Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Easy Park Hikes: The Boardwalk Loop Trail at Congaree National Park

The Boardwalk Loop trail through the giant old-growth forest of the Congaree River floodplain is easy to hike and hard to forget.

Life On the Fire Lines in Rocky Mountain National Park

Ed Waldron holds the Kestrel, or weather meter, up to the wind. In the next five minutes, he will note wind speeds at least a dozen times to make sure he is sending accurate readings to the handful of firefighters widening the blackened line in the drainage below him.

Interior Secretary Signs Cape Wind Project Lease, Stresses Need for U.S. to Be Energy Independent

Stressing the need for energy independence and technological progress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has signed a lease that will allow 130 wind turbines to be rooted in Nantucket Sound.

NPCA Offers National Park Phone Apps ... For Free!

Add the National Parks Conservation Association to the number of organizations and developers offering a phone app to help you negotiate the national parks. A big difference here, though, is NPCA is giving its app away for free. Another is its emphasis on park wildlife and nature in general.

Exploring Canyonlands And Arches National Parks By RV

Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by asteroids.

The Role of Partnerships in the National Park System

Can you imagine what would be missing in the national parks if not for partnerships forged with non-profit groups?

Dark Skies in National Parks Make It Easy to Spot the Space Station: Here's How to Look for It

Here's the information you need to see the International Space Station as it arcs across the night sky. A great place to do that is in a national park beyond the reach of urban light pollution and skyline clutter.

National Park Hospitality Association Wants More Lodging In The Parks

There are units of the National Park System, such as Canyonlands, North Cascades, and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, just to name three, that have little or no lodging within their borders. It's just such a lack of facilities, believes Derrick Crandall, that serves as a drag on visitation to the park system.
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U.S. Geological Survey Taking The Temperature of Yellowstone National Park's Norris Geyser Basin

Among Yellowstone National Park's various geothermal basins, the Norris Geyser Basin just might be the most colorful, and it's long been accepted that it's the hottest. But how hot is it? The U.S. Geological Survey can tell you, thanks to a network of monitors that is taking the basin's temperature.

New Director in National Park Service's Intermountain Region Looking Forward to Challenges

John Wessels finds himself in arguably one of the best jobs in the National Park Service, that as director of the agency's sprawling Intermountain Region, and yet there probably aren't many who envy him at this point.

Commentary: How Do You Prefer National Parks, Utilitarian, or Utopian?

How do you prefer your national parks? Should they be utilitarian destinations, landscapes that serve all comers, whether they're in search of dazzling vistas or motorized recreation, or Utopian, ideals that should be appreciated for what is found within their borders?

Traveler's Checklist: Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the world's first national park created specifically to protect a river system, preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.

Trails I've Hiked: Deep Creek/Martins Gap/Indian Creek Loop In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This low-altitude hike in the Deep Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be done any time of the year, but it shines in the fall when trees change color along the creek. The loop is also popular in winter once snow and ice close sections of the park that are much higher.

Record Summer of Turtle Nesting at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Spawns....Debate

It's hard to believe an object similar in size, shape, and even color to a Ping-Pong ball could threaten a way of life. But for many who call the Outer Banks of North Carolina home, that's how they view sea turtle eggs, as threats to their enjoyment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and, for some, even their livelihoods.

Visit To Mammoth Cave National Park Shows Off Above- and Below-Ground Wonders

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.

New Visitor Center and Museum at Chaco Culture National Historical Park Come With Challenges

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.

Traveler's Checklist: Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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.

Odds and Ends From Visitor Surveys at National Parks: You'd Be Surprised At Some of the Answers

Pay attention, national park managers and staff. If there's nothing else you do well, be sure to keep the restrooms clean and stocked.

At Maryland's Catoctin Mountain Park, a Whiskey Still Gets You Up Close and Personal with Moonshine History

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.

By the Numbers: Point Reyes National Seashore

The only national seashore on the West Coast is wondrous to behold, but tough to describe. Here are a few statistics that help take the measure of the place.