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.
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).
Check out this beautiful shot of a snow-covered autumn landscape near Fallon, Nevada. This area is a small part of the Newlands Irrigation Project that brought water to the desert. Photographer Dennis Doyle captured this image a few years ago, and of the experience, he says, “I am a native of Nevada. I have lived 60 years in this little piece of heaven we call the Great Basin. I have always loved the beauty of the wide open spaces and our version of ‘Big Sky’ country, but what really fascinates me is the ‘little’ spaces; the small springs and oasis areas that define our nature. The areas that feed and water our wild animals and the areas that provide shade for a nap!” Photo by Dennis Doyle, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
From tidepooling to witnessing Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, there is something for every visitor at Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. In the tide pools, visitors can see marine life such as anemones, urchins, mussels, barnacles and seastars. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
If you’re feeling the need to walk off some of yesterday’s calories, head out to a local park, refuge, trail or recreation area for some fresh air and exercise. One of our favorite places to #OptOutside is Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park. Running 184 miles from West Virginia through Maryland and into Washington, D.C., the towpath and trails of the C&O Canal offer great opportunities to discover historical and natural treasures. From the popular trails around Great Falls to the quiet splendor of the upper sections, it’s a place we’re thankful for. Photo by Patty Ballay (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The rolling plains and scattered wetlands of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge in Montana were created by receding glaciers more than 12,000 years ago. Today, these lands and waters serve as habitat for a great variety of wildlife, especially migrating waterfowl. Depending on the season, the sky can hold a lone eagle, fill with waves of tundra swans or show dramatic sunset colors. Photo by Christal Steele (www.sharetheexperience.org).
In a land of stark white sand, a little fall color really stands out. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico preserves part the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Gypsum sand is considered rare because gypsum is water soluble – it dissolves in water like sugar in iced tea. The 275-square miles of dunes are comprised of over 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand. It is one of the many things that make White Sands a unique and special place. Photo by Jim Langford (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A scenic drive along the Molalla River in Oregon offers easy river access and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, camping, whitewater boating and fishing. The river is one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River and cuts a picturesque gorge on its way to the valley floor. Molalla River Recreation Area offers an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Take your time on the trails to enjoy the changing colors. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management.
Take a look at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. The monument is best known for its geologic amphitheater – a brilliantly colored limestone coliseum that plunges a half-mile deep. In addition to enjoying incredible views, visitors can wander among timeless bristlecone pines, stand in lush meadows of wildflower, ponder crystal-clear night skies and experience the gorgeous fall colors of the park’s subalpine forest. Photo courtesy of Gary Fua.