Yosemite Becomes First U.S. National Park to Purchase Zero-Emission Buses

Yosemite National Park will add two Proterra Catalyst buses to its fleet. Situated in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite represents the first U.S. National Park to permanently add zero-emission buses to its shuttle fleet, offering its visitors a modern, ecologically-friendly transportation option. In 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) recorded 331 million...

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Best walks, hikes and treks in Japan

An exceptional country, in its own and in others’ view, Japan has throughout history been isolated, an island nation out on the periphery of Asia. Heavily influenced by China for centuries, it withdrew from the world from the 16th to the mid 19th Centuries, its ports closed to (almost all) foreigners. This isolation has produced a unique and fascinating culture and an...

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Hong Kong’s mountain warriors seek natural therapy through hiking

Wooded hillsides, craggy ridges and wheeling birds of prey are a world away from Hong Kong’s famous skyscrapers but the city’s country parks are a necessary balm for its stressed out residents. With some of the world’s highest property prices, many can only afford tiny apartments, some living in infamous “cage homes” big enough only for a...

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Refinery Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park Poses Many Hazards

Opposition from local communities is growing against a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The Davis Refinery, from California-based Meridian Energy Group, is awaiting air quality and water permits to start construction of its facility near Belfield, ND. Groups such as the Badlands Area Resource Council (BARC), an affiliate of the...

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Trump Administration Repeals Obama Rule Designed to Make Fracking Safer

The Trump administration is rescinding Obama-era rules designed to increase the safety of fracking. “We believe it imposes administrative burdens and compliance costs that are not justified,” the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wrote in a notice published in the Federal Register. The 2015 rule required companies drilling for natural gas...

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Visiting Hanging Lake? You may need to plan ahead

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft of the environmental assessment of its proposed plan for visitor management of the popular Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs. An iconic Colorado landmark, the lake in the White River National Forest is both a popular destination for hikers and photographers, along with being a spur-of-the-moment stop for people passing by on...

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South Mountain Dobbins Lookout hike puts all of Phoenix at your feet

On clear evenings, the beacons on Mount Suppoa that bleep and flicker above an array of communication equipment are visible from many parts of the Phoenix valley. The spindly forest of red-lighted poles marks the highest point in South Mountain Park. The 2,690-foot summit is off limits to the public but equally swell sights can be had at nearby 2,330-foot Dobbins...

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Outdoor Chattanooga Offers Guided Hiking Series On The Cumberland Trail In 2018

Outdoor Chattanooga’s experienced guides will lead participants on short, section hikes (four to seven miles each) along the Cumberland Trail to explore unique geological formations, discover seasonal flora and fauna, trek over creeks and across suspended bridges to the tops of ridges with waterfalls and scenic overlooks. Along the way, participants will get hands on...

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Wire the wilderness? As cell service expands, national parks become the latest digital battlegrounds

When John Muir helped establish the National Park Service, he argued that such parks were vital to help people unplug from the world. “Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods,” Muir was quoted as saying in 1915. But these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cell phones...

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Rising CO2 levels are changing the food we eat for the worse

Irakli Loladze was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998, and Loladze was studying for his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Against a backdrop of glass containers glowing with bright green algae, a biologist told Loladze and a half-dozen other graduate students that scientists had discovered something mysterious...

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First Day Hikes: Start the new year off healthy

With Arizona State Parks’ First Day Hikes on Monday, Jan. 1, you can enjoy a beautiful hike and start the new year feeling healthy. This year marks the sixth annual collaboration of all 50 state-park systems across the country to offer guided First Day Hikes and other activities on New Year’s Day, said Michelle Thompson, chief of communications for Arizona...

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Survival Axe Elite by Innovation Factory

Designed by firefighters and built in the U.S., the Survival Axe Elite (formerly the Lil Trucker) includes multiple tools for many occasions. It’s the quintessential gadget for campers, contractors, RV-lovers, and good old fashioned zombie hunters. Some of the features include a replaceable folding saw, a glass breaker, a can opener, a hatchet blade, a hex wrench,...

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Conserved land along Blue Ridge Parkway to protect water quality, hiking

The blue mountain views from Deer Lick Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway have never been sweeter. The scenic spot in northern McDowell County looking out over a sweeping mountain forest known as Wildacres will now look wild forever. On Dec. 20, 2017, in a years-long collaboration, the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, Conservation Trust for North Carolina and...

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Unlucky lava? National parks still receive rock returns by mail

  If you’re from Hawaii, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t take lava rocks, you’ll get bad luck.” Even most visitors know not to take lava rocks as souvenirs thanks to a popular episode of “The Brady Bunch” back in the 1980s. But many people still take lava rocks home, and some are paying the price. Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii...

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Jewels of Appalachia

The forests of western North Carolina have long been recognized for providing exceptional quality of life, offering world-class outdoor experiences and supporting vibrant local economies. They are even acknowledged as the birthplace of America’s forest management: When George Vanderbilt sought refuge from city life in the late 1800s, he chose a picturesque valley in...

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A guide to hiking the Old Man of Storr in Scotland

The Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, is known for its dramatic and breath-taking views. It seems that with every corner you drive on this magnificent little island, you’re surrounded by absolutely stunning views unlike any other. The landscapes of Skye are unique to say the least and that’s probably why it is used as the backdrop to many a high-budget movie...

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UN poised to move ahead with landmark treaty to protect high seas

The world’s oceans are set for a long overdue boost in the coming days as the United Nations votes for the first time on a planned treaty to protect and regulate the high seas. The waters outside national maritime boundaries – which cover half of the planet’s surface – are currently a free-for-all that has led to devastating overfishing and pollution. But after more than...

