for siting major solar projects.

Essential Park Guide, Spring 2014: Yellowstone Reborn

Winter had loosened its icy grip on the high country. Faint stirrings from burrows and dens and caves led the young critters into a new world of running water, budding plants, and warm sunshine. Warm weather and life springs abundant.

Essential Park Guide, Spring: A Season Of Renewal In The National Park System

Spring. It's a fresh, vibrant season in the National Park System, one of renewal, for the parks’ wildlife, vegetation, and even for human visitors. After long, dark months of cold and snow across much of the system, the arrival of March, April, and May provide greater warmth, daylight, and access in the parks.

Essential Paddling Guide: Asian Carp Just One Aspect Of Non-Native Invasion Of Great Lakes

They are some of the most acrobatic fish you’ll ever encounter, hurtling their silver bodies high out of rivers when motorboats pass by. But Asian carp that have been invading the Mississippi River drainage the past two decades pose a serious threat to both the native fish in the Great Lakes and Minnesota’s waters and to regional economies.

Essential Paddling Guide: Cataract Canyon, Sample The Best Of The Southwest's Rivers

It’s just two days on the river, but the section of the Colorado River that flows through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is one of the best not only in the West but in the entire country for whitewater aficionados and admirers of spectacular red rock scenery.

Essential Paddling Guide: Exploring The Big Lakes Of Voyageurs National Park

Of Minnesota’s fabled 10,000 lakes, none are so pristine, so haunting, so alluring to anglers, boaters, and campers as the rockribbed lakes of the north woods, where the cry of loons and howl of wolves soar over the gray water.

Essential Paddling Guide: Colorado River’s Flows Threatened By Growing Demands, Drier Climate

“Running on empty” unfortunately is a very apt description of the Colorado River Basin, which long has had its water overcommitted. Today, the vast watershed that stretches from the mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California and helps nourish some 30 million residents in the Southwest and Mexico is mired in a long-running drought that threatens to dramatically recast the already-arid region.

Exploring The Parks: A Day At Buck Island Reef National Monument

From the top of the observation tower
Buck Island Reef National Monument, off the coast of Christiansted in St. Croix, the US Virgin Island is an island paradise. Snorkel, hike,watch birds and drink rum punch.

Essential Paddling Guide: Sea Kayaks And Sea Caves Of Channel Islands National Park

Channel Island Outfitters can lead you through the caves and down into the kelp forests of Channel Islands National Park, a remote and isolated realm that is home to a unique faunal assemblage.

Essential Paddling Guide: Everglades, Biscayne National Parks' Treasures Need More Protections

You have to get wet to truly appreciate Biscayne National Park in South Florida. Gazing out across Biscayne Bay, and beyond Hawk Channel into the Atlantic Ocean, you can take in the expanse of the park’s surface, but none of the wonders that lurk beneath.

Yosemite National Park's Restored Cemetery Preserves Ties To The Park's Rich History

Any cemetery contains links to our past, but one located in Yosemite National Park is especially rich in its connections to the early history of Yosemite. On March 3 a ceremony will celebrate three events: a restoration project for the old cemetery, and the birthdays of both a man and an event closely linked to the story of the park.

Which National Park Drives Are On Your 2014 Calendar?

With the travel season not too far off, you should be planning your national park adventures. If you're looking for a great scenic drive, we offer the following for your consideration.

Exploring The Parks: Salt River Bay National Historical Park In St. Croix, Virgin Islands

SARI beach
Salt River Bay National Historical Park in St. Croix stirs up the imagination. It's the only known place where Christopher Columbus landed in the United States. Walk the beach, kayak and swim in the bay and check out the bioluminescent organisms in the water.

Essential Paddling Guide: Explore The Rivers Of Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument's two rivers, the Yampa and the Green, should be justification enough to formally describe Dinosaur as a "national park;" they offer some of the best rafting in the West.

Essential Paddling Guide: Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 Square-Mile Watershed Grapples With Water Quality

Despite its size, the 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake Bay Watershed struggles with pollution problems that degrade its waters.

The Book That Launched A Thousand Parks: Wilderness And The American Mind

Roderick Nash's 5th edition of his seminal work, Wilderness and the American Mind, should serve as a reminder of the underlying value of nature in the raw, a value that shouldn't be trivialized.

Exploring The Parks: The Forts Of San Juan National Historic Site

SAJU San Cristobal
San Juan National Historic Site, located in Old San Juan, is the highlight of any visit to Puerto Rico. Go up and down circular stairs and ramps, enter secret tunnels, look out on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and take a tour with enthusiastic, lively rangers.

Essential Paddling Guide: Paddling The Buffalo, America's First National River

Massive, water-stained bluffs soaring over 500 feet above your canoe or kayak; the highest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies; potential campsites on gravel bars along over a hundred miles of clear, free-flowing river; all this and more make the Buffalo National River a worthy addition to your list of must-do float trips.

Traveler's View: National Park Service Needs To Improve Its Transparency

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis' thoughts on a range of topics that are of interest to both the general public and the National Park Service staff deserve transparency and response from the director.