Colorado’s Curecanti National Recreation Area is never been more magical than in autumn. On the Neversink trail, cottonwoods, willows and grasses turn shades of gold – providing a stark contrast between the blue skies and the Gunnison River. No matter the time of year, Neversink is a popular area for fishing, hiking and even picnicking. Photos by L. Stoorza, National Park Service.
Dinosaur National Monument offers a lifetime of places to explore. Depending on your interest and time, you can discover dinosaur fossils, Native American rock art, homesteader cabins, early 20th century ranches, remote canyons, dramatic vistas, peaceful rivers or windswept peaks. Some places are easily accessible from the monument’s roads, while others may require extended hikes or river trips. Looking down hundreds of feet to the Green River as it curls past narrow canyon walls, you’ll know it was worth the exercise. Photo by National Park Service.
Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors. Urban wildlife refuges provide an easy escape to nature for millions of Americans every year. Within view of Denver’s skyscrapers, visitors to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge can see bison, bald eagles, snow geese and sunsets. It’s just one of many resources for city dwellers. Find more: www.fws.gov/urban/wildlifeRefuges.php Sunset photo by Dave Showalter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The aspens are dressed in golden hues at Colorado’s Alpine Loop National Backcountry Byway, and they sure are beautiful! A rugged 4×4 road that winds through the spectacular scenery of the San Juan Mountains connecting Lake City, Silverton and Ouray, the Alpine Loop byway climbs up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, abundant wildlife and stunning geography. While the trees have reached their peak and leaves are starting to fall, next weekend should still be good for autumn colors in the area. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado is a series of three reservoirs along the once wild Gunnison River. The reservoirs that make up Curecanti today are a destination for water-based recreation high in the Rocky Mountains. Best known for salmon and trout fishing, Curecanti also offers opportunities for hiking, boating, camping and bird watching. Photo by Paul Santellan, National Park Service.
The first touches of fall are in the air at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. While most of the trees in this Colorado park are still green, snow showers dusted the Sangre de Cristo Mountains over the weekend, and the highest aspen groves are beginning to turn gold. This photo was taken south of the dunes looking toward California Peak at 13,855 feet. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
2,250 feet down, at the base of the Painted Wall – the tallest cliff in Colorado – the Gunnison River thunders through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You can actually hear the river roaring from the canyon rim. Several trails and overlooks along the rim offer stunning views of dramatic drops and the distant river. There are no maintained or marked trails into the inner canyon. Routes are difficult to follow, and only individuals in excellent physical condition should attempt these hikes. Photo by Nancy Danna (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On this day in 1865, Gifford Pinchot – the “Father of American Forestry” – was born. As the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Pinchot was instrumental in establishing the American conservation ethic over a century ago. Pinchot’s believed in managing our land according to the best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. Today, Pinchot’s philosophy of multiple use continues to influence the mission of federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. Learn more about the life and legacy of Gifford Pinchot: https://on.doi.gov/Pinchot
Photo of Maroon Bells in Colorado by Sagarika Roy (www.sharetheexperience.org).
San Juan Mountains of Colorado