It doesn’t take long for fall to turn into winter at Glacier National Park in Montana. While the falling snow brings road closures and smaller crowds, it also opens the season for skiing and snowshoeing in the park. There are options for all ability levels and trails that offer access to spectacular scenery cloaked in winter’s blanket of white. Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
This time of year, Florida beaches call to people and animals alike. At St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, migratory birds are finding their winter homes in forests and wetlands. Waterfowl populations reach their peak between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The refuge’s 43 miles of gulf coastline are perfect for birdwatching and gorgeous sunsets. Photo by Neil Hostnick (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Over 1.25 million years ago, a massive volcanic eruption created a 13-mile wide dimple in northern New Mexico. Hot springs, fumaroles and Redondo Peak, a 11,00-foot tall lava dome, reveal the caldera’s geologic past. Most of the area is now part of Valles Caldera National Preserve. Native Americans in the area used volcanic obsidian for arrowheads and spear points, starting a hunting tradition that lives on in the park today. Photo by Andrew Gordon (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border is a wonderland of forested mountains, tumbling waterfalls, Native American and Colonial historic sites, bountiful wildlife and dynamic rivers and streams. Recreation opportunities include boating, biking, fishing, hunting, hiking and enjoying the views along scenic roadways. An easy drive from New York City and Philadelphia, the park is a popular year round getaway. Here, it’s showing a spectrum of lovely fall colors. Photo by National Park Service.
Wow! What an amazing sunset over Death Valley National Park in California. The shadowed ripples and stark, graceful curves of Mesquite Flat Dunes cover a vast area bordered by mountains and salt flats in this extraordinary park. Photo by Usha Peddamatham (www.sharetheexperience.org).
After significant damage caused by Hurricane Irma, staff and volunteers have been hard at work on clean-up and repairs at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida to get the preserve ready for the busy winter season. Facilities are beginning to reopen and soon visitors can enjoy paddling, hiking, hunting, fishing, biking and birdwatching in this amazing wetland. Photo by National Park Service.
The fall colors are showing at Blue Lake in North Cascades National Park in Washington. Photographer Albert Yang described the scene he captured: “The lake was so still I almost felt like I had to hold my breath to embrace it. I was searching for fall colors and these larch trees were just gorgeous. It was my first time exploring this area and I know I will return many, many times in the future.” Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
Happy birthday, President Theodore Roosevelt! One of the most influential figures in the history of American public lands, Roosevelt’s legacy is recognized at national parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and national forests across the country. At Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota (seen here), visitors can learn more about this fascinating man, and see the land and wildlife he loved. Photo by Kim Wehner, National Park Service.
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota is celebrated both for its wildlife and the extraordinary visitor experiences. The refuge’s diverse habitats are dynamic, ranging from grasslands and forests to a variety of wetlands and watersheds. The refuge is also important to migratory birds. By the middle of October, Sherburne hosts thousands of sandhill cranes as they roost at night in refuge wetlands during fall migration. Dawn is the best time to see them. Sunrise photo by Pamela Robideau (www.sharetheexperience.org).
With snow already accumulating on the Sangre de Cristo mountains, fall is coming to an end at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The cottonwoods along Medano Creek are losing their golden leaves and frost greets the morning. Soon, the tan dunes will put on their blanket of winter white. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.