Morning frost clings to tall grasses at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. Half water and half rolling hills, Chase Lake plays an important role in the conservation of the American white pelican, hosting a large breeding population in the summer. Those big white birds won’t be back for a few months, but there’s still lots to see and do at the refuge. Sunrises are a great way to start the day. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It’s International Mountain Day! Not only are mountains majestic, they’re also critical to the water cycle, food production and tourism. If you asked someone to draw a mountain, they’d probably sketch something like the rugged beauty of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. With its snow-capped peaks catching the sunrise light above the Snake River, it’s one of the most stunning sights in America. Photo by Adam Jewell (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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).
Come for the sunrise and stay for the wildlife at Big Cypress National Preserve. The park is home to many mammals, birds and reptiles that are exciting to observe in their natural habitat. If you know where to look, it’s easy to spot Florida’s largest reptile: the American alligator. Photo by National Park Service.
You don’t have to get up to enjoy a spectacular sunrise this time of year at Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska’s short December days mean the sun comes up around 9:45 in the morning and sets before 4:00 in the afternoon. So bundle up and take your time finding the perfect spot to enjoy it among the coastal mountains of this incredible park. Photo by Jim Pfeiffenberger, National Park Service.
Check out this beautiful shot of a snow-covered autumn landscape near Fallon, Nevada. This area is a small part of the Newlands Irrigation Project that brought water to the desert. Photographer Dennis Doyle captured this image a few years ago, and of the experience, he says, “I am a native of Nevada. I have lived 60 years in this little piece of heaven we call the Great Basin. I have always loved the beauty of the wide open spaces and our version of ‘Big Sky’ country, but what really fascinates me is the ‘little’ spaces; the small springs and oasis areas that define our nature. The areas that feed and water our wild animals and the areas that provide shade for a nap!” Photo by Dennis Doyle, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
Shifting light and dramatic skies make every view at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah unique. Along the rim of this natural amphitheater, visitors can look out over the forest of hoodoos from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. Inspiration Point – seen here – offers an incredible panorama of this incredible landscape. Put it on your bucket list! Photo by Michael Barbuti (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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).
When you close your eyes and picture a mountain, you probably conjure up a vision closely resembling Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The rugged range swiftly rising above a verdant plain – catching the light of an ever changing sky – is something that once seen, can never be forgotten. Photo by Larry Chow (www.sharethexperience.org).
This time of year, the sunrises around 6 am at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. For those early risers who wake in time to watch the dawning of a new day, they’re treated with an amazing show. The sun’s first rays kiss the rolling mountains, revealing the valley below. Where is your favorite spot to watch the sunrise in the park? Photo from Shenandoah’s Hazel Mountain Overlook by National Park Service.