It doesn’t take long for fall to turn into winter at Glacier National Park in Montana. While the falling snow brings road closures and smaller crowds, it also opens the season for skiing and snowshoeing in the park. There are options for all ability levels and trails that offer access to spectacular scenery cloaked in winter’s blanket of white. Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Katmai National Park and Preserve is world-renown for brown bear viewing. About 2,200 brown bears are estimated to inhabit the park, and more bears than people are estimated to live on Alaska Peninsula. For those who visit the park (or are frequent viewers of #BearCam), they can learn about a bear’s behavior – like this mama and her three cubs standing up. Bear cubs often imitate their mother’s every move, and standing on hind legs allows bears to get a better view or smell of what’s around them. Photo by A. Ramos, National Park Service.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has the four highest peaks in Texas, an ancient fossil reef, desert, dunes, canyons, wildlife and a touch of fall color. In McKittrick Canyon, the maples are putting on quite a show this autumn. With lots of trails for hiking and horseback riding, you’ll find the perfect place for your fall pictures. Photo by National Park Service.
Thanks to a recent donation, Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico is now publicly accessible for the first time since it was established. Hikers, hunters, photographers, horseback riders and outdoor enthusiasts can now marvel at the sandstone cliffs of Canyon Largo, gorgeous cottonwood and ponderosa forests, and ancient pueblo ruins. With very little evidence of humans, the wilderness is an excellent place to find solitude and recreation. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an autumn paradise. 🍂🍁 With some 90 miles of trails at this Michigan destination that is located along Lake Superior’s south shore, there is a hike for you. As you stroll through the woods, take in the quiet sounds of the forest and the warm sunlight filtering through the golden leaves – it’ll renew your mind and body. Photo by Anna Day (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Whether it’s the tall seastacks that dot the coast, crystal waters of Lake Ozette or grandeur of the old growth forests, Olympic National Park’s coastal areas are full of opportunities to explore diverse landscapes. Don’t forget, all public lands are waiving their entrance fees this weekend in honor of Veterans Day! Photo of Point of the Arches at sunset by Andy Porter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Over 1.25 million years ago, a massive volcanic eruption created a 13-mile wide dimple in northern New Mexico. Hot springs, fumaroles and Redondo Peak, a 11,00-foot tall lava dome, reveal the caldera’s geologic past. Most of the area is now part of Valles Caldera National Preserve. Native Americans in the area used volcanic obsidian for arrowheads and spear points, starting a hunting tradition that lives on in the park today. Photo by Andrew Gordon (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Scotts Bluff in Nebraska has served as a famous landmark for peoples – from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails to modern travelers. Scotts Bluff National Monument gives park goers a chance to see a short section of deep and eroded trail ruts from covered wagons in Mitchell Pass, plus a magnificent panoramic view. Photo by Brian Poffenberger, National Park Service.
Wow! What an amazing sunset over Death Valley National Park in California. The shadowed ripples and stark, graceful curves of Mesquite Flat Dunes cover a vast area bordered by mountains and salt flats in this extraordinary park. Photo by Usha Peddamatham (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The first rays of the sun rises over the Jim Sage Mountains and illuminate the granite spires of Castle Rocks, Idaho. This little known gem located near the Utah border packs spectacular scenery and diverse natural features into a compact area. Granite spires rise up to 400 feet above the mixed aspen, fir and pinon pine forest. Single-leaf pinon (shown in photo) is relatively rare in Idaho and is a traditional food source to area Native Americans. The area is of great importance to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley who have worked with the Bureau of Land Management to protect sensitive resources here. The adjoining Castle Rocks State Park offers developed camping, hiking trails and other visitor amenities with expansive vistas of the spectacular rock formations and surrounding mountain ranges. The area served as a landmark along the California and Oregon National Historic Trails. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands