Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Wilderness Defender: Carsten Lien And The Writing Of Olympic Battleground

A prominent figure of Seattle, Washington, Carsten Lien grounded his career in business and government with a love for Olympic National Park. Alfred Runte recounts how Lien fought to save the park after observing that it had been logged. The result was a history of the park disclosing the controversy of saving old-growth forests from the Park Service itself. The book is again available as OlympicBattleground: Creating and Defending Olympic National Park. Second edition, reissued.

Wintertime Fun In National Parks Of The Rocky Mountains

Though the summer months are the peak travel seasons for national parks in the Rocky Mountain region, the winter months with their snow and cold...and often crystalline skies...are perfect for a retreat to the Rockies. Here's a handful of parks worthy of your consideration.

Some Southern National Parks To Put On Your Travel Calendar

With long, cold, snowy months descending on the northern half of the country, it's not a bad time to cast your eyes to the south and national parks where you can find warm weather, sandy beaches, and plenty of sunshine.

Experience Military Grounds As The Colonials Did

Winter isn’t the best season to be outdoors in the East, but what better season to truly appreciate what the Colonials endured 240 years ago?

Isle Royale National Park's Wolf Woes Spur Bigger Questions Of Managing Wilderness

As Isle Royale National Park managers mull the future of the park's wolf population, biologists and ecologists are urging them to step in with a genetic rescue.

For Some Park Visits, Getting There Is Definitely Part Of The Fun

The enormous variety of areas in the National Park System means there's also quite a range of experiences when it comes to getting to and from your park destination. Whether you're taking the subway or city bus to an urban park or riding a train, small plane or ferry to reach your destination in Alaska, there are plenty options for a memorable trip...and sometimes they can be memorable indeed.

Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response

In response to a guest column on climate change that disputed the belief that human activities are driving global warming, a quartet of scientists and former National Park Service employees say the evidence for anthropogenic global warming is indisputable.

Cotopaxi: A Gear Manufacturer Paying It Forward

Why is an outdoor equipment manufacturer tutoring kids in Tanzania, and donating part of their profits around the world? It's just another day for Davis Smith, the founder of Cotopaxi. Smith spent his childhood growing up in Latin America with his father, often camping on Ecuador's Mount Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, and the origins of his company name.

Exploring The Parks: A Visit To Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

The 1950s and 1960s were a period of strife coupled with significant progress in America’s struggle with civil rights. Marches, sit-ins, and violence were accompanied by legislation, desegregation, and, in some instances, accommodation. Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Greensboro, and Washington, D.C. are remembered as some of the principal battlegrounds in the conflict and struggle for equal rights.

Book Review| Ghost Riders In The Sky: The Life Of Stan Jones, The Singing Ranger

Over the years park rangers have demonstrated some impressive talent, but when it comes to securing a place in entertainment history, few can compete with Stan Jones. He was working as a ranger in Death Valley National Monument in the late 1940s when a series of serendipitous events led to a remarkable new career, and his story is told in an entertaining new book, Ghost Riders In the Sky: The Life of Stan Jones, The Singing Ranger.

Trace The Natchez Trace This Winter

Travel two centuries ago was a water world, where rivers were the highways for exploration and movement across new lands. Thick forests hampered overland travel, but the need for connections between river drainages was keen, and primitive overland trails were created. The Natchez Trace is one such trail, stretching 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee.

Restoring Jenny Lake: Stewardship And Partnership At Grand Teton National Park

Climbing gently through the piney woods, the rock staircase curves gracefully, flowing with the landscape. Unlike its predecessor, which made the climb in just 23 huge steps, this 47-step pathway takes more steps, but they are of the bite-sized variety and without uneven slabs that can trip up the unwary.

Some Eastern National Park Destinations For Winter

Winter wonderlands come in many shapes, forms, and temperatures in the National Park System. They can be pine forests shrouded in snow, or turquoise waters swimming with green parrotfish, blue tangs, and silvery barracudas. You can climb ice walls at Acadia National Park, kick-and-glide or skate to an overlook of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley, or find your way to the 13,159-foot summit of Wheeler Peak atop Great Basin National Park.

Winter Lodging In The National Parks: The Choices Are Many And Intriguing

What’s your ideal place to stay for a wintry escape into the National Park System? Is it a cozy cabin with fireplace and ample wood, or perhaps something in a warmer climate with views of sun-kissed turquoise waters? Or does your desire lie somewhere in-between? Fortunately, the park system is large and diverse. Finding that perfect home-away-from-home for a winter adventure may come down to deciding if you like it cold and snowy, or hot and sandy.

