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Gone are your dreams of scenic instagram images during that awesome summer road trip, as it looks like there’s some new rules heading to the national parks across the nifty fifty.
Late last week the National Park Service announced that drones, unmanned aircraft, or whatever you want to call them will be banned in all areas controlled by the park service. That means no taking-off, flying, hovering, or another drone-y activities while in or around national park lands and waters. All in all the rules and regulations affect around 84 million acres of prime real estate across the country.
Adventure Travel / National Park Travel / National Parks / Great Sand Dunes National Park / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / → All Tags
Great Sand Dunes National Park at sunset
With the calendar now on June and nighttime temperatures becoming more consistent, camping season is upon us across most of the country. Things are moving a bit slower in Colorado, though, as the snow-filled winter has translated into a wet, spring runoff that has left campsites and surrounding trails soggy.
But that doesn't mean we can't have a good adventure while we wait for things to dry out. In this travel snapshot, we feature Great Sand Dunes National Park, located four hours south of Denver. When things have the potential to be wet and sloppy during the spring or late fall, seek refuge amongst the gigantic sand dunes, where it is sure to be warm and dry.
Canada Travel / National Parks / WiFi / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Nature Travel / Active Travel / → All Tags
Canada Parks is the group behind the new idea, as they’re responsible for keeping the signs looking good and taking out the tourist trash across almost 50 national parks and even more historic sites. Now they’re taking steps to improve the outdoor experience—at least in theory—as they’ll be installing WiFi hotspots across plenty of destinations.
National Parks / Adventure Travel / Alaska Travel / Philadelphia Travel / Landmarks / Presidential Travel / National Park Travel / → All Tags
National Park Week is upon us, which, on a grand scale, is a time to reflect on what an incredible job our country does at preserving its natural landscape. We are the world leader in this effort, especially when you consider the size of our country and how many cooks we have in the kitchen as compared to other nations.
Although vast open space is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of a National Park, the sites actually come in all shapes and sizes, and include monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House (President’s Park). And as you’ll see, some are even found in cities and take up less space than an apartment building. In total, the parks cover 84 million acres in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Movie Travel / National Parks / Bears / Earth Day / Animals / → All Tags
Disneynature is promising moviegoers will be on cute overload as Bears hit the big screen this last weekend.
The live action movie follows a year in the life of two young cubs as they are "are taught life’s most important lessons."
Disneynature's Bears was filmed in several national parks throughout the Alaska Peninsula. To honor the bears' habitat and celebrate Earth Day, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation for every ticket sold during the movie's opening week, April 18-24.
Adventure Travel / National Parks / Yosemite National Park / California Travel / Mariposa Grove / → All Tags
This year, Yosemite in California celebrates its 150th birthday, dedicating the entire year to its past, present, and future as a leader amongst national parks in the States.
It was the first time the Federal Government ever set aside a piece of land for preservation when Abraham Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Specifically, the grant protected Yosemite Valley, seen above from the classic "tunnel view" lookout, and Mariposa Grove, which harbors the huge sequoia trees found in southern part of the park (we'll take a closer look later this week).
It’s a new year and that means an entire set of new freebies when it comes to visiting national parks in and around the United States. Uncle Sam is once again throwing open the gates on certain days during 2014, so now’s the time to start planning on when to skip out of work.
The government usually just doesn’t give stuff away, so when they do it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. This year there are nine days in which you can leave the admission fee back at your house, and the very first of them is just about a week away. Things start on January 20, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the first free one of the year.
Here in the nifty fifty, we enter another week in which our government is out of order and services, departments, and centers continue to be closed. Last week we mentioned that one state was getting sick and tired of things, and now it looks like they’re not the only ones. Regardless of the bickering in the government , some states are taking the high road, as they’re working to open national parks, monuments, and other tourist hotspots.
Up first is the state of Utah, which plans to fund the opening of its five national parks. Utah has agreed to shell out around $165,000 per day to the National Park Service for the next ten days or so to open up Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion parks.
In New York City it’s the Statue of Liberty that’s reopening this week, as the state is coughing up roughly $60,000 per day to keep the torch lit. Arizona is opening up the Grand Canyon to visitors, and again, they’re doing it through private donations and state funding.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.
North Carolina Travel / Lighthouses / Beach Travel / National Parks / Museum Travel / Historical Travel / → All Tags
It’s already April, and that means it is officially time to start thinking about warm weather vacations. If you’re thinking about taking the family—or just the friends—down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this summer we’ve got some good news for you. One of the area’s iconic lighthouses just kind of finished a pretty lengthy rehab and renovation, and it’s getting ready to show itself off once again to both tourists and locals.
A couple years ago the Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was already going under the knife for a nip and tuck, but the engineers discovered that it was in worse shape than originally thought. Fast-forward to the present and it’s just finishing up some aesthetic improvements, as well as some structural upgrades to ensure that it’s good-to-go for years to come.
If you’re still planning to take advantage of the National Park Service’s free entrance days this year, then we’ve got another place to add to your national park to-do list. The next time the free days come along—that’s April 22 through April 26—we're thinking checking out the country’s newest national park might just be a good idea. Pinnacles National Park is hardly the new kid on the block, but after being a national monument since the early 1900s, it just got the upgrade into a full-fledged national park last month.
If you’re keeping track it’s certainly the newest national park, and it’s number 59 overall. We do apologize in advance if you’ve been to all of the national parks, but it looks like you need to head back outdoors to score one more stamp in your national park passport.
The holiday greetings are now starting to stream in after starting with a trickle. Up this week is the country’s National Park Service, as they’ve uploaded their own little YouTube greeting to wish you and yours a very merry holiday season.
Park employees chime in to say hello from their national parks, historic sites, and monuments, and of course there’s even a little cameo by Santa.
There’s some cheesy special effects like everyone doing their thing inside of a snow globe, but we’ve got to say good for them and happy holidays right back at you, NPS.