I’ve found that the National Park Service website has plenty of useful information, but it’s not always easy to find. Some of the individual parks’ website are far more robust than they seem on the surface.
For example, the Carlsbad Caverns website. There is a large link on the homepage of each park labeled “MAP.” At Carlsbad’s site, that link takes you to a message saying, “No high resolution map is available…” but looking around for a while, you find two very nice maps of good resolution. The moral of this story is to patiently explore the park websites. Use the search feature and look around. You’ll find lots of great stuff.
I found a really useful park publication on the Carlsbad website a couple of days ago. I printed it out, but went back looking for the link… no luck. I looked under “brochures and publications.” Not there. I finally found it, though. Under the “News” link. The Park Newspaper. I don’t know why this isn’t a “brochure and publication,” and I don’t know why it’s not listed under “planning your visit,” but now I know where it is! Useful details include:
- Hours & Dates
- Tour Types and Schedules
- Reservation Phone Number
- Scenic Drives (and other “topside” activities)
- Nearby Attractions
- Junior Ranger Programs
I particularly recommend pages 4, 5, and 8.