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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the great hiking destinations in the mid-Atlantic region, if not the entire East Coast. Across its rumpled 522,427 acres there are more than 800 miles of trails. They range from relatively short footpaths to scenic payoffs like Rainbow Falls and Abrahams Falls to the more than 70 miles of the Appalachia…
 
All is not well at Point Reyes National Seashore, as a years-long battle continues over ranching at Point Reyes, how it’s impacting the seashore’s environment, and how the National Park Service is trying to manage it. To sort through some of these issues, we’re joined by Laura Cunningham, California director at Western Watersheds Project.…
 
Last week the National Parks Traveler took you to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas with a discussion with Chief of Interpretation Tom Vandenberg. This week, Traveler's Lynn Riddick provides a first-hand, more personal glimpse into this vast remote park. Afterwards, Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek shares a short conversation he had with Charl…
 
The National Parks Traveler’s Lynn Riddick begins a two-part series about her recent trip to Big Bend -- a vast wilderness in the Chihuahuan Desert along the Rio Grande. She meets up with the park’s chief of interpretation, who offers an overview of the park’s varied geology and diverse ecology, its human history and what the future may hold for vi…
 
In this episode of the Arizona Highways podcast, editor Robert Stieve sits down with photographer Mike Buchheit, who’s working on a new project called “The Temples Within.” It’s a collection of essays and photographs focused on 23 of the rock monoliths within the Grand Canyon. An excerpt of that project appears in the January issue of Arizona Highw…
 
This has been one of the most newsworthy years in recent memory for the National Park Service and the parks. There’s finally a Senate-confirmed director at the helm, billions of dollars are flowing into the parks for a variety of projects, wildfires chewed through Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Lassen Volcanic national parks, lakes Powell and Mead are s…
 
As the global human population continues to increase, as sprawl continues to wash over natural areas, the amount of space needed for flora and fauna to thrive and, even, in some cases, survive, is steadily being squeezed by the human footprint. Kristine Tompkins knows a little about protecting landscapes for nature. She and her late husband, Doug T…
 
When you visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, after you’ve gazed into the Kīlauea crater itself if it’s erupting, you should make a point to hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail. Starting from an overlook near Nāhuku (aka the Thurston Lava Tube), the trail goes down through the rainforest and out across a crater floor created back in 1959 by one of the mos…
 
There is no shortage of hiking trails in the National Park System. From coastal walks and boardwalk trails to trails that run the ridges of the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park and the wildly popular hike to the top of Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park, the options can be overwhelming even if you had endless time to explore the park…
 
Camels, lions, and mammoths once roamed the landscape around Las Vegas, Nevada. Such was the case during the latter part of the Pleistocene era, which spanned a period of time between 11,000 years and 2.5 million years ago. The area -- known as the Upper Las Vegas Wash –- is rich with the fossils of these and many more creatures as well as ancient …
 
Today we’re talking adventures, friendships, and the environment with Rick Ridgeway, who has traveled the world seeking adventure and, along the way, debated and discussed environmental consciousness with his friends, colleagues and peers. Rick, a climber, kayaker, explorer, filmmaker, and thoughtful writer, has a new book out, Life Lived Wild, tha…
 
It’s been said that the night sky represents the other half of the National Park System. It’s in the national parks where you can experience some of the darkest skies you’ll find anywhere. Our guest this week knows all about that. Artist, author, astronomer and Night Sky Ambassador Doctor Tyler Nordgren talks with the Traveler’s Lynn Riddick about …
 
Feral hogs are just one of several species of invasive mammals that are posing immense challenges for national park managers. Unlike invasive insects or reptiles, invasive mammals are often larger and more “charismatic” animals, difficult for parks to eradicate from a logistical, financial, and emotional perspective.…
 
Enter the National Park System and you won’t come away disappointed when you realize all that awaits you. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it’s impossible not to be awed by the volcanism that created the Hawaiian islands, and which is on full display at the crater atop the Kīlauea volcano. Jessica Ferracane, the park’s public affairs specialist, …
 
For Grand Teton National Park, this year has, to put it bluntly, been crazy busy. In September the park counted 570,584 visitors, the second-highest tally for that month in park history. Notably, it pushed the park’s year-to-date visitation to 3,493,937, a record for an entire year, and with October, November, and December to go. Grand Teton Superi…
 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee questioned Mr. Sams this past week during his confirmation hearing. He’s an interesting nominee. He’s from outside the National Park Service, and if confirmed he would be the first Native American director of the Park Service. Discussing his nomination are Phil Francis of the Coalition to Protect Am…
 
