Around every corner is another awe-inspiring view at Yosemite National Park. At sunset, El Capitan can take on a golden glow. Combine this stunning California icon with fall colors along the Merced River, and it creates a breathtakingly beautiful sight that you won’t forget. Photo by Jesse Thorpe (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy Thanksgiving! Among the many things we’re thankful for, America’s public lands are near the top of the list. From sea to shining sea, we’re grateful for gorgeous mountains, pristine waters, enchanting forests, sublime deserts, fascinating history, wonderful wildlife and endless opportunities for recreation and connecting with the outdoors. From everyone on Interior’s hardworking team, have a safe and fun Thanksgiving. Photo of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park courtesy of Tom Ashman.
Autumn is in full swing at California’s Eastern Sierra near the famous ghost town of Bodie Hills. Although these rounded sage-covered peaks are less dramatic than their adjoining Sierra Nevada neighbors, they climb above 10,000 feet and offer great opportunities for prepared travelers to explore away from the crowds. A loop route leading from the Bodie ghost town back to Bridgeport via Bodie-Masonic and Aurora Canyon Roads offers glimpses of hidden windswept aspen groves and views of the rugged Sierra Nevada crest – even better vistas can be had with some hiking. Both mule deer and pronghorn antelope can be seen along the route. Hunting, wildlife viewing and exploring the backcountry roads are popular pastimes in this area. High clearance vehicles are recommended for these remote unpaved roads, and be sure to check local weather conditions before venturing out. Photos by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands.
On September 25, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation establishing Sequoia National Park in California. America’s second national park is not only home to incredible scenery and wildlife but also protects true natural wonders: giant sequoias. These amazing trees can grow over 250 feet tall and live more than 3,000 years. Walking among them can be an overwhelming experience. Discover more park highlights: https://on.doi.gov/2y0MRjG Photo by Hiroko Todoroki (www.sharetheexperience.org).
As you enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, Moro Rock looms overhead, thousands of feet above the highway. This large granite dome is a spectacular geologic feature that can be enjoyed from above or below. A concrete and stone stairway leads over 350 steps to the summit where views open up from the foothills and San Joaquin Valley to the west, to deep into wilderness to the east. View from the top of Moro Rock by Cheryl Dickinson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Like the park’s namesake tree, every visit to Joshua Tree National Park in California is different. Some are wide ranging and unpredictable, others are short and prickly, and some of them look best under a starry night sky. Grab your water bottle and find out which Joshua Tree experience is for you. Photo by Hannah Schwalbe, National Park Service.
On this day in 1864, President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant, protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley – an area that would later become Yosemite National Park. It was the first time the government protected land because of its natural beauty so that people could enjoy it. Thanks to John Muir’s passionate writing to further protect the delicate ecosystem of the High Sierra, Yosemite National Park became our nation’s 3rd national park 26 years later. Learn more: https://on.doi.gov/2xPYUz3. Photo courtesy of Menx Cuizon.
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).
On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened to the public. Over 80 years later, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous and beautiful bridges in the world because of its spectacular location, graceful lines, Art Deco detailing and emblematic color. With towers extending 746 feet into the sky and over 100 feet beneath the bay, the bridge is also an engineering marvel. Visitors can walk or bike the entire length of the 1.7 mile-long bridge, but dress warmly and don’t forget to check out nearby Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Photo by Dave Gordon (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Hidden in plain sight from Los Angeles, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area offers easy access to surprisingly wild places. Get your feet wet at the famous beaches of Malibu, climb a mountain and watch the sunset, or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites – from old movie ranches to Native American centers. What will you discover? Photo by National Park Service.