Archive List

Some Popular Trails are Closed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as Crews Combat Wildfires

If you’ve made plans to hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week, inquire about trail closings before you leave home. Five of the park’s trails have been closed as crews deal with three wild fires and some flare-ups.

Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day

Kurt’s Yampa River rafting trip encounters a one-day delay due to bad weather. Kurt's SPOT gizmo is still reporting his location. The satellite imagery is way cool. Check it out.

Bridge to Somewhere Stirs Debate at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Drawing of bridge.
A proposed bridge at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in the Atlanta area is stirring debate among local residents and government officials. Among the issues is the perceived potential for increased mountain bike use on and off of area trails.

More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake

Launch ramp at Lake Mead.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is one of the most heavily-visited units in the National Park System, and its two lakes are a magnet for recreationists. Falling water levels are requiring some changes that will affect visitors to the area, but the current drought isn't the worst to impact the lake—yet.

National Park Quiz 52: Celebrities

This week’s national park quiz marks the completion of one whole year’s worth of these puzzlers. Can you believe it? Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll sic the paparazzi on you.

Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too

Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek is still on the Yampa, and thanks to his SPOT GPS gizmo, we know he’s still OK and making his overnight camps as planned. He says he wishes we were there with him, but we suspect he's fibbing.

Car Clouter with a Cannon? Point Reyes National Seashore Case has an Unusual Twist

Point Reyes lighthouse.
An investigation into several vehicle break-ins at Point Reyes National Seashore resulted in the arrest of a suspect, and then the case took an unusual twist: the man had a loaded, homemade cannon in the bed of his pickup.

Three Dead, Two Rescued, One Missing in Accident at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Lake Powell.
Authorities at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah continued to search for a missing boater after an accident on Lake Powell late last Saturday. Two members of group were rescued that afternoon and the bodies of three others have been recovered.

Yampa River, Lifeblood To Dinosaur National Monument, Eyed for Water Diversions

Somewhat small in stature at just about 250 miles in length, the Yampa River that flows through Dinosaur National Monument is significant not just for its white-water rapids but for its unbridled flows. Not a single dam stands in the way of this river famous with rafters and the lifeblood for four species of endangered fish.
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That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six

Nobody was able to correctly identify the NPS units in that Marine Corps commercial we invited you to look at. It’s not as simple as it seems. Here’s the solution.

Traveler Tip: Staying On Top Of News From Mount Rainier National Park

Trying to individually sort through all of the data flowing across the Internet is impossible. Can't be done. There's just too much. So when you come upon a cool site, spread the word. Today the word is "VisitRainier."

Kurt's on the Yampa, and on the SPOT

Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek's paddling excursion on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument is underway. Using his SPOT GPS gizmo, Kurt has reported the location of his Sunday night camp and let us all know he's OK.

Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices

Solitude. Who doesn’t treasure some from time to time? And some of the greatest draws of national parks is their peacefulness and the ability for you to pass through an entrance gate and escape the pressures of day-to-day life. Where can you find some of the best solitude in the National Park System? Read on for some of the Traveler’s top picks for solitude.

Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System

If you subconsciously want to become a search-and-rescue statistic in the National Park System, your best chance would be in either Grand Canyon National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, or Yosemite National Park.

Electronic Technology in National Park Backcountry: Good or Bad?

Where do you draw the line when it comes to electronics in the backcountry of the National Park System? Does use of it reflect self-doubt about your abilities, or a savviness in putting the latest technology to work for you?

Native American Art Auction Set for May 9 At Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

Native American art is treasured by many for its beauty and, in many cases, ties to the landscape. On May 9 if you find yourself in eastern Arizona you'll have an opportunity to bid on some of this artwork.

Where There's Smoke There's...a Closed Interstate Highway Known as Alligator Alley

Firefighter with drip torch.
Smoke from a wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve has prompted closure of a major interstate highway connecting the east and west coasts of Florida. The shutdown of Interstate 75, also known as Alligator Alley, is into its fourth day, and may continue through the weekend.
Opening the Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park is as much-awaited as is the clearing of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. This short video gives you an idea of what Yosemite crews must do to clear the road.

Creature Feature: Rescuing the Island Fox is a Complicated Long-Term Project

The foxes of the Channel Islands were recently rescued from the brink of extinction. Now the trick is to keep them healthy and restore their numbers to sustainable levels.

Mammoth Cave National Park Proposing to Rehabilitate Underground Trails

There are some underground trails in Mammoth Cave National Park that are supposed to be rough and rugged. The routes followed for the popular "wild cave" tours, for instance. But most of the other trails should be relatively easy on visitors, and park officials say it's time to do some rehab work.
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National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”

This tree, which can be found growing in a few of our national parks, is one you’ll want to treat with respect. Its various parts are full of toxins that can irritate your skin, temporarily blind you, make you very sick, or even kill you.

Going to Olympic National Park? Here's Some Important Travel Information - and a Tip for Some Bargains

Road to Hurricane Ridge in summer.
It's been a rather cold, wet winter in much of the country, and Olympic National Park includes a smorgasbord of outdoor delights to help cure a case of cabin fever. Here's some important travel information for anyone planning a visit to Olympic in the next two months-and a tip than can save you some money on your trip.

Cape Lookout National Seashore Looking For Good Homes For 'Shackleford' Horses

If you're a lover of horse history, and wouldn't mind gaining ownership of a "Shackleford" horse, call the folks at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Stones River National Battlefield Recovering From Tornado Damage

Crews at Stones River National Battlefield in Tennessee slowly but steadily are putting the battlefield back in order in the wake of a tornado that registered a 4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Upon Further Review: A Cat on a Leash

Cat on a leash.
The "leash law" for pets in national parks is intended to protect pets, wildlife and park visitors, but even following the letter of the law can occasionally have an unexpected outcome. Perhaps that's even more likely to be true when the situation involves a cat on a leash.

National Parks Provided Dramatic Backdrops for a Famous Marine Corps Commercial

Do you think you’re pretty good at recognizing national parks? Even when you get only brief glimpses? OK, see if you can spot all of the NPS units in the extended version of this Marine Corps commercial featuring the Silent Drill Platoon.

NPCA Launching "Do Your Part!" Program To Encourage You to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Regardless of whether you believe climate change is being driven by human causes, efforts to see a reduction in greenhouse gases and other pollutants can only benefit society. To help you reduce your own "carbon footprint," the National Parks Conservation Association is launching a public awareness campaign.

Recovery Funds for National Parks Address Everything From Wastewater Plants to Monuments

Waste-water treatment plant overhauls. New boardwalks. Foot and bridle trail restoration. Roadwork. Attacking invasive species. These are some of the ways $750 million in federal economic recovery funds will be used across the National Park System.

North Cascades Institute Offering Earth Day "Stimulus" Package

What beats a family weekend at a national park? Getting $100 knocked off the price tag of that weekend. And that's the Earth Day present being offered today by the North Cascades Institute.

What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball

old cannonball
On the morning of April 21, 2009, a local homeowner arrived at the visitor center at Fort Smith National Historic Site in Arkansas with the best of intentions but the worst of plans—he was carrying an old cannonball he'd dug up in his garden.