America's Great Outdoors
Looking for something fun and fantastic to do with family and friends? Head out to America’s national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not a boring class lecture.The National Park Service is proud to once again join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to present on April 19-27, 2014, National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.You can plan your visit by what you want to do, or where you want to go … or you can browse our event calendar and check out the special programs offered throughout the week. On opening weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 19 to 20, every national park will give you free admission!Photo of Grand Teton National Park by Arianna Grainey (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Looking for something fun and fantastic to do with family and friends? Head out to America’s national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not a boring class lecture.

The National Park Service is proud to once again join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to present on April 19-27, 2014, National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.

You can plan your visit by what you want to do, or where you want to go … or you can browse our event calendar and check out the special programs offered throughout the week. On opening weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 19 to 20, every national park will give you free admission!

Photo of Grand Teton National Park by Arianna Grainey (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

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

No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past like Crater Lake National Park.Photo: National Park Service

No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past like Crater Lake National Park.

Photo: National Park Service

142 years ago today, Yellowstone became America’s first national park - an idea that would spread worldwide. Old Faithful and the majority of the world’s geysers are preserved here. A mountain wild land, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.Photo: Jeremy Stevens (www.sharetheexperience.org)

142 years ago today, Yellowstone became America’s first national park - an idea that would spread worldwide. Old Faithful and the majority of the world’s geysers are preserved here. A mountain wild land, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.

Photo: Jeremy Stevens (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Trees blanketed in white, deep powder snow at your feet and sunshine welcoming a blue sky day in Rocky Mountain National Park.Photo by C. Brindle 2/2/14

Trees blanketed in white, deep powder snow at your feet and sunshine welcoming a blue sky day in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Photo by C. Brindle 2/2/14

Summer storm in Anaktuvuk Pass - Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.Photo: National Park Service

Summer storm in Anaktuvuk Pass - Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

Photo: National Park Service

Millions of visitors are drawn to the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the white sandy beaches, the aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort, or a place to fish. The Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi is a wonderful place to experience barrier islands, salt marshes and wildlife.Photo: National Park Service

Millions of visitors are drawn to the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the white sandy beaches, the aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort, or a place to fish. The Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi is a wonderful place to experience barrier islands, salt marshes and wildlife.

Photo: National Park Service

Need a break from the cold weather? Here’s a photo of some of the nearly 9500 acres of rainforest in the National Park of American Samoa.Photo: National Park Service

Need a break from the cold weather? Here’s a photo of some of the nearly 9500 acres of rainforest in the National Park of American Samoa.

Photo: National Park Service

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge’s dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean is one of the best places on the main Hawaiian Islands to view wildlife, and is also home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds found in Hawai’i. Visitors also have a chance to view spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, native Hawaiian coastal plants and Hawai‘i’s state bird - the nēnē or endangered Hawaiian goose.Photo: Stephanie Sawyer (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge’s dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean is one of the best places on the main Hawaiian Islands to view wildlife, and is also home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds found in Hawai’i. Visitors also have a chance to view spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, native Hawaiian coastal plants and Hawai‘i’s state bird - the nēnē or endangered Hawaiian goose.

Photo: Stephanie Sawyer (www.sharetheexperience.org)