Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

Wake Nicodemus!

What value is a site in the National Park System if the National Park Service can't afford to preserve it or tell its stories? That's the question looming over Nicodemus National Historic Site in Kansas.

Isle Royale National Park's Wolf Population Down To Just Eight, No New Pups Last Year

Just eight wolves can be found at Isle Royale National Park, the lowest count ever tallied, and no new pups were brought into the population last year, another first that seemingly moves the population closer to extinction.

Desert Treasures: Spring Blooms In Big Bend National Park

Thoughts of spring wildflowers usually bring visions of lush hills and meadows with picturesque streams. But not the desert. Certainly not arid West Texas. Yet by April, especially in years following a wet autumn, wildflowers and cacti turn the rugged landscape of Big Bend National Park into a palette of rainbow hues. And migrating birds add their colorful magic to the trees and thorn-covered vegetation.

Merced Wild And Scenic River Management Plan III: Will The Latest NPS Plan Protect The River (Or Hold Up In Court)?

With their latest management plan for the Merced River now out for public review, Yosemite National Park officials now face the task of defending it. Will it protect the river, and can it withstand a court challenge?

Photography In The National Parks: A Winter Watching Wolves In Yellowstone National Park

I woke up one morning thinking about wolves and realized that wolf packs function as families. Everyone has a role, and if you act within the parameters of your role, the whole pack succeeds, and when that falls apart, so does the pack. -- Jodi Picoult

Timeless Inspiration: Glacier National Park And The Art Of The Empire Builder

Railroads were around at the very start of the National Park System, and posters and paintings pairing the parks and trains once were common. Landscape artist J. Craig Thorpe preserves these two, parks and trains, in a number of artworks involving Glacier National Park and the Empire Builder passenger line.

Updated: Parks Beyond Borders: Can Africa's Elephants Survive Poachers, Ivory Markets ... And The Internet?

Wildlife-based tourism is vital to the economy of several African nations, but a surging demand for ivory is putting some elephant populations at risk. Can the animals in and out of the continent's national parks survive the combined power of poachers, ivory markets--and the Internet?

Parks Beyond Borders: Are African Forest Elephants On A Path To Extinction?

If you were to ask Americans to compile a short list of wildlife most associated with Africa, it's a pretty safe bet that elephants would be included. Unfortunately, it's gotten a lot harder lately to find as many of the iconic animals in central Africa, and a just-released study has confirmed a "devastating decline" in the population of forest elephants. Could they be headed for extinction?

Traveler's View: Congress, National Park Service Need To Restructure Fees For Centennial Celebration

"Mountaineers are always free" is West Virginia's state motto, but that sentiment is getting harder and harder to find in the National Park System, where an imbalance in fee structures charges you for sleeping on the bare ground but not for burning gas as you negotiate the 11-mile loop of Cades Cove.

Rebuilding After Sandy: Moving The National Park Service Forward With An Eye On Climate Change

If ever there was an exclamation point to a report warning of the consequences of climate change, Hurricane Sandy was it. As the storm swept up the Eastern Seaboard last fall it cut national seashores in two, inundated mainland parks that lie at sea level, downed untold scores of trees, and in its aftermath left the National Park Service with a glowing opportunity to put its parks back together with similarly potent storms in mind.
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Rebuilding After Sandy: Putting Gateway National Recreation Area Back Together Again

Photographic slides paper-clipped to strings to dry out. Officer's Row at Fort Hancock propped up with two-by-fours. Multi-use paths ripped out in places and buried in sand elsewhwere. That was part of the aftermath from Hurricane Sandy at Gateway National Recreation Area.

Skiing The Appalachian Trail—Get It While It's Cold: Video And Feature

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a great destination for cross country skiers—especially right now as the latest storm dumps more snow on the AT from North Carolina to New England. The AT only seems to be about summer. Backcountry ski enthusiasts—get out there!

Rebuilding After Sandy: How Assateague Island National Seashore Officials Are Dealing With Climate Change

While Hurricane Sandy brought torrential rains and heavy surf to Assateague Island National Seashore, the park greatly avoided staggering damage thanks to its relative lack of infrastructure when compared to Gateway National Recreation Area farther up the Eastern Seaboard.

Teaching Park Politics In Yellowstone National Park

When I tell people that I teach a summer course on the politics of Yellowstone, I always brace myself for the next question. “What politics can there be in a national park?” Plenty, as it turns out.

Rebuilding After Sandy: A Breach In The Wilderness At Fire Island National Seashore

Barrier islands are creatures of the seas, cast about and pushed around by the waves and currents. Proof of that can be found today at Fire Island National Seashore along the New York coast, where the barrier island it sets on was cut in two as well as shoved closer to the Long Island mainland by Hurricane Sandy.

Rebuilding After Sandy: How The National Park Service Is Putting The Pieces Back Together Again

Today, four months after Hurricane Sandy battered and bruised the Eastern Seaboard, the disarray the storm delivered across many units of the National Park System continues to be cleaned up. Some damage remains to be discovered. And though summer remains months away, some units will be severely challenged to be fully operational by Memorial Day.

Omnes Relinquite Spes, O Vos Intrantes

A tour of a recent recreation vehicle show proves that you really don't need to leave home without (fill in the blank).

Academy Award Video Feature / Richmond's Starring Role in Lincoln—A Video Tour Of Oscar-Quality Locations

Daniel Day-Lewis turned in an Oscar Award-winning performance as Lincoln, but Richmond Virginia’s supporting role as the location where Lincoln was filmed will also wow the crowds. Take this short video tour that showcases Spielberg’s Richmond sets for insight into Lincoln the movie, and Lincoln the man.

Windows On Nature: The Ten Best National Park Webcam Sites In America

Webcams provide us with windows on the world. They allow armchair travelers to follow activity outside a Dublin pub, monitor traffic on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, and check on what’s happening at the International Space Station. Webcams also provide windows on nature, some of the best of which comes by way of cameras stationed in our national parks.

58 -- Make That 59 -- Before 18!

Alisa and Bill Goldstein dreamed up a crazy idea in 2009 while visiting Yosemite National Park. Along with their sons, Luke and Winston, they decided to try to visit all 58 national parks before the boys turned 18. Well, they're on their way. Recently we caught up with them to check on their progress and got the following report.