Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Winter, A Season of Contrasts Across the National Park System

This week the Traveler offers you a series of stories to help you enjoy the coming months in the national parks. We'll take a look at some great lodges to call home for your visit, point out some cold-weather -- and warm-weather -- parks to enjoy (and how to enjoy them), touch on seasonal wildlife moves, and even offer some suggestions on how to stay safe in the parks.

By the Numbers: Cumberland Island National Seashore

Accessible only by boat, Georgia's Cumberland Island National Seashore features undeveloped beaches, maritime forests, huge marshes, historic structures, abundant wildlife, and more. Here are some numbers that tell the story.

Touring The Continental Army's Huts At Valley Forge National Historical Park

Among the highlights of a visit to Valley Forge National Historical Park is looking at, and into, the log cabins the Continental Army built to survive the winter encampment of 1777-78. In the following video from the park, you can gain some insights of the cabins that remain and how proud the soldiers were of what they built.

Republicans On House Natural Resources Committee Planning Big Changes For Public Lands

Fresh off their Election Day tidal wave, and energized by it, Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee are planning big changes for public lands in the West, changes that could greatly impact national parks.

Yosemite Nature Notes: Glaciers

Last month we let you take a peek "behind the scenes" with Steven Bumgardner and his crew at Yosemite Nature Notes as they were working on a segment about glaciers in Yosemite National Park. Well, here's the resulting product, which is a great primer on the park's glaciers.

GAO Report: Environmental Laws Don't Greatly Impede Border Security In the Southwest

A nearly year-long review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined that while environmental regulations at times slowed Border Patrol operations in the Southwest, a strong majority of agents-in-charge "reported that the overall security status of their jurisdiction is not affected by land management laws."

Oprah Went Camping in Yosemite National Park, But Will She Remain A Fan of the National Parks?

Oprah Winfrey took her star power camping in Yosemite National Park at the invitation of Ranger Shelton Johnson. While one of her goals was to encourage more “people of color” to enjoy our national parks, it remains to be seen whether she can now shoulder the mantle of national parks ambassador.

Counting Sea Turtles in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off Olympic National Park

Counting sea turtles is no easy task when you're scanning the ocean looking for them, but that's just what the National Ocean Service's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Fisheries Service did earlier this fall.

Do You Know Where Stonewall Jackson's Left Arm is Buried?

There is in a secluded setting behind historic Ellwood Manor at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park a low stone monument that marks the spot where Confederate General Stonewall Jackson's amputated left arm is supposedly buried. But is it really there?
From time to time speculation arises over whether General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's amputated left arm really is buried at historic Ellwood Manor at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. In this podcast, the park's chief historian, John Hennessy, discusses the debate and voices his opinion on the matter.

Report Counters GOP Arguments That Environmental Regs, Agencies Hampering Border Security

For months Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee have claimed that environmental regulations are hampering border control in the Southwest. But a new study notes that "there are numerous examples" of how various federal agencies are working together on border control.
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Rock Falls In Yosemite National Park Provide Homes For Curious Scorpion-Like Creature

Just in time for Halloween -- a new bug to give you the creeps. This newly found arachnid apparently has been living in caves created by rock falls in Yosemite National Park for some time.

Claw and Horn In Yellowstone

Due to possible copyright issues, we've taken down the photo of the bison being chased by a grizzly in Yellowstone National Park.

The Wonder That Is The Linn Cove Viaduct On the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway was featured on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels series, for heaven’s sake. Nevertheless, it’s not widely understood why or how it’s noteworthy. The High Country landmark might be nothing less than the combined genius of the 20th century’s two top bridge designers.

Gary Everhardt's Impact on the Blue Ridge Parkway

During his nearly quarter-century as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Gary Everhardt developed partnerships to both protect and better the Parkway.

Gary Everhardt: The “Right Man at the Right Time” on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Nations everywhere name buildings to honor pivotal figures, the people whose contributions form the foundation on which the future stands. We all see such structures, but it’s rare to wander the halls of one with the person whose name is chiseled on the plaque and attached to the boulder out front -- especially when it’s the headquarters of the most visited unit of the National Park system.

Proposal For State-Federal Collaboration on Combating White-Nose Syndrome in Bats Out for Public Review

While state and federal authorities are developing a plan of attack for dealing with white-nose syndrome in bat populations, a non-profit organization is criticizing the federal government for moving too slowly on this growing problem.

The Case of the Cigarette Smoking Woman At Petrified Forest National Park

Looking for a few good ghosts in the national parks this Halloween? Consider Petrified Forest National Park with its Case of the Cigarette Smoking Woman.

Reader Participation Day: Which Works Harder for National Parks, A Republican or Democratic Congress?

With the general election less than a week off, the Traveler is venturing into perilous territory by delving into politics. Still, the question begs asking: Do you believe national parks are better off with a Republican-controlled Congress, or one with a Democratic majority?

Oprah Visits Yosemite National Park

Oprah Winfrey airs a two part program on visiting Yosemite National Park and questions why more African Americans don't visit National Parks.

Mennonite Women Backpacking and Bears Falling in Shenandoah National Park

Fall is a spectacular season to hike in Shenandoah National Park. Reds, golds, greens and browns are dappling the hillsides, deer are on the move, and, if your timing is excellent, bears are falling from the trees and Mennonite women are backpacking along the Appalachian Trail.

Warmer, Drier, Crowded, Grizzly-less, And With Lots of Thistle: the Yellowstone of The Future?

“The snow tips the balance,” remarked Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, about his research findings on winter wolf predation in Yellowstone National Park.

How To Land That National Park Job, For A Season or A Career

Curious about how to go about finding a job in a national park, one for either just a season or for a possible career? The following video explains the routes you can explore to find that job.

How Might Fatal Attack By Mountain Goat Change Backcountry Dynamics in National Parks?

Mountain goats have been described as "supreme mountaineers," can appear somewhat professorial in appearance with their goatees, and have uncanny agility. Now, in the tragic wake of a hiker being fatally gored in the Olympic National Park backcountry, some might also describe them as killers.

Economic Analysis Predicts Minimum 4-1 Return on Restoring the Everglades Ecosystem

Most people would jump at the chance to quadruple their money on an investment. Well, an economic analysis predicts that that's the minimum return that can be expected if the restoration of the Everglades ecosystem is completed.

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.