Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Exploring Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Overlooking the Knife River not far from its confluence with the Missouri, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site today preserves vestiges of what 200 years ago was the heart of Northern Plains tribal trade.

Historic Preservation In The National Park System And The 1916 National Park Service Act, Part I

It took a natural resource issue of epic proportions—the proposal to dam Yosemite National Park’s magnificent Hetch Hetchy Valley—to spark what would become a prolonged campaign to establish a central federal office to administer the national parks.

Pedaling In The Parks: A Morning Ride To Devils Tower National Monument

The 3-mile-long pedal from the entrance station at Devils Tower National Monument to the base of the rocky tooth is all uphill, a constant reminder that nothing worthwhile is ever easily attained.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park With Insider Tips From Friends Of The Smokies

Planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Use these insider tips from Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help make the trip memorable.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

All Aboard! We're Riding The Rails On A Transcontinental National Park Train Trip in Canada

VIA Rail runs from one end of Canada to the other. By itself, or with the luxe Rocky Mountaineer, this cross-country rail ramble offers easy access to countless national parks, historic sites, and marine reserves. British train writer Jools Stone took that trip across Canada last autumn on a visit to Jasper National Park. Here's his review of two great rail services: VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park—With Insider Tips From The Grand Teton National Park Foundation

No photograph can truly capture the razor-sharp way Wyoming’s Teton Range soars above the Jackson Hole Valley—but here's a guide to capturing it on a visit with tips from Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

The Plight Of The Plover At Cape Cod National Seashore

Spotting piping plover nests, eggs, and even fledglings on a sandy beach can be difficult to do, as Theresa Conn discovered during her summer with the Student Conservation Association. That's why it's so important to protect the threatened shorebirds.

A View From The Overlook: Sometimes Bad Things Don't Happen -- The Pine Lands Reserve

Every so often, but not often enough, environmentally bad things don’t happen. One example was the predicted destruction of a unique ecosystem: The Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

Protecting The Grand And Everything Below: The Grand Teton National Park Foundation

Teton Range with snow.
The Grand Teton National Park Foundation helps meet the needs that the National Park Service can't always afford to bear itself.

Parks Beyond Borders / Video Feature: Riding the Rails to Canada's Banff And Jasper National Parks

Jasper Park View
There are great national park train trips all over the world—and one of the best is riding the rails to Canada’s Banff and Jasper National Parks. Swaying through the Canadian Rockies is as good as it gets—and on the Rocky Mountaineer, the setting, service, and food are first-class. Lesser cost options make these parks a not-to-be-missed world-class experience.

Exploring Glacier National Park With Insider Tips From The Glacier Fund

Tucked far north in Montana, hard against the Canadian border, Glacier National Park is a rumpled and craggy masterpiece. Within the park’s 1 million acres rise rustling aspen glades, stands of an unusual evergreen—larch—that loses its needles in winter, even a temperate rainforest of Pacific red cedars, hemlocks and Pacific yew. This is the kingdom of grizzlies and wolves, wolverines and lynx, species that for many exist only in books, magazines, and nature documentaries.

Exploring Joshua Tree National Park

Don't let Africanized bees discourage you from visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

Traveler's View: Yellowstone National Park Deserves A Better Winter-Use Plan

Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park and the place that started the global national parks movement, deserves a better winter-use plan than the one being pushed by park officials.

Massive Landslide Coats Glacier Bay National Park's Johns Hopkins Glacier Like Chocolate Frosting

A massive landslide, one of the biggest ever seen in North America and which registered on seismographs in Canada and the United States, has covered a more than 5-mile run of the Johns Hopkins Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve like chocolate frosting on cake.

The Glacier Fund: Supporting The Crown Of The Continent

From introducing school children to nature and underwriting wildlife research, the Glacier Fund is at work daily on helping the National Park Service meet the needs of Glacier National Park.

