Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Traveler Debuts New Features! New Nav Bar Navigation, Download Our First Magazine, And More!

Welcome to a few of many improvements we have in store for you on Traveler. From a new Nav Bar with fast Drop Down access to our content, to our first-ever magazine ready to download, easier social network sharing, and even global park features—here are a few updates that'll make your time on The Traveler more fun and informative.

The Best National Park Campgrounds (According To Us)

Here are the best national park campgrounds, according to the Traveler's lodging experts, David and Kay Scott, who actually spend more time in a tent than you might imagine!

Guest Column: IMBA Is A "Strong Partner" For The National Park Service

In a guest column, Mark Eller, the communications director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association, explains why the mountain biking community would be a "strong partner" for the National Park Service.

A View From The Overlook: A Home For Endangered Rangers

Pardon me for dampening your day with morbid thoughts, but it occurred to me that after you have done all that vigorous post retirement bucket list stuff like climbing all the 14,000 footers in Colorado or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and the moment The Chief Ranger calls you to the Big Visitor Center in the Sky, you are going to need a place to hang your hat.

Exploring The Parks: Pipe Spring National Monument

A tiny waystation in Arizona took hold thanks to its precious commodity -- water. Today, visitors to Pipe Spring National Monument can explore the wondrous history of this place that dates to 300 B.C.

Parks Beyond Borders: Inspiring Interpretation in the Alps' Biggest National Park; Austria’s Hohe Tauern

Touchscreen technology in Hohe Tauern
Hohe Tauern National Park’s chief biologist, Martin Kurzthaler, has one of the world’s most inspiring national park stories to tell in how he designed a renowned park Nature Trail. National Parks may be “America’s Best Idea” but Austria illustrates how the concept has been adopted—and adapted—in some of the planet’s most spectacular places.

Arizona Memorial Turns 50: Effort Underway To Preserve A Not-to-be-Missed National Monument

USS Arizona below Memorial
This Memorial Day marks the 50th anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Perhaps surprisingly, the white landmark that straddles the sunken battleship debuted 22 years after the war—on Memorial Day 1962. Here's why it ranks as one of the most moving experiences to be had on National Park Service property.

Guest Column: Has The National Park Service Found Itself Straddling The Fence On Mountain Biking?

Efforts to cut a multiple-use trail for hikers and mountain bikers at Big Bend National Park have generated ongoing debates over whether creating such trails for mountain bikers in national parks is a good thing. Roger Siglin, who long has followed the Big Bend matter, wonders if the National Park Service hasn't painted itself into a corner over this issue.

Discriminating Explorer: Memorial Day Meander—The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail In North Carolina And Tennessee

Yellow Mountain Road NC Historical Marker
The 330-mile Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail—Eastern America’s first NHT—isn't just a motor trip. On this Memorial Day meander in Western NC and East TN, you can hike the actual colonial roads that felt the tread of patriot militia. Or plan for fall, during the anniversary of the October 7, 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain.

Parks Beyond Borders: Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park—The Best Of The Alps, And A Truly European Adaptation Of "America's Best Idea"

National Parks may be “America’s Best Idea” but the concept has been adopted—and adapted—in some of the planet’s most spectacular places. One of the spots where new park ideas have emerged is Austria's Hohe Tauern National Park. Here’s the first article in our multimedia global parks series on Austria.

Major Lodging Changes Coming To Yellowstone National Park

Significant changes are in the offing for lodging operations in parts of Yellowstone National Park, where officials envision tens of millions of dollars of improvements.

Investigation Shows Denali Climbing Team Doomed By Lack Of Equipment, Poor Decision-Making

With biting temperatures no higher than 20 degrees below zero, and winds that would gust to near 80 mph, the four-man climbing team on Mount McKinley had precious little margin for error. And when they tumbled 300-500 feet down "Pig Hill," suffering broken bones and contusions, that margin quickly began to unravel.
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Evolution Of A Glasshouse: From Colonial Glassmaking To Decorative Arts

Glassworks are one of the tools of interpretation at historic Jamestown in Colonial National Historical Park. Today you can watch as artisans recreate glass vessels using time-honored practices.

