Arches National Park

Now's The Time To Apply For "Artists in the Parks"

If you've got some artistic flare, and a desire to spend some time in the high desert of southeastern Utah, now is the time to get your application in for the 2011 Community Artist in the Parks Program.

A Year's Worth of Trails to Hike in the National Parks

Hiking trails are one of the best ways to enjoy national parks. They lead you out into nature, get you some exercise, and quite often showcase some gorgeous vistas. Here's a look back at some of the great trails we've mentioned on the Traveler during the past 12 months.

A Year in the Parks

The past year was very kind to me in terms of getting out to visit some of the incredible units of our National Park System. Here's a look back at a year in national parks.

Traveler's Checklist: Bryce Canyon National Park, Winter Edition

Though summer draws the bulk of Bryce Canyon National Park's 1.2 million annual visitors, a strong argument can be made that winter is a more fascinating time to visit this red-rock icon. The sharp contrasts between fresh-fallen snow, cerulean skies, and the park's red-hued amphitheaters are spectacular. If you can manage a winter escape, here are some tips for touring Bryce Canyon.

Santa Fe Woman Becomes 1 Millionth Visitor To Arches National Park

It's not often that, upon pulling up to a national park's entrance gate, your arrival is applauded. That's what happened to Victoria Carlson, though, when she arrived at Arches National Park and became the park's 1 millionth visitor of the year.

Snapshots of Where To Winter in the National Park System, Cold Weather Edition

Winter long has been regarded as the slow season for national park visits, and that's a good thing if you prefer to have the parks to yourself. With most travelers confined by school schedules to the summer months, and many convinced winter is a bad time to be outdoors, you can savor the best of the parks from coast to coast in winter. Here are some snapshots of wintry fun in the parks that bear that out.
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Rocky Mountain-Winter Programs.pdf154.39 KB
OLYM-XC Snowshoe trails.pdf178.32 KB
MORA-Winter Trails.pdf97.43 KB
MORA-Winter Camping.pdf942.37 KB
MORA-Winter Recreation.pdf947.76 KB
YOSE-Glacier Pt Trails.pdf937.39 KB
YOSE-Mariposa in Winter.pdf220.95 KB

Republicans On House Natural Resources Committee Planning Big Changes For Public Lands

Fresh off their Election Day tidal wave, and energized by it, Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee are planning big changes for public lands in the West, changes that could greatly impact national parks.

National Park Mystery Plant 13 Revealed: A Prostrate Little Plant with an Unlovely Name

The liverwort is a small, primitive, flowerless plant that you might easily mistake for moss or lichens.

Exploring Canyonlands And Arches National Parks By RV

Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by asteroids.

New Director in National Park Service's Intermountain Region Looking Forward to Challenges

John Wessels finds himself in arguably one of the best jobs in the National Park Service, that as director of the agency's sprawling Intermountain Region, and yet there probably aren't many who envy him at this point.
Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River Part travelogue, part warning shot across the bow, Jonathan Waterman in his latest book takes us on a year-long journey down the Colorado River from source to the Sea of Cortez that should scare the wits out of those in the Southwest convince them to read the dusty writing on the wall.

Updated: NPCA Names Dirk Kempthorne to Its Board of Trustees

Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association, a somewhat curious, and likely controversial, move in light of his oversight of the national parks.

Secretary Salazar Hopes To Negotiate R.S. 2477 Solution With Utah Officials

Long a bone of contention between state, local and federal authorities when it comes to public lands access is a nearly 150-year-old law initially passed to help advance westward expansion. Now Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hopes a pilot program in Utah can generate a solution to R.S. 2477 controversies.

John Wessels Appointed Director of National Park Service's Intermountain Region

John Wessels, who has served as the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region associate director for administration, business and technology since 2004, has been named director of the region, the largest in the agency.

Reader Participation Day: California, or Utah, For A National Park Trek?

If you had the option of either traveling to Utah for a swing through its national parks, or to California to sample its national parks, which would you choose?

One More Request For Your Help In Keeping The Traveler On-line

As we bring an end to our week-long fund-raising drive to keep the Traveler on-line, we'd like to thank the many readers who responded with donations, and make a final request to those sitting on the fence.

Arches National Park Developing Formal Climbing, Canyoneering Management Plan

Hard to believe, what with all the incredible geology with its borders, but Arches National Park never really has had a formal climbing and canyoneering management plan. Well, that soon will be rectified.

Trails I've Hiked: The Windows Section of Arches National Park

You don't need to be a long-distance hiker to tackle what arguably is not just the shortest but also the most impressive hike at Arches National Park. A comfortable pair of shoes, a bottle of water, and perhaps 90 minutes of your time will be enough to explore the Windows Section of the park.
Dream Hikes Coast to Coast: Your Guide to America In Dream Hikes Coast to Coast author Jack Bennett has done something more than a few folks would like to do: Head out on some great hikes, and then write about them. In assembling his hiking list, he took an approach that is both laudable...and disappointing.
Treasures of America Before Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan came out with their view of the National Park System, many others were turning their cameras on the parks. One collection I've found that is worthy of space in your DVD collection is Treasures of America's National Parks, a six-disk collection of some of the system's icons.

National Park Quiz 83: Reproduction

Let's see how much you know about the intricate business of passing along genes in our national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "Bacterial conjugation, which is sometime erroneously characterized as the bacterial equivalent of sexual reproduction, cannot succeed unless the donor bacterium hosts a plasmid, transposon, or similar genetic element that is conjugative or mobilizable."

"There's Something I Forgot to Tell You"

Memory lapses add spice to life.

Creature Feature: The Common Raven is an Uncommonly Intelligent Bird

The common raven is one of the brainiest birds you'll encounter in the national parks, but the same keen intellect that makes this species interesting and amusing also makes it troublesome.

Trails I've Hiked: Arches National Park's Primitive Trail, Via Landscape and Double O Arches

Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
There might be no finer time to hike in Arches National Park than early mornings, when the soft light of the rising sun glints off the red-rock and the spindly Utah junipers and waves of fins cast long shadows.

Reader Participation Day: Which Is Your Favorite National Park Gateway Town?

If you had to pick a gateway town to live in -- not because of its associated national park, but because of its atmosphere -- which would you choose?
Common Southwestern Native Plants: An Identification Guide Anyone who spends time hiking in the national parks of the Southwest needs a good plant identification book. And "Common Southwestern Native Plants, An Identification Guide," is one of those books.

Republicans, Democrats Differ Over Whether National Park Designations Should Block Energy Projects

When the Bush administration late in 2008 tried to auction energy leases near national parks in Utah, there was an outcry by many who considered siting oil and gas exploration projects next to parks was anathema. The Obama administration quickly reversed the decision, but the debate over whether to locate energy projects next to parks continues.

Tamarisk, aka "Salt Cedar," A Thirsty Scourge Of Western National Parks

The showy tamarisk tree, aka "Saltcedar," long has been reviled as a thirsty scourge of Western national park riparian areas. But new research shows it's not any thirstier than some native species. However, tamarisk isn't valued as highly as cottonwoods and willows by some bird species, the studies say.
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