River Bend Overlook, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Kurt Repanshek photo
July 17, 2012
Essential Friends: Ensuring Excellence In The National Parks
As lovers of national parks look forward to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service-guardian of "America's Best Idea"-there has never been a better time to profile the rise and role of what may be our "Second Best Idea"-the friends groups, trusts, and foundations that support those parks.
The Glacier Fund: Protecting The Crown Of The Continent
The Glacier Fund works daily to protect gorgeous landscapes such as Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Wherever you go in Glacier National Park, the heart of the region known as the Crown of the Continent,you're likely to see the great work of the Glacier National Park Fund. Some of the projects this non-profit friends group has supported since 1999 include studies of avalanche corridors above the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road, helping kids "reconnect" with nature and feel comfortable in the outdoors, and trail maintenance.
Riding The Rails To Canada's Jasper And Banff National Parks
There's no better way to experience the spectacular scenery of Jasper and Banff National Parks than riding the rails of the Rocky Mountaineer or Canada's VIA Rail network. Photo by Randy Johnson.
There are great national park train trips all over the world-and one of the best is riding the rails to Canada's Banff and Jasper National Parks.
Swaying through the Canadian Rockies is as good as it gets-and on the Rocky Mountaineer, the setting, service, and food are first-class. Lesser cost options make these parks a not-to-be-missed world-class experience.
Massive Landslide Coats Johns Hopkins Glacier In Glacier Bay National Park
A massive landslide coated the Johns Hopkins Glacier for more than 5 miles. Photo by Drake Olson.
A massive landslide, one of the biggest ever seen in North America and which registered on seismographs in Canada and the United States, has covered a more than 5-mile run of the Johns Hopkins Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve like chocolate frosting on cake.
National Parks Traveler covers America's National Park System and the National Park Service on a daily basis with news, features, and commentary. For a regular dose on what's going on in the National Park System, read www.nationalparkstraveler.com
Sunsets are reason enough to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Lee Dalton photo.
Can't a person just visit a national park or monument without having to be warned of dangers at every step?
In Yellowstone, it's grizzly bears. In Zion it's falling off Angels Landing (or just about everywhere, for that matter), at Pipe Spring it's barnyard chicken poop, and at Joshua Tree, according to every bulletin board, it's aggressive Africanized bees.
Maybe we should all just stay at home where only the usual panoply of dangers abide.
Then again, that's not much fun. Maybe we can still enjoy these places by simply keeping eyes and ears open and using some good sense.
It appears to me that Joshua Tree National Park is one of those places that seems to lack public attention and appreciation. Maybe that's one reason why it seems a lot more peaceful than many of those places that can't avoid it. And maybe it's the reason why it seems a bit short on visitor services and programs.
I pulled in to Joshua Tree rather late on a perfect Spring day back in March with temperatures hovering right around 80 degrees. Entering from the south, I first arrived at Cottonwood Springs visitor center. Located in a very small building with a decidedly temporary feel, it is located next to the only campground in the park's interior that has water.