You can't properly visit this park without seeing the main cave and its Big Room, but there are other delights to sample as well.
Some stories, whether focused on travel or a specific issue, deserve a longer treatment.
Every summer, Velma parked her mammoth RV in Yosemite. There she kept nature in check, terrorized rangers, smoked like a chimney, and left only after the first acorn of autumn fell into her gimlet.
The Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas has been called the "Biological Crossroads of North America," and some easy hikes in the park offer plenty of interesting sights. Just watch your step—it's a place where carnivorous plants catch their own lunch
Proclaimed in 1908, Montana's Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument never could muster get the monetary support needed to develop and operate it as a viable national park. Congress abolished it in 1937 and it subsequently became Montana's first state park.
Visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park overwhelmingly love the views down into the park's colorful amphitheaters with their whimsically eroded hoodoos, but aren't quite as enamored with the spectacular night skies overhead.
Hawaii Volcanoes generates interesting statistics, not least because the park has the world's most active volcano, the planet's largest mountain, the longest continuously operating hotel in Hawaii, and other significant distinctions.
Sarah "Gee" Phillips is not Mrs. Sarah Davis; she just plays her on the Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Right now, Gee rocks on the porch of the Davis House while working on a quilt pattern. "Mrs. Davis wouldn't be quilting on a Monday. She would probably be scrubbing her laundry on a washboard," she explains to visitors.
If you're trying to figure out a winter vacation to a national park, here are two ideas: A lavish dinner theater in Yosemite National Park, or a bracing wolf-watching expedition in Yellowstone National Park.
Visiting the Parks: National Park of American Samoa Isn't Easy to Get To, But the Trek is Definitely Worth It
The still life of the beach was like many others – rocks and shells, flotsam and jetsam. But the view! I had just emerged from a tree-shaded walk and stood on a rocky beach with waves crashing in not 20 feet away. In every direction I could see ocean, or tree covered hills, and what I couldn’t see was any sign of man. This was part of the National Park of American Samoa.
Winter is but two months or so away, which prompts the question: Do you plan any winter national park adventures, or do you simply dream about them?
While it's feared that bison in Yellowstone National may spread brucellosis to livestock in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, genetic studies indicate that elk are more likely to spread the disease.
The transition from fall to winter is harsher than the ones from spring to summer or summer to fall. The signs practically assault your senses. And yet, the transition can be much too quick.
The Boardwalk Loop trail through the giant old-growth forest of the Congaree River floodplain is easy to hike and hard to forget.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can you imagine what would be missing in the national parks if not for partnerships forged with non-profit groups?
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.