Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is not only one of the most beautiful places in the country but also one of the snowiest. Park staff work hard to keep the road to the Rim Village open year round, but all of Rim Drive won’t be open for months. Free guided snowshoe walks will continue through the end of April and cross country skis are recommended for those who want to explore the park off plowed roads. With views like this, how can you not want to see more? Photo by Eric Valentine (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Lenticular clouds are stationary, saucer-shaped clouds that form when moist air is pushed over large obstructions. As the tallest mountain in the Cascade Range, Mount Rainier in Washington is a great place to see these unique cloud formations. If you don’t care about the clouds, you can still enjoy amazing recreation, wildlife watching and cultural history at Mount Rainier National Park. Photo by Jacklyn Fraizer (www.sharetheexperience.org)
Sunlight streaming through leaves, the chirps and squeaks of birds and animals in the trees, and the rich scents of the outdoors make the forest a happy place for many people. Today on International Day of Forests, we recognize these special places and their importance to wildlife and recreation. Photo of the Sol Duc rainforest at Olympic National Park in Washington by Adam Jewell (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Are you excited for the Winter Olympics? How about winter at Olympic National Park in Washington? With amazing chances to ski and skate – plus breathtaking views along Hurricane Ridge – this park is a gold medal winner! Photo by Megan Juran, National Park Service.
Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River in Washington, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge preserves unique habitat for wintering birds and other fascinating wildlife. Quiet and attentive visitors may be treated to the sight of a long tailed weasel running across a trail or a group of river otters playing in the water. Look out over distant fields and you might see a coyote hunting for rodents or a white tailed deer grazing watchfully. The refuge is a place where people can share a bond with nature, and each other, by passing on outdoor traditions to new generations. Sunset photo by Donna Torres (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington offers amazing rewards for visitors willing to brave the cold. Epic views of mountains and valleys glimmer in snow white and subtle blue combine with the crunch of ice under your boots and the welcome warmth of daylight. The park is open, but vehicle access is limited, so bring your snowshoes and skis. Photo by Jared Pratt (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Already a magical place, the dense forests of Olympic National Park in Washington dazzle with a delicate lining of frost and snow. From mountain peaks to sandy beaches, Olympic offers visitors a wide variety of landscapes and adventures. It’s the perfect place to discover the Pacific Northwest, and maybe yourself, too. Photo by Megan Juran, National Park Service.
The fall colors are showing at Blue Lake in North Cascades National Park in Washington. Photographer Albert Yang described the scene he captured: “The lake was so still I almost felt like I had to hold my breath to embrace it. I was searching for fall colors and these larch trees were just gorgeous. It was my first time exploring this area and I know I will return many, many times in the future.” Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
A photo of the moon glowing red because of smoke from Jones Fire in Willamette National Forest. With over 114 wildfires burning in the west, it’s a good reminder to check for closures before heading out to a national park, wildlife refuge or other public land location, monitor air quality conditions, seek guidance from local authorities on fire restrictions, and put together an emergency supply kit. Photo by Marcus Kauffman, Inciweb.
Sunrise over Crater Lake National Park is one of the most stunning sights in Oregon. Photo by Curtis Smith (www.sharetheexperience.org).