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).
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).
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.
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).
Shifting light and dramatic skies make every view at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah unique. Along the rim of this natural amphitheater, visitors can look out over the forest of hoodoos from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. Inspiration Point – seen here – offers an incredible panorama of this incredible landscape. Put it on your bucket list! Photo by Michael Barbuti (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado is a series of three reservoirs along the once wild Gunnison River. The reservoirs that make up Curecanti today are a destination for water-based recreation high in the Rocky Mountains. Best known for salmon and trout fishing, Curecanti also offers opportunities for hiking, boating, camping and bird watching. Photo by Paul Santellan, National Park Service.
The best part of camping at Badlands National Park in South Dakota is waking up in time to see the sunrise. The colorful rock formations – carved by wind and water over thousands of years – catch the glowing light of daybreak and display their rugged beauty. It’s a great way to start off the day before exploring ancient fossil beds and taking pictures of bighorn sheep and bison. Photo by Kevin Huston (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A pivotal moment in American history, the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom brought together Civil Rights leaders and supporters in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to push for change. The culmination of the historic day was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Speaking to a crowd of over 250,000 on the National Mall and millions watching on TV, Dr. King expressed his hope that one day “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” Photo of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by National Park Service.
Start your spring outdoor adventure with a sunrise at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. With waterfalls, wildlife, history, hiking trails and amazing views along the famous Skyline Drive, the park is a feast for your eyes and spirit, and will keep you coming back for more. Photo from Thornton Hollow Overlook by N. Lewis, National Park Service.