Many mountains and streams go unnamed on maps of Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve in Alaska. The wilderness is vast and untamed, forcing the people who explore this gorgeous landscape to depend on themselves. Maintaining its wild and undeveloped character, the park offers opportunities to experience both quiet solitude and thrilling recreation. Photo by National Park Service.
Watch out for bison jams at Yellowstone National Park. As nice as wildlife like bison look, they’re wild and unpredictable. Remember to never approach wildlife. The safest – and often best – view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison and elk. Be sure to stay in your vehicle if you encounter a wildlife jam, and do not feed wildlife. Animals that become dependent on human food may become aggressive toward people and have to be killed. Take the #YellowstonePledge to protect the landscape, wildlife and yourself at our nation’s first park. Photo by National Park Service.
Huron National Wildlife Refuge is made up of eight small islands three miles off the Michigan shoreline of Lake Superior. Accessible only by boat, the refuge’s forests and bog provide habitat for birds like the herring gull, cedar waxwing and bald eagle. Visitors can stroll along Huron’s lone trail and take pictures of the historic stone lighthouse, the grays and pinks of the exposed bedrock, the blues of the lake and the contrasting greens of the trees. The bedrock itself offers shutterbugs a chance to capture the unique patterns caused by boulders cutting grooves into the rock as glaciers moved slowly over the landscape 8,000 years ago. Photo by Garrett Peterson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
After a thrilling day of hiking, biking, fishing, boating and birdwatching, settle into the sand at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. The colorful skies and breaking waves make this a perfect summer experience. Photo by Rafi Wilkerson, National Park Service.
What a sight! Despite being one of the snowiest places in Oregon, the last signs of winter have finally disappeared from Crater Lake National Park. The melted snow recharges the lake, home to some of the clearest waters in the world. Enjoy amazing views of this sapphire jewel on a hike, ride or drive on Rim Road. Photo by Nathanael Asaro (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On this day in 1865, Gifford Pinchot – the “Father of American Forestry” – was born. As the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Pinchot was instrumental in establishing the American conservation ethic over a century ago. Pinchot believed in managing our land according to the best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. Today, Pinchot’s philosophy of multiple use continues to influence the mission of federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. Learn more about the life and legacy of Gifford Pinchot: https://on.doi.gov/Pinchot
Photo of Maroon Bells in Colorado by Sagarika Roy (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska accessible by road. From the Nature Center, visitors can explore trails, walk very close to an active glacier or take a ranger-led walk. It’s a place where you can witness up close how glaciers re-shape a landscape and learn how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by a glacier’s retreat. In the summer, the wildflower blooms and endless views make the experience magical. Photo by Catherine Danley (www.sharetheexperience.org).
There’s nothing quite like a wetlands summer sunset. The colorful sky reflects in the still water as the chorus of frogs and crickets grows louder and louder. At Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont, ducks, terns and herons swoop down to find their last snacks before returning to their nests. Grab a comfortable seat by the bog or on the edge of the forest and enjoy the show! Photo by Inna Malostovker (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy International Cat Day! Since 2002, International Cat Day has celebrated our furry feline friends across the world and given them the love, affection and belly rubs they deserve. We’re spotlighting some of the most pawsome cat species found in the U.S. – from lynx to ocelots – and our conservation efforts to protect these amazing animals.
Check out 11 adorable cat photos and facts right meow: https://on.doi.gov/2LWPXwq
Photo of a baby mountain lion in Grand Canyon by National Park Service.
It’s National Lighthouse Day! Few images are as evocative as a lighthouse standing sentry on a rocky shore, the guardian of mariners and passengers as they navigate the formidable currents, fierce storms and shifting shoals of America’s coastal and inland waterways. Although their form and appearance vary according to region or the body of water they guard, the lighthouse remains one of the most recognizable images of the maritime world. You can find many of these historic and majestic buildings on public lands across the country. Just follow the light.
Photo of the Bass Harbor Head Light at Acadia National Park in Maine by Aaron Chen (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Photo of the lighthouse at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area by Jeff Clark, Bureau of Land Management - Oregon.
