It’s International Mountain Day! Not only are mountains majestic, they’re also critical to the water cycle, food production and tourism. If you asked someone to draw a mountain, they’d probably sketch something like the rugged beauty of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. With its snow-capped peaks catching the sunrise light above the Snake River, it’s one of the most stunning sights in America. Photo by Adam Jewell (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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).
This red fox at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey is enjoying a lazy Sunday morning. We can learn so much from nature. Photo by Don Freiday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Some sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway have already seen snow this year, but we couldn’t let fall come to a close without one more amazing photo of autumn splendor. The forested mountains of North Carolina and Virginia are the perfect showcase for changing leaves and amazing sunrises. Each turn on the road and trail overlook provides a breathtaking view. Photo by Ric Chamblee (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On a quiet morning 77 years ago today, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Shocked and angered by the attack, the country joined the Allied forces to fight World War II, inspired by the call of “Remember Pearl Harbor.” A moving reminder of the service and sacrifice of those who fought, the USS Arizona Memorial is jointly administered by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service. Photo at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument by National Park Service.
Come for the sunrise and stay for the wildlife at Big Cypress National Preserve. The park is home to many mammals, birds and reptiles that are exciting to observe in their natural habitat. If you know where to look, it’s easy to spot Florida’s largest reptile: the American alligator. Photo by National Park Service.
You don’t have to get up to enjoy a spectacular sunrise this time of year at Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska’s short December days mean the sun comes up around 9:45 in the morning and sets before 4:00 in the afternoon. So bundle up and take your time finding the perfect spot to enjoy it among the coastal mountains of this incredible park. Photo by Jim Pfeiffenberger, National Park Service.
Whooping cranes are the tallest and some of the most rare birds in North America. Adults are mostly white and stand almost five feet tall with a wingspan of seven feet. Never an abundant species, the total population dwindled to a low of 16 birds in 1941 due to hunting pressures and habitat loss. Now there are about 600 in the world. These three adults and one juvenile were spotted at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. Photo by Barry Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Travel back to the wild west at John Jarvie Historic Ranch in Utah. In 1880, John Jarvie built a ranch along the Green River to offer store goods to those that lived or traveled in this wild territory. Jarvie chose this location due to a naturally occurring river crossing which was used by Native Americans, fur trappers, travelers and local residents. Today, you can camp, fish, float and enjoy educational demonstrations at this fascinating site. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
Happy Birthday, Glacier Bay National Park! Designated from a national monument to a national park on this day in 1980, Glacier Bay covers 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords. From sea to summit, the Alaska park offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration. And the most incredible blue water you’ll ever see. Photo by Cliff LaPlant (www.sharetheexperience.org).