Sometimes, going to national parks can feel like time travel. Exploring Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado gives you a chance to experience the preserved cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the park contains 5,000+ known archeological sites – from the cliff dwellings to mesa top sites of pithouses, pueblos, masonry towers and farming structures. A visit here is like going 1,000 years into the past. Photo by Scott Reynolds (www.sharetheexperience.org).
For many public lands, one visit is never enough. Photographer Dawn Demaske made several summer trips to Badlands National Park in South Dakota, but hadn’t seen a winter sunrise until recently. Setting up near the park’s signature rock formations, Dawn watched the sky lighten. “The sunrise was spectacular and it was everything I wished it would be. I felt very fortunate to be there at that moment and I took it all in.” Photo courtesy of Dawn Demaske.
A dignified view of dawn, right where rivers meet in West Virginia at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The Shenandoah River is on the right and the Potomac River feeds from the left. The area is rich with history and natural beauty, offering up something for everyone. Photo courtesy of Geoff Livingston.
Happy Presidents’ Day! What better way to celebrate the birthday of our first president– George Washington – than with this gorgeous photo of the monument built to honor him. A 555-foot marble obelisk, the Washington Monument towers over Washington, D.C. Sunrise photo courtesy of Drew Geraci.
There is no one-size-fits-all trip to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Each season offers new and different ways to enjoy the park. Spring splashes the riverbanks and shoreline with an abundance of colorful wildflowers. Summers are all about fun in the sun and on the sand. In the fall, Maple trees burst with warm red and golden hues crafting a spectacular backdrop for a hike by Lake Michigan and winter brings a scenic canvas of white snow begging for cross-country skiing. Photo by Rafi Wilkinson, National Park Service.
It’s easy to marvel at the striking symmetry of Shishaldin Volcano on Unimak Island. One of the many active volcanoes in Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, it stands 9,373 ft above sea level, making it the highest mountain peak on the Aleutian Islands. In this land of cold and ice, the steam from this smoking volcano makes a remarkable sight. Photo by Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Some sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway have already seen snow this year, but we couldn’t let fall come to a close without one more amazing photo of autumn splendor. The forested mountains of North Carolina and Virginia are the perfect showcase for changing leaves and amazing sunrises. Each turn on the road and trail overlook provides a breathtaking view. Photo by Ric Chamblee (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Famous for mountaintop sunrises, Haleakala National Park in Hawaii offers thrilling adventures from summit to sea. Visitors to the Kīpahulu District on the northeast coast of of Maui are treated to views of waterfalls, sweeping ocean vistas and powerful Hawaiian cultural experiences. You might even see a double rainbow. Photo courtesy of Chris Archer.
National Wildlife Refuge Week is a great time to remind everyone that refuges are some of the best places for birdwatching. One of the most thrilling birds to spot is the bald eagle. A majestic symbol of our nation, bald eagles are found in every state except Hawaii. Males and females work together to build large nests, and you’ll often see them hunting over open fields and water. This one just left its perch at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Photo by Curtis Gibbens (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On September 25, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation establishing Sequoia National Park in California. America’s second national park is not only home to incredible scenery and wildlife but also protects true natural wonders: giant sequoias. These amazing trees can grow over 250 feet tall and live more than 3,000 years. Walking among them can be an overwhelming experience. Discover more park highlights: https://on.doi.gov/2y0MRjG Photo by Hiroko Todoroki (www.sharetheexperience.org).