Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends, Celebrating National Park Friends Groups

Earlier this year National Parks Traveler broke ground with Essential Friends, an initiative created to celebrate the great work of national park friends groups. While the publication has been available in PDF format, we now offer it to you as a flip book. Enjoy!

A View From The Overlook: Land Access

Is public land always available for the public good? Well, not always.

Exploring The Parks: Natural Bridges National Monument

Once upon a time not so long ago, all roads leading to Natural Bridges National Monument were dirt. Only the hardiest of visitors ventured out here. But now the roads are firmly paved and it’s a sort of main route between Lake Powell and points north down toward Monument Valley and Four Corners.

Exploring The Parks: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Standing above the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry holds a pivotal vantage point in the country's history, one with surprisingly deep roots.

More National Park Units Getting Ready To Withstand Hurricane Sandy

National parks along the Eastern Seaboard from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to coastal Maine were preparing Saturday to withstand the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, a slowly evolving storm that meteorologists were predicting would be historic for its devastating impact.

Birding In The National Parks: Gros Morne National Park Will Satisfy The Most Dedicated Birder

Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park can be difficult to reach, but for the determined birder, the effort is well worth it!

Beauty, Adventure, And Thievery: Plundering Biscayne National Park's Sunken Treasures

Biscayne National Park is an incredibly alluring park, 95 percent of which lies underwater. But Biscayne does not always attract pleasant visitors. Plagued by looters, the park constantly must spend extra time and money to keep criminals away from plundering the shipwrecks.

10 (Or More) Reasons Not To Turn Your Backs On National Parks During The Winter Months

Sure, kids are back in school, the days have grown shorter, and in some places there's a decided bite in the air. But that doesn't mean you should ignore visiting a national park park. Here are 10 (or more) reasons to help you head to the parks in the months to come.

A View From The Overlook: Forbidden Islands

There are islands open to the public, and there are "forbidden" islands that are privately owned. But there also are islands being held in trust for their environmental assets.

Creature Feature: Piping Plovers Face Challenges But Keep On Piping

The piping plover, Charadrius melodus, sparks recreation area closures in many parts of the national park system drawing critics and champions all across the country and causing a much larger stir than its tiny size suggests.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota State Parks Feeling Pressures Of Energy Boom

On clear, calm nights, from the top of Buck Hill you can see them flickering off in the distance. Not campfires, but rather gas flares, emblematic of North Dakota's energy boom, glimmering after dark. Here, in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the flares are just one sign of how the boom, spurred in large part by fracking, are impacting the park.

You Can Feel It In The Air, See It In The Landscape

It was obvious in the reds and oranges flecking the forests, the crispness of the air, and even in the slow gait of the old bison. Summer's long gone in Yellowstone National Park, and winter isn't far off.

Musings From Hovenweep National Monument

In Hovenweep National Monument you can lose yourself in the silence, and worry about the future of this magnificent landscape.

Parks Beyond Borders: New Success As Ecuador Involves The World In Preserving Amazon Park

Ecuador’s revolutionary Yasuní-ITT initiative—which seeks to preserve one of the largest, most diverse national park regions on the planet—got a big boost last week when Italy pledged 35 million Euros to the project.

Unexpected Treasures on Nebraska’s High Plains: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

In the ranching country of western Nebraska lies a small national park unit with a big name, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. It emphasizes two treasures, but it also holds some unexpected riches on this prairie landscape.

Creature Feature: A Fairy Of A Different Sort

Dotting the sandstone floors of the Colorado plateau are countless potholes -- shallow depressions that hold water only for short periods after rains. But during those wet periods, these potholes come to life with a variety of intriguing creatures, including fairy shrimp.

Death Valley National Park Officially Recognized As World Champion When It Comes To Hot Temps

How hot can it get at Death Valley? Why, there was a day back in 1913 when it was so hot that "swallows in full flight fell to the earth dead."

