Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

National Park Service's 2012 Search-And-Rescue Caseload Reflects Many Ill-Prepared, Out-Of-Shape Visitors

Search-and-rescue missions in the National Park System in 2012 cost the agency nearly $5.2 million, and in many cases the individuals spurring the rescues were ill-prepared or out of shape.

If You Live In A National Park, You Understand The Theory Of Relativity

A comic strip in my morning newspaper offered an amusing explanation about the Theory of Relativity, and it has a definite application to life in a park: "If you put in a swimming pool...you'll discover relatives you never knew you had." That's a concept anyone who has ever lived or near in a national park can understand!

Essential Friends + Gateways: Best Kept Secrets In The National Parks

It's summertime. The crowds are out at the parks. Can you escape them and find a bit of solitude? Well, not entirely, but with the following suggestions from Traveler's Essential Friends, you can break from the crowd.

The David T. Vernon Collection: Living History Comes Home To Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park, known for craggy peaks, wildlife, and adventure sports, also ranks among the country’s top spots for Native American art and artifacts. When Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott first arrived in 2004, she was amazed to discover the incredible David T. Vernon Collection, one of the most diverse Indian art collections in the world.

Essential Friends + Gateways: High Tech Means High Touch With National Parks

As people become more and more wedded to mobile devices, the National Park System is trying to keep up—and so are its friends. To engage visitors and potential supporters, national park friends groups and foundations are enticing the public with high technology. Here are some savvy ways that’s happening.

Ride Your Bike Through The World's National Parks

A great way to experience national parks is to get out on your bike and pedal through them. While there are many national parks here in the United States that offer great cycling opportunities, places such as Devils Tower National Monument, Badlands National Park, and Shenandoah National Park, you can quickly expand the possibilities when you look out across the globe at national parks abroad.

Goats Do Roam The Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Goat from the Baatany project
On the Appalachian Trail, goats keep the balds bald. Hikers can see the goats on Roan Mountain and adopt one.

Essential Friends + Gateways: West Yellowstone, A Gateway Town Worth Hanging Around

For more than a century, West Yellowstone, Montana, has been a key jumping off point for a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the world’s first national park.

Wales' Snowdonia: The UK’s Top National Park?

The British Isles have some great national parks—but for the best scenery with easiest access, I’d choose Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Here's why...

Essential Friends + Gateways: Preserving Wonderland, The Yellowstone Park Foundation

Preserving ‘Wonderland’ is an on-the-ground, daily mission of the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Essential Friends + Gateways: Take A Long, Slow, Ride Along The Natchez Trace

From Nashville to Natchez, you’ll enjoy an incredible experience thanks to the Natchez Trace Compact.

Essential Friends + Gateways: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, A Great Gateway To The Smokies

What could be better than combining the Great Smokies, America’s most-visited national park, with an iconic gateway to summer fun in the South?

Exploring The Parks: City Of Rocks National Reserve

There are hybrid cars, hybrid corn, hybrid cattle, so why not a hybrid park? City of Rocks in south central Idaho is one. City of Rocks National Reserve is part of the national park system, but there are no NPS personnel there.

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

Where are some of the best backcountry campsites in the world (as well as the national parks)? Michael Lanza, Northwest editor of Backpacker Magazine, shares his thoughts on 25 of the best places to pitch your tent.

Next Time You’re Looking For Lodging During Your National Park Vacation, Consider A Dude Ranch

How many times have you started planning your national park vacation, only to suddenly and regretfully realize that you started too late and all the lodgings inside the park are booked for the dates you wanted to travel? Well, perhaps you should consider staying at a dude ranch near one of the national parks on your itinerary.

Essential Friends + Gateways: Let The Grand Canyon Association Introduce You To Grand Canyon National Park

First-timers to the Grand Canyon can quickly be overwhelmed, and not just by the depth and breadth of this world famous canyon. Where do you begin to explore this wondrous landscape? While the National Park Service provides a good foundation of interpretive materials, it lacks the staff and resources to develop the robust array of materials that the Grand Canyon Association does.

Exploring The Parks: Cape Lookout National Seashore's Historic District

Original life saving station
Summer is a perfect time to explore Cape Lookout National Seashore. A visit to the Cape Lookout Village Historic District rewards you with fascinating structures from a bygone era. Located only two miles from the cape's lighthouse, village visitors are almost guaranteed solitude.

Essential Friends + Gateways: Merging Two Great Groups To Benefit Glacier National Park

This year’s merger of the Glacier National Park Fund and the Glacier Association produced a stronger organization working on behalf of Glacier National Park.

From Visitor To Advocate: A Student’s Journey Through National Parks

How can you interest today's youth in national parks and the outdoors? Have them join the Student Conservation Association and take their park experiences a few steps beyond summer vacation trips.

Essential Friends + Gateways: The Boone Area High Country, An NC Parkway Gateway

The scenery and attractions of the lofty Blue Ridge Mountain bastion called the High Country are a pinnacle of the Blue Ridge Parkway experience.