The name Observation Point mildly describes the epic view from this overlook at Zion National Park in Utah. More than 2,000 feet below, the North Fork of the Virgin River winds through the lush canyon, curving around the dramatic fin of Angels Landing. If the elevation gain of the hike there doesn’t take your breath away, then the view surely will. Photo by Leslie Poole (www.sharetheexperience.org).
It’s Flag Day! On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution, “that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.“ Changes have been made to the original design as our nation grew, but the Stars and Stripes remains a proud symbol of our country. Here it is flying near the highest place in the United States – Denali National Park & Preserve in Alaska. Photo by Jerome Ginsberg (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Bobcats thrive at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico but are rarely seen. Mostly nocturnal, they use stealth and excellent night vision to hunt small mammals in darkness. Bobcats are usually tawny with darker spots and streaks on their body and legs, and light-colored undersides. They have short black tufts on their ears and a ruff of longer fur on their face. The kittens may look like ordinary house cats, but they quickly grow to twice the size of domestic cats. Photo by National Park Service.
Dinosaur National Monument contains famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, intriguing petroglyphs, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike to spectacular views, the thrill of rafting through a twisting canyon, or sitting quietly and watching the sunset, Dinosaur National Monument offers a myriad of activities for you to enjoy. This photo is from the Cub Creek area, which includes hiking trails, petroglyphs and pictographs, historic structures from the monument’s homesteading history and more. Photo by National Park Service.
What are you doing for National Get Outdoors Day? If you’re a fan of public lands, you could frolic in the sand at a national seashore, take a peaceful hike in a wilderness area, go bird watching in a wildlife refuge or enjoy breathtaking views at our incredible national parks. These deer at Olympic National Park in Washington seem to have the right idea. Photo by Jason Horstman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Sometimes you have to get below the surface to truly appreciate public lands. Cave systems are fascinating places and can be found at several unique parks across the country. Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota boasts over 195 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, an underground wilderness that appeals to human curiosity. The splendor of this hidden gem is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers, and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. Photo of a lantern tour by Christopher Raborn (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The Tioga Road at Yosemite National Park in California is now open for visitors exploring the remarkable trails in the Tuolumne Meadows. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows offer peaceful surroundings and amazing scenery. Hiking trails for varying levels of difficulty lead to a paradise of water, rock, forest and sky. We recommend cooling your heels at Upper Cathedral Lake. Photo by Luke Tyree (www.sharetheexperience.org).
If patience was a plant, it would be a Bristlecone pine. Cautiously growing in the harsh terrain of Great Basin National Park in Nevada, these amazing trees can grow to be more than 5,000 years old. Gnarled, twisted and scattered in groves on rocky ground, Bristlecone pines make excellent subjects for photos, especially with a night sky or sunset backdrop. Photo by Thomas Sikora (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Lightning is one of nature’s most powerful and dangerous forces. In the summer at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, you can expect thunderstorms almost every afternoon. Visitors should monitor the weather and postpone outdoor activities when thunderstorms are in the area. Witnessing a lightning storm may be a thrill, but it’s not worth the risk. Photo by Park Volunteer Ann Schonlau, National Park Service.