Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Essential Paddling Guide: Keeping Our Paddling Waters Clean And Healthy

We look to national park vacations as a healthy lifestyle ingredient, one filled with fun, laughter, and lasting memories. Not on our agendas is worrying about mercury in the fish we pull from mountain streams, droughts that would beach our boats, or industrial and agricultural pollution that impairs the very waters we enjoy in the parks. Sadly, those issues aren’t foreign to the National Park System.

Exploring The Parks: Hungary's Aggtelek National Park

Aggtelek National Park in Hungary is truly a unique park, with a sprawling and surprising cave system, an equestrian center, and miles of hiking and biking trails. Dan Swartz, a marketing assistant for the park, provided the following overview for Traveler readers.

Essential Paddling Guide: Choosing A Trip And An Outfitter

How can you decide on a paddling trip in the National Park System, and how do you find an outfitter who can help you have the time of your life? Here are some pointers to follow.

Exploring The Parks: Gates Of The Arctic National Park And Preserve

Visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park is not easily done, but if you make the effort, the payoff is outstanding.

Essential Paddling Guide: Row Your Boat, Deep In The Canyon With O.A.R.S.

I've often said that if you've seen one Grand Canyon you've seen them all. Well, that does make some sense because, after all, there's really just only one in the world. And deep in the bottom of this desert chasm lays the main culprit of erosion, the granddaddy of all American waterways: the Colorado River. It's the big ticket, the plum, the one that challenges all paddlers and rowers.

Traveler's Essential Paddling Guide To The National Parks

Paddling down a river or across a lake in a national park setting is truly a wonderful, memorable experience, one that carries thrills and life-long memories. You can retrace the historic 19th-century journey of John Wesley Powell, or land on a lodgepole pine-studded shore where camp is set under swaying trees and the evening brings a vivid sunset.

Traces Of The Prehistoric Past: Fossilized Tracks At White Sands National Monument

In the shifting sands of White Sands National Monument, traces of the prehistoric past are slowly being erased. Though they might soon be gone, these markers left behind by mammoths and camel-like animals have been preserved through remote imaging technology.

Traveler's View: Don't Let The Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act Undermine National Parks

The U.S. Senate should strip from the Sportmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act an amendment that would bar the National Park Service from better managing motorboat access in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

Photo History From National Park Lookouts Shows Landscape Changes Over 70+ Years

There's an intriguing page within the vast nps.gov domain that opens a wonderful portal of history, one that allows us to compare today with yesteryear. The site, within the National Park Service Fire and Aviation Management section, compares historic photos taken from fire lookouts in the National Park System with today's landscapes.

A View From the Overlook: “How Do You Get A Permanent Job With The NPS?”

“How Do You Get A Permanent Job With The NPS?” This is a frequently asked question, Neighbors! No doubt about it, the NPS is a feel-good agency that many people would like to join, and they are not easily dissuaded. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is complicated, ambiguous and fluid.

Can The Tourism Industry Help Save Africa's Wild Elephants?

Tourism is big business in Africa, and one of the major draws is the wildlife in the continent's national parks. By almost any measure, however, the future of wild elephants in Africa is bleak unless major strides can be made against poaching fueled by the demand for ivory. Now a new campaign called S.A.F.E, (Safeguarding a Future for Africa’s Elephants) hopes to mobilize the tourism industry to help save the elephants.

What Is National Parks Traveler's Role?

What is the role of National Parks Traveler? For long-time readers, that might be easy to answer, but it has evolved and continues to evolve.

A View From The Overlook: The First National Park (We Think)

After doing a bit of volunteer time last summer at Yellowstone National Park, I decided to do a column on dear old Yellowstone, established way back in 1872, “The World’s First National Park." Or so I thought.

Plowshares Into Swords – The Story Behind A Cannon At Saratoga National Historical Park

The National Park Service manages dozens of sites of famous battles, and although every area has a unique story, many of them have something in common: cannons. You may find them perched on redoubts, still facing a long-vanquished enemy, or resting sedately inside a museum, and perhaps you've wondered how all that ordnance managed to survive for all these years.

Darwin At The End Of The World: Patagonia More Than The Galapagos Shaped Darwin’s New View Of Life

It turns out that scrambling out of a bouncing Zodiac and climbing 160 sodden, wooden stairs are the easiest challenges of the day. At the crest of the cliff, the trail stretches across the grassy, rolling hilltop of the southernmost inhabited island on the planet.

Convulsion In National Park Concessions

Concession operations in the national parks underwent some important changes during the last couple of years. Long-time concessionaires in two major parks failed in attempts to win contract renewals with winning bidders being companies with extensive National Park Service concession experience.

Reactions To Yellowstone Supervolcano Study Ranged From Hysteria To Ho-Hum

News from the parks in 2013 offered some fine opportunities for reporters, but for those inclined toward dramatic headlines, few stories could match the release of an updated study on the "Yellowstone Super-Volcano." Depending upon the source, readers might conclude that the end is near...or it's no big deal.

Inspiration For 2014: My Top 10 Family Adventures

If you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for 2014, here are my 10 favorite family adventures at The Big Outside (another list that will keep growing and evolving), as well as a bonus 11th trip that made this list last year but saw its spot usurped this year.

What Were The Top National Park Stories Of 2013?

Flooding pummeled a handful of units in the National Park System this past fall, budget cuts hamstrung the National Park Service, and a 16-day closure of the national parks drew the public's ire. Those were just some of the top stories of 2013 across the National Park System. Here's a look at some of the year's top stories.

National Parks We Explored During 2013

So many parks, so few months in a year. Still, the National Parks Traveler staff and contributors managed to reach a fair number of parks in 2013 and returned home with the following stories.