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America's National Parks Podcast

185 EpisodesProduced by RV Miles NetworkWebsite

Explore our national parks — their history, their people, and their stories.

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Mary Colter and the Grand Canyon

November 20th, 2021


One of the very few women architects of her time, Mary Colter blended her lifelong love and respect of Native American arts and rustic elements with …

Badlands Symbiotic Species — Prairie Dogs and Burrowing Owls

November 3rd, 2021


Beneath the rolling grasslands of Badlands National Park lies an intricate housing system and social network. Black-tailed prairie dogs pop in and …

What Makes a National Trail?

October 21st, 2021


In this episode, a park superintendent Aaron Mahr tells us what makes a national trail special, and difficult to manage. 

National Park News | Monuments Restored, Sequoias Destroyed, Mammoth Grows, Wolves Killed, White Sands Discovery, & More

October 10th, 2021


Welcome to this month's "News from the Parks" our monthly roundup of top stories from the National Parks.

Climate Change and Glacier National Park

September 30th, 2021


If you dare, dip your feet into the icy water of St. Mary Lake. The glacier-fed water adds a new twist to the term “refreshing.” It’s one of many sensory experiences at a park that attracts more and more people who want …

A Music Mecca

September 23rd, 2021


Joshua Tree National Park in southern California encompasses parts of both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. This unique ecosystem conjures images of …

Songs of Joshua Tree

September 14th, 2021


Nestled between the San Bernardino and Coxcomb Mountains lies the confluence of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, where the wind rushes through the …

New NPS Director, More than Half of Lassen Burned | National Park News

September 6th, 2021


There's a newly nominated candidate for NPS Director, a position that has been vacant for more than 4 years. Meanwhile, well over half of Lassen …


August 28th, 2021


In early June 1912, residents of southeast Alaska began to feel earthquakes daily. Earthquakes are common in this region, which is well-known for its …

Mary Kwart: Wildland Fire Pioneer

August 18th, 2021



As fires rage across the west in what will likely be the worst year for wildland fires on record, brave people face them head-on, to save our structures and our lives. The fraternity of American firefighters has …

Sea Turtles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

August 13th, 2021


Under the light of the moon, shelled creatures emerge from the ocean and make their way onto the sandy shoreline. They drag their bodies through the sand until one by one, they stop. Each migrant reptile will use her …

Hottest Days, Terrible Tourists, Flash Floods, and Masks (again) | National Park News

August 3rd, 2021


Hottest days on record, new mask-wearing requirements, Congress has hearings on park crowding, lightning strikes several visitors to the Grand …

La Casa Nevada — Yosemite's Snow House

July 27th, 2021


Situated within the spray of the picture-perfect Nevada Fall stood a pioneer hotel that, for almost 20 years, welcomed guests to Yosemite National Park. Named La Casa Nevada or The Snow House, owners Albert and Emily …

National Park of American Samoa

July 19th, 2021


The sun can rise and set on this island nation in the middle of the Pacific. Known for its rainforest paradise and tropical reefs, these islands were …

News from the Parks | 300 Rock Cairns, 200-foot Cliff Face Breaks, and 1 New Peregrine Falcon

July 4th, 2021


A flash flood tears through Zion, Karens build Cairns in Petroglyph, endangered frogs are gettin’ it on without any assistance in California, Grand Teton gets one BIG Teton of a new dump truck, a drunken kayaker gets 60 …

Sleeping Bear Dunes

June 28th, 2021


If you've never been there, when you think of Michigan, you may not imagine miles of sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and bluffs that tower more than 450 feet above one of the four Great Lakes that border the state.

The Carriage Roads & Bridges of Acadia National Park

June 16th, 2021


Winding through Acadia’s forests and mountains are 45 miles of historic roadways that are only for pedestrians, bicyclists, horseback riders, and …

National Park News | Record Crowds, Biden's Budget, a Grim Anniversary

June 7th, 2021


Yellowstone and Grand Teton shatter April attendance records, Zion sees a four-hour wait for its most popular hike, Biden’s 2022 budget sees the …

Buffalo Bird Woman

June 2nd, 2021


In the middle of North Dakota, one of the least visited states in the nation, sits one of the smallest and least visited National Park Service Sites. It’s the place where Earthlodge people, the Hidatsa and Mandan, who …

Synchronous Fireflies in the Smokies

May 25th, 2021


In 1680, one of the earliest Western accounts of coordinated fireflies flashing was recorded by a Dutch physician while traveling down the Meinam …

Spring Migration in the Parks

May 17th, 2021


Point Reyes National Seashore has recorded more than 450 species of birds, including 38 that are threatened or endangered. There are multiple factors …

Restore Hetch Hetchy

May 10th, 2021


It might not be common knowledge that the Yosemite Valley one of the crown jewels of the American landscape, known for towering natural splendor in its pristine condition, has a sister valley, within the National Park, …

Driverless Shuttles, Murder in Hot Springs, Pike Trail | National Park News

May 3rd, 2021

Driverless National Park Shuttles are being tested, a new national trail is proposed, a homicide at Hot Springs, and more.  It’s time for this month’s news round-up episode of the America’s National Parks podcast.



