Religious elements of national parks may not be obvious, but visitors’ experiences rely to some extent on traditions of religious travel and religio-aesthetic interpretations.
Tracing the historical origins of the national park idea can be frustrating. In truth, no single individual can take credit for the idea of national parks.
Nathaniel P. Langford and other members of the 1870 Washburn-Doane expedition “Columbused” Yellowstone by “discovering” it as a “park.”
Horace Albright’s legacy enjoys high esteem, but many of the precedents he set for the National Park Service have contributed to problems that parks now face.
The National Park Service’s management of nature offers America’s wild places as contrived experiences to meet the spiritual expectations of the consumer public.
Recalling a magical day in Yellowstone National Park that changed our lives and sent us on a journey that we are still traveling forty years later.
Even though it is a national park with complicated and historically shifting meanings, Yellowstone is many other places as well.
Visitors who delight in nature and stunning scenery at places like Acadia National Park often do not realize their aesthetic debt to Protestant reformer and theologian John Calvin.
Acadia National Park has become infested with an epidemic of automobiles, but many visitors escape the traffic on the refurbished carriage roads where they can enjoy the park by equine-powered carriages, on foot or bicycle.
An ancient pictograph in a place called Tsegi, what is now Canyon de Chelly National Monument, shows people chasing animals over a hill or maybe a rainbow.
America has long been confused about whether nature is for us to adore and enjoy, or for us to profit from. This confusion has been painfully clear in our divisive attitudes toward national parks.
Cars have been both a blessing and a curse for national parks. They are how most of us get to the places we love, but they also hurt the places we love.