Rick van Twillert

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Record Drought Reveals Stunning Changes Along Colorado River

Lake Powell is at historic lows, offering kayakers new channels to explore but raising the alarm about water.<p>LAKE POWELL, Utah—In early September, at the abandoned Piute Farms marina on a remote edge of southern Utah's Navajo reservation, we watched a ten-foot (three-meter) waterfall plunging off …

Gravel Valentine: A Geologist’s Guide to Wyoming

TravelDigital Nomad<p>The geologist hands me a homemade brownie wrapped in a clear baggie, then points across my lap and out the window.<p>“This glacial environment makes up one of the nicer outwash plains we have. See that line of cobbles? Then a dip, and <i>another</i> line of cobbles? That’s where one of the …

Road Trip: San Luis Valley, Colorado

Travel<p>For a trip into history, few parts of the American Southwest can top this stretch of the Rockies' front range.<p>For a trip into history, few parts of the American Southwest can top southern Colorado's San Luis Valley, a 125-mile (200-kilometer) stretch of the Rockies front range defined by the …

Best of Montana Year-Round: Outdoor Recreation

Check out the five must-do local activities for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Montana.<p><b>Granite County</b><p>Granite County, southeast of Missoula, is best known as ghost town country. Within 30 miles of the county seat of Philipsburg there are nearly 20 abandoned mining camps, including Garnet, one of the …

Montana: Climb Granite Peak

Adventure<p><b>Take a two- to four-day weekend to tackle the highest point in Montana.</b><p><b>What Is It?</b> Take on a burly 20- to 24-mile round-trip backpack excursion to top out on one of the most difficult high points in the 50 states. Granite Peak, an imposing chunk of rock located in the Beartooth Range, …

Montana by Dirt: On Traveling by Dirt

A trip on a dirt road is typically the product of seeking adventure—getting to a trailhead to go mountain biking, finding a put-in for a favorite fishing spot, or heading to a cabin for vacation. But out of the four million miles of road in the U.S., more than a third are still unpaved gravel or …

Visitor's Guide to San Francisco

This guide is for the San Francisco tourist, from a recent visitor: a photographic guide of pointers that bring together a list to choose from when planning your visit -- points of interest, noteworthy areas of the city, factoids, historically famous San Francisco spots, best views, and recommended …

San Francisco

Summer in Montana

TravelPhoto Gallery<p>It's possible that there's no finer place to be in summer than Big Sky Country. Have a look at some of the best places the state has to offer.

California's ultimate outdoor adventures

The Golden State is an all-seasons outdoor playground. Here you can go hiking among desert wildflowers in spring, swimming in the Pacific kissed by the summer sun, mountain-biking among fall foliage and celebrate winter by schussing through deep powder. For bigger thrills, launch a glider off ocean …

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What's the Best Family-Friendly Day Hike in Yosemite?

<i>A:</i><p>Yosemite is known for epic wall climbs and strenuous ascents. But what if Half Dome isn't on the agenda and time with the tykes is? Here are a few easy-to-moderate treks, all five miles or shorter, that are accessible to the whole family.<p>In Yosemite Valley<p>At 11.5 miles, the entire Yosemite Floor …

National Geographic Traveler Director of...

National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography, Dan Westergren, recently was <i>On Assignment</i> in Montana, photographing the local culture and …

Grand Canyon Hits Back at Overcrowding, Littering With New Permits

Groups of hikers and runners who want to do grueling excursions across the Grand Canyon will soon need a permit — a move officials say will cut back …

First time San Diego: discover the best of America's finest city

San Diego calls itself America’s Finest City, and who are we to argue? Its sunny, breezy countenance animates the pandas and koalas at its world-famous zoo, skaters and surfers on its iconic beaches, tousled-haired valet parkers and vested bartenders slinging drinks in hipster hangouts of the …

Grand Canyon National Park Photos

Travel<p>Grand Canyon National Park photos and pictures of culture, history, and travel from National Geographic.

Montana by Dirt: From Longboarding to Climbing with the Super Stoked Conrad Anker

Adventure<p>Adventure<p><b>From Longboarding on a Mountain Pass to Climbing with Conrad Anker in His Own Backyard</b><p>No one chatted much as we trudged uphill through the forest. Mosquitos made their way into my ear each time I paused to catch my breath, and the verbal silence masked any possible diversion from …

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Surf's way, way up in Southern California

<b>Malibu, California (CNN) —</b> Smashing!<p>That pretty much sums up the waves coming to Southern California this week. And depending on whom you ask -- weather forecasters or surfers -- that word means either life-threatening peril or enlivening fun.<p>Far offshore, Hurricane Marie is driving some of the …

Road Trip: The Black Hills of South Dakota

Let the stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife of South Dakota surprise your senses.<p>The southwest corner of South Dakota surprises with stunning landscapes, rich history, and abundant wildlife.<p><b>Overview</b><p>For East and West Coasters, South Dakota is squarely within flyover country. But when ground …

Best of Montana in Summer: Places to Stay

Travel<p>Find out where to stay to see sweeping mountain vistas and lesser-known landscapes in Montana.<p><b>Rent a Rustic Cabin, National Forests</b><p>If you're into roughing it in the backwoods but want more than a tent over your head, a rustic cabin rented from Recreation.gov is just the answer. In Montana, …

Behind the Shot: Climbing New Routes Along the Green River, Utah

<i>See more photos like these in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery.</i><p>Adventure photographer Celin Serbo spends the year photographing top tier athletes, often taking on the same challenges the athletes face to get the shot. In the summer of 2013, Serbo headed to Utah’s Green River with climbers Alex …

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Best of Montana in Summer: Museums and Landmarks

Travel<p>Check out the three sites you must visit in summer for a lesson in history and culture in Big Sky Country.<p><b>Visit the Smokejumper Center, Missoula</b><p>The Missoula Smokejumper Base is home to over 70 elite firefighters who jump from airplanes to fight fires throughout the West. No jumping or flames …

What Should I Know About Hiking the Ice Age National Scenic Trail?

<i>A:</i><p>There's no better time than August to hike the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, one of 11 national scenic trails in the United States that’s federally protected thanks to its natural beauty. It’s also the only National Scenic Trail that traces a geologic landscape rather that being a point-to-point …

Once Secretive New Mexico Town Is Banking on a TV Hit to Bring Tourism

Los Alamos, the town that mushroomed in secrecy, now hopes all eyes will be on it.<p>The television series Manhattan premieres Sunday night, and this …

Rocky Mountain National Park

<b>Location: Colorado<br>Established: January 26, 1915<br>Size: 265,873 acres</b><p>Nowhere else in the United States can a visitor see so much alpine country with such ease. A mere two-hour drive from Denver, Trail Ridge Road takes visitors into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, traversing a ridge above …

Getting hot and steamy in Northern California

California is blessed with an abundance of geothermic activity and its mineral waters have been appreciated by those who have lived here for thousands of years. Over time, infrastructure has developed around many sites and as a result you’ll find resorts throughout the state with very different …

Road melts at Yellowstone National Park | CNN Travel