Tag Archives: National Park

National Parks Traveler Checklist: Crater Lake National Park

A Crater Lake Sunrise, Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

The National Parks Traveler has published my latest Checklist – this one is for Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. These park checklists are not to remind you to bring your toothpaste and toothbrush, but rather they are filled with tips on things to do, see, prepare for, and plan for.

If you are thinking about traveling to this particular national park, then click on the image above to read the latest checklist.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Crater Lake National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Oregon, Photography, Travel, Traveler's Checklist

What’s On Tap For Your Memorial Day Weekend?

A Smoky Morning Along McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park (Montana)

Planning to visit a national park this 3-day holiday weekend? If so, make sure you check that park’s website for alerts/closures and whether or not you might need a reservation to access certain parts of that park.

Take Glacier National Park, for instance. No, you don’t need to worry about forest fires if you visit now. This image was captured several years ago, during the Sprague Fire on the western side of the park. But, you do need to be aware that the Many Glacier Road is closed this weekend, and visits to this national park now require not only a park pass to enter, but also reservations since it’s ticketed entry to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Same thing with Rocky Mountain National Park – timed entry tickets are required and all the pre-reserved tickets are sold out. This national park does keep a percentage of tickets for those wishing to enter the park on that day. If you want to avoid a reservation, then you need to enter the park before 5 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Good reasons to be an early riser or night owl for sunrise, sunset, and night photography.

I’m staying home this weekend. I do NOT want to encounter the huge crowds I know will be in the parks, and I’m still prepping for my Big Trip that I’ll be taking in about 2 weeks.

Where ever you go, whatever you do, stay safe, keep a good social distance, and be nice to people … unless they are doing something totally stupid, in which case, gently remind them to not do whatever stupid thing it is they are doing (like trying to get a selfie in front of that momma grizzly and her cubs). Your reminders probably won’t work, but at least you’ll have done your part.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Holidays, Memorial Day, Montana, National Parks, Photography, Travel

National Parks Traveler Checklist: Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

The promise of a summer storm over the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

If you are planning a trip to Arches or Zion national parks in Utah over the Memorial Day holiday, then you’d better brace for crowds. No duh, right? However, if you are looking to spend time in a less-visited park that has some amazing scenery and geology, then why not take a look at Petrified Forest National Park, in Arizona. As a matter of fact, the National Parks published my latest Traveler Checklist today. These checklists I write are not the kind reminding you to bring along your toothpaste and not to forget the toothbrush, but rather what you might do during a visit to the park, what to watch out for, and maybe where to get a decent coffee or meal.

To read the checklist, click on the image above.

This image was captured shortly after my arrival at the Painted Desert portion of the park during my road trip move from TX to WA. It was summer, which is the monsoon season out in that part of the U.S., so storm clouds floated over the park, threatening to create a downpour. Never happened, though – may have been cloudy, but was dry as a bone over the landscape.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Arizona, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Petrified Forest National Park, Photography, Travel and Photography, Traveler's Checklist

National Parks Quiz And Trivia: May Notables

Late Afternoon In Many Glacier, Glacier National Park (Montana)

The National Parks Traveler recently published my latest quiz and trivia piece. It’s all about May notables: Glacier National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Crater Lake National Park. These parks were established in the month of May. If you are interested in testing your knowledge about these parks, then click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, National Parks, National Parks Quiz, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Fun Fact Friday, April 30th, 2021

Here’s something interesting you might or might not have known about life in Denali National Park and Preserve, in Alaska. There are 39 species of mammals in the park, including the Big 5 (moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, grizzly bears), and 139 species of birds. But, only one amphibian has managed to adapt to life under the harsh conditions of the park’s landscape. The wood frog can actually freeze itself solid during the winter! It’s heart stops, it doesn’t breathe, but there are cryptoprotectant chemicles that keep the frog’s cells alive, and when spring arrives, the frog thaws out and starts searching for a pond and a mate. Pretty cool, huh? (pun intended).

