Happy birthday, Crater Lake National Park!
Established in 1902, this stunning Oregon park is a true natural wonder, famous for its deep blue lake and endless recreational opportunities. Check out 12 things you might not know about Crater Lake: https://on.doi.gov/2rZxPW4
Photo by Greg Nyquist (www.sharetheexperience.org).
One of the earliest wildlife refuges, Quillayute Needles was created by Teddy Roosevelt to protect and enhance habitat for seabird populations. Today 13 species of seabirds nest and raise their young on these windswept islets, rocks, reefs and islands that stretch along Washington’s coast. Black oystercatchers tend pebbly nests at the water’s edge, common murres lay gravity defying eggs on barren ledges, and tufted puffins burrow their nests deep into the loamy bluffs. Kelp beds surrounding the islands provide territory for a growing reintroduced sea otter population to cavort. While the refuge is closed to human disturbance because of it’s fragile and remote nature, visitors can view the refuge and its inhabitants at one of the several beaches in Olympic National Park. Photo by Melissa Hahn (www.sharetheexperience.org).
There is no best place for watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon – just great places and even better places. Look for viewpoints in the national park that jut into the canyon for views both east and west, and plan to arrive as much as 90 minutes before sunset. Don’t rush off. Stay at least 10 minutes after the sunsets and is no longer illuminating the buttes and pinnacles of this Arizona landmark – the sky may light up red, pink or orange. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank.
Colorful and bold, the sandstone cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan tower 50-200 feet directly above the dynamic waters of Lake Superior. Wind and water carved the stone into unique shapes. Chapel Rock is a favorite destination for visitors, who enjoy the nearby beach and taking photos of this interesting formation topped by a tree. Photo by Viktor Posnov (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Born in the Appalachian Mountains, the New River flows north through several states before joining the Ohio River system, then the Mississippi River and finally the Gulf of Mexico. In West Virginia, it tumbles through the wide valley of New River Gorge – an area rich in natural and cultural history. 70,000 acres of this forested valley are protected as New River Gorge National River, where people and wildlife can enjoy the endless natural splendor. Photo by Richard Burgess (www.sharetheexperience.org).
As the snow melts on the rugged peaks of Kit Carson Mountain, water flows into seasonal creeks, weaving through valleys and around the massive Star Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The water, sand and stone catch the light and show unique textures that make photos of the park often look like oil paintings. Taking pictures, making memories and learning the stories are great ways to experience this unique park. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
Like waves rolling on the ocean, layers of ridgelines at Great Smoky Mountains National Park extend out to a stunning sunrise. On the Tennessee-North Carolina border, Clingman’s Dome is the highest point in the park and a premier destination for photographers. Inspired by Ansel Adams and a lover of national park, photographer Zack Knudsen captured this amazing moment in the park a few weeks ago. Photo courtesy of Zack Knudsen
Happy birthday, Glacier National Park! On this day in 1910, President William Taft signed a bill into law establishing this Montana park – making it our nation’s 10th national park. 108 years later, Glacier remains the Crown of the Continent with glacier-carved peaks and valleys, pristine turquoise lakes and streams, and dense ancient forests for all to enjoy: https://on.doi.gov/glacier. What is your favorite memory at Glacier?
Photo of Wild Goose Island by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
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.
The Painted Canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park is an amazing landscape of colorful cliffs and rolling grasslands. The rugged beauty of the North Dakota badlands have captured the hearts of millions of visitors – including President Theodore Roosevelt, who owned a ranch in the area. With stunning scenery, bountiful wildlife and an impressive history, one trip is never enough. Photo by Josette Hayes, National Park Service.