What’s in a name? Well, when you hear Hance, the Big Drop, Lost Paddle, or Lava Falls, we’re talking about some of the largest, craziest river rapids in our national parks. Interesting names, for sure, but how do they rate? We posed this question to our river rats: What are the best rapids in the parks? They came up with quite a list. So, if you’re looking for exciting and death-defying whitewater in the parks…
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
On the heels of Canyonlands National Park being recognized for its dark skies, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado also has been honored as an International Dark Sky Park.
Maps unlock the world in front of us...even if we're not standing right in front of the landscape contained on the map we're gazing at. They allow us to wander through the landscape, cross mountains, ford rivers and streams, and envision campsites in the backcountry. And, in the case of a new eBook, they allow us to look into the past of some national park settings.
Though remotely located in the mountains of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument goes through days when the air quality is almost as bad as you'd find in major metropolitan areas.
“Running on empty” unfortunately is a very apt description of the Colorado River Basin, which long has had its water overcommitted. Today, the vast watershed that stretches from the mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California and helps nourish some 30 million residents in the Southwest and Mexico is mired in a long-running drought that threatens to dramatically recast the already-arid region.
Unless things change, it will take centuries for many national parks to have truly clean air, according to the National Parks Conservation Association, which wants the Obama administration to close loopholes that stand in the way of improving air quality.
Despite taking in what the Green, Yampa, and other tributaries large and small contribute, the Colorado River is in a death spiral, over-allocated and a victim of growing climate change, left in a state of constant thirst that has made the river the most-endangered in the country, according to American Rivers.
I really didn’t know exactly what to expect when I pulled up to the first overlook at Black Canyon. But when I walked to the edge of the canyon at Tomichi Point and looked down, the only thing I could think was "Oh, my goodness!"
Senators Get Park Service To Retreat From Commercial Climbing Ban In Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Wilderness
Thoughts by the National Park Service to ban commercial climbing outfitters from wilderness areas in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado are being reined in after three U.S. senators raised concerns over the impact of a ban.
Some of the most magnificent national parks of the Southwest owe their rugged beauty to the Colorado River and its tributaries. Unfortunately, dams that have sprung up along the river have changed the water flows in a way detrimental to these national parks, according to a report from the National Parks Conservation Association.