Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

National Park Lodging: Who's Taking Care Of These Buildings? Part I

While many national park lodges are on the National Register of Historic Places, not all lodges reflect the preservation and well-maintained appearance you might expect for such properties. In a two-part series, the Traveler looks at the highs and lows of upkeep in the National Park System.
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Traveler's View: Don't Bestow "Rock Star" Status On Yellowstone's Wolves

Why is one wolf a "rock star," and another simply a wolf?

Budget Cuts Forced On National Park Service By Failure To Avert Fiscal Cliff Could Be Crippling

Don't start planning your 2013 national park vacation just yet, for poised like the sword of Damocles over the National Park Service is the looming "fiscal cliff" that threatens to impact not only the agency but anyone considering a trip into the national parks next year.

The Kids Are Alright: Discovering National Parks Through Service

America’s kids are suffering from “nature deficit disorder” and that includes national parks. As the National Park Service closes its first century, park proponents across the country are trying to get young people engaged in parks and their preservation. It’s a big challenge, but not all of the news is bad. One university town in North Carolina is showing how proximity to national parks invites newbies into involvement.

Lost In Bryce Canyon National Park: Wrong Turn Transforms Day Hike Into 30-Hour Odyssey

Sue Mitchell planned on a day hike in the beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park to let go of her mother, but a wrong turn led her through a 30-hour odyssey.

A View From The Overlook: Conspiracies And The Parks

Interested in a good conspiracy theory? There are plenty in the National Park System.

Climbing To The Top Of A 247-Foot Sequoia Tree Just Part Of The Job For David Quammen

For a few wonderful minutes, David Quammen was perched amid the snow-clad branches of "the President," a soaring, sturdy sequoia that is acknowledged as the second-largest tree in the world.

Elk Management Proposals Near Yellowstone National Park Include Reducing Numbers of Elk ... and Wolves

Few recent national park wildlife management issues have been more contentious than those involving bison and brucellosis concerns by ranchers near Yellowstone National Park. Now those same concerns have prompted new proposals by Montana officials for managing elk populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area, with options including reducing numbers of both elk and wolves.

National Park Service Urged To Follow The "Precautionary Principle" In Overseeing Cultural, Ecological Systems In The Parks

Can the National Park Service more fully embrace the "precautionary principle," the concept that it err on the side of "science-informed prudence and restraint," as suggested by Revisiting Leopold: Resource Stewardship in the National Parks?

Photography In The National Parks: Reading The Book Of Nature

National parks are a great place to experience wildlife in their natural element, and to photograph them. But at times the plight of nature can generate pangs of helplessness, as nature photographer Deby Dixon realized in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Guest Column: Science, Open Space, And The Future Of Our National Parks

While a report to the National Park Service on how to overhaul its approach to science in the national park is laudable, the authors of Revisiting Leopold failed to address a large issue that goes to the health of the parks -- "an abiding respect for open space."

It's "Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site," Not "Beautiful Collection Of Late-Victorian Furniture National Historic Site"

It’s called Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site. It isn’t called “Beautiful Collection of Late-Victorian Furniture National Historic Site. The theme is the open range cattle era. The theme is not how much the paneling in the dining room cost.

Creature Feature: A Whale Of A Big Blue Leviathan

Blue whale Channel Islands National Park, California.
The blue whale is one of the earth’s loudest (its song travels thousands of miles), longest-lived (80-90 year lifespan) and largest animals known to have ever existed. Though long and slender, with a tapered body and a small dorsal fin, blue whales measure in at up to 100 feet in length. These more than 200-ton leviathans are truly creatures to be reckoned with.

Following The Film Lincoln Around Richmond: How One Surprising City Dominates The New Spielberg Blockbuster

If you’re about to see the new movie Lincoln—you’ll be seeing a lot of Richmond, Virginia. Virtually the entire movie was filmed there. Take "Lincoln: The Movie Trail" and trace the film's locations for truly exciting insight into the Civil War, Richmond, and Steven Spielberg's new blockbuster.

Were Seven Killed Wolves With Ties To Yellowstone National Park Targeted By Hunters?

