America's Great Outdoors
As spring grows ever-stronger, and snowfall makes way for rain at higher and higher elevations in the mountains, the Cascade Mountains begin to truly live up to their name. Mount Rainier National Park contains hundreds of waterfalls, from tiny seasonal streamlets that curtain the roadside cliffs on the way up to Paradise, to the massive thundering cataracts that plunge off the upper mountain. This is one of my favorites: Silver Falls, a short hike above Ohanapecosh in the southeast corner of the park, photographed in July of last year by Jeff Moore.

As spring grows ever-stronger, and snowfall makes way for rain at higher and higher elevations in the mountains, the Cascade Mountains begin to truly live up to their name. Mount Rainier National Park contains hundreds of waterfalls, from tiny seasonal streamlets that curtain the roadside cliffs on the way up to Paradise, to the massive thundering cataracts that plunge off the upper mountain. This is one of my favorites: Silver Falls, a short hike above Ohanapecosh in the southeast corner of the park, photographed in July of last year by Jeff Moore.

We have reached peak bloom at the Tidal Basin on the National Mall and Memorial Parks!Photo: Joe Milmoe, USFWS

We have reached peak bloom at the Tidal Basin on the National Mall and Memorial Parks!

Photo: Joe Milmoe, USFWS

Cherry Blossoms are almost in full bloom on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC. This weekend will be the perfect time to check them out!Photo: Andrew S. Geraci

Cherry Blossoms are almost in full bloom on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC. This weekend will be the perfect time to check them out!

Photo: Andrew S. Geraci

We are excited to announce our first Insta-Meet – and it’s pretty cool. A dozen followers of the Interior Instagram account (www.instagram.com/USInterior) will be invited to participate in the re-opening of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014! You will join in the opening festivities and be among the first to go to the top of the Monument since it was closed for repairs after the earthquake in ‘11. Oh, and we’ll throw in an awesome guided tour of the National Mall and all the monuments. We are looking for active Instagram users who will document the day in real time for their followers. To be considered, please go to www.doi.gov/InstaMeet and fill out the form. We look forward to meeting 12 of you on May 12! Photo: Diana Bowen - NPS

We are excited to announce our first Insta-Meet – and it’s pretty cool. A dozen followers of the Interior Instagram account (www.instagram.com/USInterior) will be invited to participate in the re-opening of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014! You will join in the opening festivities and be among the first to go to the top of the Monument since it was closed for repairs after the earthquake in ‘11. Oh, and we’ll throw in an awesome guided tour of the National Mall and all the monuments. We are looking for active Instagram users who will document the day in real time for their followers. To be considered, please go to www.doi.gov/InstaMeet and fill out the form. We look forward to meeting 12 of you on May 12!

Photo: Diana Bowen - NPS

Best known for globally significant Late Triassic fossils, Petrified Forest National Park attracts geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists, just to name a few. The park is also haven for those searching for scenic vistas, wilderness, hiking, dark skies, and beautiful, vast landscapes. Discover your own passion at Petrified Forest!Photo: Michael Reed (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Best known for globally significant Late Triassic fossils, Petrified Forest National Park attracts geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists, just to name a few. The park is also haven for those searching for scenic vistas, wilderness, hiking, dark skies, and beautiful, vast landscapes. Discover your own passion at Petrified Forest!

Photo: Michael Reed (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Viewed from the road, Joshua Tree National Park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see for yourself!Photo: Robb Hannawacker, NPS

Viewed from the road, Joshua Tree National Park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see for yourself!

Photo: Robb Hannawacker, NPS

Seney National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The wild land that today is the refuge has not always appeared so wild. This is a land that was once heavily logged, burned, ditched, drained and cultivated. Despite repeated attempts, the soils and harsh conditions of this country would not provide a hospitable environment for sustained settlement and agriculture. So, nature claimed it once again. What was viewed as a loss by early 20th century entrepreneurs became a huge gain for the wildlife, natural resources and the people of Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula. Photo: Dawn Kopp

Seney National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The wild land that today is the refuge has not always appeared so wild. This is a land that was once heavily logged, burned, ditched, drained and cultivated. Despite repeated attempts, the soils and harsh conditions of this country would not provide a hospitable environment for sustained settlement and agriculture. So, nature claimed it once again. What was viewed as a loss by early 20th century entrepreneurs became a huge gain for the wildlife, natural resources and the people of Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula. 

Photo: Dawn Kopp

Oolah Valley in Gates of the Arctic National Park offers hidden delights to the intrepid hiker willing to explore off the beaten path.Photo: National Park Service

Oolah Valley in Gates of the Arctic National Park offers hidden delights to the intrepid hiker willing to explore off the beaten path.

Photo: National Park Service

There are many amazing sights to see at Grand Canyon National Park. Lightning storm over the North Rim would be one of them. Photo: Michael Leonard (www.sharetheexperience.org)

There are many amazing sights to see at Grand Canyon National Park. Lightning storm over the North Rim would be one of them.

Photo: Michael Leonard (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Milky Way near Butterfield Pass in the BLM-managed Sonoran Desert National Monument.This area is probably only 30-40 air miles from Phoenix, and the glow from the city is visible to the north. However, the overhead stars and southern horizon are dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way, which makes a great backdrop to the charismatic saguaros. Photo: Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist

Milky Way near Butterfield Pass in the BLM-managed Sonoran Desert National Monument.

This area is probably only 30-40 air miles from Phoenix, and the glow from the city is visible to the north. However, the overhead stars and southern horizon are dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way, which makes a great backdrop to the charismatic saguaros. 

Photo: Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist