101!

Happy 101 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 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 101 years!

Dreaming of…

On this February day, I sit distracted by thinking about bison jams. Yes, I said bison jams.

Last summer, we visited Yellowstone National Park and experienced (more than once) bison jams. If you ever visit this national park (while I highly recommend), you are bound to encounter this unique situation along on the park roads. It is literally what the name suggests – a bison (or many) strolling along the road causing traffic to pause or stop for some time.

These large animals will walk in front of your car, next to the car, or behind your car. They don’t have watches, so do not care about their pace or time of the day. They might play follow the leader or might butt heads. They might pause for a bite to eat next the road. They might even sit down for a nap.

Bison are amazing creatures. One of my favorites! American male bison weigh around 2,000 pounds!  Also, did you know that these huge mammals can run up to 35 mph? I wrote a previous blog about bison last year that you can read here if you’re interested in more bison information.

As I sit at my computer here, I keep picturing those bison jams from last summer. It’s a really amazing experience to have such a mammoth creature stroll by your car.

You can hear them breathe and snort. Our children could not believe these animals surrounded all these cars and just kept on their hike down the road.

I wonder what these animals think seeing all these cars with people inside holding some rectangle gadgets by the windows. I wonder if the bison like the paved roads or miss the entire area being unpaved. I wonder what bison dream about.

Back from my wonderings and dreams, go check out these unique visitor experiences in Yellowstone National Park. Trust me, it will stick with you beyond the moment.

Muir Woods

Happy 112th anniversary to Muir Woods National Monument!

On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Muir Woods National Monument named after conservationist John Muir. Muir Woods became the 7th National Monument and was the first one created from land donated by a private individual.

Muir Woods lies in the middle of the redwood’s latitudinal range that spans from the California/Oregon border to Big Sur, just south of Monterey. And it is quite easy to get to from San Francisco!

Muir Woods is a great place to see some amazing redwood trees, check out the history here, and take in a few hikes! If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you check out Muir Woods National Monument!

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Devils Postpile National Monument

A couple of weekends ago, we headed away for the weekend to Mammoth Lakes in California.

Fall in the mountains just rocks! I love the cool, mountain, fresh air and cold temperatures once the sun goes down.

While there, we originally talked about doing a day in Yosemite. But, we decided to check out Devils Postpile National Monument instead and could not be more happy with our decision!

We started our day there enjoying a hike to Rainbow Falls. Gotta love a 101 foot high waterfall and one that reflects rainbows! 🌈

The trail intersects with the PCT and JMT which is pretty cool to see a tiny bit of those two iconic trails.

After the hike, we took a bus over to the Devils Postpile ranger station. Our kids got their junior ranger books there.

We hiked to see the Devils Postpile. Pretty cool to see the lava formations in the mountain and know how many years ago it all happened. It reminds you of the magnitude of earth and time here compared to us little humans.

Established as a national monument in 1911, this is really cool to see in person!

Our daughter’s little stuffed friend joined us in the national monument as well!

While lesser known than the nearby Yosemite National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument is definitely worth a visit!

National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access.

The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nation’s most beautiful areas.

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Today, the system consists of 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails and over 1,000 National Recreation Trail and two connecting-and-side trails, with a total length of more than 50,000 miles.

Check out this video made last year for the 50th anniversary. It’s less than a minute! Click here.

I love maps, so had to share one! Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 51st anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

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Wilderness Act

On this day 55 years ago, Congress established the Wilderness Act. Congress wanted to protect undeveloped and wild areas as an enduring resource for the American people. Today, this act protects 111 million acres of wilderness.

This act created the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and immediately designated 54 areas into this system.  Some of the first wilderness areas created included Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming, Ansel Adams Wilderness in California, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. Today, the National Park Service makes up about 56% of the land under NWPS with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management areas making up the rest.

Many benefits exist today from this land conservation including providing habitats for wildlife; clean air; clean drinking water; boosting local economies with tourism and recreation; and providing some really amazing places to escape and appreciate this great land here!

Go enjoy this anniversary and get out in the wilderness today!