April 26th, 2021


In the late 1800s, Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) was reaching epidemic proportions in the Hawaiian islands. Bacteria cause nerve damage in patients and can lead to crippling of the hands and feet, paralysis, …

National Parks That Need Entry Tickets or Reservations for Summer 2021

April 18th, 2021


Some National Parks will require entry reservations this summer — in this episode, we'll tell you which ones, and break down all the details.

The Day it Rained Rocks

April 14th, 2021


It was, literally, earth-shaking; so much so that a seismometer thousands of miles away picked up the vibrations. It contained enough force to push debris a mile under water, heaving it uphill onto the opposite shore, …

Protecting Alaska for Generations to Come

April 8th, 2021


One of the most significant land conservation measures in our nation’s history was an act that protected over 100 million acres of land, doubled the size of the country’s national refuge system, and tripled wilderness …

Yellowstone Boosts Cell Service, Glacier East Opens, Condors Return to Redwood | National Park News

March 29th, 2021


A collared Yellowstone wolf has been the governor of Montana, Yellowstone is seeking to improve communication services, Glacier National …

Community Science in National Parks

March 22nd, 2021



Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are spending their free time counting birds, measuring water quality, or monitoring pollinators. …

The Battle of Bunker Hill

March 16th, 2021


On June 17, 1775, New England soldiers faced the British army for the first time in a pitched battle. Bloody fighting took place throughout a hilly …

Restoring the Everglades

March 8th, 2021


One and a half million acres of shallow-water marine habitats, freshwater marshes and prairies, saltwater wetland forests, and pine and hardwood …

100.Years of Hot Springs, New Filming Rules | National Park News

February 28th, 2021


Visitor statistics have been released for 2020, and visitation to parks was down about 1/3, thanks to park closures. There's a new National Park …

Scandal and Special People of Effigy Mounds

February 21st, 2021


More than a thousand years ago in the Upper Midwest, indigenous people were moving mountains—literally. The Mound Builders changed the landscape by …

100 Years at Mount Rainier

February 15th, 2021


This week on America's National Parks, a great mountain of the west, and conservation lessons learned over the course of a century. 

Digging Up Dinosaurs

February 6th, 2021


Much of the western United States was once blanketed in hundreds of feet of sand. The unforgiving sun beat down on the landscape for 20 to 30 million years during the early Jurassic period. Thin layers of rock allowed …

Mask Mandate, Commercial Filming Permits Struck Down | National Park News

January 31st, 2021


It's time for this month's "news from the parks" episode. Today, we cover President Biden's new executive order requiring masks-wearing on federal …

Wolves of Isle Royale

January 27th, 2021


With wolves decreasing at Isle Royale, the moose population could decimate the forest and vegetation communities. Neither species is native to the …

Little American Island

January 17th, 2021


Swirling between the borders of Canada and Minnesota is a vast maze of interconnected water highways – a wild space comprised of lush forests and …

St. Croix Heroes and Mussels

January 10th, 2021


In the heart of our nation lies a riverway that has been federally protected for more than 50 years and stewarded by Native Americans for thousands of years before that. ItThis river carried logs piled so high they …

The Steel Driving Man

January 6th, 2021


If you take the time to stop in West Virginia's New River Gorge, our newest national park, and listen, you may hear intertwined within the sound of birdsong, flowing water, and the wind billowing through the trees the …

Our 63rd Park | National Park News

December 28th, 2020


New Lava eruptions in Hawaii have people doing dangerous things, a harrowing evacuation of the records of two national parks in danger of being lost to wildfire, and our 63rd National Park. 

