Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Capitol Reef National Park: Winter Solitude & Silence

Capitol Reef National Park is far enough off most people's radar that they miss out on this red-rock paradise when visiting Utah's other, more famous, parks. In the wintertime? Capitol Reef becomes a virtually private playground.

Updated: Winter's Work: Plan Your Summer or Fall National Park Vacation Now

Now is the time to be planning your summer or fall vacations to the national parks.

The Fire Lookouts of Mount Rainier National Park

While many fire lookouts across the National Park System are no longer actively staffed, thanks to higher tech options for monitoring lighting strikes, many of these lookouts remain, aging sentinels that recall an earlier day of fire prevention in the national forests and parks. Here's a look at some of the lookouts to be found within Mount Rainier National Park.

Watching Climate Change Across the National Park System

Across the National Park System many changes are expected from climate change, from more wildfires and vanishing glaciers to invasions of non-native species and flight of long-term residents. Writer/photographer Michael Lanza, concerned that today's park landscapes will change significantly by the time his young kids are his age, has been touring the park system with his family to show his children what they might miss later in life.

The Traveler's First "Take Your Family to The National Parks" Essay Contest

copyright Kurt Repanshek
If you've always dreamed of visiting a national park, and wanted to take your family along, here's your opportunity. Three grand-prize winners of the Traveler's first Take Your Family to the National Parks essay contest will win lodging for four members of their family in one of the country's national parks, and some gear to help to help them enjoy the trip.

Updated: The National Park Foundation And The Special "National Parks Edition" Toyota FJ Cruiser

A promotion announced late in December, one that pairs the National Park Foundation with a massive Toyota sport utility vehicle, appears to be at odds with the foundation's stated mission and the National Park Service's approach to climate change.

At Cowpens National Battlefield, Site Restoration Helps Take You Back to 1781

At South Carolina's Cowpens National Battlefield, the National Park Service is restoring the battlefield where Patriot forces won a pivotal victory over the British on a cold winter morning 230 years ago.

The Gate Lodges Of Acadia National Park: Rockefeller's Little Castles

Photographer and writer Steve Perrin was working in the planning office at Acadia when he lived at Brown Mountain gate house (or “gate lodge” as it’s officially called) during the winter of 1995–1996, “a true Maine winter, very cold with lots of snow.” Like other park employees before and after, Perrin was housed in a magnificent piece of history, employee housing whose great beauty belies its commonplace purpose.

The National Park Service Played a Vital Role in the Buffalo Soldiers Mapping Project

The National Park Service's CRGIS facility produced maps of significant Buffalo Soldier sites using data supplied by African American and Indian college students working with the Warriors Project to document the "shared history" of black soldiers and American Indians in the frontier West.

A Day At Big Cypress National Preserve In "The Dry"

On the Florida Trail
Big Cypress National Preserve is a good winter day outing. The preserve offers hiking, large wading birds, waves of sawgrass and a fantastic photographic gallery. But nothing can top seeing alligators up close.

Annual Count Shows Huge Decline In Yellowstone National Park Elk Herd, But How Accurate Is It?

Nearly one-quarter of the northern elk herd at Yellowstone National Park is missing, according to the annual winter count, but biologists aren't sure if there's been a stunning decline in the herd or if other factors have skewed the tally.

Photo Spot: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

How best can Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park be photographed? Let professional photographer QT Luong highlight the way for you.

Thermophile Research in Yellowstone Helps Guide the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Scientists studying heat-loving microbes in Yellowstone's hydrothermal sites expect to gain key knowledge about life's origin, evolution and limits.

Trickle of Documents Highlights National Park Service's Mistakes In Hubbell Trading Post Investigation

A lengthy Interior Department investigation into the National Park Service's investigation into alleged embezzlement at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site raises troubling questions pertaining to managerial oversight, investigative thoroughness, and an inappropriate relationship between the agency and a concessionaire.

