Outside Magazine, May 2016

The National Parks One Hundredth Year



The Grand Canyon faces threats from every side.

The national park's namesake tree may be designated endangered

The rarely visited national park is home to tropical beaches, pristine coral reefs, some untapped surf, and not much else. Matt Skenazy went exploring and found a few good waves and a lot of mysterious South Seas mojo.

In which Wells Tower braves the rain, smog, and peak-weekend hordes of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to give his three-month-old son a first taste of nature’s sweetness

A new initiative gives complimentary national park access to every fourth-grader in America. Can a class field trip turn kids into lifetime fans of the outdoors? Mike Kessler hops on the yellow bus—and endures high-decibel Bieber sing-alongs—to find out.

John Muir rhapsodizing about Yosemite is one thing, but Ian Frazier has had it with people calling their favorite outdoor spots “cathedrals,” “shrines,” and “sacred spaces.” The false piety detracts from the real task at hand: seeing these places as they actually are.

New ways to get lost, beat the crowds, and find the perfect summer adventure

Ten essentials for going vertical

Base-camp comforts for the whole family

With the Parks becoming more bike-friendly, choice trails are opening up everywhere—including in 
this California gem. Here’s how we roll.

We found the guide-worthy gear. The fishing skill is all on you.

And it’s coughing up the cash to make that happen

The most rewarding section of the Pacific Crest Trail

A 92-mile ride above the Colorado and Green Rivers in Can­yonlands National Park

It’s time to move beyond the divide between conservation and recreation

A new generation of classic national parks posters are frame-worthy

Hawaii's 33-room Volcano House got a multimillion-dollar face-lift

For long-distance trail runners looking to play like antelope, it is heaven with a hydration vest

The founder of Latino Outdoors is looking for the next generation of advocates

Three standout series capture the national parks

Webcams have changed the way we interact with the wild

Grab a wetsuit and a paddleboard, and hit the little-visited lakes on the park's western edge

It’s not all fun and games in the parks

The name may have changed, but all the stuff that made it legendary is still here

A three-day, 33-mile canoe float through Boquillas Canyon, the farthest-flung and mellowest route in the park

Hipcamp allows you to easily find and reserve great campsites nationwide

NatureBridge allows kids to see that the parks are their world

The Park Service connects with the next generation

All you need is some crowd-ditching, trail- and river-running, wonder-inducing intel

And Charles Lindbergh’s grandson thinks he’s found a quieter way to fly

The only in-park brewery offers an unadulterated (and alcoholic) taste of our public treasures

Climbing rangers In Yosemite, Denali, and Grand Teton are helping Sherpas become better guides

The best way to see a Yellowstone few people ever do

At Death Valley’s Furnace Creek Inn, it looks like you’re on the moon but feels like you’re in heaven

Bringing the national parks to the 21st century

Here are a few of our favorite things about all it has to offer

There's a bounty of other amazing sights in the park system—beyond the national parks

The 100-mile stretch along the Gulf Coast is full of adventure

Circumnavigate St. John by sail, then revisit the gems with a paddleboard and a towel

A ten-summit high-altitude climb in Grand Teton National Park

An increasingly popular but unforgiving route

A 36-mile ride, through five ecosystems, to the top of the volcano and back

But first, get comfortable climbing in situations where you might fall

When a group of canyoneering beginners were swept away in a flash flood last September, it was the worst disaster in Zion's 97-year history. And it illustrates a growing question: How far should national parks go to keep their visitors safe?

With its high peaks and pristine forests, there are few places more beautiful for cycling than Rocky Mountain National Park

National Parks Centennial Special: 100 reasons to love the parks (and a few things we'd improve)

Now Your Ten-Year-Old Gets in Free
The Every Kid in a Park initiative aims to tear America's fourth-graders away from their screens and immerse them in nature's wonders. Can rangers and wild critters compete with Justin Bieber? By Mike Kessler

They Don't Need Your Misty-Eyed Reverence
The parks are not your cathedrals, they're not shrines or sanctuaries or any other bogus cliché you might be tempted to trot out. So when you gaze up at those ecclesiastical sunbeams, writes Ian Frazier, keep the pontificating to yourself.

No Amount of Traffic or Instagrammers or Drunks Can Take the Magic Out of (Semi-)Wilderness
What better place for your first family camping trip than Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with the fall leaves popping and millions of visitors filling the parklands with RV exhaust and all-night beer busts? Wells Tower and his wife pack up their infant and join the throngs.

Some Parks Are Empty. And We Mean Empty.
Scattered over three tropical islands, American Samoa is the second-smallest national park, the second least visited, and one of the most remote. That made it irresistible to a surfer hunting for uncarved waves and South Seas adventure. By Matt Skenazy

Special Report: The Keyhole Seven
How responsible should our national parks be for keeping visitors safe? That was the question raised last September in Utah's Zion, when a flash flood swept away a group of canyoneers in the deadliest accident in the park's history. By Grayson Schaffer

Nothing Inspires Us More
Alaska Is Essentially One Big Park—And It's Our Very Best
You Can Drink Them
Their Glory Is Available On Demand
They Have Their Own Gruesome Book Series
There’s an Oasis in One of the Harshest Places on Earth
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge Redefines the Hotel Shuttle
They're Even More Amazing from Above
They Are Training Grounds for Risky Rescues
We Love a Good Soak
Most People Disappear When the Snow Arrives
Even the Private Sector Wants Them to Thrive
You Can Hang Them on Your Wall
You Don’t Have to Be Dr. Evil to Stay in a Volcano Lair
They Look Great on Screen
You Get a Little Quiet Along with Your Peace
Seeing Them All Isn't as Hard as You Think
They're Monumental!
The Majestic Yosemite Will Always Be the Ahwahnee to Us
Our Underground Parks Might Be Our Wildest
They’re Full of Mysteries

You Can Go Way, Way Beyond the Scenic Loop:
Eight fresh adventures

You Can Make It as Hard as You Like
: Six fitness challenges

The Next Pioneers
José González on getting Latinos outdoors
Kerry Gallivan on reinventing the guidebook
Alex Warneke on upping the parks' social-media game
Alyssa Ravasio on revolutionizing how we camp
Reed Schneider on building bridges between nature and kids

The Complete Kit for…
Chasing Steelhead in Olympic
Cragging Yosemite
Weekends in Acadia
Cruising Redwood

The Work Ahead
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Our Most Imperiled Park
The Joshua Tree May Force Us to Address Climate Change
Five Places that Need Protection