As for this image, it was captured during my 5-day stay at Camp Denali, located near the end of the one and only road through the park. There’s a little pond right outside of the main camp building called Nugget Pond, and on this particular day, I captured three different shots of it as the morning lightened up. The first shot you can see if you look at a previous post. This is the second shot, captured a little later during sunrise, and I’ll post the final shot later on.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Alaska, Denali National Park, Fun Fact Friday, National Parks, Photography, Travel

Traveler’s Checklist For Glacier National Park

The view along Grinnell Glacier Trail in the Many Glacier Area of Glacier National Park (Montana)

The National Parks Traveler has published my latest Traveler’s Checklist. This week’s helpful planner is all about visiting Glacier National Park. If you are thinking about visiting this park for the first time, or are revisiting it again for the hundredth time, check out this checklist to see if you find anything helpful, or if it jives with the list you might be making for your trip.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel

An Interview With The National Parks Traveler

If you are wondering what the National Parks Traveler is all about, then you should listen to this CNN Reliable Sources Podcast interview between Brian Stelter and my editor and Traveler founder, Kurt Repanshek. Kurt discusses what the Traveler is all about and what it’s like to run a nonprofit news organization dedicated to all things national parks. This is the organization for which I contribute articles and images, and it’s one of the things I am most proud: contributing to the National Parks Traveler for almost nine years, now.

To listen to the podcast interview, click on the image above.

As for the image above, it was captured during my last couple of days in Denali National Park in Alaska. We were walking along the park’s dirt and gravel road, looking for birds. I happened to look over to the right side of the road and saw Denali Mountain with its top wreathed with clouds. Only 30 percent of people who visit this park ever get to see Denali in its totality on a clear day. I was lucky and got to see it the entire five days I was there.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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National Parks Quiz And Trivia: April Notables

An overview of Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

So, what do John Muir, Ulysses S. Grant, Voyageurs National Park, and Isle Royale National Park all have in common? They are all April notables. The two parks were established in April, Ulysses S. Grant (born in April) signed legislation establishing Yellowstone as the first U.S. national park (hence the image below), and, also born in April, John Muir’s writings convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, and Mount Rainier as national parks.

The latest quiz and trivia piece penned by yours truly and published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler is all about these April notables. To test your knowledge about these notables and maybe learn a little something, too, click on the image above.

And, speaking of this image, I was pretty tickled that I finally got to visit this part of Yellowstone, back in autumn of 2019. When I’d tried to see this (and other sights) during my 2018 summer move from TX to WA, I couldn’t because all the parking spaces were filled, and – to be honest – I was starting to tire out from my road trip, as it was going on 3 weeks now that I’d been on the road. Autumn is a good time to visit Yellowstone, with the caveat that it might snow on you and roads might get closed because of the weather. There are still crowds there, but nothing on the scale (not yet, anyway) that there are during the height of summer.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Happy Earth Day 2021!

Today marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, a celebration every April 22nd of Earth and the wondrous things we see in nature. I thought I’d mark this day by posting an image I captured while spending five days at Camp Denali in Denali National Park (Alaska).

Every morning, I’d get up, dress, leave my little cabin, and walk up the gravel road to this little pond right outside of the main camp building. It’s called Nugget Pond and it has an awesome view of Denali Mountain and the Alaska Range, towering in the background over the mirror-smooth water of this little pond, with a hint of mist rising from the water.

How will I celebrate Earth Day? By pulling weeds out in the flower beds to make more room for the tulips and iris that are in bloom – nothing very glamorous.

How will you celebrate Earth Day? At least, take a moment to appreciate nature in all of its forms. If you go hiking today, remember to pack out what you pack in and follow the Leave No Trace principles.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Denali National Park, holiday, National Parks, Photography

The Yin And Yang Of A Composition

Sunsets afterglow at Kalaloch Beach, Olympic National Park (Washington)

My latest photography column has been published in the National Parks Traveler. It’s about the yin and yang of a composition, Click the image above if you would like to read the article.

Sunrise at the seashore, Padre Island National Seashore (Texas)

My latest Traveler’s Checklist has also been published, and it has a beach theme like the image above, because it’s all about Padre Island National Seashore. To read that article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, Traveler's Checklist