Yosemite National Park

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.
One Best Hike: Yosemite Climbing to the precipice of Half Dome is not a task easily done, nor one that should be lightly considered. That much I think is a given to anyone who has accomplished the day-long hike, or anyone who has read or heard of the tragedies that have taken place on this famous outcrop of granite.

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.

Going Above and Beyond; Stewardship in the National Parks

Yosemite National Park, El Capitan with Clouds; Jim Brekke Photo
Parks are famous as travel destinations, but for many of us, they represent more than just a road-trip. This fall, rock-climbers in Yosemite, backcountry hikers in Olympic, and students in Kentucky and Tennessee are gathering together in their favorite parks to give back to the places which have provided so much for them. You are welcome to join in.

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign; Jimmy Wayne photo.
Ever wonder what the most visited parks in the system are? How about least visited? The NPS office of statistics answers this question once a year with an ordered, ranked table cataloging recreation visits to each of the NPS managed units across the USA. So, what is the most visited park? Read on for the answer.
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National Geographic Rates the Best Parks

Horses at Theodore Rooselevel National Park; NPS Photo
National Geographic's Adventure Magazine has created a list of the 5 best parks in 7 different categories; hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, trekking, driving, climbing and lodges. Did they get it right?

Tragedy Stalks the National Parks

Hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite; K. Repanshek photographer.
It's been a rough few days in the national parks. A three-day search in Mount Rainier has led to the discovery of the body of a missing hiker, while in Yosemite another hiker has died while trying to negotiate Half Dome.
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.
Thomas Moran: Artist of the Mountains As Adams was a master with film, Moran was a master with canvas. Perhaps the definitive biography of Thomas Moran, this book traces his upbringing, his introduction to art, and his time spent in the parks.
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