America's Great Outdoors
The three majestic natural bridges of Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area their home. This is also home to some of the darkest night skies in the United States. Photo: Manish Mamtani (www.sharetheexperience.org)

The three majestic natural bridges of Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area their home. This is also home to some of the darkest night skies in the United States.

Photo: Manish Mamtani (www.sharetheexperience.org)

In the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, 5,000 year old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines. Come to Great Basin National Park in Nevada to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves. Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery. Photo: National Park Service

In the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, 5,000 year old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines. Come to Great Basin National Park in Nevada to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves. Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery.

Photo: National Park Service

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota was established in 1936 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The 1270 acre refuge serves as an important migration corridor for waterfowl and shorebirds. In 2003, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network designated the refuge as a Regional Shorebird Reserve. It’s also not a bad place to catch the Milky Way after sunset. Photo: Ian Jamieson (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota was established in 1936 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The 1270 acre refuge serves as an important migration corridor for waterfowl and shorebirds. In 2003, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network designated the refuge as a Regional Shorebird Reserve. It’s also not a bad place to catch the Milky Way after sunset.

Photo: Ian Jamieson (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Some of the best dark sky photography happens on America’s public lands. This photo from Joshua Tree National Park by Manish Mamtani is a perfect example.

Some of the best dark sky photography happens on America’s public lands. This photo from Joshua Tree National Park by Manish Mamtani is a perfect example.

May the fourth be with you. Happy Star Wars day from Arches National Park!Photo: Jacob W. Frank

May the fourth be with you. Happy Star Wars day from Arches National Park!

Photo: Jacob W. Frank

Did you know that fees are waived this weekend on all of America’s National Parks? Share this photo of Rocky Mountain National Park to help spread the word! Photo: Pat Gaines

Did you know that fees are waived this weekend on all of America’s National Parks? Share this photo of Rocky Mountain National Park to help spread the word!

Photo: Pat Gaines

This image was taken at Balanced Rock inside Arches National Park and includes Zodiacal Light and the Milky Way.Photo: Brad Goldpaint (www.goldpaintphotography.com)

This image was taken at Balanced Rock inside Arches National Park and includes Zodiacal Light and the Milky Way.

Photo: Brad Goldpaint (www.goldpaintphotography.com)

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

A shot of the Jeffrey Pine at the top of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park (made famous by Ansel Adams) set against a backdrop of stars! This is a single exposure by Jesse Summers (www.sharetheexperience.org).

A shot of the Jeffrey Pine at the top of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park (made famous by Ansel Adams) set against a backdrop of stars! This is a single exposure by Jesse Summers (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Can you see the Milky Way from your backyard? Death Valley’s dark night skies let you experience the sky as your great grandparents saw it from their backyard.Photo: Dan Duriscoe

Can you see the Milky Way from your backyard? Death Valley’s dark night skies let you experience the sky as your great grandparents saw it from their backyard.

Photo: Dan Duriscoe