Paddling down a river or across a lake in a national park setting is truly a wonderful, memorable experience, one that carries thrills and life-long memories. You can retrace the historic 19th-century journey of John Wesley Powell, or land on a lodgepole pine-studded shore where camp is set under swaying trees and the evening brings a vivid sunset.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
So many rivers and so many different paddling experiences can be found in the National Park System. So how do you figure out which one you want to float on your summer vacation?
What could possibly inspire someone to circumnavigate Alaska, traveling 4,678.8 miles by foot, ski, and inflatable raft? For Andrew Skurka, the challenge was both physical and mental and an underlying desire to "take advantage of the 70, 80 years that I've got on this planet."
The National Park Service is currently accepting applications for research fellowships in national parks and preserves in Alaska.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska—the largest area in the National Park System—is primarily a park for a superlative backcountry experience, but if your only chance to sample this amazing area is a stop at the park's excellent visitor center, you should also allow time for an easy hike on the Boreal Forest Trail.
If you subconsciously want to become a search-and-rescue statistic in the National Park System, your best chance would be in either Grand Canyon National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, or Yosemite National Park.
A mountain is “a natural elevation of the earth's surface having considerable mass, generally steep sides, a discernible peak, and a height greater than that of a hill.” This week’s quiz will see how much you know about mountains in the national parks. Answers are at the end. No peaking, please.