Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Century-Old Building at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Yields Some Surprises

Visitors to historic buildings have said many times, "If only these walls could talk…." Perhaps that was the case for employees at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway, Alaska, when an intriguing discovery was made during restoration of an old building.

The Tramp and the Rough Rider meet in Yosemite National Park

John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt camp in Yosemite. This four-day trip is reenacted by two great actors.

What Every Visitor to Glacier National Park Needed to Know … in 1920

Glacier National Park's centennial year is winding down, so the Traveler thought it might be both fun and enlightening to take a peek at a pair of park brochures from the early years of the park. It's pretty clear from these excerpts that life in the park was just a bit different in 1912 and 1920 than it is today.

Traveler's Checklist: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

You can't properly visit this park without seeing the main cave and its Big Room, but there are other delights to sample as well.

Velma Melmac Has Left Yosemite, Never to Return

Every summer, Velma parked her mammoth RV in Yosemite. There she kept nature in check, terrorized rangers, smoked like a chimney, and left only after the first acorn of autumn fell into her gimlet.

Easy Park Hikes – Big Thicket National Preserve

The Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas has been called the "Biological Crossroads of North America," and some easy hikes in the park offer plenty of interesting sights. Just watch your step—it's a place where carnivorous plants catch their own lunch

Pruning the Parks: Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument (1908-1937)

Proclaimed in 1908, Montana's Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument never could muster get the monetary support needed to develop and operate it as a viable national park. Congress abolished it in 1937 and it subsequently became Montana's first state park.

Visitor Survey: Bryce Canyon National Park

Visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park overwhelmingly love the views down into the park's colorful amphitheaters with their whimsically eroded hoodoos, but aren't quite as enamored with the spectacular night skies overhead.

By the Numbers: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes generates interesting statistics, not least because the park has the world's most active volcano, the planet's largest mountain, the longest continuously operating hotel in Hawaii, and other significant distinctions.

Gee Interprets a Settler in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gee quilting on the porch
Sarah "Gee" Phillips is not Mrs. Sarah Davis; she just plays her on the Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Right now, Gee rocks on the porch of the Davis House while working on a quilt pattern. "Mrs. Davis wouldn't be quilting on a Monday. She would probably be scrubbing her laundry on a washboard," she explains to visitors.

Around The Parks: Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite, Wolf Watching In Yellowstone

If you're trying to figure out a winter vacation to a national park, here are two ideas: A lavish dinner theater in Yosemite National Park, or a bracing wolf-watching expedition in Yellowstone National Park.

Visiting the Parks: National Park of American Samoa Isn't Easy to Get To, But the Trek is Definitely Worth It

The still life of the beach was like many others – rocks and shells, flotsam and jetsam. But the view! I had just emerged from a tree-shaded walk and stood on a rocky beach with waves crashing in not 20 feet away. In every direction I could see ocean, or tree covered hills, and what I couldn’t see was any sign of man. This was part of the National Park of American Samoa.

Reader Participation Day: What Parks Lure You In Winter?

Winter is but two months or so away, which prompts the question: Do you plan any winter national park adventures, or do you simply dream about them?

More Calls For "National Park" Designations Across The National Park System

What's in a name? Apparently a lot when the name includes "national park."

DNA Tests Indicate Yellowstone National Park Elk, Not Bison, Most Likely To Spread Brucellosis

While it's feared that bison in Yellowstone National may spread brucellosis to livestock in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, genetic studies indicate that elk are more likely to spread the disease.

Moving From Fall Towards Winter In the National Parks

The transition from fall to winter is harsher than the ones from spring to summer or summer to fall. The signs practically assault your senses. And yet, the transition can be much too quick.

Easy Park Hikes: The Boardwalk Loop Trail at Congaree National Park

The Boardwalk Loop trail through the giant old-growth forest of the Congaree River floodplain is easy to hike and hard to forget.

Life On the Fire Lines in Rocky Mountain National Park

Ed Waldron holds the Kestrel, or weather meter, up to the wind. In the next five minutes, he will note wind speeds at least a dozen times to make sure he is sending accurate readings to the handful of firefighters widening the blackened line in the drainage below him.

Interior Secretary Signs Cape Wind Project Lease, Stresses Need for U.S. to Be Energy Independent

Stressing the need for energy independence and technological progress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has signed a lease that will allow 130 wind turbines to be rooted in Nantucket Sound.

NPCA Offers National Park Phone Apps ... For Free!

Add the National Parks Conservation Association to the number of organizations and developers offering a phone app to help you negotiate the national parks. A big difference here, though, is NPCA is giving its app away for free. Another is its emphasis on park wildlife and nature in general.

Exploring Canyonlands And Arches National Parks By RV

Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by asteroids.

The Role of Partnerships in the National Park System

Can you imagine what would be missing in the national parks if not for partnerships forged with non-profit groups?

Dark Skies in National Parks Make It Easy to Spot the Space Station: Here's How to Look for It

Here's the information you need to see the International Space Station as it arcs across the night sky. A great place to do that is in a national park beyond the reach of urban light pollution and skyline clutter.

National Park Hospitality Association Wants More Lodging In The Parks

There are units of the National Park System, such as Canyonlands, North Cascades, and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, just to name three, that have little or no lodging within their borders. It's just such a lack of facilities, believes Derrick Crandall, that serves as a drag on visitation to the park system.
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U.S. Geological Survey Taking The Temperature of Yellowstone National Park's Norris Geyser Basin

Among Yellowstone National Park's various geothermal basins, the Norris Geyser Basin just might be the most colorful, and it's long been accepted that it's the hottest. But how hot is it? The U.S. Geological Survey can tell you, thanks to a network of monitors that is taking the basin's temperature.

New Director in National Park Service's Intermountain Region Looking Forward to Challenges

John Wessels finds himself in arguably one of the best jobs in the National Park Service, that as director of the agency's sprawling Intermountain Region, and yet there probably aren't many who envy him at this point.

Commentary: How Do You Prefer National Parks, Utilitarian, or Utopian?

How do you prefer your national parks? Should they be utilitarian destinations, landscapes that serve all comers, whether they're in search of dazzling vistas or motorized recreation, or Utopian, ideals that should be appreciated for what is found within their borders?

Traveler's Checklist: Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the world's first national park created specifically to protect a river system, preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.

Trails I've Hiked: Deep Creek/Martins Gap/Indian Creek Loop In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This low-altitude hike in the Deep Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be done any time of the year, but it shines in the fall when trees change color along the creek. The loop is also popular in winter once snow and ice close sections of the park that are much higher.

Record Summer of Turtle Nesting at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Spawns....Debate

It's hard to believe an object similar in size, shape, and even color to a Ping-Pong ball could threaten a way of life. But for many who call the Outer Banks of North Carolina home, that's how they view sea turtle eggs, as threats to their enjoyment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and, for some, even their livelihoods.