Pedaling In The Parks: Coasting Through Badlands National Park

View from Pinnacles Overlook, Badlands NP, copyright QT Luong
Cool air, soft light, and smooth pavement greeted us as we rode into Badlands National Park, a park whose name suggests unforgiving ruggedness but which offers a sweet ride that leads you through those badlands and across windswept prairie.
Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, featured the Traveler's well-received Essential Friends magazine on his Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio show in late June. Listen to Peter's six-minute interview with the Traveler's Travel Editor Randy Johnson.

A Long And Winding Road: The Blue Ridge Parkway—And Insider Travel Tips From The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Stretches of road elsewhere in the country are as spectacular, but nothing matches the manicured, uniquely uncommercialized, half-a-thousand-mile thoroughfare of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the lofty heart of America’s first frontier. The scenery is great, but equally memorable is the encounter with history and traditional Appalachian culture and music.

High-Tech Tools Give Researchers New View Of Yellowstone Thermal Features

Yellowstone National Park's many thermal features have captured the imagination of visitors for centuries. But Yellowstone geologists and other researchers are using an array of high-tech tools and techniques for the first time to get a much more revealing look at the park's large-scale hydrothermal systems in action.

Acadia National Park Side Trips: Wendell Gilley Bird Carving Museum

During your visit to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, don't miss this side-trip to Southwest Harbor and the Wendell Gilley Bird Carving Museum, where delicately and intricately carved bird and waterfowl species seem ready to take flight.

Essential Friends: Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Preserving the Parkway Down the Road

parkway morotist in the Great Craggy Mountains
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has showered a cascade of contributions on “America’s most scenic road.” Since its founding in 1997, the Parkway Foundation has bestowed nearly $3.5 million on Parkway projects.

Exploring The Parks: Harry S Truman National Historic Site

Harry S Truman house
The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site must be one of the most entertaining historic places in the National Park System. It shows Harry and Bess' life before and after his presidency.

Oil And Gas Exploration Threatens The Setting That Gave Teddy Roosevelt His Conservation Ethos

The Elkhorn Ranch, where Theodore Roosevelt sought solitude for introspection and honed his conservation ethos, is being threatened by development that could upend the very quality of the setting that so inspired Roosevelt.

Essential Friends: Friends of Big Bend National Park, Looking Forward While Preserving The Past

The foremost mission of the National Park Service is to preserve the units of the park system, but providing for public enjoyment and education through interpretation is never overlooked. Helping drive both those missions at Big Bend is Friends of Big Bend National Park, a group that one day could be sponsoring a road or trail run and the next day spending the proceeds from that race on maintaining trails in the park.

Giving Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs A Fighting Chance In Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks

Plop…plop…splash!" Have you ever heard this sound -- a frog hopping in or out of water -- or seen a frog or tadpole? Imagine not hearing this sound in a place where you did in the past? Wouldn't that be strange?

Is Outdoor Recreation An Economic Engine? New Report Says "Yes"

At this point in the 2012 political season the economy is front and center in both campaigns, but all the rhetoric has included little mention of outdoor recreation as part of the equation. Two new reports suggest that's a major oversight. Can public lands, including national parks, benefit from the attention?

Exploring The Parks: Canyon De Chelly National Monument

White House Ruin, Canyon de Chelly NM, copyright Kurt Repanshek
As Perry Yazzie worked the Jeep's clutch to negotiate the dips in the track, the clutch complained loudly, gnashing its metal teeth in a sign of the many years the rig has hauled visitors into Canyon de Chelly.

Stirring Battlefield Interpretation In Richmond: A Tour of Hallowed Ground By The Civil War Trust

Mike Andrus
There's nothing like actually walking the ground where enemies contended to bring powerful insight to a ranger or historian-led battlefield tour. No one does these better than the Civil War Trust—especially when they roam unprotected acres of hallowed ground that only inspired action can preserve. This weekend is your chance for that insight at Gaines' Mill where the trust is working to quadruple the protected battlefield.

Friends Of Acadia: Partnering For Acadia National Park's Future

Acadia in 1919 became the first national park east of the Mississippi. Thanks to people with a passionate love for the beauty of Mount Desert Island— and its cool summers (at least compared to inner-city Boston and New York City)— the jewel dubbed “MDI” was spared from rampant development.