NPCA's Park Advocate » tips News and views of the National Parks Conservation Association Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:47:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 9 Spooky National Park Sites Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:46:50 +0000 As the days get shorter, the nights get spookier—at least during the month of October. If you’re looking for a few mysterious places to explore before telling ghost stories by the campfire, these quaint and curious settings offer tricks and treats for an eerie autumn mood. Click the photos for more information on each park. […]]]> 0 Parks after Dark: 9 Ideas for Nighttime Fun Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:15:54 +0000 Summer nights may be short, but national parks often host extra activities to educate and entertain visitors during this popular tourist season, including more fun things to do after dark. Whether you’re exploring on your own or hanging out with a ranger, try a few of these excuses to stay out late in special places. […]]]> 0 Water You Waiting For? 10 Perfect Parks for Paddling Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:31:16 +0000 Go beyond the hiking trail and enjoy parks from a refreshing vantage point: water. Rivers and lakes offer adventurous routes through some of the country’s most remarkable landscapes, including views you just can’t see from land. From lazy float trips to exhilarating whitewater, national parks have fun options for visitors of every experience level—sometimes even […]]]> 2 The 10 Least-Visited Places in the Park System Wed, 01 Apr 2015 04:16:05 +0000 The Park Service recently released its visitation statistics for 2014. Some of the most popular parks, such as Great Smoky Mountains and Golden Gate, drew record numbers of visitors. But what about the underappreciated places where only a handful of adventurers go each year? Take a peek at these 10 under-the-radar national gems. Parks are […]]]> 8 It’s Waterfall Season! 10 Places to Celebrate Wed, 04 Mar 2015 04:08:37 +0000 As temperatures warm, a season’s worth of snow will melt into rushing cascades of water. Early spring is generally the best time to see waterfalls, before summer’s heat dries up the flow (though there are a couple of exceptions below). These ten picture-perfect parks are great bets to experience a natural rush. Click the photos […]]]> 7 Dreaming of Spring? 9 Great Spots to See Wildflowers Mon, 02 Feb 2015 21:27:31 +0000 Soon, national parks in some of the warmest regions of the country will begin blooming with a new season’s worth of wildflowers. What better way to shake off the winter doldrums—or charm your Valentine—than with the promise of a front-row seat at a national park to watch the landscape come alive with color? Click the […]]]> 7 Plan a Desert Getaway to Zion National Park Fri, 16 Jan 2015 14:08:13 +0000 This story is part of NPCA’s biweekly Desert Getaway series. Read more stories in the series for tips on visiting other desert parks. One of the most widely visited national parks in the Southwest, Zion is famous for its colorful sandstone rock formations with high cliffs and narrow canyons carved into shape by the power […]]]> 0 7 Tips for Winter Hiking—Plus 6 of NPCA’s Favorite Cold-Weather Trails Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:27:58 +0000 Though the cold weather and dark days of winter may discourage time outdoors, hiking during these months can be a fantastic and memorable experience. Crowds disappear, silence reigns, and landscapes take on a glittery and frost-covered splendor. Here are a few practical tips to help ensure a positive hiking experience for you and your loved […]]]> 0 Plan a Desert Getaway to Grand Canyon National Park Tue, 06 Jan 2015 15:00:49 +0000 This story is part of NPCA’s biweekly Desert Getaway series. Read more stories in the series for tips on visiting other desert parks. America’s Southwest is full of amazing canyons, but none perhaps as famous or as widely visited as the Grand Canyon. This world-famous landmark is actually the youngest of the canyons in the […]]]> 0 Plan Ahead for 2015: 10 Parks for Your Bucket List Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:02:44 +0000 National parks are the stuff of bucket lists—who doesn’t dream of spending time in the country’s most celebrated places like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, or the Everglades? As you’re thinking about where to explore this year, NPCA has ten less-visited places to add to your wish list. Where are you headed in 2015? Each month, […]]]> 2