Sequoia National Park

NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree

While most often we hear about fish, bird, or animal species needing Endangered Species Act protection, today a group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend that protection to a tree, the whitebark pine.
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Whitebark Pine Petition.pdf1.51 MB

Is Someone Missing in the Backcountry of Sequoia National Park?

A fairly well-stocked, but empty, campsite in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park has rangers wondering if someone is in trouble in the park.

"Hidden Fire" Continues To Burn In Sequoia National Park

A lightning-sparked fire continues to burn in Sequoia National Park. Covering more than 800 acres and forcing the closure of Crystal Cave, the fire is only about 30 percent contained.

Find Me, Spot. Staying Found in The National Parks

Backcountry rangers in some Alaska national parks routinely signal their position with "Spot," a personal locater beacon that can be used to summon help or to simply let friends know you're OK. Recently, Spot helped rangers find two backcountry travelers in Sequoia National Park who found themselves in trouble.

Traveler's Picks for Where to Get Wet in the National Park System

We definitely are in the dog days of summer. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park the temperature's been well into the 90s, and with the high humidity, well, you really do need to find a place to cool off. With that understood, here are Traveler's Top Picks for where to get wet in the National Park System.*

Fire Restrictions Coming to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

In light of the wildfires sweeping California, it was only a matter of time before fire restrictions started popping up in national parks in the state. So it should be no surprise that officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks are implementing some restrictions.

1930s-Era Explosives Safely Removed from Sequoia National Park's Crystal Cave

Explosives experts have safely removed the remnants of 1930s-era explosives that were found late last week in Sequoia National Park's Crystal Cave.

Explosives, Possibly Dating to 1930s, Found in Sequoia National Park's Crystal Cave--Updated

Some sort of explosives, believed to date to the 1930s, have been found in Sequoia National Park's Crystal Cave. The discovery has prompted the cave's closure and evacuation while the National Park Service's regional chief blaster assesses the situation.

Traveler’s Delightful Dozen: Windshield Touring Trips in the National Park System

We love our cars, we love our parks, and we love to drive our cars in the parks. Well, at least when the traffic isn’t too bad, and we really don’t mind just going along for the ride. The windshield touring season is nearly here, so it’s time to start thinking about park trips. All of the national parkways are recommended. Here are a dozen other traverses, loops, and shuttles that belong on your short list.

National Park Week Activities

National Park Week is being celebrated this year from April 20 through April 26. Across the system there are dozens, if not hundreds, of special events planned. Here's a look at some of them.

Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park

Nearly three tons of garbage and almost six miles of hose have been removed from backcountry marijuana farms in Sequoia National Park.

Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks Tweak Backcountry Wilderness Regulations

If you're heading into the backcountry of either Sequoia or Kings Canyon national parks this year, you'll need to brush up a bit on changes to the parks' backcountry regulations.

Western National Parks Contaminated By Airborne Heavy Metals, Pesticides

How do you like your fish seasoned? A little mercury, perhaps some DDT? That's what you might get if you eat fish caught in national parks in the American West.

Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?

Two Segway entrepreneurs have their sights on Yosemite and Sequoia national parks as the next frontier for these two-wheeled contraptions.

Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns

One of the most intriguing interpretive tours I’ve joined across the national park system was the “wild cave tour” offered at Mammoth Cave National Park. For six or more hours in sections of the cave off-limits to the more traditional tours we scooted through tight places on our bellies when not able to get by on hands and knees.

Lodging Deals Can be Had in the National Parks

While it seems the cost of booking a room in a national park seems to be on an ever-upward spiral, there are bargains to be had if you're flexible in your travel.

Biodiversity Studies in the Parks Reveal Previously Unknown Species

New Moth Species at Great Smoky Mountains National Park; NPS Photo.
Imagine taking the time to go into your backyard, or the nearby woods, or even a pond close to your home, to catalog all the life you found in it. Not just the deer or snakes or fish, but the birds and insects, reptiles, plants and fungi and everything else biological or botanic. Imagine how fascinating that would be. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park they've been working on just that, and what they've found has been incredible.

The Secret Life of Drugs in Parks

Moss in Olympic National Park; "sometimes drywall" photo via Flickr
I was inspired recently to write an article about the problems drugs bring to the parks when I visited Olympic National Park earlier this summer. As recreational visitors to the national parks, we may not be aware of the battle behind the scenes to keep drugs out of the parks. I was told a story by a long-time law enforcement ranger that surprised me, and made me realize the burden to the resource they represent.

Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite

Though much of the news involving national parks and marijuana plantations has been focused on Sequoia National Park, a bust the other day in Yosemite shows that that park has some pretty fertile ground for pot as well.

How Much is that Campsite--Update

As a follow-up to my post a month ago about Yosemite campsites winding up on Ebay, I've discovered that the folks in Sequoia don't allow the sale or transfer of backcountry permits.

Paying to Enjoy The Parks

A National Park Service lifeguard watches visitors; NPS Photo
How much would you pay to hike a trail in Shenandoah, or Great Smoky Mountains or Sequoia? What do you think is a reasonable fee to take a dip at Cape Cod or Cape Hatteras national seashores?
The Last Season (P.S.) Just in time for summer's backpacking and camping season, The Last Season has arrived in paperback. I reviewed this book a year ago shortly after it hit the market in a hardcover-edition and it's well-worth your time if you like a true-life mystery involving a legendary backcountry ranger in Kings Canyon National Park.
The Last Season I'm so impressed with Eric Blehm's "The Last Season," an accounting of the disappearance of Randy Morgenson, a backcountry ranger who spent 28 seasons in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks before vanishing into a void. It's a mystery that perhaps will appeal largely only to parkies, but it's one masterfully told.
Frommer What I liked about working on National Parks With Kids is that it allowed me to take a slightly different look at the parks. For sure, parks are family friendly. But when you're trying to guide families with young kids into the parks, well, you can't focus on 18-mile round-trip hikes and scaling the Grand Teton.
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