On this day in 1917, Denali National Park was established. While we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this area’s scenic beauty, Denali’s rich history dates back much further. For thousands of years, Alaska Natives have lived on the land surrounding the Denali area and used the resources of the land for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, handicrafts and trade. Today the park preserves a diverse tapestry of plant life and intact ecosystems where bears, wolves, caribou, moose and Dall sheep roam as they have for thousands of years. Photo by National Park Service.
Bass Lake is a serene stop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. With miles of trails wandering by the lake and through the forest, you’ll enjoy every minute of your visit. Taking pictures along the parkway is a passion of photographer Jim Ruff, and this golden sunrise is his favorite shot from this winter. Photo courtesy of Jim Ruff.
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. Start planning your trip now. Photo by Alex Stephens, Bureau of Reclamation.
Winter fog blankets the valleys of the Jim Sage Mountains at City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho. Travelers on the California Trail described the rocks here in vivid detail as “a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks” and “the silent city.” Today, this backcountry byway attracts rock climbers, campers, hikers and hunters. Enjoy inspirational scenery, exceptional opportunities for geologic study and interesting stories of the people who lived and traveled through this beautiful land. Photo by National Park Service.
Storm clouds color the sky above Everglades National Park in Florida. Vast and unique, the park encourages exploration and discovery. In a place where a few inches of elevation can make a huge difference, visitors can kayak on quiet sloughs and marshes or hike through pinelands or scenic coastal lowlands. Photo by Kenneth Carper (http://ift.tt/18oFfjl).
For more than 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people called what is now Mesa Verde National Park home. Their dwellings – elaborate stone communities – blend into the sheltered alcoves of Colorado’s canyon walls. Today, visitors can explore these spectacular cliff dwellings with ranger-guided tours from late spring to early fall. Photo courtesy of Chris Wheeler.
A colossal tribute to four of our greatest presidents, Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota captivates and overwhelms nearly 3 million visitors a year. Most popular during the summer, we think Presidents’ Day is a perfect time of year to feature this remarkable park. Say hi to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt when you go! Explore Mount Rushmore’s history and secrets: https://on.doi.gov/2kCiMM3
These two little red foxes snoozing at Maine’s Acadia National Park are beyond cute! A mother fox gives birth to a litter of 2-12 kits, which the parents raise together. When the kits are about seven months old, they’re ready to strike out on their own. Check out more photos of cuddly animals: http://on.doi.gov/affectionateanimals. Photo by Jana Matusz, National Park Service.
Zion National Park in Utah boasts some of the most scenic landscapes in the southwestern U.S. Within its 229 square miles are high plateaus, a maze of deep sandstone canyons and the gorgeous Virgin River. The soft scents of pine and juniper drift on the air. A winter sunset coloring the sky above this dramatic scene is an unforgettable experience. Photo by David Curry (http://ift.tt/18oFfjl).
Sequoia National Park is the land of giants with huge mountains, deep canyons and the world’s largest trees. It can be hard to appreciate the size of the giant sequoias – the largest are as tall as an average 26-story building, and their diameters at the base exceed the width of many city streets. Explore this special place and all other public lands with free entrance on Monday for Presidents’ Day. Photo by Volunteer-in-Parks Hal Gamble.