Virtual National Park Tours

Did you know that you check out and take a virtual tour of some of the most popular national parks online? I know that I need an escape from everything going on right now and wanted to share it with others.

The National Park Service (NPS) has a great website with a ton of tours, videos, webcams, photos, articles, and other excellent resources.

First, I have to share my favorite national park, Yellowstone National Park. Click here to virtually tour parts of Yellowstone like the Mud Volcano area, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Springs, and some other areas. 

You can also check out another one of my favorites, the Grand Teton National Park, by clicking here.

Who has seen the 1977 movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind?  The film used this unique tower in Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. You can visit it virtually and check out this distinct tower by clicking here.

I have always wanted to visit Denali National Park in Alaska. Click here to take a virtual tour of this national park.

Take a virtual tour of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York by clicking here.

The national park service has a ton of other online opportunities to virtually explore our national park treasures. Click here for NPS’s main page and search your interests.

Take a minute and enjoy our country’s beauty and treasures online. It will do wonders for the soul during these tough times right now.

 

 

America’s 1st

Happy 148th birthday to America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park!

img_2092

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

Check out some of my previous posts about Yellowstone by clicking here and here.  There are more blog posts about Yellowstone on here that you can find by just searching my blog by Yellowstone if you’re itching to read more!

To celebrate, take a minute and mark a visit to this amazing national park on your calendars. Check it off your bucket lists as it is a must vacation in your life!

14443f00-caa1-4f32-85cb-1ac58f20fb61

Cheers to 148 years!

101!

Happy 101 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

grand canyon 1

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!

muir woods

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!