Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

Musings From Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has taken on a somewhat dark connotation since park Ranger Kris Eggle was killed by drug runners in August 2002. While some parts of the park remain off-limits to casual tourists, and researchers are suggested to go into the field accompanied by security, guest writer Lee Dalton found the park fascinating during a February visit.

Updated: Big Bend National Park Proposing To Cut Mountain Bike Trail, PEER, NPS Retirees Raise Objections

The very purpose and role of national parks is being drawn into question over a proposal by Big Bend National Park officials to cut a dual-use mountain bike trail into a hillside near Panther Junction.
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Invasive Exotic Plants on the Appalachian Trail

Chinese silvergrass from www.gulfshoredesign.com
The Great Garlic Mustard Gathering challenges volunteers to remove and use invasive plants from the Appalachian Trail. And how can we use Chinese silvergrass, multiflora rose and other invasives?
For six months in 2010 Andrew Skurka went on the adventure of a lifetime. By foot, ski, and raft the adventurer circumnavigated Alaska, a journey of 4,678.8 miles that tested him physically and mentally. Listen to this podcast as he shares insights to that trek.

A Walk Around Alaska, The Andrew Skurka Story

What could possibly inspire someone to circumnavigate Alaska, traveling 4,678.8 miles by foot, ski, and inflatable raft? For Andrew Skurka, the challenge was both physical and mental and an underlying desire to "take advantage of the 70, 80 years that I've got on this planet."

PEER Claims National Park Service Director's Order On Wilderness Management Is Off-Base

Is the National Park Service adding clarity, or confusion, about how it should be managing wilderness via revisions to its wilderness stewardship guidelines? Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility believes the agency is not only confusing matters, but lessening wilderness protections.
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Is The Florida Panther Up Next For Extinction?

With word last week that the Eastern cougar has been declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it leaves just one native panther species alive in the East -- the Florida panther that resides in Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park.
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Grand Canyon "State" Park? A Look Back At The 1995 Government Shutdown And The Battle Over the Grand Canyon

Back in 1995, the last time the federal government shut down over a budget impasse, then-Arizona Gov. Fife Symington showed incredible moxie by trying to engineer a state takeover of Grand Canyon National Park.

Women's History Month is Celebrated in the National Parks

The National Park Service uses exhibits, programs, and special events to help celebrate Women's History Month in the national parks, and not just ones that were established to honor women.

Are We Nearing The Day When Yellowstone National Park Allows A Bison Hunt Inside Its Boundaries?

How far removed are we from the day when bison are hunted inside Yellowstone National Park to better manage their numbers? Montana's governor thinks that's a reasonable solution to prevent the spread of brucellosis from park bison to Montana cattle.

Eastern National Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of National Parks Passport With Special Edition

How many times have you headed off on a national park trip and conveniently forgotten your Passport to Your National Parks? Have you ever run out of space for cancellations more quickly than you would have thought? Well, the folks at Eastern National have tackled those problems while celebrating the Passport's 25th anniversary.

Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, National Parks Conservation Association Oppose Bike Race At Colorado National Monument

With supporters of a professional bike race through Colorado National Monument soon to sit down to discuss the matter with the National Park Service, both the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the National Parks Conservation Association are united in opposing the race.

Issue Of Climbing Fees At Denali National Park Raises Questions Of Fee Equity

Climbing at high elevations is a highly specialized sport, and the support network for those who aspire to summit Mount McKinley in Denali National Park is a million-dollar proposition. While park officials believe climbers should bear more of that cost, the climbing community is pushing back.
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Climbing Community Differs With National Park Service Over Fixed Anchors In Wilderness

If you've ever sat back in El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite National Park to watch climbers ascending that massive granite wall from which the meadow takes its name, odds are you never noticed the "hundreds" of fixed anchors climbers have over the years drilled into that monolith. And yet, they're there.
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"Lost" Petroglyphs Rediscovered at Virgin Islands National Park

Armed with photos from an old roll of film and the location of some of Virgin Islands National Park's best-known petroglyphs, park archaeologist Ken Wild set out with volunteers to solve a mystery.

Searching for Spring Flowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Azaleas on Gregory Bald
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. The display of wildflowers is amazing from early March to late November. Here's where to find the best flower trails for Spring.

Give Us A National Park, But Please, Not Its Regulations

We love our national parks. We love the wildlife they hold, the seashores with their sparkling sands, the forests with their wildlife and hiking trails, the soaring red-rock cliffs and plunging canyons. But please, don't ask us to abide by their regulations.

Hiking all the Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Grapeyard Trail
The Smokies 900M Club recognizes those who have hiked all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But are there similar clubs for other parks?
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What's Real And What's Not Behind Reality TV's Nature Shows?

Have you ever wondered what's real, and what's not, in those reality TV shows that take you into the backcountry to explore survival? Well, read on.

2010 National Park System Visitation Dips To 281.3 Million, Down 4.2 Million From 2009

Bad weather, lack of a presidential inauguration, and safety concerns along the Southwestern border with Mexico apparently were the major drivers behind a slight dip in 2010 visitation to the National Park System from 2009 levels.

The Annual Meeting of the Dumb and Dumber National Park Visiting Society

Organizations that start out small and simple can expect to end up large and complex, but what can be expected of an organization that starts out small and stupid?

Traveler's View: No Professional Bike Racing At Colorado National Monument

If a professional bike race charging through Colorado National Monument is the key to the rugged red-rock landscape and its treasures in western Colorado being redesignated as a "national park," then it's time to end the discussion over a name change.

Can We Afford The America's Great Outdoors Initiative?

Months in development, the America's Great Outdoors initiative is a broad road map drawn by the Obama administration to both reconnect Americans with the outdoors and outline how the country can preserve much of its natural landscape. But how timely, in light of current fiscal and political winds, is it?

America's Great Outdoors Report Touches On Possible Additions To Roster of National Monuments

There is was, a bit over halfway through the 110-page America's Great Outdoors report: how President Barack Obama could use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate national monuments through presidential proclamation.

America's Great Outdoors Report Carries Lofty Goals That Need Widespread Support For Success

Though bold and lofty in its vision, with chapters devoted to youth, communities, both public and private lands, and heritage, the Obama administration's detailed report on how to reconnect the country to its outdoors landscape is threatened to be undercut by today's fiscal and political realities.

Efforts to Regulate Off-Leash Dogs at Golden Gate National Recreation Area Spark Debate

The only NPS area in the country that currently allows off-leash dog walking has found that efforts to impose new limits on canines is a lot harder than one might expect. After years of litigation and meetings, the park has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a dog management plan for public comments, and it's sparked plenty of additional debate.