National Parks

Jeffrey Peter, of Old Crow, Yukon, cleans a caribou hide during an autumn hunt. When camping, the hide is used as a mattress; at home, it’s clothing.

For the Gwich'in People, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Isn't a Political Issue, It's Home

Journey to the far north of Alaska, where the Indigenous communities hunt caribou, the backbone of the region's ecosystem

A Canyonlands park ranger stumbled across the fossil and reported it to the park about a year ago.

A 300-Million-Year-Old Fossil Discovered in Utah Could Be a New Species

Fossilized remains of aquatic creatures are commonly found in Canyonlands National Park, but discovering a land-dwelling vertebrate is incredibly rare

Bison are essential to Yellowstone's ecosystem because their migration patterns can influence the landscape through how intensely they graze at grasslands. 

 

Watch Over 150 Bison Weave Through Traffic in Yellowstone as Winter Migration Begins

Park officials have advised keeping distance and not approaching wildlife

A starlit night at Joshua Tree National Park.

What Does the Future Hold for the Joshua Tree?

The beloved desert denizen is feeling the heat

During the Civil War, four major battles took place in the area surrounding Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

Cool Finds

Forgotten Road Found Buried Beneath Civil War Cemetery in Virginia

Archaeologists excavated the site ahead of the planned reinterment of remains discovered near a former battlefield hospital in 2015

Members of the public take part in a blessing of the Lummi Nation totem pole in San Leandro, California, on June 3. The House of Tears Carvers toured the pole around the West Coast before embarking on a two-week journey to Washington, D.C.

Why Indigenous Activists Are Driving a 25-Foot Totem Pole Across the Country

Master carvers from the Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington, crafted the 5,000-pound object from a single red cedar tree

Maui's Haleakala is the world's largest dormant volcano, and its summit is considered the quietest place on Earth.

Ridiculous Reviews of Some of the Best National Parks

A new book combines illustrations of the parks with laughably bad critiques from disgruntled tourists

New displays at Arlington House center the stories of individuals enslaved by Lee and his family.

Robert E. Lee's Former Home Reopens With Renewed Focus on the Enslaved

Built by George Washington's adopted son, Arlington House recently underwent a three-year "rehabilitation" project

At the foot of North Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains sits Wallace, an incredibly resilient, Old West mining town.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

From Alabama's music capital to the self-proclaimed 'center of the universe,' these American towns are calling your name

François Pascal Simon Gérard, Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain, circa 1808

New Jersey Estate Owned by Napoleon's Older Brother Set to Become State Park

In 1815, exiled Spanish king Joseph Bonaparte fled to the U.S., where he lived in luxury on a sprawling, 60-acre estate

The Wheeler Geologic Area in Colorado's La Garita Wilderness was once a national park.

You Can Still Visit These Six Former National Parks

Despite being delisted by the NPS, these spots are worth exploring thanks to their rich history and sheer beauty

When conditions are right, Horsetail Falls transforms and emits an enchanting ember glow reminiscent of lava or falling fire.

Yosemite's 'Firefall' Natural Wonder Illuminates El Capitan Through the End of February

Under the right conditions, viewers will have a short window of 10 minutes each evening to experience the glowing falls

A Wolverine atop a tree log.

Wolverine Captured on Yellowstone Trail Cameras for the First Time

The species’ numbers in the United States were diminished by predator control efforts and trapping

Smithsonian Associates Streaming presents "Mr. President: An Evening with Martin Sheen" on January 19.

Smithsonian Voices

An Evening With Martin Sheen and 24 Other Smithsonian Programs Streaming in January

Kick off the New Year with Smithsonian Associates' virtual multi-part courses, studio arts classes and study tours

The otherworldly terrain dazzled early explorers. In 1827, trapper Daniel Potts noted that geysers erupted with a roar like “that of thunder.”

The Lost History of Yellowstone

Debunking the myth that the great national park was a wilderness untouched by humans

Denali's dogsled teams mush for weeks at a time to the far-flung corners of a park that stretches over 6 million acres.

How Denali National Park's Sled Dogs Prepare for Winter

For nearly a century, park rangers have relied on dogsledding to patrol the public land and collect data for scientists

A new study finds beaver-eating wolves alter the landscape in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota by changing the number and distribution of beaver ponds.

New Research

Minnesota Wolves Are Eating Beavers and Reshaping Wetlands

A new study finds that when a wolf kills a beaver its abandoned dam falls apart and goes unoccupied for more than a year

A hydrothermal area called Porcelain Basin in Yellowstone National Park's broader Norris Geyser Basin.

Boiling Chickens in Yellowstone's Hot Springs Is Illegal

Three men are now banned from visiting the national park after pleading guilty to several charges

Tongass National Forest is home to stands of old growth trees that are between 300 and 1,000 years old.

Tongass National Forest Loses Restrictions on Logging and Road Development

Located in Alaska, the United States’ largest National Forest provides temperate rainforest habitat for bald eagles, wolves and bears

Old Faithful erupts before a crowd of onlookers in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park in 1966.

New Research

Climate Change Could Make Yellowstone's Famous Geyser Less Faithful

Old Faithful stopped erupting for decades following severe drought 800 years ago and global warming could put it back on hiatus

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