America’s National Parks Podcast
Oh Shenandoah

Oh Shenandoah

March 28, 2020

Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., is an escape to recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, and quiet wooded hollows - 200,000 acres of protected lands are a haven to deer, songbirds, and the night sky. But the history of this land is also the history of the people who gave up their homes for a great national park in the East.

Today on America's National Parks, Shenandoah, and the livelihood of the people who called the mountains their home.

News from the Parks | March 2020

News from the Parks | March 2020

March 23, 2020

As travel restrictions, shelter-in-place orders, and closures to all but the most essential services sweep the country, the National Park Service has been caught in the middle of wanting to protect people and places, while providing recreational opportunities for Americans to get out and free their minds in nature.

Going to the Sun

Going to the Sun

March 14, 2020

Only a few miles of rough wagon roads existed within Glacier National Park when Congress established the park on May 11, 1910. Many people, including the first Park Superintendent, William R. Logan, wanted to build a transmountain road across the park. Supporters argued that a good road system would enable people to reach the interior of the park even if they could not afford the rates of the Great Northern Railroad and its chalets. And enthusiasm for good roads and automobiling had infected National Park Service officials as much as the rest of the country. But sheer cliffs, short construction seasons, sixty foot snow-drifts, and tons of solid rock made the idea of building a road across the Continental Divide a unique challenge.

Today on America's National Parks, Glacier's Going to the Sun Road.

Wilderness of Rock

Wilderness of Rock

March 9, 2020

337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert. A land where water and gravity are the prime architects, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape we see today in Canyonlands National Park.

Prometheus

Prometheus

March 5, 2020

In the far west, you can find one of the oldest living organisms in the world. A tree that can live for thousands of years due to its ability to survive whatever is thrown at it. 56 years ago, the oldest tree ever was found, containing nearly 5000 years of growth rings. It germinated before the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Unfortunately, nobody knew it was the oldest known tree until it was gone.

Today, Great Basin National Park, the Bristlecone Pine, and how one man accidentally killed the oldest tree in the world.

News from the Parks | February 2020

News from the Parks | February 2020

March 2, 2020

This month's news round-up features the temporary closing of Mount Rainier, annual visitation numbers in the park system, and concerns about the coronavirus affecting businesses in and around Yellowstone.

101 Years Apart

101 Years Apart

February 15, 2020

This past Wednesday, Grand Canyon National Park's Interpretive Rangers lowered the flag in honor of one of their own. A ranger who lived and worked at Grand Canyon National Park for the past 20 years, and became a favorite of visitors from far and wide. Ron Brown.

After forty-eight jobs in five states, Ron Brown found his calling as an interpretive park ranger. He passed peacefully in his sleep at his home in Grand Canyon Village.

Ranger Ron's popularity among Grand Canyon visitors was undeniable. One of the programs he was best known for was his portrayal of the tall-tale spinning "Captain" John Hance.

A Lasting Impact

A Lasting Impact

February 8, 2020

The contributions of immigrants to our great nation are undeniable. Some of our greatest institutions were literally built on the backs of immigrants of all stripes. Our national parks are no exception. In the west, some of the most significant contributions came from the Chinese.

Today, Yosemite National Park, and the incredible contributions to it by Chinese Americans.

News from the Parks | January 2020

News from the Parks | January 2020

February 2, 2020

Welcome to January's "News From the Parks" episode of the America's National Parks Podcast, our monthly show where we round up for you the latest info about happenings at America's Greatest treasures. On this episode, shark fossils in Mammoth Cave, a massive increase in visitation at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the 25th anniversary of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. 

What Makes a National Park?

What Makes a National Park?

January 26, 2020

The National Park designation has become one of the most prestigious terms in the English language. National parks have stirred the imagination of Americans ever since they were dreamed up, and a recent focus has been sparked by the confluence of social sharing like YouTube and Instagram, the park service's recent 100th anniversary celebrated in 2016, and incredible documentaries like Ken Burns' "America's Best Idea." But the structure of the National Park System remains a mystery to many casual visitors — some of it's even confusing to the National Park expert.

What exactly makes a National Park?