One of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes in North America, Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a place of natural beauty and living legends. A dry climate, sheltering cliffs and the watchful eyes of local residents protect the distinctive architecture, artifacts and rock imagery. Completely within the Navajo Nation in Arizona, the park’s signature vista is looking down at Spider Rock, an 825-foot-tall sandstone spire that got its name from the Navajo story of the Spider Woman. Rangers and Navajo guides share these stories to connect visitors to this special place. Photo by Nina Mayer Ritchie (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Acadia National Park in Maine has many claims to fame. It was the first national park east of the Mississippi. Generations of artists have immortalized its mountains, forests and rocky coastline. Over 3 million people visited last year. And of course, Acadia is the first place the see the sunrise in the continental United States. That’s a lot to be proud of! Photo courtesy of J.K. Putnam.
Just before sinking beneath the horizon, the sun casts a brilliant-orange alpenglow on the mountains by Lake McDonald. Glacier National Park in Montana was once occupied by massive glaciers that carved the area thousands of years ago. Now, the park contains striking views, winding trails, diverse wildlife and the grand Lake McDonald Lodge. Photo by Rebecca Latson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Photographer Chris Archer recently captured this moment of moody clouds drifting over the volcanic landscape of Haleakala National Park in Hawai’i. “It’s one of my favorite places on Maui. As sacred as it is beautiful, the colors are vibrant and the weather is ever changing. This is Ka Lua o ka O’o, one of the cinder cones along the crater.” Photo courtesy of Chris Archer.
On the International Day of Forests, we honor our connection to these remarkable places. From the water we drink and the houses we build to the vital space they create for wildlife, forests are part of our lives every single day. Johanna Hendrickson took this photo while exploring the Olympic National Forest in Washington. “One thing I love about being in the forest,“ she explains, ” especially on a foggy spring day, is how quiet it is. All you can hear are your footsteps and occasionally the eerie call of a sooty grouse off in the distance.” Olympic National Forest is managed by our friends at the U.S. Forest Service. Photo courtesy of Johanna Hendrickson.
It’s the first day of spring! We’re excited about the promise of warmer weather and gorgeous wildflower blooms. Winter is still holding on in many places, but at Big Bend National Park, Texas bluebonnets blanket the hills in impressive numbers. Seeing the official state flower of Texas in full bloom across the landscape is a luxurious sight that you will never forget. March is a favorite time to visit the park, as the desert floor is covered in white, yellow and purple flowers. Just remember, as you explore, please be aware and careful – getting distracted by beauty is a real thing. Photo courtesy of Lee McMullen.
Discover rich history, spectacular overlooks, unique rock formations, cascading waterfalls and an extensive trail system at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky. Following in the footsteps of Native Americans and early pioneers, modern day explorers can scramble up mountains or descend into the park’s elaborate cave system. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife, too. Deer, black bears, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, gray squirrels, foxes and wild turkeys are commonly spotted. Photo by Kim Maxwell (www.sharetheexperience.org).
No, this isn’t another planet. The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands which offers some of the most unusual scenery in New Mexico. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal and silt. The King of Wings – seen here under a stormy sky – is just one example of these amazing works of natural art. Photo by Jim Long (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It takes a bit o’ luck 🍀to capture a scene this epic. This bald eagle crossed in front of a vibrant rainbow, right after a storm on Lake Vermilion. As the fifth largest lake in Minnesota, it’s also known as one of the most beautiful. The lake has hundreds of small public land islands that vary in size, offering a variety of camping options and world-class fishing. Looking for a photo opportunity like this treasure? Keep adventuring on #publiclands. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands) .
Chase the sunset to Channel Islands National Park in California. Located over 12 miles off the coast, the park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Each of the islands is a fascinating world unto itself with unique wildlife and awesome views. Sunset on Anacapa Island is a highlight for many visitors. Photo by Aaron Echols (www.sharetheexperience.org).