Yosemite Is Not for Claustrophobes

As It Accommodates Millions of Visitors a Year, California’s Signature National Park Feels Less Like an Escape

The Yosemite National Park shuttle bus to Mariposa Grove wasn’t running. And the road up to the grove is no longer open to private cars. Would my three sons, ages 10, 8, and 5—aka the Three Stooges—agree to a 2 1/2 mile uphill hike to see Yosemite’s signature sequoias?

While I have been going to Yosemite since I was a kid, this month I made my first trip as a father. And I wondered if my city slicker boys could handle a visit to the Sierra wilderness. The Three Stooges are …

How Our View of National Parks Shapes American Identity

What We Seek and Find in Our Sacred Environments Reflects Our Country’s Character

Few natural regions have been photographed as often, or in such varied ways, as the American West. Many of these alluring, emotionally resonant landscapes lie within the boundaries of national …

Why Americans Invented the RV

In 1915, New Creature Comforts Created by Technology Merged with the Back to Nature Movement

On August 21, 1915, the Conklin family departed Huntington, New York on a cross-country camping trip in a vehicle called the “Gypsy Van.” Visually arresting and cleverly designed, the …

America’s National Parks Were Never Wild and Untouched

Montana's Emblematic Glacier National Park Reveals the Impact of Human History and Culture

In 1872, Congress created the first national park, Yellowstone, so that its scenic features would be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and …

What America’s National Parklands Taught My Three Boys About Their Country

A Michigan Teacher Wanted His Sons to Roam the Nation's Expanses, Grasp Its Opportunities, and Understand Its Injustices

Last August, my sons and I paddled canoes through the Missouri River Breaks National Monument in eastern Montana. The Breaks is remote country, a prairie river cutting through coulees and …