Add Bodie Hills to your travel bucketlist for its wildflowers, wildlife and a one-of-a-kind ghost town. California’s Eastern Sierra region is a dramatic transition zone between the snow-capped granite spires of the Sierra Nevada and the endless sagebrush covered uplands of the Great Basin. A trip at the right time of year will reward visitors with a diversity of wildflowers. Because of their high elevation, wildflower blooms are later here than much of California – typically arriving in May-June on the lower slopes and into July on the highest peaks. Pictured here is the “Dry Lakes Plateau” where ephemeral lakes fill with snowmelt. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
The Potomac River roars over rocks and ice in this winter shot from Great Falls Park in Virginia. A short drive from downtown Washington, D.C., Great Falls and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the opposite bank in Maryland offer terrific outdoor recreation. Locals will tell you, it’s home to some of the best views and hiking in the area. Be sure to obey all signs and stay away from the falls. Photo by National Park Service.
A purple and pink winter sunrise paints the sky at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. It’s a scene Charles M. Russell would have enjoyed. The refuge was named in recognition of this colorful western artist who often portrayed the refuge’s landscape in his paintings. Along with the stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, the refuge boasts a fantastic history that includes mountain men, Native Americans and dinosaurs. Photo by Mary Jo Hill, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tucson, Arizona, is home to the nation’s largest cacti. The universal symbol of the American west, these majestic plants are found only in a small portion of the United States and protected by Saguaro National Park. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset. Photo by Debbie Angel (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Spreading across Long Valley in California, the Volcanic Tablelands are a vast and unique landscape formed 700,000 years ago. Small canyons and bluffs dot the mostly flat area, offering amazing night sky views. Carved into the gray, red and pink rocks are extraordinary petroglyphs, mysterious symbols created by Native Americans centuries ago. Archaeologists can only speculate on their meaning. Photo of Bureau of Land Management site by Brandon Yoshizawa (www.sharetheexperience.org).
This time of year, Denali National Park in Alaska gets less than 6 hours of sunlight each day. The sun comes up around 10:30 a.m. and sets at 4:00 p.m. In the dark and cold, you quickly come to appreciate every streak of light across the sky and every moment of warmth on your skin. Still, there is beauty and spring is coming. Photo by Tim Rains, National Park Service.
Want to escape the winter cold? South Florida offers some amazing public lands getaways. Don’t miss sunrise at Big Cypress National Preserve. The orange light shimmers on the wetlands as a terrific variety of wildlife greets the morning. You’ll forget all about the snow at home. Photo by National Park Service.
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington offers amazing rewards for visitors willing to brave the cold. Epic views of mountains and valleys glimmer in snow white and subtle blue combine with the crunch of ice under your boots and the welcome warmth of daylight. The park is open, but vehicle access is limited, so bring your snowshoes and skis. Photo by Jared Pratt (www.sharetheexperience.org).
If you like snow, Glacier National Park in Montana is the perfect place for you! Mother Nature drapes the landscape in white. As the snow accumulates in Glacier, snowshoeing and skiing are the favorite recreational activities in the park. Even the wildlife come out to play. Photo by Bill Hayden, National Park Service.
Here’s an amazing pic of the first supermoon of 2018 from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This photo of the full moon over Mauna Loa was taken 400mm telephoto lens from Volcano House shortly after sunrise. Did you see the supermoon? Photo by Volunteer Janice Wei, National Park Service.