Surviving Winter in the National Parks

December 20th, 2020


This week on America’s National Parks, we journey to Gates of the Arctic, Yellowstone, and Glacier for three stories of survival from the wildlife that call them home: Arctic Ground Squirrels, Bison, and Clark’s …

Medgar Evers

December 14th, 2020


Shortly after midnight on June 12, 1963, civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated in the carport of the home that he shared with his wife Myrlie and their three young children in Jackson, Mississippi. His …


December 6th, 2020


Mountains that tower over beaches, temperate rainforests, ice fields, tidewater glaciers, and marine depths welcome the visitors that make the trek to visit this off-the-beaten-path destination. These habitats provide …

The Obelisk from Nowhere, Park Projects Funded, $270 Million Lawsuit | News from the Parks

November 30th, 2020


Hiking has arguably become the most popular activity in 2020, but as more and more people take to the trails, rescues are on the rise in National …


November 23rd, 2020


The “peace pipe,” as it’s often called by those who only know it as a symbol of the hundreds of peace treaties signed between the federal government …

Wild Horses

November 16th, 2020


There are about 60,000 free-roaming horses in North America, and while we call them “wild,” they more accurately fit the definition of feral, which means they are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses. …

Ring, Grandfather, Ring

November 9th, 2020


 Too often we look at our symbols and see them as the enduring legacy of our past, when in reality, symbols have always been mirror for us to reflect …

Changes to Free National Park Admission,World's Longest Fossilized Footprints | National Park News

October 31st, 2020


The world's longest fossilized footprint tracks have been uncovered in the White Sands of New Mexico, the National Trail system has grown by more than 1300 miles, two YouTubers are fined $1000 for filming in parks …


October 26th, 2020


When you ask Americans to list some of our country's most famous poets and short story tellers, you’ll rarely hear mention of one of the most well-known authors of all time. Perhaps it’s because most think he was …


October 19th, 2020


National Park sites, even the natural ones, have seen many uses over the history of America, often due to the unique features that make them worth preserving in the first place. From its thunderous ocean breakers …

Second Century Camping

October 12th, 2020


On last week’s episode, we took a look at early road planning and design in the parks, and we’re continuing with the theme this week, by looking at the history of National Park Campgrounds. 

You might not realize it, …

A Tale of Two Roads

October 4th, 2020


As the National Park idea began to inspire Americans far and wide, a major problem arose: how to provide safe access to these often wild and dangerous places, especially as the automobile began to make cross-country …

New NPS Units, Bears, Rescues, and Fires | National Park News

September 27th, 2020


It's time month’s News from the Parks episode of the America’s National Parks Podcast, where we round up the latest happenings at America’s Greatest Treasures. On this episode, we have 2 new National Park Service units, …

Leave No Trace (or...How to Poop in the Woods)

September 20th, 2020


This week we learn about reducing impact on the environment when visiting National Parks and other public lands, along with a lesson on what to do when nature calls out on the trail from rangers at Yosemite National …

The Million Dollar Room

September 15th, 2020


In Yellowstone National Park's Upper Geyser Basin sits an unassuming store, one that's lasted for nearly all the park's human history. It's famed owner wallpapered his office in the most unusual way—with hundreds of …

Wolverines, an Overturned Tanker, and a $500,000 Fine | National Park News

August 29th, 2020


A man gets jail and a $500,000 fine for sneaking into Canada’s National Parks during the coronavirus, a tanker truck overturns in Yellowstone, a …

Parks During a Pandemic

August 25th, 2020


It's now clear we’re dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic for the long haul, and instead of just staying inside, many Americans are wanting to …

90 Years in the West

August 17th, 2020


On the border of utah and colorado sits a place where the wild rugged land has been used for centuries to carve out a modern human existence, long …

News From the Parks: New NPS Funding, Strange Blue Squares at Zion, Cuyahoga Dams Removed

August 10th, 2020


It's time for another "News from the Parks" edition of the podcast. This week, we'll learn about how the funds from the Great American Outdoors Act will be used, how the Cuyahoga River is flowing more free than ever, …

The Complexities of Climate Change

August 2nd, 2020


Today on America’s National Parks, we travel to California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon, where decades of research show us how the world is changing, and help us to figure out what to expect next. 


July 26th, 2020


Perhaps no city in the United States exceeds Chicago in the number, breadth, intensity, and national importance of labor upheavals. One of our most recent national park service sites celebrates and remembers the …

Sand Creek

July 12th, 2020


As far as atrocities against Native Americans by westerners, it’s hard to pick the worst. But there’s one that certainly ranks up there. Surely the horrific, predawn mass murder of at least 150 unarmed people, mostly …

News from the Parks | Big Bend Closes, Yosemite Cancels Reservations

July 4th, 2020


On this month's "News from the Parks" episode, we talk about new closures, even as most parks have reopened. Plus, a new, 6-year celebration of America's 250th birthday kicks off in the parks. 

