Joshua Tree National Park: Otherworldly Desert Wonderland

America’s national parks are busier than ever with most reporting a record number of visitors during the past several years. But the beautiful thing is that once you’re out hiking a trail, there’s plenty of room for all. For the first time in its 74-year history, Joshua Tree National Park topped the 2-million visitor mark in 2015. […]

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2017 Free Entrance Days at National Parks

America’s Best Idea—the national parks—is even better when it’s free! Every year, the National Parks Service waives normal admission fees on certain special periods, including National Parks Week, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day. The exact number of fee-free days varies from year to year: In 2015, there were a total of nine free days. In […]

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National Parks For Snowbirds

Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National parks come in all sizes and shapes, offering nothing if not variety. One of the highlights of our snowbird lifestyle is touring national parks. National Park Service sites are a great national resource—places where nature, history, geology, art, culture, and wildlife are protected and preserved forever. From scenic to sensational, history to mystery; from […]

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument: People Still Live Here & I Can See Why

A comparatively little-known canyon, Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “de shay”) has sandstone walls rising up to 1,000 feet, scenic overlooks, well-preserved Anasazi ruins, and an insight into the present day life of the Navajo, who still inhabit and cultivate the valley floor. People have lived in the canyon for more than 5,000 years, archaeologists believe, making it […]

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Volcanoes That Built National Parks

Volcanic processes are constantly changing the Earth. Eruptions can create new islands, build and destroy mountains, and alter landscapes. Active, dormant, and ancient remnants of eruptions are all contained within America’s national parks. Many features we see when visiting the national parks are created by volcanic processes such as geysers, ash flows, and hot springs. […]

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8 Remarkable Things Only Found in National Parks

These eight things are just a few of the remarkable finds worth celebrating as we continue to mark the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Missouri As the nation’s tallest monument, the Gateway Arch has welcomed visitors for fifty years with its iconic, awe-inspiring shape. […]

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National Parks That Excel In Fall & Winter

A big part of the fascination of National Parks comes from their incredible diversity. Because they were intended to preserve the best of America’s natural, cultural, and historical assets, the parks can’t help being loaded with superlatives: biggest, deepest, hottest, wettest … and much more. For example, we all know that Death Valley National Park […]

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National Parks Offer More Than Nature

National Parks date back to 1872, so it might seem a little unusual that they’re celebrating their centennial this year. It’s because the agency that manages the parks—the U.S. National Park Service—wasn’t created until 1916. So who gets credit for creating the national parks? Congress established Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and it was President […]

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