Editor-in-Chief Kurt Repanshek and Contributing Editor Kim O'Connell discuss news from around the National Park System, from black bear incidents along the Blue Ridge Parkway to a Yellowstone visitor being sentenced to jail for getting too close to a grizzly bear sow and her cubs.By National Parks Traveler
 
Why visit Cumberland Gap National Historical Park? The gap was the portal to the heart of the country, as Daniel Boone discovered in the 1700s. And it's the one unit of the National Park System where you can take turns standing in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Lynn Riddick gives you a brief preview of the historical park with this audio postca…
 
We’re in the middle of a world-wide extinction crisis. Here in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just announced that nearly two dozen species, from the Ivory-billed woodpecker to two freshwater fish species, are extinct. How are wildlife in the parks doing? To explore that and other questions surrounding wildlife, we’re joined b…
 
Key to the survival of many threatened and endangered species is the designation of wildlife corridors. The Traveler’s Lynn Riddick talks to Tori Linder of the Path of the Panther Project about efforts to formalize the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a large and growing mosaic of protected forests and timberlands, swamps, pastures, and orchards that pro…
 
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado year-in and year-out is one of the most popular units of the National Park System. Its rugged peaks attract climbers, its heavily forested backcountry lures hikers and backpackers, and its wildlife attracts photographers and visitors hoping to glimpse elk, or catch their unique bugling, or spot bighorn sheep…
 
NPT Ep 136 Spot List - Run Time - 48:00 :02 National Parks Traveler introduction :12 Episode introduction with Kurt Repanshek 1:05 Parks Book Reviews 23:14 The Offering - Bill Mize - The Sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains 23:33 WNPA 23:54 Yosemite Conservancy 24:17 Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation 24:38 Potrero Group 25:06 North Cascades Institute 25…
 
Have you ever visited the "other" side of Yellowstone? Left the Old Faithful and Steamboat geysers behind, fled the conga lines of vehicles mired in bison and bear jams in the Hayden and Lamar valleys, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on the boardwalks ... and opted, instead, for the wild side, where you and nature can become one...if you are willin…
 
The National Park System contains more than parks that preserve incredible landscapes or moments in history. There are many units that honor an individual. Today National Parks Traveler takes a look at a national monument in southwest Missouri dedicated to George Washington Carver. Born to an enslaved young woman, Carver dedicated his life to agric…
 
Acadia National Park in Maine is a tourist magnet, a problem for those seeking a little solitude with the scenery at the park. Traveler Contributing Editor Kim O'Connell found that out first-hand during her family's visit there this summer, but did manage to find some quiet areas.By National Parks Traveler
 
Climate change is readily apparent this year, generating surprising heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, scores of wildfires across the West, and an ongoing series of tropical storms and hurricanes spinning out of the Atlantic and barreling into the East and Gulf coasts of the United States. The effects of climate change aren’t absent from Yosemite…
 
In this episode of the Arizona Highways Podcast, editor Robert Stieve sits down with Jack Dykinga, a longtime contributor whose byline has accompanied some of the best photographs our magazine has ever published. He’s won every award there is to win, including a Pulitzer. But the man behind the camera knows that great photography is not automatic. …
 
2020 saw the largest fires on record burn in Rocky Mountain National Park, and this year Lassen Volcanic National Park has endured the flames of the Dixie Fire. To gain a better understanding of the wildfire situation in the West, and how climate change is affecting wildfires, we’re joined by Robin Wills, the National Park Service’s chief of fire a…
 
A lot is happening around the National Park System, from the nomination of a permanent director for the National Park Service and higher user fees in the parks to wildfires and ongoing crowds in some corners of the park system. National Parks Traveler's Kurt Repanshek, Kim O'Connell, and Lynn Riddick discuss those and other issues from around the p…
 
Mammoth Cave National Park is a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. It was designated a national park in 1926 and fully established and opened in 1941 -- 80 years ago. At 412 miles, the cave itself is nearly twice as long as any other known cave system. Geologists believe there may even be a couple more hundred miles of undisco…
 
What has been your experience in the National Park System this year? Have you found lots of crowds, or has your experience been more enjoyable because you haven’t encountered scores of other visitors milling about? Today we're discussing crowding in the parks with Kristen Brengel of the National Parks Conservation Association and Phil Francis of th…
 
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