In an ideal world, those of us on a trip to a park could take off our watches, never glance at the time on our electronic devices, and not even care what day of the week it is, much less the hour of the day. That's unfortunately not always the case, of course, so it's important to know there are some parks where the answer to "What time is it?" may not be what you expect.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Living in the Rocky Mountains is a great asset when it comes to visiting national parks, for there are so many in just about any direction you head. The past year took me north and south through the region to a diverse collection parks, and I also ventured to Virginia to explore the National Park System.
Need help planning a trip to either the Canadian Rockies or the Trail of the Ancients in the Southwest? National Geographic Maps can help you out.
As Perry Yazzie worked the Jeep's clutch to negotiate the dips in the track, the clutch complained loudly, gnashing its metal teeth in a sign of the many years the rig has hauled visitors into Canyon de Chelly.
Summer hasn't yet officially arrived, yet the number of visitors dying during visits to units of the National Park System is growing.
Sunday May 20, 2012 will offer a Celestial Super Bowl—a near-total solar eclipse—and parks in parts of the western U.S. will offer some prime viewing locations. If you want to make travel plans for special eclipse-related activities or purchase equipment for safe viewing, just don't wait too long to do so.
Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write 100 times on the whiteboard: "To show respect and avoid a geographical misnomer, many people now use the term Native American instead of Indian."
After leaving Mesa Verde National Park, David and Kay Scott, on the road to update their guidebook, "The Complete Guide To the National Park Lodges," made a stop at Canyon de Chelly National Monument for a stay at the Thunderbird Lodge. It is one of their favorite destinations in the Southwest.
Here's another reason to consider a winter trip somewhere in the National Park System: At Canyon de Chelly National Monument, rates at the Thunderbird Lodge are down as much as 43 percent from summer highs.
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.