At Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, the National Park Service should welcome a discussion into a form of backcountry travel that, if properly managed, need not alter the decades-long experience of visiting these two magnificent parks, but rather enhance it for a small number of wilderness travelers.
Some stories, whether focused on travel or a specific issue, deserve a longer treatment.
Many national parks preserve aspects of the past, and in the case of Fossil Butte National Monument, that past goes back 55 million years ago, a time when the landscape of western Wyoming was very different from the windswept plains we see today.
Threading through the backcountry, and frontcountry, of Yellowstone National Park are creeks and streams fueled by springs and snowmelt, some only several feet across, some dozens of feet wide. More than 300 topple over waterfalls at least 15 feet high, while others meander placidly through the Lamar and Hayden valleys.
Legislation introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives would, if enacted as drafted, require the National Park Service to determine "a nationally consistent entrance fee policy and corresponding rate structure" for the 401 units of the National Park System, a potentially sweeping requirement that seemingly could generate tens of millions of additional dollars for the parks.
Essential Summer Guide '14: Spanish Galleons, Elephant Seals, And Great Birding At Point Reyes National Seashore
It's the stuff of legends, of treasure seekers. Somewhere, not far from land, lies buried treasure in the seabed of Drakes Bay. Within the remains of the 16th century Spanish galleon San Agustin there could be priceless heirlooms, or merely shards of porcelain dishes that the ship was carrying from the Philippines to Mexico. What is known is that the wreck of the San Agustin in 1595 in waters now within Point Reyes National Seashore is the first recorded shipwreck on the West Coast.
Plant yourself -- leaning into the wind, of course -- on the open prairie near South Pass City, Wyoming, and you can quickly envision the setting that faced Conestoga-riding emigrants more than a century ago in their exodus to the West Coast. Endless miles of sagebrush, the Wind River Range looming ever-present to the north, a boundless sky dotted here and there with distant rainstorms.
Once considered largely to be worthless, national parks today are economic engines that generate $26.5 billion for the nation's economy.
Essential Summer Guide '14: Turtles, Birds, And Surf-Kissed Beaches At Padre Island National Seashore
Turtles and birds are some of the higher profile visitors to the stretch of Texas along the Gulf Coast that's home to Padre Island National Seashore.
The warm Gulf waters are the main attraction at Gulf Islands National Seashore, but anyone with an interest in American history – from the Colonial days up through World War II – will find a reason to visit as well.
Canada’s Point Pelee National Park is for the birds, literally. Established in 1918, the park was created to protect some of the last remaining wild marsh and forest habitat along the north shore of Lake Erie. Bird fanciers, both those who watched them and those who hunted them, spearheaded the drive to protect the land. Duck hunting is no more at Point Pelee, but the bird watching remains, and this curious spit of land continues to enjoy the guarantee of preservation from Parks Canada.
"Chatham." That one word captures a rich and poignant chapter of American history spanning nearly 250 years.
The National Park Service (NPS) Management Policy defines natural soundscapes as “the unimpaired sounds of nature”, something to be preserved, and cherished by those visiting the parks. Think of serene, trickling creeks, cheeping robins, chirping marmots and the lullaby of crickets when dusk sweeps over your favorite park. The NPS protects these natural and cultural sounds that affect the emotions, attitudes and memories of park visitors.
Deep in West Virginia, the New River has cut a 1,000-foot gorge that, in places, froths with whitewater. Its V-shaped mountainsides are covered in trees. Outcrops of Nuttall sandstone packed with quartz, the gorge’s bones, show near the tops of the cliffs.
For mind-blowing scenery, vast vistas of eroded stone, and rugged topography, Utah is the place. The Beehive State is home to five national parks (Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion) and five national monuments (Cedar Breaks, Grand Staircase-Escalante (managed by the BLM), Rainbow Bridge, Natural Bridges, and Hovenweep) for good reason. It’s the greatest earth on show.
You may not think that you could lose yourself in the embrace of a forest at a national seashore, but that’s something you’ll encounter when you head to Fire Island National Seashore just off the south shore of Long Island, New York.
Discriminating Explorer: Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park's Elegant Lady, Renovated And Invigorated
When Robert Reamer approached the task of remodeling a simple lodge in the still fledgling Yellowstone National Park, he had a backdrop of a sweeping lake rimmed by mountains that remained jacketed in snow well into summer. And yet, to draw Eastern society out to this wilderness, he realized he would need more to lure them than a stunningly beautiful setting.
As fees for recreating on public lands continue to increase, who gets the money? Contributor Lee Dalton came away with some answers to that question from his recent visit to Timpanogos Cave National Monument in Utah.
User fees are becoming more and more prevalent on public lands used for recreation. Are they worth it? Occasional contributor Lee Dalton, retired from a National Park Service career, muses on that matter after visiting Timpanogos Cave National Monument in central Utah.
Aztec has nothing to do with the Aztecs of Mexico and Central America. But it does have everything to do with Ancestral Puebloans. It may be one of many places people from Chaco moved to when Chaco was abandoned. Occupation here began in about the late 1000's and flourished until around 1130. By the late 1200's, this settlement was abandoned as so many others had been. As is the case elsewhere, no one knows why.
Cast across more than 36,000 acres, Cumberland Island National Seashore is, as its name implies, on an island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Make the ferry boat crossing from St. Marys and you’ll discover history of those long ago enslaved here, blueblood manses, about 18 miles of waveswept beaches, and nearly 9,000 acres of official Wilderness.