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).
The peaceful beauty of a winter sunset at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon gives few hints of the landscape’s violent past. For approximately 400,000 years, volcanic eruptions built up a 12,000 foot mountain now called Mt. Mazama. 7,700 years ago, the volcano erupted in a cataclysmic explosion. Fatally weakened, the top of the mountain collapsed and created the hole – the caldera – that we now see today filled with pristine blue water. Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
Oh deer! We can’t hide from another birthday post!
March 14 marks the birth of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Things looked a lot different back in 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island in Florida to protect wild birds. But today, the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a premier network of public lands, with over 567 wildlife refuges in each state and territory. They support thousands of iconic plants and animals, local communities and outdoor adventure. It’s probably easier than you realize to visit a local wildlife refuge, and what better day to plan your next trip than today? Photo courtesy of Dawn Wilson.
Evidence of magma just below the surface spills out and meets with the swirling clouds overhead. The rising steam you see from the crater during this time-lapse at Kīlauea in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a good reminder of the monumental forces of creation and change that have shaped this landscape. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s seismicity, deformation and gas emissions for any sign of reactivation. Video by Janice Wei, National Park Service.
The sun peeks out behind wispy clouds on a winter day at City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho. With a warm coat and the promise of blue sky, you can enjoy an educational exploration of this fascinating park. Because of its complicated geologic history, City of Rocks is a perfect place to learn about the incredible forces that raised mountains, dropped valleys and stretched the Earth’s crust. Photo by Stephen King, National Park Service.
The desert can be a beautiful, but harsh place. At Saguaro National Park in Arizona, the namesake cacti grow very slowly, using a large root system to soak up all available water and nutrients. Rarely branching before the age of 50, an adult saguaro may weigh six tons and be over 50 feet tall. The average lifespan of a saguaro is usually 150 – 175 years, but biologists believe that some plants may live over 200 years. That means they’re patiently waiting for your visit. Photo by Hongxun Gao (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The last moments of light before the sun sets at Zion National Park in Utah are a sight to behold. The Watchman stands tall overlooking the Virgin River flowing along the iconic trail. A view like this is easier to achieve than you might think. Pick a few days and plan your next adventure. Photo courtesy of Kenny Chen.