The Latest News & Views

The World's Top Ten National Parks

Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary. Rick Smith photo.
Most Traveler readers know that Yellowstone National Park is considered to be the world’s first national park. Some, though, might not know that more than 130 nations have established parks or protected areas within their boundaries.

Planning to Visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Leave Your Gun At Home

Planning to visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? If you fear for your safety in national parks, you'll have to either skip this lakeshore or go it without your firearm and hope for the best.

The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?

Gateway Arch.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis and the grounds around the "Gateway Arch" could look very different in the years to come, depending upon the outcome of a plan that is currently being developed. This plan could have far-reaching implications and public comments are currently being accepted. Here's what you need to know about this issue.

Rocky Mountain National Park: It Shames the Andes and Alps

"l ain't never seen them, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills, and the Alps is for children to climb." So said mountain man Del Gue in one of the memorable lines from Jeremiah Johnson. He was, of course, comparing those mountains to the Rocky Mountains.

Great Basin National Park: It's More Than Simply A Cave

What in the world was Jim Hansen thinking back in the 1990s when, as a U.S. representative from Utah and chair of the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Lands, he said Great Basin National Park should be removed from the National Park System?
What's all the shaking about at Yellowstone National Park? Is the park, which is situated atop a huge volcano, about to blow it's top?
Why is Yellowstone National Park such a geologic hotspot? This Quicktime videocast, produced as part of the park's "Yellowstone Indepth" series, offers a primer on the park's geothermal basement.

When Stephen Mather Called, Bob Yard Came Running

He labored in the shadow of the National Park Service’s founding fathers, but Robert Sterling Yard was one of the best advocates the agency ever had.

Secretary Salazar on Guns in Parks: He'll "Take A Look At It"

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was non-committal, though with a decided rightward lean, when asked by a National Park Service employee whether he would challenge the recent rule change to allow park visitors to arm themselves.

Aztec Ruins and the River of Lost Souls

Aztec Ruins National Monument in the fall.
Aztec Ruins and the River of Lost Souls may sound like a title for the next Indiana Jones movie, but these are real places that you can visit—and you won't even need a passport or a hyper-active spirit of adventure. One small disclaimer is in order: The Aztecs had no connection with these impressive remains of a long-departed civilization.

Post-Inauguration Facts and Figures from the NPS – but Don't Expect a Crowd Estimate

Crowd at the 2008 Inauguration.
The Big Day on the National Mall has come and gone, thankfully without major incidents. The National Park Service has compiled a few behind-the-scenes facts and figures, but contrary to published reports, there won't be an official estimate of the crowd from that agency.

Secretary Salazar Mulls Reopening Top of Statue of Liberty

Is it time to reopen Miss Liberty's crown to the general public? Interior Secretary Ken Salazar thinks so.

A Major Overhaul at Ford's Theatre National Historic Site Raises a Few Eyebrows

Ford's Theatre.
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. is completing major renovations just in time for the celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial next month. Part of an ambitious $50 million project to create an expanded "Lincoln Campus," the scope of the work has raised eyebrows among some history buffs.

Interior Secretary Salazar Uses the "S" Word On Second Day at the Office

Well, they're tossing the "s" word around at Interior again. You know, the "s" word. "Science." Let's see if they pay closer attention to it than the old administration.

Don't Try this At Home: Driver's Life Saved By Vegetation and Ledge at Colorado National Monument

Every now and then, you have to thank your lucky stars. That, no doubt, is what's going through the mind of a Colorado man who narrowly avoided serious injury, if not certain death, at Colorado National Monument.

It's Not Too Early To Start Planning This Summer's National Park Vacation

Sure, the calendar says January, there's a lot of snow out there across the country, and you haven't even thought about filing your income taxes. But it's still not too early to begin planning your national park vacation for this summer.

Freeze On New Regs Could Impact Efforts to Expand Mountain Biking in National Parks

A freeze on new regulations proposed in the waning days of the Bush administration puts in limbo a number of rules and actions that affect national parks. One pending rule, for instance, could expand mountain biking in the parks.

Fatal Glider Crash at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Additional details are becoming available about the recent tragic crash of a glider at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

National Park Foundation Loses Its Honorary Chairperson

The departure of George and Laura Bush from Washington left a hole at the top of the National Park Foundation. Laura Bush, you see, had been its honorary chairperson.

Wanted: National Park Service Director

The change in administrations has created an opening for a new director of the National Park Service. Mary Bomar officially ended her tenure at the top on Tuesday, and one of her deputies, Dan Wenk, is holding down the job on an acting basis.