How are we to act in a national park? That might seem to carry an obvious answer, but it's not always so obvious these days. As different generations, different racial groups, and different cultures enter the National Park System, not all seem out to enjoy the natural beauty on display in the landscape parks simply by walking about and gazing at the setting, hiking or backpacking, paddling or climbing, or watching wildlife.
Yosemite National Park
Books with ties to national parks are too numerous to count. But we did receive a fair number in 2015, and found many of them worth your while. Let's take a look back through Traveler's Fireside Reads for 2015.
The national parks of the United States are often compared to, and indeed inspire, works of art. In fact, the USGS has been regularly contributing new and updated works of art for the national parks—maps.
My first partner in my first job with the National Park Service was a dark bay mare. I was extremely popular with the kids when I’d show up at the General Sherman Tree or Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park riding Sweets. So you can imagine the shock and horror I felt last August when I learned that three NPS horses were on a feedlot in Colorado, waiting to be shipped to a slaughterhouse in Mexico.
Personalities, towering granite walls, and historic photographs for added perspective -- some amazing perspective at times -- are the heart and soul of Yosemite In The Fifties, a 176-page book that captures what the authors refer to as the Iron Age of climbing in Yosemite National Park.
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are the rarest mountain sheep in North America. After the population dropped to around 100 animals in 1995, this unique sub-species was listed as an endangered species. In the spring of 2015, these charismatic animals were released into the heart of Yosemite for the first time in over 100 years
Two of the greatest backcountry trips I had this year involved float trips in Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park. Why? The solitude. Outside of our own small groups, it was as if we had the parks to ourselves.
Summers in Yosemite National Park traditionally are crazy, busy and frenetic as throngs of visitors are in a hurry to recreate. But winter here is like being in another world. A crystal-white blanket covers the iconic valley’s floor, waterfalls are rimmed with ice, and the high granite domes have toupees of snow while the backcountry has a thick layer of snow.
Word that a Texas-based company owned by concert promoter Live Nation is trying to gain greater access to national parks as venues should raise eyebrows across the country.