Hey Bear!

June 27th, 2020


On average, there are only one or two non-lethal bear "incidents" in a given year at Glacier National Park. And there have only been 10 bear-related fatalities in the history of the park (all of those have occurred …

The Green Table

June 21st, 2020


About 1,400 years ago, long before Europeans explored North America, a group of people living in the Four Corners region - where today Arizona, …

The Great American Outdoors Act

June 14th, 2020


On today's episode, we explore the pending legislation entitled the "Great American Outdoors Act" with Pew Charitable Trusts' Marcia Argust. The act promises to reduce the $12 billion maintenance backlog in the National …

The Nine

June 7th, 2020


On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that segregation in the public schools of the …

News from the Parks | National Parks Adjust to a New Normal

June 1st, 2020


As summer begins, the National Park Service is instituting phased reopenings at many parks across the country, allowing visitors various levels of access to amenities. Meanwhile, park officials, concessionaires, and, …

The Life of a Canine Ranger

May 23rd, 2020


Every fall in one of the largest national parks in America, visitation slows to a near halt by the end of September. The ground is already covered …

How a National Park Becomes a World Heritage Site

May 18th, 2020


While exploring National Parks, Monuments and historic sites across the country, you may have noticed gigantic plaques in a few of the visitor centers, designating them as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Today on America's …

The Great Humanitarian

May 10th, 2020


Herbert Hoover had been president for less than a year when the stock market crashed. At the next election, he was swept out out the white house and …

White Nose Syndrome

May 2nd, 2020


The National Park Service manages 84 million acres, in 419 parks, 1 in 4 of which have caves, and 1 in 3 of which have mines. Many of these caves and mines provide habitat for hibernating bats.

Bats are an essential …

National Park Week Throwback Thursday: Other Great National Park Podcasts

April 23rd, 2020


This week, we're doing something a little different. It's National Park Week, and we're teaming up with other National Park podcasters, authors, bloggers, and other content creators to celebrate. 

The theme for Today, …

Dust of the Earth

April 18th, 2020



Known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks," legendary naturalist John Muir was far ahead of his time, holding ideals that …

Angel of the Battlefield

April 11th, 2020


In this difficult time in the world, we look to heroes from our past as inspiration to help us find the resolution to possess even a small fraction …

The Return of the Wolves

April 5th, 2020


In the battle for conservation and the protection and reinvigoration of endangered species, one animal serves as a symbol to remind us of what we've …

Oh Shenandoah

March 28th, 2020


Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., is an escape to recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, and quiet …

News from the Parks | March 2020

March 23rd, 2020


As travel restrictions, shelter-in-place orders, and closures to all but the most essential services sweep the country, the National Park Service has been caught in the middle of wanting to protect people and places, …

Going to the Sun

March 14th, 2020


Only a few miles of rough wagon roads existed within Glacier National Park when Congress established the park on May 11, 1910. Many people, including the first Park Superintendent, William R. Logan, wanted to build a …

Wilderness of Rock

March 9th, 2020


337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert. A land where water and …


March 5th, 2020


In the far west, you can find one of the oldest living organisms in the world. A tree that can live for thousands of years due to its ability to …

News from the Parks | February 2020

March 2nd, 2020


This month's news round-up features the temporary closing of Mount Rainier, annual visitation numbers in the park system, and concerns about the coronavirus affecting businesses in and around Yellowstone.

101 Years Apart

February 15th, 2020


This past Wednesday, Grand Canyon National Park's Interpretive Rangers lowered the flag in honor of one of their own. A ranger who lived and worked at Grand Canyon National Park for the past 20 years, and became a …

A Lasting Impact

February 8th, 2020


The contributions of immigrants to our great nation are undeniable. Some of our greatest institutions were literally built on the backs of immigrants of all stripes. Our national parks are no exception. In the west, …

News from the Parks | January 2020

February 2nd, 2020


Welcome to January's "News From the Parks" episode of the America's National Parks Podcast, our monthly show where we round up for you the latest info about happenings at America's Greatest treasures. On this episode, …

What Makes a National Park?

