Discovering Night Sky Programs at U.S. National Parks

"Most of us, generally, envision our visits to national and state parks occurring during daytime hours. However, most parks are accessible long after the sun goes down, creating a unique opportunity to be in park environs— desert, wilderness, and mountains—under dark and vast skies." Click to read more about contributor Courtney Johnson's exploration of the night sky programs in our national parks.

Know This Place

Travel with Lauren Smith as she finds a sense of home on the road, much like the migrating birds she studies. "The month after I moved to Montana I went to an environmental conference in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. There, I heard a Blackfeet elder say this: “We are bound by breath to honor and take care of this place.” The elder was speaking about conservation, and how it is important to care for all parts of an ecosystem—the watershed, the soil, the plants, the animals. To care, the elder said, you need to settle in a place and let it settle in you. Once this happens, you are bound by breath to honor and care for that place." Click here to continue.

Fall 2018 Essay Contest

Our annual fall essay contest invites nonfiction submissions of up to 1,500 words in the form of autobiographical essay, reportage, profile, memoir, or narrative nonfiction. We seek essays that express a moment of significance — personal transformation, awakening, adventure, exploration, reward, accomplishment, revelation — that is inspired by or set within a park space or public land. Essays need not be about a U.S. national park—national forests, municipal and state parks, BLM lands, beaches, lakeshores, campgrounds, designated woodlands—and more—are great subjects. Also note that the writer does not need to be the subject of the essay. First, second and third place entries will be published on Parks and Points, as will the names of finalists. All entries are considered for publication. 

Find the Best Food In Montana Yellowstone Country

Our friends at Food Travelist have compiled a diverse selection of eateries in the Yellowstone region, from lodges, ranches, and resorts to craft breweries, ice cream parlors, and ideal spots for a tasty lunch. Their post celebrates the best of the region (including local delicacies, like huckleberry ice cream, and perfectly seasoned and prepared game) and we are glad to share it with you! For the nights you are not planning to indulge in s'mores around the campfire, consider these venues...and let us know what you think!

Discover Where the National Parks and the Arts Intersect

The National Park Service, we know, protects and preserves important historical landmarks and expansive, undeveloped natural landscapes. However, many NPS units also have ties to the creative arts, and are dedicated to honoring and preserving an artistic legacy. We've taken a closer look at parks that focus upon artists, writers, and important creative and cultural pursuits that uniquely reflect and reexamine American culture. Let's take a look, click here!

Dining with the Sky Gods

An hour later and I'm clinging to a cable on the side of the mountain, treading a path so narrow my feet no longer fit side by side safely, but only one in front of the other. There is a steep, almost vertical drop to my right hand side. Indeed, at one point there is only a metal bar sticking out from the sheer rock, bridging the next bit of narrow path. Don't look down, I think. Hang on to the cable with both hands. Phew. Done.