With Year-End Holidays Not Far Off, Consider These National Park Escapes

With the approach of Christmas and New Year's, some people remain undecided about what to do and where to go for the holidays. Here are a few suggestions for year-end national park vacations that are likely to result in some lasting memories.

Anniversary Celebration of California Desert Protection Act at Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve scene.
October 31 isn't just about pumpkins and goblins anymore. The date also marks the anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act, a major milestone for Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve. The day will be celebrated at a special event on Saturday at the Mojave National Preserve.

Winter Lodging Deals at Mammoth Cave, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley National Parks

Comparatively few people think of visiting national parks during the winter months, and that's unfortunate for a variety of reasons. Not only does this season present an entirely different view of the parks than the one you normally experience during spring and summer, but lodging typically is less expensive, as the following offers demonstrate.

Death Valley 49ers Gear Up for 60th Encampment

Nobody beats the Death Valley 49ers when it comes to staging festivals that masquerade as encampments. This year’s encampment at the biggest and driest national park in the coterminous U.S. is slated for November 4-8. It’s the 60th in the series, and it’ll be a dandy.

Fall and Winter Are Prime Seasons for Camping in These Parks

Campsite at Organ Pipe Cactus Nat. Mon.
It's just too hot to enjoy camping in some parks during the summer, but fall and winter are prime times for outdoor activity in those areas. Here's a sampling of NPS sites where the "off season" in the rest of the country can be the best season for camping.

National Park Quiz 70: Bad

This quiz will find out how much you know about bad people, bad happenings, bad decisions, and other bad stuff in the national parks. Answers are at the end. Peeking may produce bad results.

The Desert Queen: Death Valley National Park's Furnace Creek Inn

Perched on a rise in the middle of one of the world’s driest and hottest deserts sits what is surely a mirage. At least, it must seem that to first-time Death Valley visitors who are unfamiliar with elegant Furnace Creek Inn. The inn, an AAA Four-Diamond resort, endures and continues to welcome visitors with luxurious accommodations in what can only be described as an unusual setting where summer temperatures average over 100 degrees and frequently soar above 120 degrees.

Wanna See Something Too Gorgeous for Words? Check Out the New Non-Narrative “Living Death Valley” DVD

You won’t miss the voice-over when you view the new non-narrative “Living Death Valley” DVD. When you’ve got masterful photography, a wonderful musical score, and the landscape, floral, and faunal wonders of Death Valley to work with, you don’t need a lot of talk-talk.

Rooms Available For September and October Visits to National Parks in the West

If you're flexible enough to take a fall trip to some of the iconic national parks in the Western United States, there are a number of lodges that are reporting late-season availability. Lodges in Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley national parks all show some rooms available during the months of September and October.

National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!

Were you able to identify Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park?