Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

By the Numbers: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history at a convenient location near Fisherman’s Wharf. Here are some statistics that tell the story of this remarkable place.

Stripping ESA Protections From Northern Rockies Wolf Packs Could Harm Yellowstone National Park Wolves

Yellowstone National Park wolves, which have brought balance to the park's ecosystem and tens of millions of dollars to its surrounding communities, could find themselves targeted by hunters if an amendment attached to the latest Continuing Resolution remains intact.

Sixty Years Later, "Permanent" Oconaluftee Visitor Center Opens In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Oconaluftee Visitor Center
The new Oconaluftee Visitor Center on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is airy, spacious and so beautiful.The museum focusses onthe cultural history of the park.

Traveler's Gear Box: Brooks-Range Mountaineering's Cirro Hoody Jacket

How will a backcountry user honed on down garments react to synthetic insulation? Our intrepid backcountry guide gave the Cirro Hoody Jacket from Brooks-Range Mountaineering a field test. Read her thoughts.

An Atonement at Fort Sumter

The world knows Fort Sumter as the place where the Civil War started 150 years ago, but I know it as the place where I earned redemption less than two months ago.

Recent Rescues Demonstrate Dangers Of Going Off Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Inviting as the lushly vegetated landscape that wraps the trails that wind through Great Smoky Mountains National Park might be, heading off-trail can be incredibly dangerous, as two recent incidents in the park demonstrate.

Artifacts And Archives From Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Heading South For Safekeeping

Sometime this summer a truck, or trucks, loaded with artifacts and papers at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, will be sent south all the way to Tucson, Arizona, a journey designed for safekeeping until the monument can build a proper curatorial facility.

Signs Indicate Federal Government Shutdown Would Save Little In National Park Circles

A shutdown of the federal government, while shuttering most of the National Park System, might not save much money, as local economies would be stung and the National Park Service still would have to maintain some presence in the parks.

By the Numbers: Fort Sumter National Monument

The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. One hundred and fifty years later, a national park preserves and interprets the site.

A Brief Word From Those Who Moderate Traveler Comments

Judging from some of the content of recent comments, some of which have required editing, others complete deletions, it's time to gently remind those who comment to please be respectful of others.

Latest Studies On Yellowstone National Park's Wolf Packs Shows Stable Population

In a recent interview, contributing writer Beth Pratt and Doug Smith, who leads the Wolf Project in Yellowstone National Park, talked about wolves, elk, climate change, and the Endangered Species list.

Summer Special: Windshield Touring in the Eastern Parks

The National Park System is renowned for scenic drives. These traverses, loops, and shuttles in the eastern parks deserve a place on your windshield touring short list.

Protecting the Sounds of Nature - Denali Aircraft Overflights Council is Making Progress

If you wanted to immerse yourself in nature, away from the frantic pace and sights and sounds of the manmade world, you might think the wilderness of Denali National Park would be the ideal place. And you would be wrong.

Summer Special: Visiting National Parks by Train

If you'd like to visit some parks this summer but don't relish the thought of airport security hassles or long hours in the car, perhaps train travel is the answer. Here's a sampling of options for trips to parks around the country via Amtrak.

Summer Special: Windshield Touring in the Western Parks

The windshield touring season will see motorists from all over America and the world converging on the scenic drives in our national parks. Here are some traverses, loops, and shuttles in the western parks that belong on anybody's short list.

Really Getting Away From It All: The Loneliest National Parks

The most popular national parks get visitors galore. Let's have a look at the other end of the attendance spectrum, the end that is anchored by the least-visited parks in the system.

Summer Special: Paddling in the National Parks

Great paddling adventures are ready to be had in the National Park System, whether you intend to spend just a few hours or a week or more on the water. Here's a look at some great choices for where to dip a paddle.

Summer Special: Wildflowers in the National Parks

Gray's Lily on the MST on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Summer brings a wealth of flowers to those parks that have enjoyed spring flowers like Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also brings flowers to Rocky Mountain National Park and the parks in Alaska where the snow is just melting.

Summer Special: Breathtaking, Bighorns, and Blossoms: Hiking Yellowstone’s Mount Washburn

Wildlife and wildflowers are on display throughout the National Park System. Contributing writer Beth Pratt found ample numbers of both along the Mount Washburn Trail in Yellowstone.

Summer Special: Choosing A National Park River To Float

So many rivers and so many different paddling experiences can be found in the National Park System. So how do you figure out which one you want to float on your summer vacation?

Summer Special: Ten National Parks With Lodging For Under $100 Per Night, Tent Not Required

You don't need to sleep in a tent to make a national park visit affordable. Our lodging experts have found 10 national parks where you can book a room for less than $100 a night.

Summer Special: Five Favorite Summer Hikes At Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park might look small compared to the expansive Western parks, but that doesn't mean you can find some great hiking in the park.
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Summer Special: Guided Adventure in Utah's National Parks: Why and How to Do It

If you want outdoor adventure in a Utah national park, but feel you don't have the necessary skills or local knowledge, it's time to call in a guide. Here's what you need to know to make the right choice.

Summer Special: What’s Old is New Again: Bandelier National Monument Sheds Light on the Ancestral Homeland of Five Modern Pueblos

New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument is not just a place where visitors can see cliff dwellings and learn about Ancestral Puebloan culture. To modern day pueblo dwellers, it is a place that keeps them in touch with their ancestral roots and origins.

Summer Special: Ten Cultural-Historical Parks That Don't Get Enough Love

These ten cultural-historical parks deserve a darn sight more attention than they've been getting.

Summer Special: Celebrating Summer on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Is there a better season than summer to get out and paddle a river? Greg Breining takes us along as he and his wife explore the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Congress Slashes $101 Million From National Park Service Budget. More To Come?

One-thirteenth of 1 percent of the federal budget gets you funding for the entire National Park System and the agency that oversees it. Yet that miniscule sliver hasn't stopped Congress from eyeing the National Park Service for cuts to help rein-in the federal deficit.

Summer Special: It's Time To Start Thinking About Your Summer Vacation In the National Park System

Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo
How will you spend your summer vacation? If you're thinking about some R&R in the National Park System, we've got some suggestions and advice to offer. All week-long the Traveler will be offering stories about places to go and things to do in the parks.

Traveler Welcomes Eastern National and O.A.R.S.

A cooperating association that has been developing educational and interpretive materials for units of the National Park System since 1947 and an outfitter that can take you down rivers in some of the West's most iconic national parks are the latest organizations and businesses to help keep the Traveler on-line.

Summer Special: A Potpourri Of Summertime Adventures In the National Park System

Summer easily is the best time of year to get out and get sweaty in the National Park System, if only because the warmer weather makes more opportunities available. In time to help you plan your summer vacation, here's a potpourri of outdoor adventures in the parks.