January 26th, 2020


The National Park designation has become one of the most prestigious terms in the English language. National parks have stirred the imagination of Americans ever since they were dreamed up, and a recent focus has been …

National Park Passes Explained

January 18th, 2020


It's the time of year where people around the world are planning their adventures to America's National Parks, and we thought this would be the …

The Black Canyon

January 11th, 2020


The deep canyons of the west enchant us today as much as they did those who dared to explore them for the first time. They're all unique in their own ways, as nature seems to brag about the incredible might of its …

The Great Prairie Highway

January 4th, 2020


It was an international road for American and Mexican traders, until 1848, when the Mexican-American War ended, and New Mexico joined the United States. It became a national road for commercial and military freighting, …

News from the Parks | December 2019

December 29th, 2019


This month, there's a new national park in the system, fees are increasing at parks around the country, invasive species are threatening the park …

Wolf Trap

December 21st, 2019


Today on the America's National Parks Podcast, the vision of a D.C. socialite to develop and share a love of the arts with the community set to the …

Treasure in the Sea

December 14th, 2019


Today, Channel Islands National Park and the original 1982 "Treasures of the Sea" park film. Now in retirement, this version was replaced in 2011 with the currently running film featuring narration by Kevin Costner.

Valley Forge

December 7th, 2019


On December 19th, 1777, 12,000 weary revolutionary war soldiers and 400 women and children marched into what would be their winter encampment. They …

News from the Parks | November 2019

November 30th, 2019


This month we have news of a cold case that's haunted the park service for over 40 years, an expansion of Rocky Mountain National Park, a National …

Toward a Dark and Indefinite Shore

November 24th, 2019


After the Civil War ended with the surrender at Appomattox, Abraham Lincoln waited two days to speak. He opened, "we meet this evening, not in …

A Prescription for Fire

November 16th, 2019


From a seed no bigger than one from a tomato, California's coast redwood may grow to a height of 367 feet and have a width of 22 feet at its base. Imagine a 35-story skyscraper and you have an inkling of the trees' …

The Legacy of 3 Million

November 9th, 2019


If you've spent a decent amount of time in National or State parks in the U.S., you've probably been in a building built by a federal program that …

The Sound of Geology

November 2nd, 2019


One of our most visited National Parks averages more than a half-million visitors per month in the summer, who flock to see massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. It's main …

National Geographic's Jon Waterman

October 30th, 2019


Adventurer Jon Waterman is the award-winning author of several books on the American landscape, including several on the wilds of Alaska and the …

News from the Parks | October 2019

October 26th, 2019


Welcome to the October "News From the Parks Episode" of the America's National Parks Podcast, our new monthly series where we round up for you the latest info about happenings in America's Greatest treasures.

Spooky Yellowstone

October 19th, 2019


National Parks play roles in all kinds of American legends, and Yellowstone, our first park, is no exception. It's October, time to dust off the …

The Great Unknown

October 12th, 2019


In the summer of 1869, an expedition embarked from The Green River Station in the Wyoming Territory and traveled downstream through parts of the …

Gateway to the West

October 5th, 2019


Halfway down the mighty Mississippi, a model of engineering greets the world to the Gateway to the West, St. Louis Missouri. The Gateway Arch is known worldwide; it's probably only second to the Statue of Liberty But …

News from the Parks | September 2019

September 28th, 2019


With over 420 sites in the NPS, every month offers a new opportunity to Find Your Park. And while we strive to focus on the stories that make these …

The Old Northwest

September 25th, 2019


In the town of Vincennes, Indiana, stands the largest Beaux-Arts style monument on an American battlefield and outside of Washington, DC. It sits on the former site of Fort Sackville to commemorate a little known battle …

The Search for Dark Skies

September 17th, 2019


80 percent of the world’s population lives under what’s called “skyglow.” In the United States and Europe, 99 percent of the public can’t experience …


September 10th, 2019


Who doesn't love a majestic National Park lodge? Splendid craftsmanship on a grand scale surrounded by the wonders of nature. Some lodges are full of …

Castle on the Coast

September 2nd, 2019


Situated along the shores of St. Augustine in northeastern Florida stands the only surviving 17th-century military construction in the United States, Castillo de san Marcos. On this episode, the many faces of Castillo …

10 Days, 1,800 Miles

August 22nd, 2019


For 18 short months, a group of riders carried letters from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, and they did it in just 10 days. Crossing 1,800 miles of rough western terrain, at breakneck speeds, the Ponny …

The Waving Girl of Savannah

August 9th, 2019


The Savannah river twists and turns for 301 miles in the Southeastern United States, forming most of the border between Georgia and South Carolina, …

The Voice of Wilderness in the Storm

August 2nd, 2019


In the early days of what is now Denali National Park and Preserve, one park scientist stood out among the rest. He was known for his tough, …