Keeping Things Quiet In The National Parks

There are at times unintended consequences of good deeds in national parks. For instance, efforts to reduce traffic by using shuttle buses can actually create a noisier environment, according to studies at Rocky Mountain National Park and elsewhere in the park system.

Alternative Realities Discovered On Spring Break In Joshua Tree National Park

A week-long immersion into Joshua Tree National Park offers much more than a visit of a few days. For Oliwia Baney, a week in the park working alongside rangers and other Student Conservation Association volunteers revealed the disparities between life in, and beyond, a national park's boundaries.

View From The Overlook: Mountain-Biker-In-Chief

There has been considerable debate about the wisdom of allowing mountain biking in the National Parks in general and Big Bend National Park in particular; that park becoming the poster child and cause celebre of mountain biking.

Discriminating Explorer: Get on the Road to Damascus! Trail Days 2012 Hikes in May 18th-20th

Damascus appalachian trail street sign.
Trail Days 2012 hikes in to Damascus, VA May 18-20th—and this nationally significant Appalachian Trail fest is a great time to discover "Trail Town USA." Don't miss Virginia's nearby highest peak, Mount Rogers, the explosively popular Virgina Creeper bike trail, and sophisticated Abingdon, just named an Appalachian Trail Community. All-in-all, a best-kept secret destination.

Commemorating The Civil War: A Learning Experience

As the vicious battles of the American Civil War resonated through the minds and hearts of those who lived them in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the impact of the war has seemingly faded in the consciousness of modern Americans.

A View From The Overlook: The Most Dangerous Games

Roger Siglin, retired from the National Park Service, but didn't retire from life by any stretch.

Walking On The Wild Side Of Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument is America’s national park with a funny name. Sure, it has dinosaurs. But their fossils take up only a little corner of this overlooked part of the national park system.

Discriminating Explorer: Two Incredible National Parks, One Great Town

Sunlight so bright it stains the rocks? It certainly seems so in the red-rock country of southeastern Utah, where Arches and Canyonlands national parks dazzle with both their scenery and their adventures.

Top 10 National Parks: Is Your List Better Than Mine?

People like lists. No, check that, they love them. Particularly when they disagree with them and think they have a better list. So, here's my personal Top 10 list of national parks. How does it match up with yours?

What To Do For National Park Week? Here Are Some Suggestions!

Looking for some ideas on how to celebrate National Park Week? Here you go!

Items Exhibited At APPL Convention Might Show Up At Your National Park Bookstore

ranger Doug WPA card
Where does the stuff in National Parks bookstores come from? Items exhibited at the APPL (Association of Partners for Public Lands) Convention will be sold in in the Parks if they serve an educational and cultural purpose.

Traveler's View: National Park Foundation Erred In Licensing Air Fresheners And Tricked Out Trucks

The National Park Foundation erred in reaching licensing agreements with trucks tricked out for conquering wilderness and air fresheners many associate with bathrooms.

A View From The Overlook: Montana Wowsers!

Everyone thought giving some extra Yellowstone National Park bison to Native American tribes in Montana was a grand idea...except the Montana Wowsers.

Missing From The System? Utah's San Rafael Swell

The Obama administration might have lost its ambition to declare Utah's San Rafael Swell a national monument, but that doesn't lessen the beauty and richness of the landscape and what it encompasses.

New Film Marks 150th Anniversary at Shiloh National Military Park

It was a two-day battle that unfolded 150 years ago this weekend, in the newly greened forests of southwest Tennessee.

Putting Black History Into Perspective At Hampton National Historic Site

A page out of slavery unfolds at Hampton National Historic Site in Maryland, where Ranger Angela Roberts-Burton tells an unusual story of a freed slave who returns to work for her once-upon-a-time overseers.

Alternative Spring Break: Seeing The Forest For The Joshua Trees

Alternative Spring Break -- time spent not on the beach, but in the national parks -- might not be for everyone, but for Student Conservation Association students, it can be a blast.