On these expert-led trips, you’ll spot the National Park System’s wildest residents, from mysterious wolves to fat bears. Pro tip: the bioluminescent fireflies are pretty cool, too.
One enticement of visiting Hawaii Volcanoes, on the Big Island, is witnessing the eruption of young Kilauea—the world’s most active volcano—and basking in the glow of its lava-filled caldera
From lush jungles with waterfalls and ocean shores to otherworldly volcanic peaks and craters, the range of ecosystems you can visit in a day at this Maui park is astounding
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.
With the summer high season wrapping up, a variety of national parks are doing away with timed-entry and reservation rules for the next few months
Why endure the traffic headed inland to major mountain getaways when you can hop a breezy ferry to the Channel Islands, passing dolphins en route, and spend time kayaking into sea caves, hiking quiet hills, and birding, with nary an auto in sight?
These places get our vote as the most important to protect
This central California park is one of the hottest, driest, and lowest places in the country. It's also one of the most beautiful—a place where sculptural canyons, undulating sand dunes, abundant wildlife, and a luminous sky abound.
Now is the time to wander among the world’s largest trees. Wildfires in central California for the past few years have decimated their numbers, so seeing these thousand-year-old natural wonders up close is, today more than ever, a privilege.
Pirates, enslaved people, and Spanish explorers shaped these seven small islands west of the Florida Keys. For most visitors, deep-diving into the past and then swimming the azure waters makes for an unforgettable trip.
Whether you’re seeking soft sandy beaches, hiking, or snorkeling and other water sports, this stunning park on the Caribbean island of St. John should be on your visit list
Snorkel and paddle among quizzical lobsters, baby sharks, green turtles, and more at Biscayne, home to a massive coral-reef system off the coast of Miami
But seriously: at this popular South Florida park, come for the large reptiles, but stay for the subtropical scenery, varied birdlife, and all-out airboat rides
You don’t have to know much about paddling to wend the dark waterways of Congaree, in South Carolina. But persistence and a good sense of humor will help you along.
Want to hike without crowds? See jaw-dropping vistas without torching your quads? Check out these dayhikes and backpacks.
Those iconic bulbous boulders, lucid skies, and namesake trees are mere backdrops to a Californian desert playground filled with jaw-dropping vistas, dynamic hiking trails, and that famous grippy rock. Here’s everything you need to know to explore it.
The Wind Cave is the seventh-largest mapped cave in the world
Great Smoky Mountains is a mecca for millions of outdoor visitors each year. But as our 63 Parks columnist explains, that doesn’t mean you can’t find solitude and peace. Often all it takes is a walk in the woods.
Western national parks like Yellowstone, Zion, and Joshua Tree are among our most iconic, but it’s the journeys road-tripping in between them that provide the greatest opportunities for adventure. From Montana to Southern California, here’s how to make the most of this itinerary and avoid the crowds.
Deep, dark, and hiding some dreadful bits of history, Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky, is a fascinating place for underground exploration
Too many rocks? Not enough people? Illustrator Amber Share says bring it on.
Plastic rangers exploring America’s best idea
Many visitors to the mid-Atlantic make a beeline to the Smokies. But our 63 Parks columnist argues that there’s plenty of wild adventuring to be had in Shenandoah—and Blue Ridge views for days.
Unique recreation opportunities and uncrowded wilderness abound in areas impacted by Yellowstone flood
The Park Service is moving quickly to reopen most of the park in time for the July Fourth weekend, but the historic flood changed Yellowstone forever
You can still find a slice of solitude in the country's most visited parks
An atmospheric river dumped 200 to 300 percent more moisture than usual onto the area over the weekend
The 10,551-foot peak, formerly called Doane Mountain, has a new title that reflects the contributions of Native Americans
If you haven’t snagged a reservation to the growing list of timed-entry parks, it might seem like a trip there this summer is out of the cards. But fret not—we found some legal ways to visit.
Watch as the Moon family sets out on a camping adventure in the all-new Toyota Tundra
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio turned a canalway into a 90-mile trail perfect for hiking and biking, and our 63 Parks columnist highly recommends a ride
Indiana Dunes National Park is an adventure gem for urban midwesterners all year long, but particularly in summer, when Lake Michigan almost appears tropical
Some might be surprised to hear that one of our nation's most visited parks is in Ohio, but a single trip will be enough to convince you otherwise. Bridal-veil waterfalls, a spectacular river, and more than 125 miles of trails are merely supporting characters to this Midwest playground's main act: a conservation success story.