Restoring the Giants

July 26th, 2019


Awe-inspiring giant sequoia trees are among the largest living things on earth, but the opportunity to experience them is rare. Approximately 75 groves exist, and only along the southern Sierra's western slope on moist …

Rangers Make the Difference III

July 19th, 2019


Being a National Park Service Ranger is a multifaceted job, one that requires you to call on all your skills to bring a park to life. Whether it be …

Lincoln's Throne

July 12th, 2019


For more than 100 years, no national memorial had been contemplated for any president except George Washington, yet talk of building one to honor the …

238,900 Miles from Idaho

July 6th, 2019


50 years ago, in 1969, NASA sent astronauts to a remote location in southern Idaho. Their goal? To learn basic geology and study the local, …

A $50 Bet

June 29th, 2019


Rising high above the prairies west of the Blackhills stands a tower of astounding geological feature. Considered sacred by indigenous people, it's …

Meaningless Without Sacrifice

June 24th, 2019


The Emancipation Proclamation has been called one of the two most important American contributions to the world by Martin Luther King, Jr., yet was said to possess "all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading" by …

Alone on a Winter's Island

June 14th, 2019


Nestled at the top of Wisconsin sits a cluster of islands on Lake Superior that is home to what some call the finest collection of lighthouses in the …

On the Oregon Trail

June 10th, 2019


The first covered wagons would carve a trail towards Oregon Country in 1836. Among them was a missionary party headed by Marcus and Narcissa …

"We were standing on Ground Zero of World War III"

May 31st, 2019


During the Cold War, a vast arsenal of nuclear missiles was placed across the Great Plains. Hidden in plain sight, for thirty years 1,000 missiles …

Cataloochee - The Center of the World

May 24th, 2019


Nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States is an isolated valley that was home to 1200 people in 1910, who …

A Presidential Barbecue

May 17th, 2019


Barbecued meat has played a surprisingly important role in United States presidential politics over the years. George Washington was a Virginia-style …

River on Fire

May 10th, 2019


In 2007, a young bald eagle took flight from its nest along the Cuyahoga River. It was the first successful nest in Cuyahoga County in more than 70 …

Guardian of the Gulf

May 3rd, 2019


When we think of America’s National Parks, we often don’t think of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico, but along our shores are some of the most …

A Race to a Tie

April 26th, 2019


On May 10th, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, two sets of ordinary railroad tracks met under extraordinary circumstances. Together the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies, building from Sacramento, …

The Strange World of National Park Gift Stores

April 19th, 2019


When we think about the people that help keep the gears turning in National Parks, it’s easy for us to think about the wonderful rangers that keep us …

The Night the Mountain Fell

April 12th, 2019


The Yellowstone Supervolcano snores through the geysers and mud pots, and restlessly tumbles as multiple earthquakes hit the region nearly every day. …

A Rescue in the Grand Tetons

April 5th, 2019


Mountain climbing is surely one of the most dangerous of the extreme sports. It’s a trial of wills that takes a clear head, teamwork, and unflappable …

Apostle of the Cacti

March 29th, 2019


If you're a National Park buff, and you probably are if you're listening to this podcast, you probably know of some of the famous people responsible for the very creation of many of our greatest parks. People like John …

9:02 A.M.

March 22nd, 2019


24 years ago, a Ryder truck packed with nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives was parked in front of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. In a matter of seconds, the blast destroyed most of the nine-story …


March 15th, 2019


On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous “Day Of Infamy Speech." The United States had entered World War II. That evening, his wife …

"Goodbye, Death Valley."

March 8th, 2019


In 1848, gold was discovered in California and people from all over the United States packed their belongings and began to travel by wagon to what …

A Century of Progress

March 2nd, 2019


Surely if you listen to this podcast you've heard the news — America now boasts 61 National Parks. Buried within a massive spending bill protecting public lands signed by the President on February 15, 2019, was a …

Four Voices, Four Missions

February 22nd, 2019


The Alamo is certainly San Antonio’s most famous landmark, perhaps even the most famous building in Texas, because of its pivotal role in the 1836 …

A Great Obelisk

February 16th, 2019


In 1833, a small organization formed with the purpose to fund and build a monument "unparalleled in the world," in honor of once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States. …

Fighting on Arrival, Fighting for Survival

February 9th, 2019


During the Indian conflicts on the western plains after the Civil War, Native Americans gave Black regiments of the U.S. Army the name Buffalo …

