An Ode to Public Lands

The upshot of only traveling domestically for the past year? We’ve gotten to know our 615 million acres of federal public lands better than ever. And with new parks and designations on the horizon, there will be even more ways to get off the beaten path for adventure.

Why We Love Them
National Parks Don't Need Your Misty-Eyed Reverence
Jun 7, 2016

National Parks Don't Need Your Misty-Eyed Reverence

John Muir rhapsodizing about Yosemite is one thing, but Ian Frazier has had it with people calling their favorite outdoor spots “cathedrals,” “shrines,” and “sacred spaces.” The false piety detracts from the real task at hand: seeing these places as they actually are.
The Last Bastion of Outdoor Outlaws
Jun 22, 2016

The Last Bastion of Outdoor Outlaws

Fed up with tight National Park regulations—no BASE-jumping, no slacklining, no fun!—adventurers are getting cozy with a surprising new advocate: the Bureau of Land Management. Nowhere are the agency's lenient recreation policies on better display than Moab, Utah.
This May Be the Greatest Timelapse Film Ever
May 25, 2017

This May Be the Greatest Timelapse Film Ever

Each year millions of visitors flock to the Grand Canyon to witness its magnitude and sheer awe-inspiring size. However, there's a phenomenon that few people get to experience that's called "cloud inversion".
How to Do Them Right
Which Public Lands Are Right for You?
May 3, 2021

Which Public Lands Are Right for You?

Your bucket list should go beyond national parks. This decision tree will help you find lesser known locations with half the crowds.
The Best Hike in Every National Park
Sep 18, 2019

The Best Hike in Every National Park

We asked the experts—and this is the one trail you can't miss in each of the 61 U.S. national parks
The Outside Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Oct 8, 2019

The Outside Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Despite being one of the most popular destinations in the U.S., the Smokies make it easy to plan a last-minute trip and avoid crowds year-round. Here’s our definitive guide on what to know before you go, how to make the most of all the park has to offer, and can’t-miss experiences in every season.
The Outside Guide to Arches National Park
Apr 22, 2021

The Outside Guide to Arches National Park

This 76,000-acre wonderland is less a park and more a sandstone sculpture garden of sunset-hued arches and domes that look like they were carved by some alien magic. Here’s how to outsmart the crowds.
The Outside Guide to Grand Teton National Park
Apr 7, 2021

The Outside Guide to Grand Teton National Park

A visit to this northwestern Wyoming park, which is as thrilling for wildlife watchers as it is for climbers, hikers, and backcountry skiers, comes with a warning: it’ll be the beginning of a lifelong love affair
How to Make the Most of Our National Parks
May 1, 2019

How to Make the Most of Our National Parks

A national park conservation advocate shares his advice on how to avoid crowds, get off the beaten path, see wildlife, and find adventure
The Outside Guide to Yosemite National Park
Feb 22, 2021

The Outside Guide to Yosemite National Park

Think you already know everything about our nation’s most iconic park? Think again. There’s so much beyond its famed Yosemite Valley, from seldom visited waterfalls to the underappreciated backcountry beyond Tuolumne Meadows.
7 Unique Ways to Experience National Parks
Feb 6, 2021

7 Unique Ways to Experience National Parks

From a glass-domed train to downhill skiing, these are some of our favorite adventures in our national parks. Bonus: they get you off the beaten path, too.
The Future of Public Lands
3 Newly Designated Public Lands to Explore
May 3, 2021

3 Newly Designated Public Lands to Explore

From Colorado’s second-largest state park to a midwestern tribal park, there are plenty of new wild spaces to plan to visit. Plus, Outside staffers share what they think our 64th national park should be.
Patagonia Is Building Parks. Pay Attention.
Aug 17, 2018

Patagonia Is Building Parks. Pay Attention.

As the U.S. battles over the fate of public lands, the Chilean government and Kristine Tompkins are doing something extraordinary down in Patagonia—setting aside millions of acres for stunning new national parks. And they aren't done yet.
To Permit or Not to Permit?
Apr 15, 2021

To Permit or Not to Permit?

Anticipating even bigger crowds this summer than last, public-lands officials have been grappling with how to manage the masses. For many, that’s meant introducing permit systems. But is limiting access the only solution?
This National Park Art Has an Important Message
Apr 13, 2020

This National Park Art Has an Important Message

More than 50 national parks host visual artists every year. These three artists used their residencies to draw attention to climate change, species loss, and pollution.
The Terrible, Horrible, Maybe Good Tourist Problem in Utah
Jan 29, 2020

The Terrible, Horrible, Maybe Good Tourist Problem in Utah

As red-rock meccas like Moab, Zion, and Arches become overrun with visitors, our writer wonders if Utah's celebrated Mighty Five ad campaign worked too well—and who gets to decide when a destination is "at capacity."
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