A layer of snow can add a special dimension to the scenery in parks anywhere, but the contrast with colorful rock formations can be especially striking in places like Arches, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. That's expected to be the case for start of the New Year in several parks in the high desert, but park officials are asking visitors to use caution—and common sense—on icy roads and trails.
Arches National Park
Not every national park across the country experiences winter snow and ice, but some of those that do are beginning to experience some dramatic changes to the landscape. Social media sites offer an easy way to enjoy some views of the scenery during what's usually considered the off-season in many areas, so here's a brief sample for your early winter armchair travels.
To alleviate parking problems, for now, at the trailhead to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, the National Park Service has settled on a plan to enlarge the existing parking area by almost one acre, a move that will add 82 parking spots.
After a long day in a national park, it's nice to sit back and enjoy one of the local microbrews. Which raises the question: Where is the best-tasting microbrew with a park connection located?
Polling Shows Most Westerners Approve Of Federal Land-Management Agencies, Oppose Giving Lands Over To The States
A public opinion poll of key Western states has produced somewhat contradictory results when it comes to federal lands in those states. While strong numbers voiced positive views of agencies such as the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, strong numbers held their state governments in higher esteem than the federal government. Overall, though, a slight majority opposes proposals to turn those federal lands over to the states.
It seemed like the perfect photo shoot: Two climbers making a "first ascent" on a route in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Unfortunately for the climbers, not only did they install bolts into the rockface, which is against park system regulations, and also roll rocks down the slope, but they were recognizeable.
Geology factors into many units of the National Park System, but there are some parks that rise above all others if you have an interest in the geologic past...and present. What follows is a short list of some of the most geologically fascinating parks in the system, though we're sure you can add others.
If you've ever decided to hike Delicate Arch during the high season at Arches National Park in Utah, you know how difficult it can be to find a parking spot at the trailhead. Park officials realize that, too, and have developed a proposal for improving the congestion there that they want your thoughts on.
If you and your dog are inseparable, don't let the National Park System's pet rules stop you from taking a dog-centric vacation to our national treasures. A growing assortment of pet sitters, upscale boarding facilities and dog-friendly people hotels are making it possible for pets and humans to have unforgettable adventures in and around popular national parks.
Parks, especially those in locations with minimal night sky distractions from artificial light, can be great locations for observing—and photographing—celestial events such as Monday's so-called Super Moon. A number of parks offer special night sky programs, but your opportunities to enjoy those out-of-the-world scenes aren't limited to organized events. As the photo accompanying this story confirms, the right locale and timing can provide a chance for a super photo.