Yosemite National Park

National Park Quiz 8: Firsts

There is a first time for everything -- every innovation, every event, every development, every activity, every you-name-it. The storied history of the National Park System is loaded with firsts. Take this week's quiz and see if you can be the first to answer all the questions correctly. Answers are at the end. No peeking!

New Movie “To the Limit” Shows Record Speed-Climb of El Capitan Nose Route at Yosemite National Park

On October 8, 2007, the Huber brothers set a new speed-climbing record of two hours, 45 minutes, and 45 seconds for El Capitan’s Nose route, one of the world’s most difficult big wall climbs. The event was captured on film, and you won’t believe your eyes.

Park History: Director Hartzog and the Automobile

How's that saying go, the more things change, the more they stay the same? That certainly seems to be the truth in the case of national parks jammed with automobiles.

Yosemite National Park Waterfalls Approaching Full Throttle

Thanks to this past winter's hefty snowpack, the now-melting snow is accelerating the intensity of Yosemite National Park's waterfalls. If you're fortunate enough to have the time to visit the park, a trip to the Yosemite Valley in the coming weeks should reward you with an incredible display of the park's waterworks.

Creature Feature: The American Marten

The American Marten is a rare North Woods animal that you'll probably never see, save for paw prints in the snow. This brown, bushy-tailed little critter, which looks something like a cross between a mink and a house-cat, was prized for its luxurious fur and darn near trapped to extinction in the United States during the 19th century. Today, despite habitat losses and related problems, the American Marten still inhabits much of its historical range.

Tioga Road Opens Through Yosemite National Park's High Country, Half Dome Cables Up

Further proof that spring has arrived in the West is word that the Tioga Road across the high country of Yosemite National Park is now open. And, the cables that run to the summit of Half Dome also are in place for intrepid hikers.

Is Your Backcountry Safety Net A Personal Locator Beacon or Cell Phone?

Do you skimp on backcountry preparations, figuring you've got your trusty personal locator beacon or cell phone to summon help at a moment's notice? It's tempting, no? Why prepare yourself equipment-wise and possibly skill-wise when help is just a push button away?

National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?

A two-week search for a missing hiker in Yosemite National Park. A search for a missing snowshoer on Mount Rainier. Recovery of bodies from climbing accidents in Grand Teton National Park. A week-long, and unsuccessful, search for a missing 8-year-old at Crater Lake National Park. Each year, thousands of search-and-rescue missions cost the National Park Service millions of dollars. And each year the agency eats the costs.
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In the News: Loss of Cougars in Yosemite National Park, "Uranium Rush" at Grand Canyon National Park

Critics of the National Park Service's mandate to conserve natural resources often say the national parks were not intended to be kept inside bell jars. And that's certainly not happening. Proof can be seen in how the loss of cougars is thought to be adversely affecting Yosemite National Park and the recent rush to find uranium near Grand Canyon National Park.

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.

Report Shows Visiting National Parks Could be Hazardous to Your Health

Visiting national parks could be hazardous to your health. That's the conclusion that can be drawn from a snapshot of health and safety conditions across the National Park System.

Tune-in For Yosemite National Park

Never been to Yosemite National Park? If you haven't, or if you just want to recall its beauty, watch for "Yosemite -- America's Treasure" on the Travel Channel this Sunday and again on April 17 and 18.

Appellate Court Rules Against Yosemite National Park

In a ruling that stands to have wide implications, a federal appellate court has ruled against Yosemite National Park officials and their Yosemite Valley plan. Today's decision, say park officials, not only will halt more than $100 million in construction work on the valley floor but could lead to visitation limits in the scenic valley.
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Lodging Deals Can Be Found In Olympic, Yosemite, and Mesa Verde National Parks

If your schedule is flexible, you might want to take a look at these lodging deals at Yosemite, Olympic, and Mesa Verde national parks.

It's Time to Book Your Summer National Park Vacation

It's only January, the Super Bowl has yet to be played, and the Rocky Mountain states are up to their necks in snow. Sooooooo, it must be time to book your summer national park vacation.

How Many Tourists are Too Many in the Yosemite Valley?

When last we visited the legal wranglings over Yosemite National Park's Merced River Plan, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had taken under advisement arguments over just how far the Park Service most go to meet federal laws.

Do Professional Hockey And Yosemite National Park Belong Together?

Coming to the national park nearest you, professional hockey! OK, not every national park, just Yosemite National Park.

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.

2007 Visitation Across National Park System Projected To Rise

Two years ago there were concerns that national parks were losing their pull over the traveling public. Today, though, National Park Service officials are bullish about visitation, pointing to gains at a number of parks, including Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Yosemite Valley Case Returning to the Courtroom

There's scheduled to be a court hearing in California today to revisit the issue of whether the National Park Service is properly taking care of the Yosemite Valley.

Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?

Thousands of folks trek to the top of Half Dome each summer. Their footprints have created a well-worn path up past Vernal and Nevada falls and onto the granite behemoth. Which begs the question: Does Half Dome offer visitors a wilderness experience?

Giving a Name to Yosemite Area Peak for Longtime Ranger Carl Sharsmith.

Ranger-naturalist Carl Sharsmith photo by Allan Shields
Since at least 1976 an attempt has been made to formally establish the name Sharsmith Peak on a Yosemite National Park summit. In 2003 a group of citizens formed a committee to complete this task. I've asked Bill Jones, the lead member of the 'Name4Carl Committee', to provide for us an update on their efforts. Read on for his report.

Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example

The Boring Woods of Sequoia Kings
Think electronics aren't getting in the way of kids and nature? While it might not be true in every nook and cranny of the country, it is happening in some areas. Take California, for instance. Tommy Nguyen told the San Francisco Chronicle trees are pretty boring.

Photo Shoot: Today's Cameras Make It Easier to Capture the National Parks

Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. Copyright, Pat Cone.
Not everyone is a painter, musician, or sculptor, but it seems that everyone is a photographer. Whether tracking Yellowstone wolves, following Glacier’s goats, or watching Yosemite waterfalls, all it takes is a camera. And that’s exactly what camera manufacturers count on: Making it easier and easier, especially in the new digital world, to produce quality photographs.

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.

Fall's Brightest Colors Descending on National Parks

Cataloochee Creek against Fall's vibrant colors.
With Fall officially under way, it won't be too long before the season's most spectacular colors are daubed, stroked, and splashed across the national park system. The good news is that you haven't missed the peak yet. The bad news is that if you don't already have a room reservation, you probably won't find a vacancy in any of the well-known fall foliage parks.

If You Have to Ask the Price, The Ahwahnee And Jenny Lake Lodge Are Probably Out of Reach

Earlier this summer we ran a list of the Top 10 Lodges in the park system. Admittedly it's a "soft" list, one that definitely is not objective. But what some might find objectionable are the nightly costs for staying in some of these places.

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.
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