Archive List

Happy New Year from the Traveler!

We at the Traveler would like to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year! May 2009 bring you many adventures in our National Park System.

Wanted: Expert on Lassen Volcanic National Park

Wanted: Expert on Lassen Volcanic National Park. Topic: Snowshoeing.

Drive to the Top of This Volcano for an Impressive View

Capulin Volcano.
This 1,000-foot-high cinder cone was formed after earthquakes and fireworks-like explosions hurled molten rock thousands of feet into the air. Nope, it's not in Hawaii, and this mount is not named for a saint.

National Park Quiz 35: Newbies

The New Year is only hours away, so let’s orient this week’s quiz to newness (loosely defined). Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll put you in charge of Traveler’s new Complaint Department.

Update From Sequoia National Park: Lodgepole Is Back In Business

It took a coupla days, but the power is back on at Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park.

Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks

The Brady Campaign has filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department over its plans to allow national park visitors to arm themselves. While the rule change is set to take effect January 9, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia also seeks an injunction to prevent that from occurring.
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What's Driving All The Shaking At Yellowstone National Park?

It's no secret that Yellowstone National Park is volcanic in nature. Still, scientists are raising their eyebrows over a recent swarm of earthquakes that have been shaking the park's underpinnings.

What Were YOUR Favorite National Park Stories of 2008?

Back on December 21 we told you what we thought were the top national park stories of 2008. Now, here's a look at which stories YOU thought were the most intriguing.

Update: Will a “Chop and Drop” Strategy Rescue the Presidio’s Contemporary Art Museum Project?

Harsh criticism forced the Presidio Trust to rethink its plans for the new Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio. A new "chop and drop" proposal emphasizes smaller, better located structures built largely underground.

Pruning the Parks: The $100 Million National Visitor Center Fiasco

The National Visitor Center was a bad idea that came to a bad end. When it was abolished on December 29, 1981, the NPS breathed a huge sigh of relief. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that $100 million back?

Power Outages Lead to Closures in Sequoia National Park

If you were planning a pre-New Year's Eve trip to Sequoia National Park, you might want to check with park officials before you head there. A power outage that hit Christmas Day has forced closure of facilities in the Lodgepole and Giant Forest area.

The Texas White House is Now Open for Visitors

Texas White House
The current occupant of the Oval Office has ties to the Lone Star State, but the term "Texas White House" is normally associated with a former president. Public tours of the Texas White House became available for the first time this year, along with other changes at the park that commemorates the 36th president from his ancestral roots to his final resting place.

Mount Rainier National Park Offers a Snowplay Area and Guided Snowshoe Walks

A snowplay area and guided snowshoe walks are now available at the Paradise area in Mount Rainer National Park. Here's your chance to slide and 'shoe in the world's snowiest place.

With Winter Hitting Much of the Country Hard, There Are Many Ski Opportunities in the National Parks

Winter, it seems, is everywhere these days. Even poor Las Vegas has been hammered (relatively speaking, of course) by a snowstorm. And Death Valley National Park has seen snowflakes this winter. So shouldn't you be planning a national park ski trip?

Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?

Established on December 27, 1894, Shiloh National Military Park was transferred to the NPS in 1933. Some Civil War buffs have a very special way of visiting this park and honoring those who fought there.

Video: Wal-Mart's Super Center Plans Draw Opposition From Generals Lee and Grant

Whether you oppose Wal-Mart's plans to develop a super center near Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park or could care less, you have to smile at the ingenuity of some of the opponents.

Water Works Are The Main Attraction at Gauley River National Recreation Area

Water. Torrents of water. Screaming cataracts that over the eons have sliced through some of the most intriguing Appalachian geology. And which, in the process, have created one heck of a playground.

Going to Denali Next Summer? It's Not Too Soon to Make Some Essential Reservations

Denali National Park scene.
The recent winter weather may have you thinking more about travel to Florida or Arizona instead of Alaska, but if you're considering a trip to Denali National Park next summer, it's not too soon to make reservations for the park bus system or campgrounds.

These Big Bird Sightings at Grand Canyon Are the Real Deal

Condor soaring at Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon National Park is a place that is synonymous with "big," and as the year draws to a close it seems an appropriate location for good news about sightings of some very big—and very rare—birds.

Who's Being Mentioned For Director of the National Park Service?

With Ken Salazar the pick for the Obama administration's Interior secretary, it's time to turn to the question of who will be the next director of the National Park Service.

Nevada Barr’s Latest Anna Pigeon Book is Set for April Release

There’s good news for Nevada Barr fans. The best selling author has sent another manuscript off to the printer. “Borderline,” the 15th novel starring super ranger Anna Pigeon, is due out in April. This one’s set in Big Bend National Park, and Nevada’s sister Molly says it’s a dandy.

A Winter Visit to Wupatki National Monument

Lomaki Pueblo at Wupatki NM. Ann Torrence photo.
In the quiet winter season, the wind rustling among the ruins of Wupatki National Monument whispers like the ancestral voices of its long-departed inhabitants.

National Park Quiz 34: Christmas in the Parks

It’s Christmas Eve, so let’s give this this week’s quiz a Christmas focus. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll tell Santa.

The AARP Seven-Tip List for Economical National Park Visiting is One Tip Short

The AARP recently published a list of seven senior-focused tips for saving money on national park visits. All seven make good sense, but we’d like to suggest an eighth.

Glen Canyon Marina Fire Damage Estimate: $3-$5 Million

Investigators looking into a fire that destroyed 15 boats at a remote marina in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area haven't identified a cause of the blaze that generated $3-$5 million in damage to boats and dock facilities.

"Pssst, Buddy…Got Some Photos to Show Us?"

If you're a serious photographer—or just an average one who got lucky—you might want to consider entering some of your shots of national parks in one or more photo contests that are currently accepting entries.

Elk Population Growing at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If the elk herd at Great Smoky Mountains National Park keeps growing like this, perhaps a gray wolf recovery program will be needed to keep the ungulates from over-grazing the park.

Snow Falls in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park hasn't been immune from the cold, snowy weather of late, as this photo of the Furnace Creek Inn shows.

At Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Old History Made Way for New History

Dozens of historic riverfront buildings in St. Louis were demolished in the 1940s to make room for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Boosters insisted that this was basically a matter of breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. Many preservationists think it was deplorable.

What Were the Top Stories Across the National Park System in 2008?

What were the top stories across the National Park System in 2008? That's a good question, but unfortunately one that brings to mind many stories we at the Traveler wish never arose.