One of the most spectacular hikes in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, the 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail starts on the valley floor, winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breathtaking view of the Icefield. The trail is strenuous – it gains about 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile – and hikers should allow at least 6-8 hours. Although the view from the top is well worth the effort, you don’t need to hike all the way up to experience the wonders of this trail. This stunning photo shows the view of the wildflowers and valley below from part of the way up the trail. Be sure to check current conditions for the trail on the park’s website before heading out out on the trail. Photo by Chandra Sekhar Gantha (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Dinosaur National Monument contains famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, intriguing petroglyphs, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike to spectacular views, the thrill of rafting through a twisting canyon, or sitting quietly and watching the sunset, Dinosaur National Monument offers a myriad of activities for you to enjoy. This photo is from the Cub Creek area, which includes hiking trails, petroglyphs and pictographs, historic structures from the monument’s homesteading history and more. Photo by National Park Service.
It’s World Oceans Day – a time for people to spotlight the importance of oceans, which connects us all on our blue planet. Located halfway between Hawai‘i and American Samoa, Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is a circular string of about 26 islets nestled among several lagoons and encircled by 15,000 acres of shallow turquoise reefs and deep blue submerged reefs. Palmyra Atoll is one of six refuges in the area that provide a safe haven for millions of birds and marine life that feed, mate and give life to their offspring in the shallow waters nearby.
There is no best place for watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon – just great places and even better places. Look for viewpoints in the national park that jut into the canyon for views both east and west, and plan to arrive as much as 90 minutes before sunset. Don’t rush off. Stay at least 10 minutes after the sunsets and is no longer illuminating the buttes and pinnacles of this Arizona landmark – the sky may light up red, pink or orange. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank.
What’s the best hike in Redwood National and State Parks? All of them! When walking through a redwood grove on a fog-shrouded morning, sounds are reduced to the musical gurgle of water trickling amongst ferns and mossy rocks, light ebbs with the somber mist and rays of sun hang like cobwebs. Stillness and peace weave their spells on you. For those with mobility issues, a number of the park’s trails are ADA accessible, and wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs are available at its visitor centers. Photo by Anna Day (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Boat, hike, cycle, camp and fish at America’s most diverse national recreation area: Lake Mead. This year-round playground spreads across 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys and two vast lakes in Arizona and Nevada. Whether it’s seeing the Hoover Dam from the waters of Lake Mead or finding solitude in one of the park’s nine wilderness areas, Lake Mead is the place for world-class adventure. Photo JT Dudrow (www.sharetheexperience.org).
This weekend, the annual Iditarod race kicked off in Alaska. This famous dog-sled race traverses across the rugged Alaska tundra, including on the Iditarod National Historic Trail. A 2,300-mile system of trails that first connected Alaska Native villages and opened Alaska up for America’s last great gold rush, the Iditarod Trail now plays a vital role for travel and recreation in modern-day Alaska. Photos by Kevin Keeler, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Happy birthday, Mount Rainier National Park! Established in 1899, our 5th national park has been amazing visitors for 119 years. Home to the tallest mountain in Washington, the park is a wonderland of history, wildlife and natural beauty. Gorgeous in every season, there’s nothing quite like the park’s summer wildflower blooms. Put this park on your bucketlist! Photo by Danny Seidman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was born – making it the world’s first national park. Today, millions visit Yellowstone to discover the park’s geysers and mud pots, forests and lakes, and historic cabins and prehistoric sites – not to mention it’s stunning waterfalls. Check out 7 surprising facts about Yellowstone as we celebrate the park’s birthday: http://on.doi.gov/24zbV9d
Sitting at the foothills of the Alaska Range, Denali National Park is as wild and wonderful as it was when hunter and naturalist Charles Sheldon first visited the area more than a century ago. It was Sheldon’s drive and determination to protect this American treasure that led to the creation of Denali National Park and Preserve on February 26, 1917. Check out 9 interesting facts about this park: https://on.doi.gov/2EXi8Uz