Situated within the spray of the picture-perfect Nevada Fall stood a pioneer hotel that, for almost 20 years, welcomed guests to Yosemite National Park. Named La Casa Nevada or The Snow House, owners Albert and Emily Snow, like so many innkeepers of the late 1800s provided a valuable service to those wanting to escape city life in search of nature’s stunning beauty and peace. If you were willing to make the trek, there was a moderately comfortable bed and a warm meal waiting for you. But as romantic as that all sounds, life as a Yosemite innkeeper was not for everyone. It was tough, rugged, work in a landscape that required determination not many could withstand.
The sun can rise and set on this island nation in the middle of the Pacific. Known for its rainforest paradise and tropical reefs, these islands were originally settled by Polynesians more than 3,000 years ago, and continue to carry traditional Polynesian culture today. Colorful tropical reefs are part of the 4,000 acres of National Park that is underwater, though even reefs are threatened by human-caused climate change. Though we love to travel by RV here at America’s National Parks, this one is only accessible by plane.
This week on America’s National Parks, we take a deep dive into the American Samoa.
A flash flood tears through Zion, Karens build Cairns in Petroglyph, endangered frogs are gettin’ it on without any assistance in California, Grand Teton gets one BIG Teton of a new dump truck, a drunken kayaker gets 60 days in Jail and a 5-year ban from Yellowstone, a massive bear spray recall, and more. It’s time for the latest in National Park News.
If you've never been there, when you think of Michigan, you may not imagine miles of sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and bluffs that tower more than 450 feet above one of the four Great Lakes that border the state.
There are also inland lakes, lush forests, an island lighthouse, coastal villages and picturesque farmsteads. All of these fantastic features can be found in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Winding through Acadia’s forests and mountains are 45 miles of historic roadways that are only for pedestrians, bicyclists, horseback riders, and carriages. These roads were carefully designed to follow the contours of the landscape and reach scenic vistas. Though enormously popular for recreation today, until recently it was not well-known who had the most prominent role in the development of these roads: John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton shatter April attendance records, Zion sees a four-hour wait for its most popular hike, Biden’s 2022 budget sees the largest appropriation for the National Park Service ever, an Instagramer apologizes, and so much more.
It’s time for this month’s news round-up episode of the America’s National Parks podcast.
In the middle of North Dakota, one of the least visited states in the nation, sits one of the smallest and least visited National Park Service Sites. It’s the place where Earthlodge people, the Hidatsa and Mandan, who lived along the Missouri River and it’s tributaries, hunted bison and other game. The site was a major Native American trade center for hundreds of years prior to becoming an important marketplace for fur traders after 1750.
Today on America’s National Parks, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and the story of Buffalo-Bird Woman, one of the last Hidatsas born in the Knife River villages, in her own words, as portrayed by Grace Henry in the park film.
In 1680, one of the earliest Western accounts of coordinated fireflies flashing was recorded by a Dutch physician while traveling down the Meinam River in what is now Thailand. He wrote, “A whole swarm of these insects, having taken possession of one Tree, and spread themselves over its branches, sometimes hide their Light all at once, and a moment after make it appear again with the utmost regularity and exactness.”
More than 300 years later and the synchronized flashing of fireflies is still a mystery.
Point Reyes National Seashore has recorded more than 450 species of birds, including 38 that are threatened or endangered. There are multiple factors that make it such a popular and birdy destination. For one, it has many unique habitats that provide food and shelter, such as coastline, forest, wetland, and open fields. The park’s peninsula also juts out into the ocean, scooping migrants into the park as they travel along the coast. Due to these special features, the National Audubon Society has also named it an Important Bird Area.
It might not be common knowledge that the Yosemite Valley one of the crown jewels of the American landscape, known for towering natural splendor in its pristine condition, has a sister valley, within the National Park, that was flooded to create a water reservoir for the city of San Fransisco.
For over 100 years, Hetch Hetchy canyon, named with an indigenous word for a type of wild grass, has been called Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. And while turning back is a real possibility one day, Hetch Hetchy is still an amazing place to visit. Or it would be if it were a little easier.
Restore Hetch Hetchy is an organization with a plan to do just that, and Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans is our guest today on the America's National Parks Podcast.