Golden morning light shimmers on the ocean and glints against the black rock cliffs at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This unique park reveals at least 70 million years of volcanism, migration and evolution that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex ecosystems and a distinct human culture. Visitors might not realize it, but they’re standing near the top of the most massive mountain on Earth, rising 56,000 feet from the sea floor. Mother Nature really knows how to build. Photo by Janice Wei, National Park Service.
Though they are made of ancient rock, the Tetons are one of the youngest mountain ranges in North America. They have been uplifting for less than 10 million years, making them “adolescent” mountains, as compared to the “middle-aged” Rockies (60-80 million years old) or the “elderly” Appalachians (more than 300 million years old). Erosion has had much less time to work in the Teton range, comparatively, so their peaks remain rough and rugged – a major factor in the iconic appeal of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Photo @GrandTetonNPS by John Tobiason, National Park Service.
You’ll need to make more than one visit if you really want to enjoy fall colors at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. Different trees peak at different times, so each journey into this gorgeous forest offers a unique experience. Throughout October and November, maples, oaks, gums and dogwoods put on a splendid show you don’t want to miss. Photo at Blue Hen Falls by Craig Walton (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Random acts of kindness. Simple gestures. Your kind actions go a long way. #WorldKindnessDay gives us all a reason to celebrate.
These affectionate island foxes live on six of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of southern California – and are found nowhere else on Earth. As a subspecies of the gray fox, they are the smallest foxes in North America, but the largest native predator on these islands. The story of the island fox is a conservation success story, where many groups worked together to ensure their survival – it continues to be an amazing example of recovery. Photo at Channel Islands National Park courtesy of Chris Brinkman.
A red rock wonderland sculpted by wind, water & time, Arches National Park in Utah will blow your mind. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover established Arches National Monument to protect the arches, spires, balanced rocks and other sandstone formations on this amazing landscape. On November 12, 1971, Congress changed the status of Arches to a National Park. That’s today! But no matter the name, the season or reason, we love celebrating this incredible place. Photo by Zack Nicol (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Towering rock formations, majestic bison and tens of millions of years of natural history await you at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Don’t let the name fool you – you’re sure to have a good time here. First protected as a national monument in 1929, Badlands was established as a national park on this day in 1978. Learn more about the rugged beauty of this park and all it has to offer: www.doi.gov/blog/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-badlands-national-park Photo by Donna Schneider (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Some of the best times to see the Northern Lights are typically in the early fall and late winter, and some of the best places to experience this incredible lights how are on the nearly 72 million acres of Alaska’s public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The amazing natural spectacle is created when particles ejected by sun flares collide with Earth’s magnetic field. You don’t need to know the #science to appreciate the beauty, though. Photo by Jeremy Matlock, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
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.
Meep meep! Just like in the cartoons, roadrunners love to run and can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. They can fly for short distances but prefer to remain on the ground where they hunt for prey. Cute in a goofy kind of way, roadrunners are very fierce predators. They will eat pretty much anything they can catch, including mice, lizards, scorpions, rattlesnakes and other birds. This one at Big Bend National Park in Texas grabbed this snake snack to present to a potential mate. How romantic! Photo by Lee Jaszlics (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The American bison is our national mammal and a symbol of the Department of the Interior. Rugged and resilient, bison are surprisingly agile, able to jump fences and run up to 35 miles an hour. Recovering from near extinction, 17 bison herds can be found on public lands across the West. They are a wonder to see in the wild and we’re proud to feature them on National Bison Day. Photo of bison at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming courtesy of Travis O’Brien.