Whoo whoo’s ready for Halloween? As the sun sets and costumed candy hunters emerge, so will owls like this great horned owl @mypubliclands Marion Creek Campground in Alaska. Great horned owls are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their excellent night vision, acute hearing and silent flight makes them practically magical. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction, making them nature’s perfect, lovable creeper. Just remember: even when you’re not watching wildlife on public lands – they’re watching you. Muhaha! Happy Owloween! Photo by Kerry Howard (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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).
The South Fork of the Snake River flows for 66 miles across southeastern Idaho, through high mountain valleys, rugged canyons and broad floodplains. An incredible resource for outdoor recreation, more than 300,000 anglers, campers, hikers, boaters and birders visit the South Fork each year. The river corridor is also home to an impressive array of wildlife including moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, river otter, beaver, fox, mink and 126 bird species, including 21 raptors, meriting a “National Important Bird Area” designation. Photo courtesy of Jim Shane, Bureau of Land Management Artist-In-Residence (@mypubliclands).
It’s National Public Lands Day! Today is the perfect time to get out and explore parks, refuges and recreation areas near you. There are also thousands of volunteer events across the country, so you can give a little back to these special places. Entry fees are waived today, so head outdoors and enjoy some active time in nature. Photo of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
Enjoy the beautiful sky over Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, an area with some of the highest densities of archaeological sites in North America. The monument protects an abundance of well-preserved evidence of native cultures reflecting many aspects of past human life. From villages, cliff dwellings and field houses to sacred springs, agricultural fields and petroglyphs – the area is incredible to explore. Be sure to stop first at the Anasazi Heritage Center (Monument headquarters) in Colorado for maps, guidebooks, current information about trail and road conditions and general orientation. Most of the monument is open to exploration on foot, but marked foot trails are few and limited to specific areas. Photos by Bob Wick, U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
It’s National Lighthouse Day! Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since 1873. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area features exhibits on seabirds and marine life as well as human history from the headland. Visitors can see the wheelhouse of a historic ship, check out a recreated rocky island and its inhabitants, and explore fascinating tidepools along the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Jon Fischer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Deep glacier-carved gorges, stunning scenery, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers – you’ll find all these and more in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area in Oregon. The 52-mile Steens Mountain Backcountry Byway provides access to four campgrounds, numerous trails, the Riddle Brothers Ranch National Historic District and opportunities for fishing and hunting. The views from Kiger Gorge, East Rim, Big Indian Gorge, Wildhorse and Little Blitzen Gorge overlooks are not to be missed. Photo by Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands)
One of Interior’s nine bureaus, the Bureau of Land Management was established on July 16, 1946, when the General Land Office and the U.S. Grazing Service were merged. More than 70 years later, the BLM remains a small agency with a big job – managing public lands for multiple-uses like recreation and natural resource development on more than 245 million acres of public land. From working with family ranchers to big business, protecting untrammeled wilderness and wildlife habitat, and providing visitors with epic adventures in stunning settings, 10,000 passionate employees work hard every day for the benefit of present and future generations. Photo of the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
With rock formations that resemble something out of a science fiction movie, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness in New Mexico calls upon the imaginative spirit. The elements have done their part in sculpting rock creations that mimic statues. You won’t find trails in the area, but it’s rich with fossils, hills and occasional instances of pińon-juniper, sagebrush and scrubland vegetation. Photo by Jessica Fridrich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Sometimes you just crave the heat and mystery of the desert. Exploring Eagletail Mountains Wilderness will remind you there is so much life baked into these landscapes. From saguaro cactus to the mesmerizing shift from dawn to morning, the desert holds many charms. Located 65 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona, Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is as stunning as it is wild. Photo by Cliff LaPlant (www.sharetheexperience.org).