National Parks

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Reservations at California's national and state parks are more competitive than ever. Here's how to increase your chances of scoring a spot this summer.

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."

The country's largest dune field has been a national monument since 1933, but now it's our 62nd national park

Of Utah's five national parks, Zion stands out for its geological wonders, a place where water and sand meet to form arguably the most dramatic landscape in the country. Here's our primer on how to see it all, from big hits like Zion Canyon and the Narrows to the gems many visitors overlook.

It isn't just the astounding geological wonders that give our country's first national park its allure, from 500 geysers that erupt up to 400 feet into the air to deep glacier-carved valleys and fossil forests. The vibrant megafauna and endless backcountry terrain make it one of the wildest areas in the country. And if you know where to go, you can avoid the crowds.

In 2016, writer Kevin Fedarko and photographer Pete McBride set out to thru-hike the Grand Canyon

The NPS announced last week that it would begin allowing ATVs to drive on roads in Utah’s parks. The move is intended to bring NPS regulations in the state’s parks in line with state law.

Skip the crowds at the national parks and head to these amazing monuments instead

Make the most out of this year's Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 28th by visiting the parks with the highest entrance fees

Forget about the booked-months-in-advance sites inside the parks. These nearby campgrounds guarantee availability, quiet, and solitude.

Together, Joy and her grandson Brad have driven more than 25,000 miles through 38 states—and they're not done yet

A national park conservation advocate shares his advice on how to avoid crowds, get off the beaten path, see wildlife, and find adventure

To kick off National Park Week, the park service is waiving all entrance fees on April 20

Size has something to do with it, but it is more about why the land is being preserved

Behind the Herculean effort to create a scientifically accurate cartographic masterpiece

As the country's second most popular park turns 100, Grand Canyon faces an unprecedented number of existential threats. Eight experts weigh in on the major changes it will undergo during the next century.

A century-long effort to designate Indiana's first national park finally paid off last week

Sponsor Content: VISIT ESTES PARK

Sitting at the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is a legit year-round adventure base camp. But it’s especially sublime in winter.

Ski, snowshoe, ice-skate, or score a snowy visit without the crowds at these iconic parks

Moab has come into its own as one of America’s great multisport destinations. Here’s how to make the most out of a visit, from pedaling its world-class singletrack to hiking its famed national parks to rafting the Colorado River.

This hilarious—and informational—PSA from Ranger Lauren Ray warns river rats of the low flows on Arkansas’ Buffalo River.

Just because you didn’t land a private permit to float the Colorado doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its 40 layers of mind-jarring beauty.

Sponsor Content: Hydro Flask

The easiest way to feel happier and healthier and connect with friends? Head to the closest park.

A new photo book documents the diverse community behind the original national park

We pulled records from January 2006 to September 2016 on where, how, and why park visitors are dying. Here’s what we found.

If posting to your feed is an act of love, these parks had the most adored vistas of the year

For decades, the Property and Environment Research Center has extolled the virtues of free-market environmentalism. Could their ideas save our parks?

When I was young, I had a habit of poring through national park books, fantasizing about visiting them all. Now I’m a part-time aerial adventure photographer, and I’ve been able to fly my Piper PA-11 Cub Special plane over many of the places I used to daydream over.

In which Wells Tower braves the rain, smog, and peak-weekend hordes of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to give his three-month-old son a first taste of nature’s sweetness

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.

There's a bounty of other amazing sights in the park system—beyond the national parks

We teamed up with Instagram to determine the most-photographed national parks of 2015. Here we present our favorite images from the 25 parks that appear most frequently in your photo feed.

Use these tips to avoid the crowds and take in all this magical place has to offer.

We've cut the fat (and circumnavigated the crowds) so you can enjoy any of these thrilling parks in just one day

Get a jump on the crowds. Explore our favorite hidden corners, empty spaces, and wild places in ten iconic National Parks

National parks are America's greatest recreational asset. Now an overdue movement will make them even better.

Getting away from the crowd

The outbreak, which killed three, didn’t only attack the lungs of its victims. It messed with the psyche of the rest of us, too.

Why the crisis in California’s state parks could foretell turmoil for public playgrounds everywhere

Summer is prime time in our national parks, and that means crowds—unless you know where to go. From Washington to Maine, here are 12 adventures that will have you exploring the emptiest quarters of our most spectacular landscapes.

To find the emptiest hideouts in seven iconic parks, we called on the guys with the keys to the back door: the rangers and staff.

But don't worry, we've stacked the deck in your favor. Welcome to Expedition Planning 101. Your assignment: Read the tips on gear, first aid, and food; pick one of our five ready-to-roll itineraries; and then get out the door. Just remember to be humble—Ma Nature won't be intimidated by your trash-talking buddies.

Still, traversing the rugged and remote Olympic Peninsula is doable, thanks to inflatable boats called packrafts—and a bit of ingenuity

How do I prepare for a climb of Mount Rainier and/or Denali? I have about eight months before my climbing window and I live at sea level.

Rod Liberal was climbing in the Grand Tetons when the worst happened—a flash of lightning blasted him and a group of his climbing friends, leaving one dead. What's life like after high voltage rips through your body? You don't want to know.

Gold-medal gorgeous: end of day on the coast of Olympic National Park Q: We are traveling to Olympic National Park in July. We have two small children, ages three and four. Do you think the coastal hikes are realistic? Do we need reservations? — John Perdaems,…

YOSEMITE NEEDS YOU came the rumbling call. With a crisp salute, our gung-ho correspondent rushed headlong into the summer-job fantasia of weed pulling, suitcase lugging, kamikaze tourists, and underpaid underlings who cower before the stiff-brimmed silhouette of Ranger Rick. A grunt's-eye report.