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…
Grand Canyon National Park
Both still waters and those running fast and at times furious are plentiful across the National Park System, offering seemingly endless options for where to dip your paddle. You can drift across the reflection of the Tetons on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, savor some of the West’s best whitewater in Canyonlands and Arches national parks in Utah, or retrace the path of Major John Wesley Powell’s boats with a modern-day adventure down the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah.
The body of a California man has been recovered 200 feet below the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, while the car he apparently was in lies another 800 feet lower in the canyon.
Late in the 19th century, as conservationists pushed to preserve the Grand Canyon, local opposition stalled action with arguments like “the fate of Arizona depends exclusively upon the development of her mineral resources.”
After receiving year-end numbers from around the National Park System, visitation to the parks last year reached a record 307.2 million, according to the National Park Service. A number of parks attracted some staggering numbers of visitors, such as Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain, which each surpassed 4 million for the first time, and Grand Canyon which tallied more than 5 million, the agency said.
A small handful of days before the National Park Service announced that its maintenance backlog had crept up to nearly $12 billion, five congressmen called for more funding for Internet connectivity in the National Park System. But here's the rub: Can the National Park Service easily provide that service if told to provide it? The experts don't think so.
There are times when a book on paddling comes in handy. You might be planning a trip, searching for inspiration, or have a layover day on your trip when you just want to relax with a good read. With those moments in mind, we recommend that you stock your personal library with the following selections, at a minimum.
It’s a safe bet that not too many travelers reading this post have visited Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park. It’s Canada’s largest park and one of the largest national parks in the world at nearly five times the area of Yellowstone, but to say it’s a thirty-hour drive northeast of Seattle is an understatement of its remoteness.
It's a good news, bad news story. The good news is that the National Park Service's revenues increased 15 percent between 2005 and 2014. The bad news is that the increase didn't keep up with inflation, and in the end total funding for the agency actually went down by 3 percent, according to an investigation by the General Accounting Office.
In the process of investigating charges of sexual harassment at Grand Canyon National Park, authorities discovered that a park employee who resigned after "being disciplined for repeated acts of sexual harassment and misconduct during river trips" landed a job at the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Center in New Mexico.