The Chestnut Blight

February 1st, 2019


At the turn of the 20th century, the eastern half of the American landscape looked very different than it does today. It was blanketed in 4 billion towering American Chestnut trees. Over the course of 50 years, they all …

The Great Smoky Homestead

January 25th, 2019


Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, where ancient mountains, covered in pine, glow in purple, pink …

Rangers Make the Difference II

January 18th, 2019


As we release this episode, the longest government shutdown in American history is still underway, and 800,000 government workers are on furlough, including rangers and other protectors of our wildlife and national …

A White House Burns

January 11th, 2019


One of the very symbols of our nation is a residence for our highest elected official, designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the …

A Rocky Mountain Tragedy

January 4th, 2019


There are a million conspiracy theories about people missing or turning up dead in National Parks and other public lands. But really, when you break down the numbers, the number of disappearances, murders, and …

A Gift from Tokyo

December 28th, 2018


Each spring, an abundance of winter-weary locals and tourists flock to our nation's capital, hoping to see the blossoming beauty of the famed Japanese cherry trees. You may know that the original trees were a gift from …

Kitty Hawk

December 21st, 2018


Otto Lilienthal was a German pioneer of aviation who became known as the "flying man." He was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, …

An Impossible Climb

December 14th, 2018


In July of 1982, 5 men set out to conquer the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Every day, many people take …

77 Years Ago

December 7th, 2018


The day this episode is released, December 7th, 2018, marks the 77th anniversary of the event that would send the United States into World War II, …

The Solitude of Self

December 2nd, 2018


On July 11, 1848, a local newspaper ran an advertisement announcing a meeting that would happen a week later at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, …

A Yellowstone Christmas

November 23rd, 2018


What could be more magical than Christmas at a National Park lodge? Grand log-beamed lobbies, decked out in real pine trimmings, the crackling of …

The Lost Horse Mine

November 16th, 2018


Even before the California Gold Rush of 1849, prospectors were finding gold in Southern California. As the rewards from the mines in the Sierras …

Four Men on a Mountain

November 9th, 2018


In the Black Hills of South Dakota, majestic figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are said to tell …


November 2nd, 2018


Before dawn on what would become a perfect October day in Utah, I set out to attempt a solo hike. It wasn't the type of hike that would have been a …

Hell, with the Fires Out

October 26th, 2018


It’s that time of year. You’re getting pelted with the supernatural from every direction - on TV, at the Movie Theater, in the grocery store. Far be it from us to miss an opportunity for a themed episode. On today’s …

How National Parks Stop Thieves

October 19th, 2018


If you listened to The Curse of the Petrified Forest, our episode on the strange happenings surrounding people who stole rocks from Petrified Forest …

At Home with Harry and Bess

October 12th, 2018


On this episode of America's National Parks, At Home With Harry & Bess, the multigenerational story of a home that would come to be known as the …

The Wonderful Wind Cave

October 5th, 2018


In 1881, Jesse and Tom Bingham heard a whistling noise coming from a beach-ball-sized hole in a rock formation near Hot Springs, South Dakota. Wind …

Corps of Discovery Part 2

September 28th, 2018


When we left off last time Meriwether Lewis had just looked over the crest of the largest mountain range he had ever seen (or summited), hoping to …

Corps of Discovery

September 21st, 2018


In 2018, America is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act as well as the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The 1968 National Trails System Act created and protected trails that celebrate outdoor …

His Name Was Mudd

September 14th, 2018


On a Sunday in November of 1864, John Wilkes Booth first made the acquaintance of Dr. Samuel Mudd. The men discussed a horse sale, and Booth was invited to spend the night at Mudd's home. On December 23, the two men met …

Stories from the Sands

September 7th, 2018


One of the world's great natural wonders rises from the heart of New Mexico's Tularosa basin. Great wave-like dunes of baby powder-like gypsum sand …

A Strenuous Holiday

August 31st, 2018


In 1914, four influential men — Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs — loaded their automobiles with camping gear and embarked on the first of several historic road trips. They called …

America's Spa

August 24th, 2018


In the mountains of western Arkansas, there's a place where rain waters are absorbed through crevices in the earth's surface, then warmed and …

The Sleeping Volcano

August 17th, 2018


On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted — it was the "deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United …

Ballads of Big Bend

August 10th, 2018


The shape of the southwestern edge of Texas is carved by The Rio Grande river, as it tranquilly flows bringing life to some of the most remote regions of the country. Here, the Rio takes a giant turn north, a Big Bend …

