Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

Birding In The National Parks: Top 10 Birding Spots In The National Park System

Spring migration is winding down across much of North America, and it’s time for birders to relax and reflect. I’ve been contemplating happy thoughts such as where I would go if given an all-expenses paid birding trip to any U.S. National Park in the next 12 months. No one has offered this to me yet, but I made up a list in my head.

U.S. House To Consider Legislation Opponents Believe Would Degrade Public Lands, National Parks

A package of legislation that sponsors call the Conservation and Economic Growth Act and which critics maintain would severely cripple the nation's environmental laws and pose a threat to the National Park System is expected to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives this week.

Assessment Of Rockfall Danger In Yosemite Valley Leads To Decision To Close Additional Housing, Campsites

While permanent closure back in 2008 of some cabins in Curry Village in Yosemite National Park greatly reduced the risk of visitors or staff being injured by rockfalls, more structures and even campsites need to be closed for safety's sake, a new assessment concludes.

Exploring The Parks: Brown V. Board Of Education National Historic Site

Monroe School in Topeka, KS
Brown V. Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas is a pivotal part of modern history. Exhibits in the elementary school interpret the significance of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling.

Essential Friends: Ensuring Excellence In The National Parks

As lovers of national parks look forward to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service—guardian of ”America’s Best Idea”—there has never been a better time to profile the rise and role of what may be our “Second Best Idea”—the friends groups, trusts, and foundations that support those parks.

Parks Beyond Borders: Hut To Hütte Hiking—A Premier Accessible Adventure All Across Austria And The Alps

Hornkopflhutte, Hornköpflhütte, Kitzbühel
All over the Alps, mountain huts range from rough to rustic, elaborately atmospheric to refined. They offer tempting meals and informal lodging. Austria and hiking hut to “hutte” just go together, whether it's in Hohe Tauern National Park or other areas. You really should have this thoroughly European experience. Check out the video for a taste of hut hiking—and dining!

Where The Wild Things Are: Untamed Americas

Where are the wild things? For those who call a metropolitan area home, and seldom leave its concrete and steel confines, that might be a reasonable question. National Geographic has the answers for you in a two-night series, Untamed Americas, that debuts this Sunday and Monday nights.

It's Summer—Here's How To Avoid Health Hazards In The National Parks

Summer health hazards in the parks involve rules that rangers can help you with—but the bottom line—look out for others, especially the less experienced, and you can go a long way toward looking out for yourself.

A $25 Hike At Mesa Verde National Park

For $25, you can drive into Yellowstone or Yosemite national parks, your car loaded with family, and spend the rest of the week exploring. At Mesa Verde National Park, after paying the park's $15 entrance fee, another $25 fee will get you -- only you, not your entire family -- on a two-hour hike to either Mug House or Square Tower House.

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.