While most folks head to Mammoth Cave National Park with the intent to spend most of their time underground, during a recent visit the weather was delightful we decided to spend as much time above ground hiking the trails and limit our tours underground to two guided trips.
Still standing centuries after they were built, the ruins at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northern New Mexico have weathered centuries of storms, winds, and tortuous sun. More recent structures have struggled to stand such a test of time.
As I cross Basin Creek one more time on my way to Caudill Cabin, I carefully place my left foot and then my right between rocks and wonder where the drought is now that I could use it. It’s a warm mid-summer day and I’m in one of the most remote areas I’ve been in.
An easy hike on the Blue Blazes Whiskey Still Trail in Catoctin Mountain Park brings you to one of the more unusual exhibits you'll see in a national park -- a genuine whiskey still set up on the secluded site of a very eventful Prohibition-era raid.
When last we checked in on the prolific Yosemite Steve, aka Steven M. Bumgardner, he had just produced a video on rockfalls in Yosemite National Park. Now he's moved on to trees. And we're not talking small ones, like aspen. We're talking giant sequoias!
If you've got time to squeeze in a fall visit to a national park, here's some good news: There's quite a bit of lodging available in places such as Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley national parks.
There's a lot of history growing in the National Park System, some of which you can pluck off a tree. An apple tree, that is. Stroll the orchards of Capitol Reef National Park or Hopewell Furnace National Historic site and you'll be surrounded by the fruits of history.
When it comes to autumnal splendor, the Eastern parks get the lion's share of national publicity, but there's some mighty fine leaf peeping to be enjoyed on the park roads in western states and the Ozarks too. Here's how to find some of the best of it.
Submitted by Jim Burnett on September 10, 2010 - 12:43am
It's hard to beat autumn for prime hiking in parks from coast to coast. This season brings fine weather to most of the country and in many locations fall foliage is an added bonus. There are more hikes in national parks that we can take in a lifetime, so here are a few suggestions for some great ones all across the nation—including some alternatives to the most heavily-visited sites.
You'd be hard-pressed to stay in a national park lodge in the fall without some spectacular vistas. Still, there are some places that seem slightly better situated to capture the display of foliage. Contributing writers David and Kay Scott share their thoughts on some of the best lodges to call home during the fall.
National parks, along with being beautiful places to explore, are wonderful classrooms. Students from Western Kentucky University have been learning that at Mammoth Cave National Park, where underground studies are aimed at making them better above-ground teachers.
Submitted by Beth Pratt on September 7, 2010 - 1:40am
Wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park takes on a bit of a voyeuristic flavor in the fall, as the park’s famed mega-fauna embark in the pursuit of romance during their annual ruts in an often public spectacle that rivals any of the drama on The Bachelor. Visitors can hear the loud thunderclap of bighorn sheep clashing, the raucous bugling of bull elk, or the deep grunting and bellowing of bison—all performed in pursuit of a mate or mates.
No one really needs an excuse to visit a national park in the Fall, one of the most glorious seasons across the National Park System. Still, the Traveler offers up the following if you feel you need one!
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.
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.