Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

National Park Service Key Player In Nurturing Tomorrow's Park Interpreters, Naturalists

Hoh Rain Forest ranger program/Kurt Repanshek
Reaching into his daypack, the ranger pulled out a banana slug. Not a real one, but a stuffed animal version, a perfect prop to explain just exactly what banana slugs were to the youngsters in his audience here in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park.

It's Summertime, And The Options Are Many In The National Park System

Summertime, for many, equates with beach time, and there’s no shortage of that in the National Park System. From the 10 national seashores that line the country’s coasts to the four national lakeshores that rim the Great Lakes, the park system offers you plenty of freshand saltwater options when it comes to escaping the heat.

Investigation: National Park Service Long Ignored Preservation Laws In Desecrating Sacred Ground At Effigy Mounds National Monument

Ancestral burial grounds and ceremonial mounds at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa that were considered sacred by a dozen Native American tribes were desecrated by National Park Service managers who "clearly knew what they were doing was against the law" during a decade-long campaign of building boardwalks and trails across the monument grounds, according to a voluminous investigation.

Wilderness Character Narrative Offers Added Insights Into Glacier Bay National Park And Preserve

Designated wilderness areas exist in national parks from coast to coast, but many of them can be described as "islands of wildness surrounded by development." Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a rare exception, "a wild place within the context of equally wild and sometimes wilder surroundings," and the park has prepared a document that "clearly defines the current status of and threats to the park's wilderness character.

Opinion | It's Time For Year-Round Bison Habitat In Montana

As officials from Montana, Wyoming, and the National Park Service continue to work towards a solution for bison that roam outside Yellowstone National Park, a group of non-profit organizations is calling for Montana to allow bison to roam in their state year-round.

Opinion | Yosemite's Merced Wild And Scenic River Plan: Brought To You By Billionaires And Their Politicians

I chose a sandy spot near a copse of willows south of the river near Sentinel Bridge. What better place to sit and ponder the recently released plan to protect the Merced as it flows through Yosemite National Park?

Wilderness Under Siege, The Ongoing Battle Over Public Lands In America

Is there too much public land in America? Some think so, which is why it's important to understand the ongoing battle over those lands, whether they fall under the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, or U.S. Bureau of Land Management or other federal land manager.

Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Billy Jones, A.T. ridge runner - 1
What does an Appalachian Trail ridgerunner actually do? And what are the attractions to this seasonal job? Meet Billy Jones, ridgerunner in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Fish In National Parks From Alaska To Colorado Have Unhealthy Mercury Levels

Timing often is happenstance, but with Earth Day arriving next week, word of high mercury levels in fish in national parks from Alaska to Colorado is particularly sobering. In some cases, the levels exceed limits OKed for human consumption.

Is The Human Footprint Strangling Old Faithful In Yellowstone National Park?

We all go through growing pains as we get older, and that seems to be the case with the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, as the geyser isn't as faithful as it once was and could eventually go dormant.

This New National Park Would Be Unlike Any Other In The World

Across our country and around the world, national parks come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. They may be large or small, urban or remote, natural areas or historical sites, but few bear any similarity to one that was proposed last week. This potential national park would cover 579 square miles, include 170 museums, and be home to 1,500 species of flowering plants, 300 species of birds...and eight million people. It's certainly not another Yellowstone.

Essential Paddling Guide: Everglades, Exploring The River Of Grass

On a windless morning, under the kind of flawless blue sky that always appears in ads for Florida vacations, our paddles send quiet ripples across the otherwise glassy surface of Chokoloskee Bay. As our two canoes glide past a signpost marking the Indian Key Pass water channel, two ospreys lift off from their nest atop the post and flap lazily over the water.

With A Little Help From Friends Groups, National Parks Benefit

“I get by with a little help from my friends,” sang the Beatles. When it comes to national parks, it had better be a lot of help. The National Park Service often struggles with funding. Now, with tighter budgets and more demands, friends groups are proving invaluable in helping out parks.

Jewel Of Belize's National Park System Tarnished By Poaching, Gold Seekers, Border Strife

Gold is an alluring color, whether woven into the feathers of a Scarlet macaw winging through Maya Mountains rainforest or mixed in the gravels of streams that thread beneath the understory of Chiquibul National Park in the Belizean highlands.

Essential Park Guide, Spring 2014: Teach Your Children Well, National Parks As Learning Centers

Climate change. Glaciology. Sustainability. These are not the subjects that leap to mind when you consider sending your kids to summer camp. But blend them with backpacking, canoeing, or a walk in the woods, and the result is a generation with not only a better connection with nature, but perhaps a career path.

Essential Paddling Guide: Rio Grande River Grapples With High Salinity, Bacteria Loads

Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River claim 245 miles of this renowned river. And while many of those miles wend their way through rugged and remote canyon country, sections of the river nevertheless are on the state of Texas’ list of impaired water bodies. The primary concern is high total dissolved solids (high salinity), but bacteria can be a problem in the very upper reach.

Essential Park Guide, Spring 2014: Spring Into The Parks

While spring in some parks (mostly those in the Rockies, Sierra, and Pacific Northwest) is rightfully described as “mud season,” there are some great early season hikes—and some wonderful camping—to be found across the National Park System. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights.

Making A Difference Through Hard Work With The Student Conservation Association

I had two job offers the summer before my junior year of high school. I chose the job that came with new boots.

Essential Park Guide, Spring 2014: Small Town Perks

West Yellowstone is one of the smaller gateway towns you’ll find in the National Park System...which isn’t such a bad thing.

Essential Paddling Guide: Can Hogs Be Farmed Safely Upstream Of Buffalo National River?

Often the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams in the National Park System is endangered by something we don’t immediately see. Such is the case in Arkansas, where a hog farm less than 6 miles upstream from the Buffalo National River poses an industrial threat to the river.