Rangers Make the Difference

August 3rd, 2018


July 31st of each year is set aside by the International Ranger Foundation as World Ranger Day to honor park rangers around the globe who are on the …

The 14th Colony

July 27th, 2018


Everyone knows America's legendary origins — 13 colonies fighting off the tyranny of the British Empire to form our Union — but did you know there …

The Land That Made a President

July 20th, 2018


On his 22nd birthday, in 1880, Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee. Their daughter, Alice Lee Roosevelt, was born on February 12, 1884. Two days after his daughter was born, his wife and mother died on the …

Unleashing a Tamed River

July 13th, 2018


Over the past century, the United States has led the world in dam construction. There are at least 90,000 dams over six-feet tall in this country and over 2 million shorter than six feet. More than a quarter have passed …

Acadia National Park and the Year Maine Burned

July 6th, 2018


Strange weather patterns set in 1947 in the state of Maine, as a quick and early spring thaw preceded months of endless rain. Finally, at the end of June, the sun broke through the clouds as temperatures climbed …

The Gateway to Arizona

June 28th, 2018


If there's one place in our travels that has seemed a nearly hidden gem -- a place where hardly anyone goes, yet is full of incredible beauty -- it's …

Alcatraz and the Civil War

June 21st, 2018


In the late 1840s, the U.S. government seized control of California from the Republic of Mexico and immediately went to work on protecting the new …

The Curse of the Petrified Forest

June 13th, 2018


In a small section of the painted desert of Arizona, you can find forests of crumbled trees, preserved as stone. Over 200 million years ago, these large conifers were uprooted by floods, then washed down from the …

Drunken Subterranian Terrorism

June 7th, 2018


Elevators might seem like a strange topic for a National Park Podcast, but today we're going to talk about a special elevator. In 1931, the National Park constructed what was then the second highest (or shall we say …

Dred and Harriet Scott

May 31st, 2018


On April 6th, 1846, Dred and Harriet Scott walked into the unfinished St. Louis Courthouse in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, and in an act of bravery, filed separate petitions against Irene Emerson for their …

Legends of Denali

May 24th, 2018


In 1896, the highest summit in America was named by a gold prospector in support for then-presidential candidate William McKinley, who became …

Lady Liberty

May 17th, 2018


The Statue of Liberty stands out in New York Harbor, bearing her torch, welcoming tourists and immigrants with the American spirit of Liberty. Her story is complicated, and many apocryphal tales abound of her sitting …

Delicate Arch, and the Strange 1950s Schemes to Reinforce It

May 2nd, 2018


There's one natural rock arch that's known better than all others in the US, in fact, it's on the state of Utah's license plate. It had its own postage stamp, and the 2002 Winter Olympics torch relay passed through it. …

Muir, Roosevelt, and Yosemite: A Camping Trip That Changed the World

April 25th, 2018


In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt ditched his secret service detail to go camping in the woods of Yosemite with celebrated naturalist John Muir. Through his writings, Muir taught the importance of experiencing and …

California Condors

April 18th, 2018


How do you save a species of bird with a population of 22 living? A controversial plan hatched nearly three decades ago has condors soaring over …

An Island Prison

April 10th, 2018


If you only know the name Geronimo from the call that paratroopers in old war movies and Bugs Bunny cartoons shout, it's a nickname bestowed upon a …

The Voyageurs

April 4th, 2018


On the northern shores of Minnesota lies a remote waterscape steeped in history, nature, and tradition. Named for the wild men who paddled its waterways in the Canadian fur trade, Voyageurs National Park is home to …

Pirates and Parks

March 27th, 2018


Piracy, the act of seizing a ship or its cargo from its lawful owners, has been a plague since people first set sail on the high seas. By the …

37 Days in Yellowstone

March 22nd, 2018


Two years before the creation of our first National Park, Truman Everts got lost in Yellowstone. He lost not one, but two horses. He set not one, but two forest fires. He waited out a mountain lion in a tree. He slept …

The Grand Dame of the Everglades

March 13th, 2018


At the southern tip of Florida lie the Everglades, a crucial ecosystem to America and the world. Everglades National Park has spent its entire life under siege, with Marjory Stoneman Douglas out front as its chief …

Grand, Gloomy, and Peculiar

March 6th, 2018


Deep within Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park, one can find so much more than rock formations. The shale-capped mass of 400 known miles of …

From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream Waters

February 27th, 2018


Welcome to the America's National Parks Podcast. In the coming weeks, we'll begin to explore our nation's treasures, their history, their people, and their stories. Until then, listen to this, our "episode zero," a …

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