Photo of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina by Michael Sprill (www.sharetheexperience.org).
What a colorful wetland scene! Cumberland Island National Seashore is on the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. Here pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both people and nature. Natives Americans, missionaries, enslaved African Americans and wealthy industrialists all walked here. Photo by Tone Watson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
When you close your eyes and picture a mountain, you probably conjure up a vision closely resembling Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The rugged range swiftly rising above a verdant plain – catching the light of an ever changing sky – is something that once seen, can never be forgotten. Photo by Larry Chow (www.sharethexperience.org).
On this date in 1993, Congress established Idaho’s Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area – home to the greatest concentration of nesting birds of prey in North America, and perhaps, the world. In 2009, it was renamed to honor a long-time advocate for birds of prey and a man who dedicated his life to protecting the area: Morley Nelson. In the 1940s Nelson began to document birds of prey along the Snake River canyon on film, influencing public opinion about the majesty and importance of these species. Nelson was also instrumental in convincing Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton to give the area special protection in 1971. Here cliffs towering up to 700 feet above the Snake River provide countless ledges, cracks and crevices for nesting raptors. These magnificent birds launch from their cliffside aeries to soar and hunt on warm air currents rising from the canyon floor. Today, as we celebrate 25 years of protecting Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, we also honor the man who was critical to ensuring future generations can hear the call of raptors as they swoop for their prey. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park in California isn’t only beautiful, it’s a welcome relief. Summer temperatures often stay above 100 degrees until darkness helps bring them down to a relatively cooler 80. When visiting the park in the summer, remember to limit your activity during the day and stay hydrated. Take advantage of amazing starry skies and more tolerable night time temperatures to enjoy this special place. Photo by Brad Sutton, National Park Service.
Morris Wetland Management District includes wetlands and grasslands scattered throughout an eight-county area in Minnesota. Like other wetland management districts in the prairie states, the goal of the Morris District is to restore and protect enough habitat to meet the needs of prairie wildlife – particularly breeding waterfowl – as well as provide places for public recreation. The stunning summer sunsets are just a bonus. Photo by Alex Galt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River overwhelms the senses with its breathtaking beauty. The canyon is a tapestry of dramatic colors and shapes. Puffs of steam mark hydrothermal features in the canyon’s walls. The Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River add to the grandeur of this unique natural treasure. And if you catch it just right, the sun’s rays will make it appear to be a scene from a dream. Photo by Rex Jones (www.sharetheexperience.org).
This weekend, we lost a member of the Department of the Interior family. Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hot Shots crew out of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, lost his life while battling the Ferguson Fire just outside Yosemite National Park. We extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fellow National Park Service coworkers who loved and knew him. We honor his service and sacrifice.
When living on the North Dakota ranch that would one day be a national park named after him, Theodore Roosevelt observed huge towns of prairie dogs. He said, “Prairie-dogs are abundant, and are the most noisy and inquisitive animals imaginable. They are never found singly, but always in towns of several hundred inhabitants.” This one looks like it could use a little time alone. Photo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park by Jeri Goldstein, National Park Service.
Wrangell-St. Elias is a vast, remote national park with endless opportunities to experience the stunning beauty of Alaska. Come climb the mountains, float the rivers, ski the glaciers, hike through meadows of wildflowers or fly above it all. Come, but come prepared since you are mostly on your own. Whatever you choose to do, it’s sure to be an adventure! Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Some of the first park rangers in America, weren’t rangers at all. They were Buffalo Soldiers – African Americans who served in the U.S. Army after the Civil War. They got their famous nickname from Cheyenne warriors, who likened their dark curly hair to that of buffalo hides. From 1899 to 1904, they were among the first people to work in Yosemite, Yellowstone and Sequoia national parks – more than 10 years before the creation of the National Park Service. These dedicated men protected wildlife from poaching, put out wildfires, built trails, roads, buildings and other infrastructure, and forged a proud legacy in our nation’s history. Photo of Sequoia National Park by Nathan Close (www.sharetheexperience.org).