Archive List

Ignorance and Complacency—Common Denominators in Many Park Accidents

River at flood stage
Spring can be prime season in some parks for canoeing, kayaking and other types of boating. Water levels are often higher in rivers from either spring rains and/or snow melt, but when combined with ignorance or complacency, too much water can present a serious problem. Two visitors at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area recently learned that lesson the hard way.

Showdown at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

When Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was last mentioned in the Traveler, it had to do with some tree-cutting he had performed on a scenic easement to improve the view from his estate to the Potomac River. Well, it's time to revisit that story, this time with a happy ending.
We don't often hear about the National Park System's marine sites, but one that's worth learning more about is the Buck Island Reef National Monument. You can't easily get there, as not only is it located in the Caribbean, but most of it is under water.

What Should a Park Do With "Surplus" Wood? Yellowstone National Park Has One Answer

stack of firewood
Any NPS area that has very many trees will occasionally face a dilemma: what to do with the wood that results from activities such as hazardous tree removal, wildland fire fuel reduction and similar work? Yellowstone National Park has one solution—firewood permits.

It's That Time of Year: Peregrine Falcons Are Nesting At Acadia National Park

It's that time of year again -- the peregrine falcons are the Precipice Cliff in Acadia National Park. And while that means you can't head up the Precipice Trail, you can get a good look at these raptors that once were thought on the way to extinction.

Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit

Hundreds of thousands of acres of officially designated wilderness. Boundary adjustments that will preserve cultural and ecological resources, not to mention scenery. Authorization to create the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.

Spring Openings on Tap for Shenandoah National Park

Winter's worst apparently is behind in the mid-Atlantic states, as Shenandoah National Park is beginning to open its facilities for the spring. In fact, the Big Meadows Campground opens Friday.

National Park Quiz 47: Spring

Spring arrived at 11:44 UT last Friday, March 20, so let’s make spring the key word for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 101 times: “The celestial coordinate system that employs the vernal equinox as the origin of the ecliptic longitude is known as the ecliptic coordinate system.”

Developer Outlines Financing To Transform Fort Hancock at Gateway National Recreation Area

A controversial proposal to restore rundown historic buildings at Gateway National Recreation Area for commercial purposes seems to be moving forward with a financing package, according to the NRA's superintendent.

National Park Foundation Launches 2009 Junior Ranger Essay Contest

The National Park Foundation wants to hear from your kids regarding their concerns about national parks, and the winning essayist will be able to see $5000 donated to the park of her or his choice. And they'll also get a $1,000 Visa gift card of their own!

Grand Teton National Park Roads Open to Cyclists, Hikers, Skaters

With snow-clearing operations well-advanced, roads in Grand Teton National Park are opening up to cyclists, hikers, and in-line skaters.

Spring Plowing Operations Under Way in Glacier National Park

They've unleashed the snowplows in Glacier National Park, which means it shouldn't be too terribly long before the Going-to-the-Sun Road is once again open end-to-end.

House Consideration of Massive Public Lands Bill Could Involve Gun Amendment

Less than two weeks after he lamented items he viewed as frivolous in the massive public lands bill that would designate official wilderness and launch three new units of the National Park System, a Utah Republican believes the bill should carry an amendment allowing concealed carry in national parks.

Scientists in Hot Water at Yellowstone National Park—for a Good Cause

Scientist next to hot spring at Yellowstone.
Research projects have become a popular target for politicians and citizens concerned about government spending, but at least some studies do have practical applications. A recent example involves a project at Yellowstone National Park, where scientists have been in hot water for a good cause.

Flamingo Lodge is No More

Hurricane damaged beyond repair in 2005, Everglades’ venerable Flamingo Lodge has finally been demolished. It remains to be seen when, if ever, a replacement structure will be built.

Mount Redoubt in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Erupts as Predicted

Mt. Redoubt vents steam
Alaska's Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is back in the news with the eruption overnight of Mt. Redoubt.

Fish Camp Cabin Rentals On Sale At Cape Lookout National Seashore

A summer vacation at the beach is hard to beat. And now the folks at Cape Lookout National Seashore are making it more affordable than in recent years.

Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another

The recent article about the roughly 30 designations that are in play across the 391 units of the National Park System highlights just one of the disparities that exist among units. Another example is the uneven quality of the 391 units' websites.

Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles

It's that perfect season for cycling in Yellowstone National Park -- the roads have closed to over-snow traffic, plowing is under way, and automobiles won't be allowed into the park's interior for a month or more.

Early Tourism in Yellowstone National Park Caught on Camera

Early visitors to Yellowstone National Park didn't travel lightly, as this video shows. They seemed to cram everything they could into their trailers and head off, ever-hopeful that their rigs could stand the demands of the uphills and downhills.

NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks

The National Rifle Association on Friday appealed a federal judge's ruling that put a halt to concealed weapons permit holders arming themselves in national parks.

This Park Includes Great History, Fine Scenery and a Mouse That Howls Like a Wolf

View from Betatakin overlook
Navajo National Monument includes great history, fine scenery and an off-the-beaten-path location that allows you to escape the crowds. The park also includes an interesting wildlife species—a carnivorous mouse with a call said to resemble the howl of a wolf.

Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges

A federal judge, in a biting opinion highly critical of the Bush administration's Interior Department, has blocked a rule change that would have allowed national park visitors to carry concealed weapons.
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Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?

The Pacific Crest Trail ranges from Canada to Mexico, running through Washington, Oregon, and California along the way, traversing not one but seven units of the National Park System in the process. While mountain bikers are not supposed to use the trail, recently some have been poaching sections in California.

The American Revolution: Official National Park Service Handbook -- Everything That an NPS Handbook Should Be

Kudos to the National Park Service and Eastern National. This new handbook on the American Revolution is a gem.

Voyageurs National Park Offers Birch Bark Weaving Class

Birch bark was a key building material for Native Americans and the fur trappers who traveled across Canada and the northern United States. It was used for baskets as well as canoes. If you've got time, you can learn how to weave your own creations with birch bark at Voyageuers National Park.

National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers

This week’s quiz is all about glaciers and glaciation in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Eskers, depositional landforms composed of stratified gravel and sand, characteristically exist as long, narrow, sinuous ridges with steep sides.”

National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess

With national park redesignation back in the news, this seems like a good time to remind Traveler readers just how nonsensical National Park System unit nomenclature has become. Why can’t Congress and the National Park Service put their heads together and come up with a designation system that actually makes sense?

Fall Proves Fatal to Climber in Joshua Tree National Park

A 67-year-old icon of the southern California climbing community has died in a fall at Joshua Tree National Park.

Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"

Few photographic presentations can capture the feel and magnitude of our scenic national parks like the panoramic print. When you walk past a wide photo, you can feel yourself getting drawn in. Here's how to make those photos happen.