Traveler's Checklist: A Winter Trip to Kings Mountain National Military Park

KIMO-Major Ferguson's grave
Kings Mountain National Military Park offers a great winter day out. After watching the film explaining the battle, kids could play Loyalist and Tories for hours taking turns climbing to the top of the hill and declaring victory.

Report Lists 10 U.S. Ecosystems Whose Species Are Most-Threatened By Climate Change

A new report names the 10 ecosystems in the United States whose species are most-threatened by climate change. Among the parks included in those ecosystems are Yellowstone, Everglades, and Yosemite.
AttachmentSize
It's Getting Hot Out There.pdf857.95 KB

Summering at Cape Lookout National Seashore: The Logistics

Cape Lookout National Seashore is a wilderness vestige of North Carolina's barrier islands. Not as developed as its northern sibling, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it offers a wilder beach vacation, one definitely worth pursuing.
AttachmentSize
CALO-Beach Camping.pdf245.26 KB

Civil War-Related National Parks Schedule Commemorative Events for Civil War 150th Anniversary

During 2011-2015, the Civil War will be commemorated with special events in dozens of Civil War-related national parks. This month's schedule includes highlighted events in four parks in four different states.

What Are The Top Issues Confronting The National Park System?

What are the top issues confronting the National Park System? A slew of answers could be tacked onto that question, ranging from sprawl outside park boundaries and habitat fragmentation to pollution.

111th Congress Did Well When it Comes to National Park Wilderness, But It Could Have Done Better

A review of how Congress acted on wilderness legislation shows that the National Park System benefited quite nicely during the 111th session, but it could have fared better.

Traveler's Checklist: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

GUCO - Nathanial Greene Statue
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park offers a quiet oasis of Revolutionary War history and good walking paths in Greensboro, North Carolina. On her way to hike another section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Danny Bernstein spent a day in the first military park to preserve a battlefield of the American Revolution.

Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Defends "Addition" Lands ORV Use

Amidst charges that he circumvented National Park Service policies on wilderness preservation to provide greater off-road vehicle access to Big Cypress National Preserve, Superintendent Pedro Ramos offers a short history lesson.
AttachmentSize
Big Cypress Wilderness History-PEER.pdf89.71 KB
PEER-Big Cypress Complaint.pdf237.11 KB

National Park Stories We'd Like To See In 2011

Here's a look at some stories involving the National Park System that we'd like to see in the coming year.

Looking Back On 2010 Across the National Park System

What were the top stories across the National Park System in 2010? There were more than a few, ranging from the tragic loss of three Katmai National Park and Preserve employees to a small-plane crash to the ongoing controversy over whether birds, turtles and off-road vehicles can co-exist at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Let's take a look back through the year at some of the stories.

Much Thanks To All Our Writers and Contributors in 2010

Trying to cover 394 units of the National Park System is no easy task. Here at the Traveler we couldn't even make a dent into that task without the welcome and generous support of a long cast of contributors.

A Year's Worth of Trails to Hike in the National Parks

Hiking trails are one of the best ways to enjoy national parks. They lead you out into nature, get you some exercise, and quite often showcase some gorgeous vistas. Here's a look back at some of the great trails we've mentioned on the Traveler during the past 12 months.

2010 in Review: Creature Features

Tarantulas, banana slugs, crocodiles, muskoxen and more. The Creature Features we posted in 2010 represent quite a menagerie. Here's a complete list with handy links.

Books We've Read, And Liked, in 2010

There were quite a few books relating to national parks that arrived in 2010, and while we didn't get to read them all, the ones we did we liked. Here's a look back at our Fireside Reads from the year.

2010 in Review: Traveler's Checklists

This year we posted 16 Traveler's Checklists to help you plan your park visits. Did you miss any? Here's a list with handy links.

Yellowstone National Park’s ‘Psychedelic’ Wolves: Using Thermal Imagery To Study Disease

A wolf howls in yellow. They sleep in blue. And a wolf in motion in the sunlight is a rainbow.