Some of the best times to see the Northern Lights are typically in the early fall and late winter, and some of the best places to experience this incredible lights how are on the nearly 72 million acres of Alaska’s public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The amazing natural spectacle is created when particles ejected by sun flares collide with Earth’s magnetic field. You don’t need to know the #science to appreciate the beauty, though. Photo by Jeremy Matlock, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
Walking down the winding staircase from the Cape Blanco Lighthouse to the sandy beach below, you can stroll across the sandy beach as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. Waves and wind pound the surrounding bluffs at this western-most point of land in Oregon. Daytime views provide an unparalleled opportunity to watch California gray whales and other marine mammals swimming just offshore and the lighthouse itself is a fascinating glimpse into our history. Just another wonderful day on public lands. Photo by Lisa McNee, Bureau of Land Management.
Heading east out of Los Angeles, everything just starts to open up. Wide valleys and desert plains run out to distant mountain ranges. There’s a lot of room to roam. Mojave Trails National Monument, California spans 1.6 million acres and includes ancient lava flows and fossil beds, and spectacular sand dunes. The mysterious beauty is no mirage. Photo by Kyle Sullivan, Bureau of Land Management.
A landscape of mystery and wonder, the Volcanic Tablelands were formed by a cataclysmic eruption over 700,000 years ago. Spreading out across Owens Valley in California, the tablelands are now known for resilient wildlife, world-class climbing and ancient Native American petroglyphs. These dramatic drawings range from 1,000 to 10,000 years old and help tell the stories of America’s first people. They represent a priceless cultural treasure, especially to the Paiute-Shoshone. All visitors to the area are asked to treat the petroglyphs with respect and Leave No Trace. Photo by Jesse Pluim, Bureau of Land Management ( @mypubliclands ).
The South Fork of the Snake River flows for 66 miles across southeastern Idaho, through high mountain valleys, rugged canyons and broad floodplains. An incredible resource for outdoor recreation, more than 300,000 anglers, campers, hikers, boaters and birders visit the South Fork each year. The river corridor is also home to an impressive array of wildlife including moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, river otter, beaver, fox, mink and 126 bird species, including 21 raptors, meriting a “National Important Bird Area” designation. Photo courtesy of Jim Shane, Bureau of Land Management Artist-In-Residence (@mypubliclands).
It’s National Public Lands Day! Today is the perfect time to get out and explore parks, refuges and recreation areas near you. There are also thousands of volunteer events across the country, so you can give a little back to these special places. Entry fees are waived today, so head outdoors and enjoy some active time in nature. Photo of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
It’s National Lighthouse Day! Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since 1873. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area features exhibits on seabirds and marine life as well as human history from the headland. Visitors can see the wheelhouse of a historic ship, check out a recreated rocky island and its inhabitants, and explore fascinating tidepools along the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Jon Fischer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
One of Interior’s nine bureaus, the Bureau of Land Management was established on July 16, 1946, when the General Land Office and the U.S. Grazing Service were merged. More than 70 years later, the BLM remains a small agency with a big job – managing public lands for multiple-uses like recreation and natural resource development on more than 245 million acres of public land. From working with family ranchers to big business, protecting untrammeled wilderness and wildlife habitat, and providing visitors with epic adventures in stunning settings, 10,000 passionate employees work hard every day for the benefit of present and future generations. Photo of the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
With rock formations that resemble something out of a science fiction movie, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness in New Mexico calls upon the imaginative spirit. The elements have done their part in sculpting rock creations that mimic statues. You won’t find trails in the area, but it’s rich with fossils, hills and occasional instances of pińon-juniper, sagebrush and scrubland vegetation. Photo by Jessica Fridrich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Sometimes you just crave the heat and mystery of the desert. Exploring Eagletail Mountains Wilderness will remind you there is so much life baked into these landscapes. From saguaro cactus to the mesmerizing shift from dawn to morning, the desert holds many charms. Located 65 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona, Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is as stunning as it is wild. Photo by Cliff LaPlant (www.sharetheexperience.org).