Category: national park service

After hiking past the turbulent Tanalian Falls…

After hiking past the turbulent Tanalian Falls, the serenity of Kontrashibuna Lake is a pleasant surprise. Just one of many stunning landscapes at Lake Clark National Park & Preserve in Alaska, the lake’s frigid waters are colored a light blue by glacial dust and lap at the edges of rich forests and rugged mountains. Fall colors make the area even more popular with intrepid visitors. Photo by W. Hill, National Park Service.

Today is the anniversary of the bloodiest day …

Today is the anniversary of the bloodiest day in American history – the Battle of Antietam. More than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after 12 hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederacy’s first major invasion of the North and gave President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s hard to imagine the horror that ravaged this Maryland community when you walk the now peaceful fields of Antietam National Battlefield. Photo by National Park Service.

Summer green becomes autumn orange in the blin…

Summer green becomes autumn orange in the blink of an eye at Denali National Park in Alaska. Termination dust – what Alaskans call the high altitude snow that signals the end of summer – coats mountains and sprinkles onto valleys. The red leaves of blueberry bushes carpet the landscape and offer bears a last dessert before hibernation. It’s a feast for the eyes. Photo from a previous fall by Tim Rains, National Park Service.

New River Gorge National River in West Virgini…

New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along 53 miles of the New River as it tumbles over waterfalls and winds through picturesque valleys. High points offer dramatic and expansive views of mountains, forests and the rugged river. Descending closer to the flowing waters gives visitors a chance to scramble over smooth stones and marvel at one of the park’s many waterfalls. Sandstone Falls marks the transition zone of the New River from a broad river of wide bottomlands, to a narrow mountain river roaring through a deep boulder strewn gorge. Photo by National Park Service.

Public lands are some of the best places to en…

Public lands are some of the best places to enjoy the dark skies. Atop the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky and Tennessee, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area offers presentations that guide visitors through the night sky, and telescope viewing of stars, planets, nebulae, galaxies and the International Space Station. It’s an out of this world experience! Photo by Josh Bandy, National Park Service.

As you enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National…

As you enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, Moro Rock looms overhead, thousands of feet above the highway. This large granite dome is a spectacular geologic feature that can be enjoyed from above or below. A concrete and stone stairway leads over 350 steps to the summit where views open up from the foothills and San Joaquin Valley to the west, to deep into wilderness to the east. View from the top of Moro Rock by Cheryl Dickinson (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Be careful taking a trip to the National Park …

Be careful taking a trip to the National Park of American Samoa. You might not want to come back. With 9,000 acres spread across the islands of Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū, it’s the only national park south of the equator. Snorkeling and hiking are popular activities in this tropical paradise, as well as soaking up the welcoming Samoan culture. Photo from the Tuafanua Trail by National Park Service.

The best part of camping at Badlands National …

The best part of camping at Badlands National Park in South Dakota is waking up in time to see the sunrise. The colorful rock formations – carved by wind and water over thousands of years – catch the glowing light of daybreak and display their rugged beauty. It’s a great way to start off the day before exploring ancient fossil beds and taking pictures of bighorn sheep and bison. Photo by Kevin Huston (www.sharetheexperience.org).

2,250 feet down, at the base of the Painted Wa…

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).

Labor Day recognizes the contributions of the …

Labor Day recognizes the contributions of the American worker. On Chicago’s south side, Pullman National Monument helps tell the story of one of the first and most famous company towns in America. The Pullman Company – a major manufacturer and operator of railroad cars – had periods of cooperation and conflict with their workers. An 1894 strike gained sympathy for the plight of workers and directly led to the designation of Labor Day as a federal holiday. Photo of the Historic Pullman Foundation’s mural, “Visual Interpretations of Pullman,” by National Park Service.