Walking down the winding staircase from the Cape Blanco Lighthouse to the sandy beach below, you can stroll across the sandy beach as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. Waves and wind pound the surrounding bluffs at this western-most point of land in Oregon. Daytime views provide an unparalleled opportunity to watch California gray whales and other marine mammals swimming just offshore and the lighthouse itself is a fascinating glimpse into our history. Just another wonderful day on public lands. Photo by Lisa McNee, Bureau of Land Management.
It never hurts to have backup. Bobcats tend to be solitary cats, but it looks like this one has a friend. Excellent climbers and swimmers, bobcats can live up to 14 years and have the greatest range of all native North American wildcats. They are very adaptable to a wide range of habitat, making their dens among rocks and caves. Fierce hunters, they’ve been known to pounce on much bigger animals, including deer. Photo by by Alek Quintero, 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)
Some of the wildest and most remote land in Oregon, Steens Mountain Wilderness covers more than 170,000 acres of rugged beauty. The area offers an extraordinary landscape of volcanic uplifts, deep glacier-carved gorges, stunning scenery, rushing rivers and rich diversity of plant and animal species. Popular activities include camping, picnicking, nature photography, hunting, fishing and exploring the open country on foot and horseback. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.
Happy Birthday, Crater Lake National Park! Established in 1902, Crater Lake is one of our first national parks. Explore this breathtaking part of Oregon and witness the clear blue water of the deepest lake in the United States. Walk through old growth forest, learn of the eruption that sparked this wonder and marvel at this incredible place. Can’t get enough of Crater Lake National Park? Here are 12 things you may not know about it: https://on.doi.gov/2rZxPW4 Photo by Don Hasemeyer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
If you like strange and colorful landscapes, you’ve got to visit John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. The yellows, golds, blacks and reds of the Painted Hills are striking and surreal. Changing light and moisture levels drastically affect the tones and hues visible in the hills. The seasons can also change the look of the Painted Hills. Spring often brings wildflowers that grow in between the hills, adding even more color. Photo by Chaney Swiney (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The peaceful beauty of a winter sunset at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon gives few hints of the landscape’s violent past. For approximately 400,000 years, volcanic eruptions built up a 12,000 foot mountain now called Mt. Mazama. 7,700 years ago, the volcano erupted in a cataclysmic explosion. Fatally weakened, the top of the mountain collapsed and created the hole – the caldera – that we now see today filled with pristine blue water. Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
Crooked River in central Oregon almost sparkles as snow blankets the landscape. This time of year is both brisk and beautiful. Originating in the lush Ponderosa pine forests of Central Oregon’s Ochoco Mountains, the Crooked River flows straight through diverse terrain. In an area of the country where streams and springs are rare, the Crooked Wild and Scenic River serves as an essential life source to both humans and wildlife. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands)
What do special areas look like? Pure, pristine nature and resplendent in all their historic glory. They’re places like John Day Wild and Scenic River – the longest undammed river in Oregon. The river flows through colorful canyons, broad valleys and breathtaking terrain. The river offers exceptional steelhead and warm-water bass fishing, calm water boating punctuated with a few rapids and a chance to learn about the history of the area. Camping, picnicking, sightseeing, photography, swimming and wildlife viewing are also popular, and in the winter, you can snowmobile and ski in the area. Photo by Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).