Here’s a look into the future at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Green hillsides and spring showers are still months away at our country’s largest national park, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of endless mountain views under the midnight sun. If this doesn’t inspire you to start planning your trip, we don’t know what will. Photo by Neal Herbert, National Park Service.
With towering cliffs, flowing water and a rich diversity of flora and fauna, Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness remains one of Arizona’s truly unique areas. Its 19,410 acres of designated wilderness beckons adventurers who yearn for solitude and scenic splendor. Aravaipa Creek flows year-round, an unusual phenomenon in the desert. Nurtured by this abundant water, sycamore, ash, cottonwood and willow trees flourish along the stream and the spring wildflower blooms can be beautiful. Photo by Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
The sun sinks behind the horizon, coloring the sky a bright orange before night falls in South Florida. Big Cypress National Preserve protects 729,000 acres of unique freshwater swamp, offering refuge to a wide variety of plants and animals. From hardwood hammocks hiding rare Florida panthers to tidal estuaries teeming with birds and fish, there is so much to see in this wonderful place. Photo by National Park Service.
A maze of meandering bayous and rippling marshes, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana occupies over 125,000 acres of waters and wetlands. Providing habitat for an impressive variety of birds, the refuge is also a vibrant nursery to shrimp, blue crab and numerous fish species. Boardwalks and hiking paths allow visitors to explore the area. On sunny days, it’s common to see alligators resting by the water. Photo by Colleen Stringer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is not only one of the most beautiful places in the country but also one of the snowiest. Park staff work hard to keep the road to the Rim Village open year round, but all of Rim Drive won’t be open for months. Free guided snowshoe walks will continue through the end of April and cross country skis are recommended for those who want to explore the park off plowed roads. With views like this, how can you not want to see more? Photo by Eric Valentine (www.sharetheexperience.org).
It’s the best time of year! The first baby bison of spring was recently spotted at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. Calves are orange-red in color, earning them the nickname “red dogs.” They can walk within 3 hours of birth, and before long, nursery groups of calves will romp around together, never far from their mothers’ watchful eyes. Check out more bison facts: http://on.doi.gov/1Oc7VXg Photo by National Park Service.
Here’s a great view from Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area on the Wyoming-Montana border. From the fabulous Pryor Mountain wild horses to majestic bighorn sheep, hundreds of bird species and a world-class fishery, Bighorn Canyon is an excellent destination for outdoors lovers. The centerpiece of the 68,000 acre recreation area is the canyon itself, boasting steep walls as deep as 2,500 feet in some locations. It’s quite a sight from hiking trails on the canyon rim or from a boat drifting on the river below. Photo by Todd Johnson, National Park Service.
Morning sunbeams shine down on Washerwoman Arch and Monster Tower at Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Two of many wonderful rock formations near the Island in the Sky Mesa, these stone towers are favorites of climbers wanting to test their skills. For visitors who want to keep their feet on the ground, Canyonlands offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails and remote roads for motorbikes and mountain bikes. Make sure to carry plenty of water and stop frequently to enjoy the amazing views. Photo by Dustin Baugh (www.sharethexperience.org).
The night time hoots of owls can make the forest a little spooky, but the look of this young great horned owl is just terrifying. Though it’s covered in fluffy feathers, its dominant features are its huge yellow eyes and powerful talons. Soon, this owl at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado will learn how to fly and become one of nature’s most skilled hunters; feared by prey across the country. Photo by Carole Meeter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Here are some spring flowers for Lady Liberty. Visiting Statue of Liberty National Monument is one of the most rewarding experiences of any trip to New York City. The size and artistry of the massive sculpture is only surpassed by the incredible inspiration this iconic symbol has had on generations. Don’t forget to get tickets ahead of time. Photo by National Park Service.