Category archives for National Parks

See all our guide to the world’s best hikes and trails. Utah’s Zion National Park is a place of immensity; huge sandstone walls tower far above the valley floor, the sheer magnitude is unreal. Alas, tourists and tour buses are the most common sight to be seen here, yet there are places void of this…

Love in the Tetons

At the heart of every great adventure there is a love story. And for National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez, the long journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the craggy peaks of the Grand Tetons took a romantic turn on the day he met National Park Ranger Vanessa Torres.  Both dedicated to introducing…

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. “The big day,” John said. “Yup,” I replied, rubbing my eyes. It was three in the morning. We were standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon aiming the beams of our headlamps down the South Kaibab Trail—a mule-stomped trough of glistening ice running between snowbanks. The trailhead…

We have a bit of a crisis on our hands at the moment, fellow adventurers. Unless you’ve got your head in the sand, you’re painfully aware that the federal government has shut down. Federal lands are closed for business. Adventure destinations across the country are off limits. Go knocking, and the sound of your pounding…

Among the world’s best big-wave surfers, a Chilean and conservationist turns in one of the best barrel rides of all time. Vote for Ramon Navarro See photos of all ten Adventurers of the Year in action! “In my dreams, I’d never thought a wave could be that perfect,” says Chilean surfer Ramon Navarro of the…

My life moves from one trip to the next, typically a solo adventure documenting the last wild animals that we share this planet with. It’s a dream come true for me, without a doubt, and I feel very lucky to do what I do. However, the more time I spend alone, the more I realize…

Picture this: You’re exploring a pristine backcountry area in a national park. You’ve been huffing up a ridge for some time and are eagerly anticipating the view. When you reach the top, you scan the sweeping valley below you … and see a cluster of houses. At first, you think you must have wandered outside…

After a summer of training hard in Washington’s Cascade Range, British Columbia’s Waddington Range, and Alaska’s Chugach Range, the Expedition Denali team is poised to embark on their journey to Denali in June 2013. This film clip will give you a brief window into their training this past summer and their thoughts on the upcoming…

Dangling on the side of a big wall, perched up on a small ledge, or reaching high to grasp a good hold, adrenaline runs through your veins. A black raven swoops down past your head, giving a sharp sensation of the exposure below. Layers of deep connection to the environment are built through the survival…

We eddied into lower cremation camp. By the time I had my tent set up, most of the crew was already in costume. Tonight is wig night, to be worn with a costume of choice that matches the colorful hairpieces. Spandex, butterfly wings, and pirate hats are among the many costume items being worn. Our…

A week has passed as we continue to meander our way deeper into the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Our river life has now become routine. Strapping gear down, boiling the dishwater, and diving into the cold Colorado River to cool down consume our days. Our team has collective experiences spanning the corners of the…

See our Best Trails guide, including World’s Best Hikes: 20 Epic Trails. A canvas of impossibly deep valleys and sheer, striated peaks, Glacier National Park is a masterpiece of the Ice Age. Considered by Native Americans to be the “backbone of the world,” this northern section of America’s Continental Divide sheds water to the Pacific, the Atlantic,…

The first time I remember on a river when I was nine.  Halfway through my first lesson I’d talked my instructor out of her hot-rod kayak and set out in search of the toughest beginner whitewater in sight.  My dad loves to tell that story. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to kayak competitively, embark…

When I think of classic adventure here at home in the U.S., I think of climbing El Cap and rafting the Grand Canyon. They’re accessible and doable to many, but they are still pure adventure to the core—the kind of experience most all of us are looking for. This is the first live post from…

A lower section of the Grand Canyon, as seen from Cape Royal at the less-frequented but more-spectacular North Rim. Photograph by Alex Noriega, My Shot On September 23 at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 75 endurance athletes representing 15 different countries will take off on a self-supported, seven day, six stages,160-mile, adventure called…

See our Best Trails guide, including World’s Best Hikes: 20 Epic Trails. Tucked away in the most northwestern part of the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park is a waterlogged wonderland befitting of its name: any place so magical must be a dwelling for the gods. Surrounded by bodies of water to the north, east, and…

See our National Geographic Adventure Best Trails guide for hikes, gear, maps, and more. Running over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is one astonishing geologic feature. It’s exactly for that reason hiking the Rim-to-Rim trail, which takes you from one rim, down through the…

With more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) of trails, Yosemite National Park offers visitors an almost endless array of hiking options that can both challenge you and take your breath away at the same time. But there is one option that stands tall amongst all the trails in the park—the Mist Trail. (See more options…

Earlier this year, we asked 20 of the world’s best athletes and explorers to advise us on the top adventure trips within their sports for our Ultimate Adventure Bucket List. Each gave us two recommendations—one “dream trip” they hoped to do someday and one “must-do trip,” a true classic, that the rest of us should…

Writer Aaron Teasdale also wrote our World’s Best Ski Towns 2012 story. When winter fails to deliver the goods in the American Rockies, there’s always one thing powder-starved skiers can do: head north. From the reliably thick snowpack of interior British Columbia to the pristine slopes just over the Continental Divide in Alberta, the mountain…

“On the highline my thoughts are simple and clear,” says pioneering rock climber, BASE jumper, and wing suit flyer Dean Potter. “Fundamental needs shine through the mental clutter. I focus completely on my breath, my connection with the line, and making it safely to the other side.” This highline was set up on the summit…

It was a slow start to winter for resorts in the U.S. In order to find snow in the early season, for many passionate skiers, it meant getting creative. Based out of the Wasatch this season, due to drier conditions, I decided to drive north for four to Jackson, Wyoming, to poke around the Tetons…

By Contributing Editor Steve Casimiro, editor of Adventure Journal If you’ve ever ridden a bike on the pavement at Arches National Park or Yellowstone, you know how liberating it can be. Cars are often jammed on roads that weren’t designed for the freeway-like crush that hits parks every summer, but on a bike you can…

Photograph by Dawn KishJohn “Verm” Sherman is a legend among us. He pioneered bouldering and invented the V-scale for grading bouldering problems. He also championed the development of bouldering at Hueco Tanks, Texas. Quite a legacy. Here Sherman tells us about climbing “the Strike,” ascending all Ten Pins in a single day in the Needles…

 By Kate Siber  Middlesex Fells Reservation From downtown Boston, it takes approximately 16 minutes to drive to Middlesex Fells Reservation, a 2,500-acre swath of hills, ponds, meadows, wetlands, and hemlock groves. Though located only nine miles north of the city, it can feel a planet away, particularly the southeast corner, free of the dog walkers…