National Parks

Yosemite

There's nothing like driving into Yosemite for the first time to see El Capitan and Half Dome shooting thousands of feet into the California sky from the valley floor. But if you spend your...

Pushing the Boundaries

This is what the last straw looks like: a parade of Harleys and their leather-clad riders rolling past the granite monoliths and spiky plants of California's Joshua Tree National Park. After a...

Great Smoky Mountains

You'll find a different definition of "Southern Gothic" in the Smokies. A place of mist-shrouded ridgelines and truly primeval chunks of eastern old-growth forest, this park—which straddles...

Yellowstone

The world's first national park is more than just Yogi Bear and Old Faithful, though the latter is nicely emblematic. The park sits atop more geothermal features—geysers, hot springs, steam...

Big Bend

In southwest Texas, they say it can get "hotter than a goat's ass in a pepper patch." But with the Chisos Mountains rising more than 7,500 feet from the Chihuahuan Desert in the center of the...

The Hole Shebang

There’s something sublime about a dip in a natural swimming hole, be it a lazy oxbow in a cool river, a hillside nook fed by a subterranean hot-spring, or a limestone bowl bored out by a 40-foot...

Cracks in Creation: A Round-up of Earthly Mystery

Within Mexico's Mapimí Biosphere Reserve lies a vaguely defined area roughly 30 miles in radius that's known as the "Zone of Silence." Believers claim all radio signals are...

Come Herd or High Water

If you want to know what it's like to transport a buffalo carcass through the Alaskan bush in mid-October, imagine disassembling the appliances in your kitchen—refrigerator, range, microwave...

Peaceful Valley

In the summer, it's difficult to savor Yosemite's splendor through the throngs of sunburned tourists and snarls of metro-worthy traffic. But as soon as the snow begins to stack up, the video...

The Road-Trip Cure

a. Connecticut River Byway, New Hampshire and Vermont Set your watch to Norman Rockwell time on back roads along the Connecticut River that were designated a 500-mile national scenic...

How Delicate Was Dean?

What did Dean Potter do on Delicate Arch, and how did he do it?Those questions have percolated in the climbing world since May 7, when Potter—a 34-year-old professional climber who splits...

Climb El Cap

I FIRST CLIMBED YOSEMITE'S El Capitan with my father, when I was 16, ascending the 35-pitch, 5.9c2-rated Salathé Wall over four days. Since then I've climbed El Cap 25 times. When I'm up...

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