One of the oddest sounds you might encounter in a national park at this time of year is the high-pitched squeal of elk. Better known as "bugling," this sound is as magical as that of a wolf howl hanging in the air.
Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441), the only highway crossing Great Smoky Mountains National Park between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, will be closed from sunset Tuesday, September 1, until late afternoon Wednesday, September 2.
Spam, fruit, and rainwater sustained a lost 70-year-old backpacker in Great Smoky Mountains National Park who was hoisted to safety Sunday morning by a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter after being stranded atop an outcrop for the past week.
A backpacker missing since Tuesday in the rugged backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been found in good condition but will have to spend another night in the woods, officials said Saturday afternoon.
The National Park Service's National Leadership Council met in Ohio last week. The meeting of the agency's top management was supposed to be the first under the direction of Jon Jarvis as Park Service director. Political gamesmanship, and apparently a dose of bureaucracy, unfortunately left Mr. Jarvis wearing his Pacific West Region director's hat.
Roads in two NPS areas that were closed recently due to rockslides have reopened in time for the coming weekend. The routes are an eight-mile section of Little River Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park.
The climate is not static. Ice ages come and go, pushing rivers of ice south and then pulling them back north across continents as temperatures and snowfalls rise and fall. Animal and plant species either stay ahead of these icy incursions and adapt, or perish.