Wolves roaming Yellowstone National Park don't discriminate between park drainages, meadows, and woods and those features in the national forests rimming the park. They head where the scent takes them, and when they do, they sometimes find themselves in the gunsights of hunters. Such was the case recently for seven wolves whose lives came to an end in the forests outside Yellowstone.

Saving Ginseng In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s ginseng poaching prevention program is equal parts science, conservation, and crime scene investigation. How the park approaches ginseng poaching is addressed in the following article from Friends of the Smokies.

Guest Column: Chipping Away At The National Park Service Mission One Park At A Time

Is the National Park Service about to do an "about face" on its position opposing a professional bike race through Colorado National Monument? In a guest column Joan Anzelmo, the monument's former superintendent, expresses her confusion over this possibility and voices hopes the Park Service will stand by its mission and Management Policies.

Outdoor Industry Groups Urge President Obama To Create 1.4-Million-Acre National Monument Around Canyonlands National Park

President Obama is being urged by a broad coalition of outdoor industry businesses to create a 1.4-million-acre national monument around Canyonlands National Park in Utah to preserve a "world-class landscape."
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Advancing Science In The Parks: Acting On The Revisiting Leopold Report

Will the Revisiting Leopold report that aims to move the National Park Service into a new direction with natural resources management succeed, or become yet another dusty report in some back room? Those closest to the report believe the vision it charts can, and will, be achieved.

Musings On Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

I really didn’t know exactly what to expect when I pulled up to the first overlook at Black Canyon. But when I walked to the edge of the canyon at Tomichi Point and looked down, the only thing I could think was "Oh, my goodness!"

Postcard From The Backbone Of The Continent: Days Of Discovery At Glacier National Park

My heart nearly stopped when I received the internship offer from the lead interpretive ranger at Glacier National Park. My first question, of course, was “Where’s that?” As a Floridian, I had never heard of this Glacier and could not believe I would be heading to Montana.

Guest Column: Election Day And The Dangers Of H.R. 4089, The Sportsmen’s Heritage Bill

In the not-so-distant past, Republicans as well as Democrats were strong proponents of America’s public lands. And both parties usually supported the national parks—most beloved of all public lands. But now, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan reflect the contempt of the Republican Party’s far right for all public lands—even the national parks, long renowned as “America’s Best Idea.”

A Five-Pack Of Parks Where Winter Is Anything But Off-Season

acadia cadillac mountain view in winter
From snowsports to whale watching, America’s national parks have it all come winter. Check out our five-pack of parks where winter gives you the entire country's worth of geographical getaways.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends, Celebrating National Park Friends Groups

Earlier this year National Parks Traveler broke ground with Essential Friends, an initiative created to celebrate the great work of national park friends groups. While the publication has been available in PDF format, we now offer it to you as a flip book. Enjoy!

A View From The Overlook: Land Access

Is public land always available for the public good? Well, not always.

Exploring The Parks: Natural Bridges National Monument

Once upon a time not so long ago, all roads leading to Natural Bridges National Monument were dirt. Only the hardiest of visitors ventured out here. But now the roads are firmly paved and it’s a sort of main route between Lake Powell and points north down toward Monument Valley and Four Corners.

Exploring The Parks: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Standing above the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry holds a pivotal vantage point in the country's history, one with surprisingly deep roots.

More National Park Units Getting Ready To Withstand Hurricane Sandy

National parks along the Eastern Seaboard from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to coastal Maine were preparing Saturday to withstand the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, a slowly evolving storm that meteorologists were predicting would be historic for its devastating impact.

Birding In The National Parks: Gros Morne National Park Will Satisfy The Most Dedicated Birder

Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park can be difficult to reach, but for the determined birder, the effort is well worth it!

Beauty, Adventure, And Thievery: Plundering Biscayne National Park's Sunken Treasures

Biscayne National Park is an incredibly alluring park, 95 percent of which lies underwater. But Biscayne does not always attract pleasant visitors. Plagued by looters, the park constantly must spend extra time and money to keep criminals away from plundering the shipwrecks.