Emily Pennington is Outside Online’s parks and travel columnist. Her work has appeared in The New York Times,The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Adventure Journal, REI, and Backpacker, to name a few. When she’s not sleeping in the dirt, she’s frantically working on a book about visiting every U.S. national park, slated for release in 2022.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
Plan a trip to this Alaskan treasure to explore vast glaciers and to see huge whales and a diverse array of other fauna, says our 62 Parks columnist about the 35th stop on her quest to see every U.S. national park
Not much tops seeing the the massive glaciers and vast empty wilderness in Glacier Bay—that’s the verdict of our 62 Parks Traveler about the 33rd stop on her quest to visit every national park in the U.S.
The least visited park in the lower 48 has no roads, no cars, and empty hiking trails, and it’s home to moose, wolves, part of Lake Superior, and beautiful forests. It’s the 29th stop on our 62 Parks Traveler’s quest to visit every park in the U.S.
With funding from the federal government, Zion and other parks are swapping in electric shuttle buses and adding charging stations for visitors’ electric vehicles, putting the park system on the cutting edge of green technology
Welcome to Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes and home to the Boundary Waters. Our 62 Parks Traveler found her own private island at her 28th stop on her quest to visit every national park in the U.S.
With more than 350 miles of trails, 124 peaks, and 147 lakes, this must-see Colorado destination is a wilderness lover's paradise. It's our 62 Parks Traveler's 22nd stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park.
Our 62 Parks Traveler explores miles of hiking trails and one of the largest remaining mixed-grass prairie ecosystems in the country at South Dakota's Wind Cave, the 21st stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park.
The diverse landscape of Great Sand Dunes National Park features 700-foot-tall mounds of sand, grasslands, alpine peaks, and a creek to splash in. It's our 62 Parks Traveler's 19th stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park.
While most bristlecone pines are between 2,000 and 3,500 years old, a special few can live to be nearly 5,000—and they're easily found in this area of Nevada. It's our 62 Parks Traveler's 17th stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park in a year.
From far-flung mesas to rainy weather, our travel columnist managed to avoid the bustle at one of the Utah's most popular hiking destinations. It's our 62 Parks Traveler's 15th stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park in a year.