Video: Arches and Canyonlands national parks timelapse

Coming home from a quick vacation in the South to visit family, we are living again with snow.

About 6 inches fell overnight. We are done. Done with winter. Done with snow.

Ready for spring, to plant the garden and to spend time outside — in warm weather.

Until then, this video from Roadtrippers will have to do. Enjoy.


Video: A week in the desert

Follow along as the gang from Mammoth Media go on a week-long trip through the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon once, and Wife of Mine and I visited Arches, Zion, Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands just after we got hitched. It is a beautiful part of the country and this video captures it well — and it looks like they had a ton of fun, too.

(Mammoth Media on Vimeo)

Jenn Flemming on Devils Tower

The film collaboration between Camp 4 Collective and the National Park Foundation continues, and part four finds professional climber Jenn Flemming at Devils Tower National Monument, located in eastern Wyoming.

A key component of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Devils Tower is considered sacred by Native American tribes. During the month of June, many climbers respect a no climbing ban on the formation as tribes conduct ceremonies around the monument.

For more on the National Park Foundation project, visit

Part one of the series featured Alex Honnond in Yosemite National Park. Part two highlighted Conrad Anker in Denali National Park. Part three followed Jimmy Chin in Grand Teton National Park.

Five myths about national parks

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo. (Photo by Mountains Call Me)

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo. (Photo by Mountains Are Calling)

The deal reached in Washington last week finally reopened the national parks. It was heartening to see how much coverage their closure garnered during the shutdown — a reminder of what they mean to people.

The Washington Post’s Five Myths series has a new entry about the national parks in the wake of the 16-day-long government closure. Written by Robert Earle Howells, a Southern California-based writer and contributor to “Secrets of the National Parks” and “The 10 Best of Everything: National Parks.”

The closing of America’s national parks was among the most emotionally charged aspects of the 16-day federal government shutdown. As party leaders raced to make a deal to reopen the government and avert a default, House Republicans were accusing the head of the Park Service of trying to make the shutdown “as painful and as visible as possible.” It’s a shame that the parks, usually a source of national pride, became rhetorical pawns amid a national embarrassment. But while the parks still have the country’s attention, it’s worth clearing up some myths about them.

Read the complete Post article here.

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Alpinist: Climbers respond to government shutdown

From the Alpinist website:

Tuesday, the first day of the U.S. government shutdown, National Park Rangers across the country gave visitors 48 hours to vacate federal lands: National Parks, National Forest and BLM land.

Rangers in Yosemite blasted a loudspeaker at El Capitan, reported, “Government shutdown. Yosemite National Park will be closed to recreating.” Through traffic in Yosemite will still be allowed, the website also said, but “barricades and traffic cones are at the pull outs…. Even employees are not supposed to be recreating.” All activities on park grounds are considered illegal.

One local Yosemite climber we spoke with explained, “The rangers let people start up El Cap [on Thursday], but no more.” He said, “Today I hid in the back of a friend’s car then jumped out and ran up the Four Mile Trail…. I ended up making an illegal free solo linkup of the Steck-Salathe on Sentinel Rock and the NEB (Northeast Buttress) on Higher Cathedral Rock.”

Today, Stacey Powells, director of the California radio stations KMMT and KRHV, is promoting an Occupy Yosemite event. Protesters will enter the park through Tioga Pass and head to Tuolumne Meadows. All protesters risk citation.

The Access Fund issued this statement: “Some public lands and trails that do not require staff may remain open for the duration of the shutdown, though without rangers or amenities. Staff will not be on duty and amenities, including campgrounds, will be closed. Bathrooms will be locked and water has been cut off in many scenic areas and campgrounds.”

Also, from Does Google have the answer to reopening the National Parks?



It’s been a tough week for national parks, thanks to the federal government shutdown. Grand Canyon rafters threatened to rush the blocked gate at Lee’s Ferry. Hundreds of elk were displaced from Rocky Mountain National Park, with nowhere to go but the Estes Park Golf Course in the center of town, where the activities of rutting season (now in full swing) have made playing through awkward. Avalanches on Mt. Rainier came to a screeching halt. Climbers in Yosemite’s Camp 4 showered and left. But even though there’s no sign of compromise from ultra right-wing conservatives in the House of Representatives who caused the shutdown, there’s still good news: The White House has announced that national parks will reopen beginning this Saturday, thanks to a donation from Google.

The deal came together after President Obama met with business leaders to pressure Republicans to drop their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. One of the execs was Google founder Sergey Brin.

“I asked what Google could do to help,” Brin said, “and the president joked, ‘A big fat check would be nice,’ so I pulled out my Capitol One Rewards card and told him to go wild. He’s stoked, the parks will open again, and the miles I’m going get — man!”

The parks will open in two waves — “the cool ones first,” said Brin, “followed by those other ones.” In a show of magnanimity, Yosemite’s waterfalls will be turned back on by Friday evening, as will Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. The Colorado River “might take another day or two” because of its size, he said.

Follow @mountainscallme on Twitter.

Google celebrates Yosemite’s birthday

The Google homepage is celebrating Yosemite National Park‘s 123rd birthday.

google_yosemiteYosemite was designated by an act of Congress on Oct. 1, 1890, making it the United States’ third national park, after Yellowstone (1872) and Sequoia (1890).

Because of the government shutdown, however, you won’t be able to visit the park to help celebrate the occasion in person. So, spend a few minutes watching a day in the life of the park.

Additionally, here is a video of Alex Honnond climbing in Yosemite National Park.

Follow @mountainscallme on Twitter.