Though they are made of ancient rock, the Tetons are one of the youngest mountain ranges in North America. They have been uplifting for less than 10 million years, making them “adolescent” mountains, as compared to the “middle-aged” Rockies (60-80 million years old) or the “elderly” Appalachians (more than 300 million years old). Erosion has had much less time to work in the Teton range, comparatively, so their peaks remain rough and rugged – a major factor in the iconic appeal of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Photo @GrandTetonNPS by John Tobiason, National Park Service.
Towering rock formations, majestic bison and tens of millions of years of natural history await you at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Don’t let the name fool you – you’re sure to have a good time here. First protected as a national monument in 1929, Badlands was established as a national park on this day in 1978. Learn more about the rugged beauty of this park and all it has to offer: www.doi.gov/blog/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-badlands-national-park Photo by Donna Schneider (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Made up of flourishing forests and thriving wetlands, Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is a dazzling sanctuary found in both New Hampshire and Maine. Because the majority of the refuge includes lands surrounding Lake Umbagog and the Magalloway River, the best access to the refuge is by boat or kayak. Boating or paddling will allow you to explore or paddle through the marshes and waterways. Enjoy great fishing and beauty with the opportunity to see bear, moose, deer, eagles, loons and so much more. Photo by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the blink of an eye, fall gives way to winter weather at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Before the leaves even have a chance to drop, snow swoops in to dust this gorgeous landscape in a dramatic white blanket. Don’t worry, though. The end of fall doesn’t mean the end of fun. Visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, skiing and sledding in the park. Just plan ahead and be sure to layer up with insulating, waterproof clothing, wear sunglasses, use sunscreen and carry water. Photo of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
In the fall, the leaf display in the northern woods of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine is simply breathtaking. The forest is made up of maple, aspen, birch, spruce and fir trees. The refuge is named for Moosehorn stream, a waterway within its boundaries. Black bears are often spotted foraging under apple trees in the fall. White-tailed deer and moose feed in the clearings. Coyotes, snowshoe hares, beaver and river otters may be seen when you explore some of the 50 miles of available trails. Photo by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Take a walk through the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico, and you’ll feel like you’ve crossed over into another world. The natural elements have etched strange rock formations made of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal and silt. With a myriad of unusual forms and shadows, this area is a photographer’s dream. Just be sure to come prepared with water and GPS or hire a guide. It’s important to come prepared, so the only way you get lost is in wonder. Photo by Jim Mangum (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Although never a place of permanent habitation, generations of Hawaiians have journeyed to the summit of Haleakalā for many reasons. Some came to honor the gods, or to say farewell to the deceased. Some came to hunt birds for feathers or for food. Others quarried the fine-grained basalt rock to create stone tools. All who ventured to the volcanic summit, considered it to be a sacred place. Many of the legends associated with Haleakalā center around the demi-god Maui. It was Maui who pulled up the island chain we call Hawai`i with his skillfully made fishhook and line. It is here on the summit of Haleakalā that Maui snared the sun. A wilderness of the gods and a stunning natural landscape, Haleakalā National Park will make your spirits soar. Photo by Rick Vega (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy Birthday to Yosemite National Park! On this day in 1890, Yosemite became our 3rd national park. This spectacular landscape was first protected with the Yosemite Grant Act in 1864, which set aside 39,000 acres of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the State of California. When President Abraham Lincoln signed that legislation, it was the first time in U.S. history that land was designated for public use and preservation. For more than a century, millions of people have been inspired by this special place. Photo by National Park Service.
Devils Tower was established as America’s first national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24th in 1906. Rising high out of the Black Hills, in northeast Wyoming, this geological wonder is an astounding sight. Devils Tower National Monument is a sacred place to over 20 Native American tribes and is also called “Bear’s Lodge” or “Bear’s Tipi.” Reaching 867 feet from its base to the summit, the Tower stands tall in the minds of all its admirers. Photo by Don Davis (www.sharetheexperience.org).