National Trails Day

Happy National Trails Day today!  Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!

Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!

Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy!  Happy National Trails Day! 

Crater Lake National Park

Happy 119th anniversary to Crater Lake National Park located in Oregon!

About 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted creating the deepest lake in the United States and the 9th deepest in the world.  With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the  one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

Enjoy a few photos from our visit there last October. As you will see, it was a bit hazy from fires in the area. But, the smoke and haze can’t hide this national park’s beauty!

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking out this national park as it is one of my favorites!

BARK Ranger Day

As part of National Park Week, today is Bark Ranger Day. Let’s take a guess what this might mean…..bark….like dogs!

BARK actually stands for:

Bag your pet’s waste

Always wear a leash

Respect wildlife

Know where you can go.

These are four great points to remember when bringing your pet to a national park.

Enjoy a photo of our dog, Evie, at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Earth Day

Earth Day is a global celebration encouraging education and stewardship of the planet’s natural resources.  This year celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day!

Take a moment and go online to learn about how we can protect our only planet. Click here to learn more about earth sciences. Click here to learn about the leave no trace principles at our parks. For kids, become a junior explorer today by clicking here!

Cheers to our planet! Happy National Park Week!

Wildflowers!

Last Sunday, we checked out the wildflowers blooming out in here in Northern California and the flowers did not disappoint!

Located about 10 miles north of Oroville, California, the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve provided the amazing views along their trails of these wildflowers.

These 3,300 acres created by ancient lava flows provide beautiful vistas of these wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools.

It’s a popular area right now due to the blooms, so be prepared to park a distance and to take a ton of photos.

Loved seeing these wildflowers in bloom and getting out in nature with the family!

Day Trip!

Last week, we journeyed to Yosemite National Park for the day. The kids had last week off and we needed a day out in nature! And nature did not disappoint!

We took the kids on four hikes and the lucked out on the last one with no crowds. We started the hike to Mirror Lake around 4pm and owned the trail. It can be hard to get away from people in Yosemite, but staying later paid off!

We had a really great day and loved spending a long day in a national park!

For a recent blog post about Yosemite National Park, click here.

Grand Canyon

Happy 102 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

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President Teddy Roosevelt urged Americans to protect this great canyon, “What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

For more information on this amazing park, check out a previous blog by clicking here.

If you visit Las Vegas or Arizona, take the time and check out this grand national park! Definitely worth the time and journey!

Cheers to 102 years!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Happy 106th anniversary to Rocky Mountain National Park!

In 1915, Congress created the Rocky Mountain National Park. Named after the mountain range, this mountain range is one of the world’s longest mountain ranges stretching from Alaska down to Mexico.

Rocky Mountain National Park lies in north central Colorado covering 415 square miles. And it is not too far from Denver!

Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to go on some fun hikes, experience the mountains, drive the epic Trail Ridge Road, see wildlife, and enjoy the outdoors. If you’re in this area or looking for a great national park to visit next, I highly recommend that you check out Rocky Mountain National Park.

Enjoy a photo below of me hiking a trail in this national park back in June of 2006.

Dinosaur National Monument

Happy 105th anniversary to Dinosaur National Monument!

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A few years ago, we planned a vacation to Colorado and we planned on driving from California to Colorado. At the time, our son loved dinosaurs! I mean really loved them and even talked about growing up to become a paleontologist! After some discussions and checking out the routes, we decided to stop by this national monument and check it out.

We really enjoyed this national monument! Our son loved seeing real dinosaur fossils!

From the Quarry Visitor Center, we took a shuttle up to the Quarry Exhibit Hall.

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In this hall, you can see approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones! There are even some places where you can touch them!

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Our future paleontologist loved this national monument! IMG_4997

Beyond the dinosaurs, there is much more to do in the monument. For example, you can check out carvings in the rocks, called petroglyphs, left by the Fremont people nearly 1,000 years ago. You can also take a hike, go camping, go fishing, or watch wildlife like elk or bighorn sheep there.

Definitely check out this national monument if you’re in the Utah or Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary or if you can’t wait to visit there, click here and check out their Junior Ranger activity book.