To mark its 150th anniversary, America’s first national park plans to use 2022 to address past wrongdoing and work toward a more inclusive future
Family vacation? Find fun for all ages with these kid-friendly activities in and around the park.
This amazing 1,453-mile trip starts in Salt Lake City
Granting access to more than 2,000 national parks and recreation areas, the America the Beautiful pass is a game changer for any park-hopping traveler. Here’s how to know if the pass is right for you—plus how to buy it and use it.
A park-by-park list of entrance charges and reservation information
Planning a vacation to Yellowstone involves many details, one of which is deciding how you will enter the park
The creator of National Park NFTs says he plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the National Park Foundation, but environmental activists are critical of its choice of blockchain, which is among the least environmentally friendly
Four more parks have begun or expanded their ticketing systems, and many have renewed what was already in place
This isn't your typical national park, but a day spent on mellow hikes followed by soaks in mineral hot springs makes a visit here really unique
These outings prove there’s no such thing as an off-season in our national parks
Last year, the region around North Cascades National Park was suffering from devastating fires when our 63 Parks Traveler arrived for her 43rd park visit. Finding a smoke-free day was almost impossible, but a shift in the wind allowed for a stunning wilderness hike.
Who needs an off-season? Check out our tips to keep trekking throughout the winter.
Visit 13 of America’s best-loved national parks on this cross-country national-park train loop
As it turns out, the national parks just aren’t that great for some visitors (though we definitely disagree)
Even if you don’t climb Washington’s highest peak, the spectacular views and scenery in Mount Rainier National Park will leave you invigorated, says our 63 Parks columnist of the 42nd stop on her quest to visit every U.S. park
Some of the most popular national-park sites come alive this season, offering vibrant hikes, cool camping weather, and amazing wildlife spotting
Many major national parks implemented new reservation systems intended to give visitors a more positive experience by decreasing gridlock, parking issues, and long lines for public services. But are they actually helping or making it more difficult to visit a park?
Whether you’re looking to explore mountains, canyons, beaches—or all three—these RV trips have something for every kind of adventurer
Alaska’s Kobuk Valley National Park is an overlooked gem. It offers up the great caribou migration, stargazing and miles of solitude, and massive dunes you’d expect to find in the Sahara. This is the 40th stop on our 62 Parks Traveler's quest to visit every national park in the U.S.
At the most recently declared national park, the adventure starts and ends with the 1,000-foot-deep New River Gorge. The 73,000-acre stretch of rugged canyon in West Virginia is home to Class IV+ whitewater rafting, some of the best rock climbing on the eastern seaboard, purpose-built singletrack, and more than 100 miles of hiking trails that capture this dramatic part of the country.
The nonprofit Native Skywatchers has spent more than a decade collecting and preserving Indigenous star knowledge. Now organizations like NASA and the NPS are joining the movement.
Gates of the Arctic in northern Alaska is one of the last truly wild national parks. There are no roads or trails, and the park boasts the stunning Brooks Range, six wild and scenic rivers, and gets fewer than 3,000 visitors a year. Our 62 Parks columnist was awestruck by her 39th stop on her quest to visit every national park in the U.S.
Katmai, in southern Alaska, is one of the few places where you can safely get up close and personal with a brown bear while it’s feeding—a life-list event says our 62 Parks Traveler about the 38th stop on her quest to visit every national park in the U.S.
Drawing parallels with the Galápagos Islands, this marine wonderland is a similarly diverse treasure found just off the Southern California coast, home to 2,000-plus species, some 150 of which can be found nowhere else
If you want a swath of stunning wilderness all to yourself, book a trip to Lake Clark, says our 62 Parks columnist of the 37th stop on her quest to visit all the parks in the U.S.
Mountaineers come to summit this Alaskan park’s namesake 20,310-foot peak, the highest in North America. Our 62 Parks columnist set out on a mountain bike to see the stunning terrain and bountiful wildlife during the 36th stop of her quest to visit every national park in the U.S.