For Contrarians, Winter Is The Perfect Season To Hit The Road To The National Parks

Winter is not the season to leave the rig in the driveway. Across the National Park System there are wonderful places to explore while half the nation is locked in snow and cold.

A Millennial Speaks Out: How Millennials Can Save Wilderness (And The Planet)

I don’t have to take a Buzzfeed quiz to know I am the stereotypical millennial.

Winter's Retreat In Yosemite National Park

A thin ribbon of Yosemite National Park asphalt that during summer can be backed up with traffic enjoys its quiet season from mid-November through April, and often into May. That’s a long, wonderful period when snows muffle sound and block wheeled-traffic on a long stretch of the Glacier Point Road.

Trails Forever Rock Stars And The Stairway To Heaven At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an enormous outdoor playground with 800-plus miles of trails stretching across its 500,000+ acres. As you can imagine, those trail miles require quite a bit of upkeep.

Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System

Among individuals associated with the Cherokee and their forced journey to a land they didn’t consider home, none was more influential than Sequoyah, the Cherokee who gave his people a system for recording and reading their language.

Essential Winter Guide '14: Winter Doesn't Have To Be An Off-Season

When it comes to construction skills, male Anhingas are slackers. Oh, they’re good at pulling together nesting materials, but that’s about it. Instead of turning the sticks, twigs, and leafy greenery they collect into a nest for their mates, they stash the materials in trees and let the females build the actual nest.

New Maps Promote Lake Mead National Recreation Area's "Accessible Wilderness"

Lake Mead National Recreation Area has just released a set of six maps that describe "self-guided adventures that range from quick trips by car, to peaceful raft trips down the river to a four-wheel-drive backcountry trip to Lake Mead." What makes these maps unique is the fact they're being used to promote the park's nine wilderness areas.

Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change

Adam Markham, director of climate impacts for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate and Energy Program and a co-author of the report “National Landmarks at Risk," has written the following rebuttal to Dr. Daniel B. Botkin's column on climate change and his thoughts on what is, and isn't, driving it.

Guest Column|Climate Is Changing, And Some Parks Are Endangered, But Humans Aren't The Cause

For those of us who love our national parks and are confronted daily with media, politicians, and pundits warning us of a coming global-warming disaster, it’s only natural to ask what that warming will mean for our national parks. This is exactly what the well- known Union of Concerned Scientists discuss in their recent report, National Landmarks at Risk: How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the UnitedStates’Most Cherished Historic Sites.

Op-Ed|The National Park Service And Wilderness: 50 Years Of Neglect

After 50 years, you would expect that the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), which administers the largest inventory of wilderness in the world, would have the best wilderness management program in the world. But, you would be very wrong.

Hunters In Grand Teton National Park Likely To Kill More Grizzlies

Federal biologists believe elk hunters in Grand Teton National Park and on the National Elk Refuge in the next nine years will kill six more grizzly bears than originally anticipated.

Higher Fees Coming To Your Favorite National Parks As Officials Search For Cash

As we told you last month, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis has given his superintendents the OK to increase entrance and other fees in their parks once they've conducted the requisite public outreach and engagement. While many fees are likely to increase by $5 or $10, there could be more creativity into fee collections aimed at generating more money for the parks.

A Visit To Missouri National Recreational River

The Missouri River, often referred to as the “Big Muddy” due to the large amount of sediment it carries, once served as the country’s major thoroughfare to the West, first by trappers and traders, and later by Lewis & Clark as the Corps of Discovery searched for a water route to a western ocean. Today it offers an incredible waterscape for paddlers in search of beauty.

Sweating The Trail Details In The National Parks: Rehabbing Trails In Saguaro National Park

You might think the arid climate of Saguaro National Park precludes trail woes, but you’d be wrong. Last year Friends of Saguaro National Park helped the park land a grant of more than $71,000 to help pay for the rerouting of a nearly mile-long section of the Carrillo Trail in the Cactus Forest. Over the years the trail had become badly eroded, no doubt because of its popularity as part of the “Three Tanks Loop” that gives hikers a panoramic view of the Cactus Forest and even the city of Tucson.

Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?

With a park system that is being strangled by its maintenance backlog and operating costs, would the National Park Service, and the system, be better off if the agency outsourced entire parks?

Winning The Denali Road Lottery, And Loving Every Mile Of It

There are 3,381 miles that separate my quaint and humid Baton Rouge neighborhood from the front door of Mount McKinley in Alaska's Interior. I have no doubt you can envision the stark contrast between the two, but let me give you a first-hand perspective.