Category: my public lands

Resembling the work of an artist, sunsets like this one in Utah from Plateau Viewpoint in Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges Special Management Recreation Area can feel almost unreal. Pink hues of the day’s last light grace the sandstone domes of the Sand Flats Recreation Area and the forested slopes of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Bureau of Land Management manages this area, offering incredible opportunities for world-class recreation, like mountain biking, camping and river-rafting– or —gawking at sunsets. Photo by Stephen Smith (www.sharetheexperience.org).

The midnight sun shines over the Fortymile Wild and Scenic River in east-central Alaska. Today, on the Summer Solstice, people at high latitudes experience daylight at all hours – hence the name, “midnight sun.” For those who are not so far north, the Solstice brings the year’s longest period of daylight. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

From tidepooling to witnessing Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, there is something for every visitor at Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. In the tide pools, visitors can see marine life such as anemones, urchins, mussels,  barnacles and seastars. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).

Heading south from Hanksville, Utah, towards Lake Powell, highway travelers bisect the remote Henry Mountains – the last area mapped in the lower 48. The 11,000-foot forested peaks of the main mountain range rise to the west, while two distinctive summits, Mount’s Ellsworth and Holmes, jut skyward from the rolling red sandstone mesas to the east. Known as the “Little Rockies,” these peaks are studied by geologists around the world as a classic example of igneous rocks, formed deep within the earth’s mantle, thrusting through the overlying sandstone layers. The Little Rockies have been designated as a National Natural Landmark for their geological significance. The peaks also provide habitat for desert bighorn sheep and numerous birds of prey. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands

A scenic drive along the Molalla River in Oregon offers easy river access and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, camping, whitewater boating and fishing. The river is one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River and cuts a picturesque gorge on its way to the valley floor. Molalla River Recreation Area offers an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Take your time on the trails to enjoy the changing colors. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management.

Just an hour from downtown Washington, D.C., Douglas Point offers a tranquil respite from the rush of the city. Several hiking trails (including part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail) lead through a beautiful hardwood forest to narrow beaches along the Potomac tidewaters. The Bureau of Land Management and the State of Maryland jointly acquired about 1,270 acres of land known as Douglas Point, and it’s one of the last remaining undeveloped tracts along the Potomac River. In addition to connecting nearby residents to the outdoors, Douglas Point offers visitors a chance to learn about the region’s history – close by are a Civil War encampment site of approximately 25,000 troops, archeological sites and the evolving ecosystems of the shipwrecks at Mallow Bay. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands

Happy Alaska Day! 

On this day in 1867, the Territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States, and in 1917, Alaska Day was created to celebrate this historic moment. From stunning mountains to winding rivers that snake through valleys, there are over 222 million acres of public lands in Alaska and much of it’s managed by the Interior Department. This beauty scene is Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The river flows west past the jagged limestone ridges of the White Mountains and is a popular spot for river adventurers. It’s great for a float trip, wildlife viewing and fishing. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands

The aspens are dressed in golden hues at Colorado’s Alpine Loop National Backcountry Byway, and they sure are beautiful! A rugged 4×4 road that winds through the spectacular scenery of the San Juan Mountains connecting Lake City, Silverton and Ouray, the Alpine Loop byway climbs up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, abundant wildlife and stunning geography. While the trees have reached their peak and leaves are starting to fall, next weekend should still be good for autumn colors in the area. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands 

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

Take a trip to gold country in Alaska. Canoeists along the Fortymile River can see modern prospectors working the river gravels, as well as remnants of several large historic dredges, as they float through thick stands of black spruce and tussocks that grow above the permafrost. It never truly gets dark here in summer, making more time for fun and exploring. The long days melt into a pink dusk that slowly transitions into a lengthy dawn. This is the longest river in the system with the main stem and tributaries stretching for almost 400 miles. #FindYourWay on more wild and scenic rivers: https://on.doi.gov/2vBIC9K

Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands