Tag: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Yellowstone: Mother of All Parks

Yellowstone: Mother of All Parks

NPS-symbol_thumb.jpgWhen I made a guest appearance last month on the award-winning NPR podcast, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer,” the show’s host and my travel writing colleague, Tom Wilmer, and I discussed visiting U.S. National Parks during this year’s centennial celebration of the establishment of the National Park Service.

Both the general news media and travel publications and blogs have been making much-ado about the 100th year of service by the NPS, and in honor of that agency, PBS stations have been re-running Ken Burns’ 2009 documentary series, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Lower-Geyser-Basin-Yellowstone_thumb.jpg

But what may have been overlooked in the hoopla over the park service anniversary, is what made creation of that government entity necessary: The establishment of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, decades earlier in the post-Civil War era.

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“Booking” U.S. National Parks

“Booking” U.S. National Parks

Last January I wrote about the importance of planning your summer visits to U.S. National Parks in the Western U.S. well in advance of your trip.

(Joshua Tree National Park Photo)
(Joshua Tree National Park Photo)

Even though it is still officially winter throughout America, you should act now to make your dreams of a national park vacation come true for one very important reason: The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this coming August, and that alone may prompt even more tourists to head to the hills, valleys, mountains and geothermal features of the most popular parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Here are two recently published books that will fuel those park-visit fantasies and help you decide which parks to put on your “bucket list” of places to make it to this year.

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Travel Photo Thursday: Lassen, A Hidden Gem of a Park

Travel Photo Thursday: Lassen, A Hidden Gem of a Park

While growing up in Seattle, I made my first visit to a national park: Mount Rainier.

Mt Rainier
(Jeff Flickr Photo)

In winter, we’d go sledding by the Paradise Inn.

During one summer after college was out for the year, I climbed part way up the mountain from Paradise with a fraternity brother and we skied back down to the Inn. I wore shorts, and ended up with a snow-reflected sunburn so bad that for years you could see the “tan line” that marked the top of my ski boots.

Then I came to California and went off to my second national park, Yosemite.

Yosemite Valley

But the third such one that I visited, Lassen, remains my favorite of all of the national parks in the Western U.S. that I’ve been to over the last 40-odd years.

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