Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks

A spate of fatalities in the national parks this spring sends a sobering message: parks can be dangerous places. But they don't have to be if you remember some simple rules when visiting the parks.

Hiker Dies at Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Death Valley unfortunately lived up to its name earlier this week, when an Ohio hiker failed to return from a day trip in the park.

Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire

Remains of the Barker Ranch.
Some otherwise ordinary sites achieve notoriety in unlikely ways. That was the case with the Barker Ranch in Death Valley National Park, which burned under mysterious circumstances earlier this week. Its link with history? Charles Manson.

National Park Quiz 53: Castles

Castles here, castles there, castles everywhere. If you know your national park castles, you’ll do just fine on this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Medieval castle walls have visually distinctive battlements featuring alternating crenels and merlons.”

National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West

DEVA-Artists Palette, Kurt Repanshek photo
The National Park Service has been trying to raise its "climate friendly" image in recent months, but it's concerned about the potential impact huge solar power arrays on Western lands could have on national parks.
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Jarvis-Solar Energy Memo.pdf19.24 KB
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Creature Feature: Feral Burros are "Equina Non Grata" in the National Parks

Guys who holler “watch this!” just before they do something incredibly stupid aren’t the only jackasses in our national parks. We’ve got the real kind too, and where there are feral burros the habitat is degraded and native wildlife suffer. Cute though they may be, burros are unwelcome in our national parks.

Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park

Canyon at Death Valley.
A 58-year-old woman sustained serious injuries earlier this week in an isolated canyon at Death Valley National Park. Two rangers on patrol in the area heard calls for help and set a rescue into motion.

Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?

Desert Five-Spot, Jimmie Affholder photo.
With all the talk of late about the prospects for a colorful, and plentiful, bloom in Death Valley National Park, let's start talking flowers in earnest. For instance, have you ever seen a Desert Five-Spot in the park?

National Park Quiz 42: Rocks and Minerals

This week’s quiz will find out whether you are a rock star. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll give you a sledge hammer and make you turn big rocks into little ones.

Will Recent Storms in Death Valley National Park Fuel A Spring Bloom?

Rain and snow have pelted Death Valley National Park somewhat frequently this winter, which raises the question of whether there will be a tremendous spring bloom in the park?