Backpacker's Most Dangerous Hikes: The National Parks are Well-Represented

Today's younger generations want thrills? Well, the National Park System has plenty of them, from incredible white-water opportunities and climbs to some of what Backpacker magazine calls the most dangerous hikes in America.
Half Dome by Scott1956.People the world over travel to Yosemite National Park to stand before Half Dome. And a lucky few manage to climb to the top of this iconic loaf of rock.

Fifty Year Ago Today, Warren Harding and His Buddies Conquered “Unclimbable” El Capitan

November 12, 1958, was an auspicious day for the climbing world and Yosemite National Park. Using siege tactics now considered primitive, a team led by Warren Harding finally conquered El Capitan, a granite monolith that was considered unclimbable. The Nose Route that Harding established is now a classic climb attracting talented weekend climbers, pros, and audacious speedsters.

Yosemite National Park Officials Considering Improvements to Tioga Road Trails

Tenaya Lake, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Finally, a non-controversial topic. Or is it? Yosemite National Park officials are launching a study into how they can improve eight of 12 trails that have trailheads along the Tioga Road.

Nation’s First Park Ranger Hears Crying Ghost

The Yosemite Valley Pioneer Cemetery is a small graveyard. Only 36 of the 45 souls buried there have headstones. In the northwest corner, underneath the shade of five evergreens, a large but otherwise unpretentious hunk of granite marks the grave of the man some consider to be the first park ranger, Galen Clark, who became the park’s first civilian guardian in 1867.

A Popular Overlook in Yosemite Gets a Makeover

View from Tunnel View overlook.
For the past 75 years, one of the most popular scenic overlooks in Yosemite National Park has lured visitors with its memory-making views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome. During the height of the visitor season, an estimated 5,000-7,000 people stop at Tunnel View Overlook each day. The view hasn't changed, but the overlook itself has received a makeover.

Rockfalls Down Upon Curry Camp in Yosemite National Park Are Not Unusual

The most recent rockfalls from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park are not the first to shower Curry Camp and certainly won't be the last. With that in mind, geologists are taking a close look at Glacier Point to try to determine just how safe, or unsafe, its rock face is.
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Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite, its image is recognized worldwide. It's even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From mid-May to mid-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile hike.

The Lost Arrow Spire Highline in Yosemite National Park is a Slackliner’s Dream and an Acrophobe’s Nightmare

So, you think you’re ready for the Lost Arrow Spire Highline? Have a look at this videoclip and see if you still feel that way.

Trails I've Hiked: John Muir Trail, Lyell Fork drainage, Yosemite National Park

Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River, Kurt Repanshek photo
Woven tufts of gold knit the meadows together, thick pine forests give way to observation towers of granite and sky-scraping peaks, and a river runs through it. That's the setting the John Muir Trail wanders through in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park.