2014 was a record-setting year for attendance in the National Park System, where nearly 293 million visitors spent time, a jump of more than 5 million from the record year of 1999, according to official figures. While most of the "name brand" parks were packed, there were still some sites in the system where you could find some solitude.
Zion National Park
No Charges Yet In "Creepytings" Vandalism Case That Left Painted Images Across The National Park System
An investigation into a case of vandalism that left painted images on rock outcrops in at least eight Western national parks is continuing with charges yet to be brought in the case, National Park Service officials say.
Electric charging stations are beginning to sprout up around the National Park System, making it a bit easier for visitors with electric vehicles to recharge while enjoying the parks.
I stopped at Zion on the way home from Death Valley. At first it seemed to be almost as busy as it is on a summer day. What little did I know then.
National Park Service, Unable To Complete Concessions Contracts On Time, Moves To Extend Dozens Across Park System
Hammering out concessions contracts across the National Park System is not an easy, or quick, job. Failure to reach new contracts before existing ones expired at the end of 2014 prompted the National Park Service to propose extended dozens of contracts for up to a year to keep visitor services operating without interruption.
Public Meeting Set To Discuss Entrance Fee Increases Proposed For Zion, Bryce Canyon, And Cedar Breaks
With timing running out to comment on proposed increases in entrance fees at Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, as well as Cedar Breaks National Monument, all in Utah, the National Park Service has scheduled an open house to discuss the proposals with the public. Park superintendents and staff from all three park areas will be in attendance.
The weather forecast headed into New Year's Eve called for an impressive snowstorm for some parks in the desert southwest, and Mother Nature delivered the goods. Those fortunate enough to be safely ensconced in the vicinity of Zion National Park or the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park were treated to quite a view when the clouds began to part on the first day of 2015.
A layer of snow can add a special dimension to the scenery in parks anywhere, but the contrast with colorful rock formations can be especially striking in places like Arches, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. That's expected to be the case for start of the New Year in several parks in the high desert, but park officials are asking visitors to use caution—and common sense—on icy roads and trails.
New units to the National Park System, a face-off over concession fees at Grand Canyon National Park that impacted nearly a quarter of the park system, and even the basic relevancy of national parks were among the top stories of 2014 involving the park system.