Precaution, Funding, And Science-Based Policy: Revisiting Leopold Could Move NPS In The Right Direction

When a team of scientists and conservationists led by A. Starker Leopold wrote the Leopold Report in 1963, national park visitors were still feeding bears through their car windows, nocturnal wildlife still feasted on park garbage dumps, and park rangers still shot cougars and wolves to maximize the number of visitor-friendly elk and pronghorn.

What Goes On At A National Park BioBlitz? Well, Counting Butterflies Is One Task

Clouded sulfur? Mormon fritillary? Hoary comma? I had never heard of such intriguing creatures before last month, but the Rocky Mountain BioBlitz put me in close proximity to all three. No fear factor or injuries sustained. Just a stroll in a sub-alpine meadow in an effort to inventory butterflies.

State Of Utah Hoping 10th Circuit Judges Agree A Creek In Canyonlands National Park Is Also A Road

A creekbed that carries water intermittently through Canyonlands National Park is also a road that should be open to vehicles. At least that's the argument the state of Utah will press this week when its attorneys appear before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

UPDATED: Fluky Convergence Of Factors Possibly Behind Hantavirus Outbreak At Yosemite National Park

Though the calendar is running down on the incubation period for Hantavirus infecting visitors who stayed in Yosemite National Park this summer, a ninth case has been confirmed, park officials said Thursday. Three of those individuals died from the rare, rodent-borne disease, while the others are recovering.

How Have National Parks And Public Lands Fared Under The Obama Administration?

With the Obama administration nearing the end of its first term, it has a track record for its stance on public lands in general and national parks specifically, and it's not as rosy as many conservationists had hoped for when the president came into office.

New Visitor And Research Center Starts A New Chapter At Mesa Verde National Park

A long-held dream of superintendents at Mesa Verde National Park is about to come true. Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center, a $12.1 million facility set to open November 26.

Postcard From Alaska: Aboard The Serac At Kenai Fjords National Park

Spending summers in Kenai Fjords National Park and Preserve can be a wonderful experience, even if you're tasked with pulling invasive weeds out of a breathtaking landscape.

Scientific Progress Could Help Share Yellowstone National Park's Pure-Bred Bison With Other Sites

One small bison calf born in New York is causing a big stir in the wildlife conservation and scientific community, and for good reason. He could represent a breakthrough in efforts to introduce genetically pure bison from Yellowstone National Park to other parts of the country.

A View From The Overlook: Global Warming, Goat Haunt, And North America's Best Hike (Maybe)

Waterton Lakes National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Musing on climate change, International Peace Parks, and North America's best hike. Or maybe it's only Canada's best hike.

White-Water, Apple Harvests, And Indian Summer On The Coast Are Among 10 Great Fall National Park Activities

Fall is, in many people's eyes, the best season to enjoy the National Park System. Temperatures are moderating, insects are a thing of the past, forests wrap themselves in dazzling colors, and wildlife is easy to see and often vocal. Here are ten great fall destinations in the park system.

Wolf Trap Foundation For The Performing Arts To Present Face Of America: Spirit Of South Florida

Inspired by graceful herons, crawling insects, and even alligators, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is focusing on south Florida's national parks in its latest edition of Face of America.

Report Warns Of Climate Change Impacts To National Seashores Along Eastern Seaboard

Seven national seashores dotting the Eastern Seaboard stand to suffer significant storm damage, loss of acreage to sea level rise, and hotter summer temperatures if climate change isn't blunted, according to the latest in a series of reports describing how the National Park System stands to be impacted by the phenomenon.

Trails I've Hiked/Video: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 4th, the popular National Park Exploration Video Series releases "The Great Smoky Mountains: Crown Jewel of the Appalachians." The video's on-camera guide is Randy Johnson, Traveler's travel editor and author of "Best Easy Day Hikes of Great Smokies." Our 10-minute video preview showcases why the Smokies is such a great place to hike.