Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

History and Scenery in One Great Package – and Getting There is Part of the Fun

Sitka National Historical Park
What do Russian bishops, totem poles and rain forests have in common? They're all part of the story at a park in southeastern Alaska that shares its name with a terrific small town, and Sitka National Historical Park provides a fine combination of history and natural history in a setting that's hard to beat.

Senator From North Dakota Trying to Legislate Elk Management in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

A U.S. senator, unhappy with progress Theodore Roosevelt National Park officials are making on reducing the park's elk herd, is trying to legislate a hunt in the park to get the job done.

Dinosaur National Monument: More Than You Can Imagine

Are many months as fickle as April? Bogged down in gooey mud that once had been the campground at Deer Lodge in Dinosaur National Monument while grilling brauts over an open fire in the rain didn't seem to portend a good river trip. At least it wasn't snowing. No, that would come the next night.

Field Notes From Yosemite: Yosemite's High Country, A Tradition in Educational Excellence

Nestled peacefully in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, at roughly 8,600 feet above sea-level, sits Parsons Memorial Lodge, a modest fieldstone structure built in 1915 to celebrate the life and good works of Edward Taylor Parsons. It’s surrounded by some of the most recognized topographical icons in the Sierra Nevada, such as Cathedral Peak, Unicorn Crest, Mountains Dana and Gibbs.

Unresolved Search-and-Rescue Cases Are Scattered Throughout the National Parks

Each year there are thousands of search-and-rescue incidents logged across the National Park System. They typically involve missing hikers, visitors who get injured in falls, boating accidents, or climbing accidents. Far and away the bulk of the incidents quickly are resolved, usually in less than 24 hours.

National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans

In this summer of economic discontent, businesses that operate lodgings in the National Park System are coming up with their own strategies for luring visitors.

Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks

A spate of fatalities in the national parks this spring sends a sobering message: parks can be dangerous places. But they don't have to be if you remember some simple rules when visiting the parks.

Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted

How comfortable have we become with national park settings? With the big sweep of granite that frames the Yosemite Valley, with Old Faithful's not-quite-so-faithful demonstrations of steam and hot water, with the fall's colorful deciduous forests of Great Smoky and Shenandoah?

Is There A New Dawn For the National Park Service?

A massive influx of dollars is heading towards the National Park System, part due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, some proposed within the Obama administration's Fiscal 2010 budget proposal. It certainly is a change from the past eight years.

Change is in the Wind for Offshore Energy Leases. How Might Parks Be Impacted?

Offshore wind farm.
Major changes are in the wind—literally and figuratively—concerning leasing of sites for offshore energy production. How might parks be affected by the current national plan being developed for offshore energy?

Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System

If you subconsciously want to become a search-and-rescue statistic in the National Park System, your best chance would be in either Grand Canyon National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, or Yosemite National Park.

Might The Obama Administration be More Invested in Everglades Restoration Than Its Predecessor?

Everglades National Park, Rodney Cammauf photo.
Different administrations in Washington have different sets of priorities. While the Bush administration talked about helping restore the massive Everglades ecosystem, the Obama administration is sending signals it will work harder to push the project forward.
AttachmentSize
Everglades_Policy_White_Paper27Feb09.pdf57.79 KB

National Parks: Valuable Assets In Efforts To Conserve Birdlife

Xantus's Murrelet, copyright Glen Tepke.
Peregrine Falcons, once teetering on extinction, are regulars at Acadia National Park. Bald Eagles, also once feared to be ready to blink out, have rebounded incredibly and are highly visible in many national parks. During a week-long canoe trip in Yellowstone National Park last fall I was blown away by the birdlife. But how is the overall "state of birds" in America these days? Unfortunately, things aren't entirely as they appear.

Musings From Virgin Islands National Park

Salt Pond Bay, Virgin Islands NP, Kurt Repanshek photo
Floating face down in the Caribbean, with snorkel clenched in your mouth, lacks the structure, the regimentation, of observing the natural world in the way we’ve grown up to accept while walking through a forest, strolling through a meadow, or hiking up a mountain. Clouds of neon blue tangs drift by while black-and-yellow striped sergeant majors flit about, lacking the tangs’ regimented approach to life in the ocean.

Tracing The Postage Stamp-Sized History of the National Park System

You could call it a postage stamp-sized history of the National Park System, but the history of park scenes on U.S. postage is really quite colorful and carries a few stories with it.

Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunflowers, violets, trillium and other wildflowers are just around the proverbial corner in the Appalachian Mountains. You can spot these and dozens of others in Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, as well as along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Can You Still Get Off the Beaten Path in National Parks?

How much have the national parks changed since you were a kid? Have they changed? When you return to a park that you haven't been to in decades, is it like returning to an old friend, or visiting someplace totally alien?

Stimulating the National Parks: Good For the Short-Term, But Then What?

Over the coming months there will be a flurry of construction work across the National Park System thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But then what?
AttachmentSize
Department_of_the_Interior-2010 budget proposal.pdf95.69 KB

A National Park Service Regional Director Shares His Priority List for 2009

Earlier this year the Traveler offered up a post on what priorities we hoped the National Park Service would address in the coming year. Mike Snyder, director of the agency's Intermountain Region, has his own list of issues his region has in its sights this year.

With or Without a Stimulus Package, National Parks Can Be Economical Vacation Destinations

With all the economic doom and gloom of late, it'll be a miracle if anyone goes away for a vacation this year. At the very least, folks will be looking for bargains, and that's where the National Park System comes into play.