Museum of the National Park Ranger

During our vacation in Yellowstone National Park this summer, we discovered the Museum of the National Park Ranger.

Built in 1908, the museum once served as the Norris Solider Station. It’s currently on the National Register of Historic Places. This spacious, multi-room log structure housed a detachment of U.S. Cavalry. The soldier station changed into a ranger station and underwent several room alterations before it finally became the Ranger Museum in the 1990s.

This cool museum takes you through the history and timeline of national park rangers in America. You can learn about their iconic uniforms, duties, hardships, lifestyle, and other cool facts here. They have some really great exhibits here! And you can even watch some short videos in a small auditorium in the museum (great opportunity to rest your tired legs and learn a few fun facts).

In addition, retired national park service rangers staff this museum giving visitors a great opportunity to ask questions about their past work and the national park.  Ask away as they love to chat!

If you’re in Yellowstone, take time to stop into this cool museum and check out the history here!

Enjoy some photos from inside the museum:

 

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!

Grand Prismatic Spring 🌈

In July, we visited the Yellowstone National Park. We had a few must-see items on our list and it included the Grand Prismatic Springs.

We had missed seeing it on previous trips to Yellowstone, but I had seen photos and could not wait to see it in person! I should disclose that I love rainbows, color, and volcanic activity, so could not wait!

We had warnings of the crowds, so we started our day early. We enjoyed a nice hike to the area and then hiked up to the overlook.

These springs look amazing! 🌈 You can really see the rainbow of colors! It’s not photoshopped or edited and looks just as beautiful as the photos (if not more so). Gotta love that bacteria giving us these colors!

This is the largest hot springs in the United States and the third largest in the world.

Hayden Expedition of 1871 leader Ferdinand Hayden said this about the Grand Prismatic, “Nothing ever conceived by human art could equal the peculiar vividness and delicacy of color of these remarkable prismatic springs. Life becomes a privilege and a blessing after one has seen and thoroughly felt these incomparable types of nature’s cunning skill.

Add this amazing and beautiful hot springs to your bucket list to see in person! 🌈😊

White House

Happy 227th anniversary to the White House!

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Construction started on this iconic building back 227 years ago in Washington DC. Every President since John Adams has lived in it since 1800. The White House stands about 55,000 square feet, six floors, and has 132 rooms.

A few fun facts about the White House:

• John Quincy Adams established the first flower garden.
• There are 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators in the White House.
• It would take 570 gallons of paint to cover the entire outside surface of the White House.
• A swimming pool was added to the White House in 1933 to help polio-stricken Franklin Roosevelt exercise his upper body.  In 1969, Richard Nixon had the pool filled in to create an area for press to gather. Gerald Ford had an outdoor pool built in 1975.
• President Carter had the first computer and laser printer installed in the White House in 1978.
• The White House has a bowling alley, flower shop, dentist office, and carpenter’s office located on site.

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Happy anniversary to the White House!

Dinosaur National Monument

Happy 104th 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. 

 

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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Happy 129th to Yosemite!

Happy 129th anniversary to Yosemite National Park!

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In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation creating the nation’s third national park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land.

Yosemite National Park is located in central California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Yosemite ignites many images when you say its name. It’s hard not to picture the iconic Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. You can also find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

This park has some cool history facts here too. For one, America’s first female park ranger in the National Park Service came from Yosemite National Park. I highlighted Clare Marie Hodges in this blog post here.

Yosemite has a long history with junior rangers. It had a Junior Nature School that was organized in June 1930 and went until 1954. Could you pass a 1933 junior ranger test?  The national park service has one on their website. Try it here.

Definitely put Yosemite National Park on your bucket list of places to visit and check out the cool landscapes and history at this national park!

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