Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

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.