Layered rock formations rise like islands in an ocean of fog at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. From golden sunrises to star-filled nights, Badlands offers terrific chances to explore ancient fossil beds, observe a variety of wildlife and learn about the park’s fascinating cultural history. Young visitors, don’t forget to get your Junior Ranger badge! Photo by Barry Castetter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The natural amphitheater of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah provides the perfect venue for enjoying fascinating landscapes and stunning skies. In winter, snow decorates the bright cliffs and hoodoos. Make sure to take a walk along the Rim Trail for all the best views. Photo by Jim Su (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park in South Dakota is undeniable. From hiking past unique rock formations and fossil beds to watching bison run across the grasslands and the surprise of a swift storm moving in, outdoor adventures abound. Photo by Christina Laws (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The strange rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park in California are the results of magma flows and millions of years of erosion. Many of the unique boulders in the park haven earned names. The large stone pictured here is Heartbreak Rock. Can you guess why? Sunset photo by Hannah Schwalbe, National Park Service.
The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands, which offers some of the most unusual scenery in New Mexico. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations out of sandstone and shale. Off the beaten path, it’s a great place to find solitude, explore the amazing desert landscape and marvel at the sunset. Photo by Theresa Rose Ditson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
There’s more to Badlands National Park than gorgeous scenery. You can see bison and bighorn sheep roaming the grasslands near colorful, jagged rock formations. Rich fossil beds reveal the remains of ancient mammals like saber-toothed cats and rhinos. 244,000 acres of South Dakota badlands will make this one of your favorite national parks. Photo by Shawn Stackhouse (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Instead of the glass and steel skyscrapers of New York City, Park Avenue at Arches National Park in Utah leads you by natural towers of stone, glowing in the desert light. With great names like Courthouse Towers, Three Gossips, the Organ and the Tower of Babel, these dramatic rock formations line the 1-mile trail near the park’s entrance. Photo by Robert Caton (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On land or lake, there’s so much to see and do at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. Along its 42 miles of Lake Superior shoreline are over 15 miles of towering sandstone cliffs, 12 miles of beautiful beaches and 5 miles of sand dunes. You can climb to the top of a lighthouse, hike through forests, kayak past waterfalls or just lay on a beach. It’s a perfect summer getaway! Photo by Betty Greene (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The natural beauty of public lands can stop you in your tracks. When you see the amazing landscapes and stunning sunsets at Badlands National Park in South Dakota, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. Photo by Donna Schneider (www.sharetheexperience.org).
This awesome shot of Fantasy Canyon in Utah took the scenic landscape prize in the 2016 Share the Experience Photo Contest. The intricate sandstone formations and terrific light make this unique area a photographer’s dream. If you have outstanding pictures from public lands, sign up and share them at www.sharetheexperience.org for your chance to have your photo on the America the Beautiful public lands pass! Photo by John D’Onofrio (www.sharetheexperience.org). @mypubliclands