Happy Presidents’ Day! Tall and dignified, the Washington Monument on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., honors our first president, George Washington. Presidents’ Day is still officially “Washington’s Birthday,” but commonly includes Abraham Lincoln’s February 12 birthday in the celebration. Photo by Michelle Holshue (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Channel Islands National Park in California encompasses five remarkable islands and the surrounding ocean, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. Besides being an amazing outdoor classroom, it’s also a great place to watch the sunset. Photo by Angela Scolaro (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River in Washington, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge preserves unique habitat for wintering birds and other fascinating wildlife. Quiet and attentive visitors may be treated to the sight of a long tailed weasel running across a trail or a group of river otters playing in the water. Look out over distant fields and you might see a coyote hunting for rodents or a white tailed deer grazing watchfully. The refuge is a place where people can share a bond with nature, and each other, by passing on outdoor traditions to new generations. Sunset photo by Donna Torres (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Add Bodie Hills to your travel bucketlist for its wildflowers, wildlife and a one-of-a-kind ghost town. California’s Eastern Sierra region is a dramatic transition zone between the snow-capped granite spires of the Sierra Nevada and the endless sagebrush covered uplands of the Great Basin. A trip at the right time of year will reward visitors with a diversity of wildflowers. Because of their high elevation, wildflower blooms are later here than much of California – typically arriving in May-June on the lower slopes and into July on the highest peaks. Pictured here is the “Dry Lakes Plateau” where ephemeral lakes fill with snowmelt. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
The Niobrara Valley in Nebraska is home to Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and 76 miles of the Niobrara National Scenic River. The valley boasts dramatic bluffs, gorgeous waterfalls, world-class fossil resources, rich forests, wide grasslands and incredible wildlife diversity. Over 350 bison live on the refuge, letting visitors enjoy iconic scenes like this sunset. Photo by Kristen Maxfield, National Park Service.