Protected as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, the South Fork of the John Day River flows from south to north through central Oregon, providing unparalleled recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, hiking, camping and birdwatching. The views here are colorful, striking and unique. Basalt outcrops, Ponderosa pine, and Douglas and white fir intermix with juniper, sagebrush and native bunchgrasses to create a distinct pattern on the rugged canyon slopes. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range on May 23, 1908, when he signed legislation authorizing funds to purchase suitable land for the conservation of bison – making it the first time that Congress appropriated tax dollars to buy land specifically to conserve wildlife. Since then, the National Bison Range in Montana has played an important role in the successful recovery of these magnificent animals. Today, 350-500 bison call this refuge home. Photo courtesy of Bob Wick.
The first touches of fall are in the air at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. While most of the trees in this Colorado park are still green, snow showers dusted the Sangre de Cristo Mountains over the weekend, and the highest aspen groves are beginning to turn gold. This photo was taken south of the dunes looking toward California Peak at 13,855 feet. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir
In 1984, Congress designated the Table Rock Wilderness in Oregon. A remnant of a lava flow that once covered this region along the western foothills of the Cascades, the “fortress” of Table Rock stands at 4,881 feet above the northeastern portion of this small Wilderness. On this steep and rugged terrain you’ll find a quiet forest of Douglas fir and western hemlock, with noble fir at higher elevations and crowds of rhododendron on many of the upper slopes, an island of old growth in an ocean of forest development. At least two endangered plants bloom here: Oregon sullivantia and Gorman’s aster. Deer and elk wander about in winter, and the northern spotted owl has been spotted among the old trees. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.
Explore Oregon’s dramatic coastline at Yaquina Head Natural Area. Depending on the tide, visitors can see waves crashing against rocks or shallow tidepools filled with fascinating marine life. Looking up, they’ll see an incredible variety of birds flying near Oregon’s tallest lighthouse. It’s a particularly beautiful sight on a summer day. Photo by Alyssa Uhen, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Happy National Trails Day – a perfect day to hit a trail on public lands! There are nearly 60,000 miles of trails that honor our country’s diverse landscape and history, and these provide the public with vital access to the outdoors. Whether you like to walk, hike, ride horseback, or bicycle, there is a trail for you! Check out some awesome trails to #FindYourWay: https://on.doi.gov/2sinOTe.
Photo of the popular Highline Trail at Glacier National Park by Tim Rains, National Park Service.
Happy birthday, Arches National Park! This red-rock wonderland is home to over 2,000 natural stone arches – in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. You’ll be amazed by the park’s world-famous landscape, including Delicate Arch pictured here. Photo courtesy of Duane Jurma.
It’s never too early to start planning your summer adventure. Located in Idaho, Little Jacks Creek Wilderness is a landscape of sagebrush, grasses and magnificent multi-tiered 1,000-foot-deep canyons towering over meandering creeks, like the Little Jacks Creek Wild and Scenic River. These rivers and their canyons have what you are looking for whether it’s placid pools or turbulent whitewater; vertical cliffs or steep grassy slopes; or wildlife or wildflowers. It’s the perfect place to #FindYourWay. Photo by Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains, California’s Alabama Hills is the perfect place for rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking – and for films buffs, touring “Movie Road.” Since the 1920s, more than 400 movies have been filmed at the Alabama Hills, and Movie Road allows visitors to walk or drive along the sets of many of their favorite blockbusters. Filmmakers love to use the steep hills, natural arches and windows found throughout the area to evoke far away places, including Afghanistan in Iron Man, the Himalayas in Gunga Din and a Spanish Estate in Gladiator. Photo by Michele James (www.sharetheexperience.org).
This weekend, the annual Iditarod race kicked off in Alaska. This famous dog-sled race traverses across the rugged Alaska tundra, including on the Iditarod National Historic Trail. A 2,300-mile system of trails that first connected Alaska Native villages and opened Alaska up for America’s last great gold rush, the Iditarod Trail now plays a vital role for travel and recreation in modern-day Alaska. Photos by Kevin Keeler, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands