Today we’re celebrating our national bird, the bald eagle, for American Eagle Day. On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was placed at the center of the Great Seal of the United States and remains an inspiring symbol of our country. After a dramatic recovery, bald eagles are found in every state but Hawaii, soaring high and inspiring the nation. Photo from the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management – Alaska (@mypubliclands).
Even under an ominous sky, the summer landscape of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota is lovely and charming. The unique rock formations of the Little Missouri Badlands rise like wrinkles in the Earth, creating vibrant meadows and colorful grassland alcoves. Wandering through this remarkable park, visitors can encounter ancient fossils, peaceful streams and wonderful wildlife. Make sure it’s on your summer travel list! Photo by National Park Service.
The name Observation Point mildly describes the epic view from this overlook at Zion National Park in Utah. More than 2,000 feet below, the North Fork of the Virgin River winds through the lush canyon, curving around the dramatic fin of Angels Landing. If the elevation gain of the hike there doesn’t take your breath away, then the view surely will. Photo by Leslie Poole (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Bobcats thrive at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico but are rarely seen. Mostly nocturnal, they use stealth and excellent night vision to hunt small mammals in darkness. Bobcats are usually tawny with darker spots and streaks on their body and legs, and light-colored undersides. They have short black tufts on their ears and a ruff of longer fur on their face. The kittens may look like ordinary house cats, but they quickly grow to twice the size of domestic cats. Photo by National Park Service.
What are you doing for National Get Outdoors Day? If you’re a fan of public lands, you could frolic in the sand at a national seashore, take a peaceful hike in a wilderness area, go bird watching in a wildlife refuge or enjoy breathtaking views at our incredible national parks. These deer at Olympic National Park in Washington seem to have the right idea. Photo by Jason Horstman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
There’s no better place to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week than America’s public waters. On rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands and oceans, you can paddle thrilling whitewater or float your way to relaxation. Grab your rod and reel (and maybe a friend) and try to hook the big one. Whatever you do, make a splash. Photo of Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area in Colorado by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management. #FindYourWay
The Tioga Road at Yosemite National Park in California is now open for visitors exploring the remarkable trails in the Tuolumne Meadows. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows offer peaceful surroundings and amazing scenery. Hiking trails for varying levels of difficulty lead to a paradise of water, rock, forest and sky. We recommend cooling your heels at Upper Cathedral Lake. Photo by Luke Tyree (www.sharetheexperience.org).
If patience was a plant, it would be a Bristlecone pine. Cautiously growing in the harsh terrain of Great Basin National Park in Nevada, these amazing trees can grow to be more than 5,000 years old. Gnarled, twisted and scattered in groves on rocky ground, Bristlecone pines make excellent subjects for photos, especially with a night sky or sunset backdrop. Photo by Thomas Sikora (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The gorgeous landscape of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma includes the delightful oasis of Treasure Lake near Elk Mountain. The refuge boasts almost 60,000 acres of natural grasslands that are now home to reintroduced species including bison, elk, prairie dogs, river otters and burrowing owls. Visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, fishing, climbing, hunting and walking among wildflower blooms. Photo by Stan Schwartz (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Lightning is one of nature’s most powerful and dangerous forces. In the summer at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, you can expect thunderstorms almost every afternoon. Visitors should monitor the weather and postpone outdoor activities when thunderstorms are in the area. Witnessing a lightning storm may be a thrill, but it’s not worth the risk. Photo by Park Volunteer Ann Schonlau, National Park Service.