Add Bodie Hills to your travel bucketlist for its wildflowers, wildlife and a one-of-a-kind ghost town. California’s Eastern Sierra region is a dramatic transition zone between the snow-capped granite spires of the Sierra Nevada and the endless sagebrush covered uplands of the Great Basin. A trip at the right time of year will reward visitors with a diversity of wildflowers. Because of their high elevation, wildflower blooms are later here than much of California – typically arriving in May-June on the lower slopes and into July on the highest peaks. Pictured here is the “Dry Lakes Plateau” where ephemeral lakes fill with snowmelt. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
The Niobrara Valley in Nebraska is home to Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and 76 miles of the Niobrara National Scenic River. The valley boasts dramatic bluffs, gorgeous waterfalls, world-class fossil resources, rich forests, wide grasslands and incredible wildlife diversity. Over 350 bison live on the refuge, letting visitors enjoy iconic scenes like this sunset. Photo by Kristen Maxfield, National Park Service.
The Potomac River roars over rocks and ice in this winter shot from Great Falls Park in Virginia. A short drive from downtown Washington, D.C., Great Falls and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the opposite bank in Maryland offer terrific outdoor recreation. Locals will tell you, it’s home to some of the best views and hiking in the area. Be sure to obey all signs and stay away from the falls. Photo by National Park Service.
A purple and pink winter sunrise paints the sky at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. It’s a scene Charles M. Russell would have enjoyed. The refuge was named in recognition of this colorful western artist who often portrayed the refuge’s landscape in his paintings. Along with the stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, the refuge boasts a fantastic history that includes mountain men, Native Americans and dinosaurs. Photo by Mary Jo Hill, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.