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Winter white and evergreen create a lovely palette at Olympic National Park in Washington. Snow in the lower Sol Duc Valley has added more beauty to an already stunning place. With over 875,000 acres of wilderness in the park, you’re sure to find many peaceful spots to enjoy. Photo by Megan Juran, National Park Service.
Happy first day of winter! All across the country, America’s public lands are being transformed into winter wonderlands. The days may be colder and shorter, but they are still full of adventure. We hope you find time to explore! Photo of California’s Yosemite National Park by Yu Shi (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Snow decorates the desert under a dreamy night sky at Joshua Tree National Park in California. To survive, Joshua trees depend on perfect conditions, including a crisp winter freeze – researchers believe that freezing temperatures may first damage the growing end of a branch and then stimulate flowering, followed by branching. Photo by Craig Schoenbaum (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Sunrise breaks the winter chill at Acadia National Park in Maine. As you admire the snow reflecting the morning light and listen to the waves lap at the stony shoreline, feel the warmth of another day welcome you to this beautiful place. Park Loop Road has closed for the season, but Ocean Drive remains open as conditions allow. Happy exploring! Photo by Rebecca Wilks (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Spread across the 3.3 million acres of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska are rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers and deep forests. Winter is harsh and services are extremely limited, but for intrepid explorers, the park dressed in frost and snow is a sight you’ll never forget. Photo by National Park Service.
Winter at Bryce Canyon National Park brings new ways to experience one of Utah’s premier parks. Besides gorgeous views, adventurers can enjoy snowshoeing, skiing and sledding through a world of white. From November through March, the park also offers ranger-led full moon snowshoe hikes. Before you go, be sure to check with the park for conditions and closures. Photo by National Park Service.
Few sights evoke the American West more than the saguaro cactus, found only in the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro National Park, close to the urban center of Tucson, Arizona, protects these majestic cacti. At the park, you can hike through fantastic desert scenery year-round. #Sunset photo courtesy of David Olsen.
Adventure awaits this holiday season! Give the America the Beautiful pass, which gives you access to 2,000+ national parks and other lands. It’s the perfect way to explore all that America has to offer: on.doi.gov/pass
Can you spot the hikers in this picture from Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Colorado? It’s easy to lose your perspective when looking at the tallest sand dunes in North America. A park of year-round adventure, there’s a particular beauty about this special place in winter, when snow hides in the curving shadows of the dunes. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
What’s winter like at Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park? The mountain’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation. Its colorful subalpine meadows and lush old growth forests are draped with a thick blanket of snow for much of the year. The sometimes dusty-looking glaciers are freshly covered in white and the snow-covered roofs of the rustic historic buildings are rimmed with icicles – creating a picture perfect setting. Learn more about winter at the park: http://on.doi.gov/2glvuS5
This heron at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware has the right idea. It’s always nice to find a good perch and enjoy the peaceful beauty of a fall sunset. As urban development increases along the Atlantic Flyway, protected lands for migratory birds becomes even more important. With more than 16,000 acres of forests, fields and wetlands, the birds can find a place to relax; and maybe you will, too. Photo by Tim Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The winter view of Longs Peak from the Dream Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is an epic sight. The wind kicks up a flurry of snow, sweeping the massive mountain and sending a chill we can feel through the screen. Does this make you want to put on your boots or slide under a blanket? Photo by Brandon Selinsky (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Denali National Park in Alaska is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along the road see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America’s tallest peak. Called The Mountain by locals, Denali stands 20,310 feet tall. Photo by National Park Service.
In southern New Mexico, surrounding the city of Las Cruces in the Río Grande’s Mesilla Valley, five iconic mountain ranges rise above Chihuahuan Desert grasslands. These mountain ranges and lowlands form the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which was established in May 2014 to protect the area’s significant prehistoric, historic, geologic and biologic treasures. Photos by @mypubliclands.
Located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior Isle Royale National Park in Michigan is the place to go for solitude. The park is an island of roadless backcountry reachable only by boat or seaplane – making it the least visited national park in the lower 48 states. Photographer Carl TerHaar captured this moonrise from Pickerel Cove, one of the islands’ campgrounds that consists of a narrow ridge accessible by small boat. Full moon photo courtesy of Carl TerHaar.
On a quiet morning 75 years ago today, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,100 more wounded. Twenty-one ships of the Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, including the USS Arizona. Shocked and angered by the attack, the country joined the Allied forces to fight World War II, inspired by the call of “Remember Pearl Harbor.” A moving reminder of the service and sacrifice of those who fought, the USS Arizona Memorial is jointly administered by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service. Photos from World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument by National Park Service.
Whoa! Sunlight creates rainbows from the spouts of two gray whales at Channel Islands National Park off the California coast. The waters surrounding Channel Islands are home to more than 27 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises – representing about one-third of cetacean species found worldwide. If you’re hoping to catch a gray whale sighting, try visiting the park during mid-December to mid-March when they migrate. Photo courtesy of Larry Goldman.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is a wonderful place to explore the world below. The unique caverns were formed over 4 million years ago by sulfuric acid dissolving limestone – creating long tunnels and amazing rock formations. Take a self guided tour of the Big Room or embrace adventure and follow a ranger into the deep, dark, tight recesses of this fascinating park. Photo courtesy of Aaron Bates.
The snowiest place in Oregon, Crater Lake National Park’s winter blanket glows in the fading light of a purple sunset. Despite the frosty atmosphere, the lake rarely freezes. The last complete freeze was in 1949. Photo by John Dale (www.sharetheexperience.org).
San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge stretches into a sea of fog, as seen from a helicopter. California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which borders the bridge, is just as stunning at ground level. To the west, Kirby Cove features fantastic views and camping, while Fort Baker to the east offers crabbing, kayaking and hiking near a historic U.S. Army post. Sunset photo courtesy of Engel Ching.