Canon Offers Free Photography Workshops In US National Parks

Camera manufacturer Canon has once again teamed up with the American Park Network to offer free photography and videography workshops in U.S. national parks. These workshops, which include video for the first time, will be available in a variety of locations and offer park visitors a chance to learn new skills, or hone existing ones, in some of the most photogenic environments on the planet.

The Photography in the Parks program has already been wrapped up in the Grand Canyon, Zion and Yosemite National Parks this year, but new opportunities begin in other parks as early as today. For example, workshops in Yellowstone run from July 21-31 and are held three times daily. Anyone wishing to participate can join in the fun at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Old Faithful Lodge. Participants are encouraged to arrive 15-30 minutes early. Other upcoming workshops will be held in Grand Teton National Park (August 1-2), Rocky Mountain National Park (August 5-11) and Acadia National Park (August 18-29).

Instructors will be on hand to provide tips on how to get the most out of your digital camera or camcorder. They’ll also have a variety of Canon products available to test as well, including their wonderful EOS DSLR cameras, EF lenses, PowerShot point and shoot and Vixia camcorders. Those expert photographers will demonstrate fun and creative ways to capture the exact photo you’re trying to achieve.

For more information check out the Photography in the Parks website and start making your plans to sit in on one of these classes soon. This is a great opportunity to get a free workshop that could improve your travel photography skills.

Plenty Of Campsites Available In Yellowstone This Spring

Unlike last year when late season snows hampered travel, visitors to Yellowstone this spring will find plenty of campsites open and available. The park has 12 campgrounds sprinkled across its 2.2 million acres of wilderness and each of them offers a unique and affordable way to visit one of the most spectacular wildernesses in all of North America.

Spring is the perfect time to visit Yellowstone for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the lack of crowds. By summer the park begins to fill up and during the peak months of July and August it can get quite crowded at times. But book your visit before June 15 and you’ll avoid the high season altogether, giving you peaceful solitude across most of the park.

The return of spring also means that Yellowstone’s trees and flowers are in bloom and its plentiful wildlife is on the move once again. Not only have the bears left their winter dens, cubs in tow, but the elk and bison are also birthing their calves throughout the region. Sharp-eyed visitors might even catch a glimpse of a moose or an elusive wolf as they explore the park’s landscapes.

If you would like to experience spring in Yellowstone for yourself then book a campsite online by clicking here. Reservations can be made at five of the 12 sites online and at a cost of just $20.50 per night it is a real bargain.

Video: Scenes From Greater Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding wilderness is one of the most beautiful destinations in all of North America no matter what time of year you visit. For outdoor lovers and adventure travelers it is an amazing place that deftly blends breathtaking views, exceptional wildlife encounters and crazy geothermal features that are unlike anything else on Earth.

Last year cinematographer and photographer David Stubbs spent a considerable amount of time in the area working on various projects. He compiled some of his footage into the video below, which serves as an excellent two-minute example of what makes the Greater Yellowstone region such a great place for travelers. The video features snow capped peaks, time-lapse images of geysers, sparring moose and so much more.

Nature Valley Trail View is ‘street view’ for national parks

Earlier this week, Nature Valley launched a fun new website that delivers a Google Street View-like experience for hiking trails in some of America’s most popular and iconic national parks. Dubbed Nature Valley Trail View, the new site allows hikers to explore over 300 miles of trail directly from their browser.

Much like its counter-part from Google, Trail View actually puts us on the ground and gives us a 360-degree view of the surroundings as we take a virtual hike through the wilderness. It also offers information about the trail that is currently being displayed, including: its length, level of difficulty and important points of interest along the way. This makes it a great tool for scouting potential hikes in the national parks before we go while also providing insights into what to expect when we’re actually out on the hike.

At the moment, Trail View features three of the more popular and famous national parks – Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountains, and Yellowstone. The video below gives us a glimpse at the technology that has gone into creating the new website, which is just the latest initiative from Nature Valley, a company that has a long history of supporting the national parks in a variety of important ways.

Enjoy the video then go take a virtual hike.

2012 opening dates for Yellowstone lodges announced

The opening dates for the lodges inside Yellowstone National Park were announced earlier this week giving travelers an opportunity to start booking their accommodations well in advance of any planned visits later this year. While largely shut down for the winter months, the park’s historic and iconic lodges will open in stages throughout the spring in order to meet demand for the busy summer travel season ahead.

Starting in late April, the roads leading into Yellowstone will be cleared of snow, allowing vehicle access to the park once again. The exact dates for when those roads open can’t be predicted, as late season snow storms and heavy accumulations can present unexpected challenges. Once those roads do begin to open, however, park restaurants and gift shops near Old Faithful and Mammoth will soon follow.

The first lodges to resume operation for the season will be the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, both of which open on May 4. A week later they’ll be joined by the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and the Old Faithful Lodge, which are now accepting reservations for arrivals starting on May 11. The rest of the Yellowstone accommodations, including the Old Faithful Inn (May 18) and the Roosevelt Lodge (June 8), will open in the weeks that follow.

Spring and early summer are the perfect times to visit Yellowstone as the park returns to life following a long winter. In addition to blooming flowers and budding trees, the park’s abundant wildlife is generally more active too and sharp-eyed travelers will often catch a glimpse of newborn bison, elk and even bear.

If you have plans to visit Yellowstone this year you can check for room availability and book your stay by clicking here.