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100% Renewable Energy Worldwide Isn’t Just Possible—It’s Also More Cost-Effective

Transitioning the world to 100 percent renewable electricity isn’t just some environmentalist pipe dream—it’s “feasible at every hour throughout the year” and is more cost-effective than the current system, which largely relies on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, a new study claims. The research, compiled by Finland’s Lappeenranta University...

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An Appalachian Trail pioneer: first Hongkonger to hike the full length

The moment Tony Or Hang-tat stepped outside his tent, he absolutely understood why hikers hang food and rubbish in bags on high tree branches before retiring for the night. The big black bear looking his way must have weighed 300 pounds. This was in Pennsylvania, 13 weeks into an adventure of a lifetime: hiking the whole of the Appalachian Trail that stretches 2,190...

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Pinnacle Mountain Trail and Ridge Trail, Table Rock State Park, SC

This park sits right on the cliff’s edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment that drops down from the mountains in western North Carolina to the upcountry of South Carolina. The park is more than 3,000 acres of trails, lakes, cabins and camping. Pinnacle Mountain Trail is the most challenging within the park, with a climb that exceeds 2,300 feet. The lower section follows...

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New place to hike and rock climb: Wildcat Rock Trail opens in Hickory Nut Gorge

Some might call him the mountain whisperer. John Myers is that special kind of person who can look up at a mountain, listen to a mountain and know instinctively what it needs – to remain protected, wild and free. Myers, a landowner, conservationist and rock climber, has lived in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge for nearly 20 years with his wife, Jane Lawson. He has had the...

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Stargazers Rejoice: U.S. Gets Its First International Dark Sky Reserve

Pack your bags, astronomy lovers. Idaho is now home to the United States’ first International Dark Sky Reserve. The International Dark Sky Association, an Arizona-based nonprofit that advocates against light pollution, designated an area covering more than 1,400 square miles as the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. The reserve includes the Sawtooth Range and other...

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Old Erie Canal Trail hosts seasonal fun

The Erie Canal in New York State is a 363-mile man-made waterway started in 1817 and finished in 1825 and celebrated the commencement of its bicentennial in 2017. The canal was built to allow mule and horse-drawn packet boats to haul materials on the east-west travel route between Buffalo and Albany. The original canal was enlarged three times and eventually re-aligned...

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The 26,000 tons of radioactive waste under Lake Powell

Beneath the murky green waters on the north end of Lake Powell, entombed within the tons of silt that have been carried down the Colorado River over the years, lies a 26,000-ton pile of un-remediated uranium mill tailings. It’s just one polonium-, bismuth-, thorium-, and radium-tainted reminder of the way the uranium industry, enabled by the federal government, ravaged...

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It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too

The Fourmile Canyon Fire, sparked by a backyard burn west of Boulder, Colorado, in 2010, caused $220 million in damage and destroyed 168 homes. It also scorched nearly a quarter of a watershed that supplies water to the nearby community of Pine Brook Hills. The problems didn’t end there: Long after the blaze was put out, intense rainstorms periodically washed sediment...

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Mountains to Sea Trail News Briefs

SIGNS Allen Poole, North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail volunteer Task Force Leader on the Outer Banks, has been hard at work adding signs and blazes along the route there. On this stretch, it is challenging to know which beach access to use to come on and off the beach, so his work will be a big help to MST hikers. Meanwhile, the Trail Resource Manager Jim...

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7 Years Before Russia Hacked the Election, Someone Did the Same Thing to Climate Scientists

One Saturday morning in June, two days after the president had announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, Michael Mann was tweeting about Donald Trump. Mann, a Penn State professor who is one of the world’s most prominent climate scientists, was thinking about the daily barrage of revelations surrounding Russia’s...

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Trump breaks with military leaders, removes climate change from list of national security threats

President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy removed all mentions of climate change as a national security threat, a decision in line with major steps taken by the administration over the past 11 months to downplay the perils of climate change. Two years ago, the Obama administration issued a strategy that identified climate change as “an urgent and growing...

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Peru’s colorful Rainbow Mountain is not for the faint-hearted

Some manage the ascent in three hours, others take longer. But once they are up, then they’re usually reluctant to come back down, thanks to the view of the surreal-looking mountain. Tourism at Mount Vinicunca has yet to take off. Travel agencies only discovered it around two years ago. The mountain isn’t even listed in the current “Lonely Planet” guidebook, although...

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North Cascades grizzly bear recovery work halted by Interior Department

Work on grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades Ecosystem has been halted even as the continental United States’ two largest grizzly populations near removal from Endangered Species Act protection. North Cascades National Park Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich told the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee on Wednesday that her staff had been asked to stop work on...

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Hiking Grand Tetons ‘a trip of a lifetime’

Beyond the crystal clear lakes, past the pastel blooms, up the rock-strewn trails and over the snow-blanketed hillsides lie the canyons and campsites of the Grand Tetons National Park. With each step up the mountain while sporting a 40-pound backpack, a new vista of rushing waters and plunging waterfalls dashes into view. Run-ins with deer, elk, moose and marmots are not...

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Creating new beaten paths

The first time Jessica Johnson explored the Mushroom Caves in Solana Beach she was trespassing. It was 2013, a few years after the 35-year-old elementary school art teacher first started documenting her passion for adventurous, sometimes dangerous hikes on her increasingly popular website Hidden San Diego. Walking along the path recently, Johnson recalled that initial...

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