Acadia National Park has a rich human history that includes Native Americans, European settlers, artists, conservationists, and more. Each group has made its mark on what is today Acadia National Park. Explore this section to discover the people and stories of Acadia.
Big Bend National Park is a land of borders. Situated on the boundary with Mexico along the Rio Grande, it is a place where countries and cultures meet. It is also a place that merges natural environments, from desert to mountains. It is a place where south meets north and east meets west, creating a great diversity of plants and animals. The park covers over 801,000 acres of west Texas in the place where the Rio Grande makes a sharp turn - the Big Bend. Authorized June 20, 1935; established June 12, 1944. Designated a United States Biosphere Reserve, 1976.
Denali’s dynamic glaciated landscape supports a diversity of wildlife with grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep and moose. Summer slopes are graced with birds and wildflowers. Visitors enjoy sightseeing, backpacking, mountaineering, and research opportunities. Whether climbing or admiring, the crowning jewel of North America’s highest peak is the awe inspiring 20,320 foot Mount McKinley.
The power of glaciers is evident throughout this view of Mt. Wilbur and Swiftcurrent Lake. Imagine giant tongues of ice, filling the valleys on either side of the peak and then joining together where the lake sits today. Bowl shaped amphitheaters (called cirques) sit at the heads of the valleys, the results of thousands of years of quarrying by ice. The cirque right behind Mt. Wilbur holds Iceberg Lake, one of the most popular destinations in the park.
Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.
The tallest dunes in North America rise at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Alpine tundra, forests, massive dunes, grasslands, and wetlands are all protected as elements of the Great Sand Dunes geological system.
Ridge upon ridge of endless forest straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the Eastern United States. World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, and the depth and integrity of its wilderness sanctuary, the park attracts over nine million visitors each year.
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution — processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with unique ecosystems, and a distinct human culture. The park highlights two of the world’s most active volcanoes, and offers insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and views of dramatic volcanic landscapes.
Joshua Tree National Park is immense, nearly 800,000 acres, and infinitely variable. Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree.
Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve the cave system, including Mammoth Cave, the scenic river valleys of the Green and Nolin rivers, and a section of south central Kentucky. This is the longest recorded cave system in the world with more than 360 miles explored and mapped.
The Mammoth WebCam shows a real-time still picture of Mammoth Hot Springs as viewed from the second floor of the Albright Visitor Center. You are looking over the visitor center parking lot, across a lawn area that was once used as a drill field by the U.S. Cavalry stationed at Fort Yellowstone. Beyond the fenced area, that warns visitors of a location where the surface limestone has collapsed creating a large hole, appear the white travertine deposits of the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces. Occasionally the camera will not be aimed at the scene described above, but rather at some elk or another subject of interest in the Mammoth area.
Mount Rainier National Park was established on March 2, 1899, and encompasses 235,625 acres, ranging in elevation from 1,610' to 14,410' above sea level. The "mountain" is an active volcano encased in over 35 square miles of snow and ice, surrounded by old growth forest and stunning wildflower meadows. The park is also rich in cultural resources and was designated a National Historic Landmark District as an outstanding example of early park planning and NPS rustic architecture.
Before its violent eruption in 1980, Mount St. Helens was known as "the Fuji of America" because its symmetrical beauty was similar to that of the famous Japanese volcano. The graceful cone top, whose glistening cap of perennial snow and ice dazzled the viewer, is now largely gone. On May 18, 1980, the missing mountaintop was transformed in a few hours into the extensive volcanic ash that blanketed much of the Northwestern United States and into various other deposits closer to the mountain. The U.S. Geological Survey monitors the site for volcanic activity.
Few fully know the intense and rugged beauty of the North Cascades - jagged peaks, deep valleys, cascading waterfalls and over 700 glaciers. North Cascades National Park Service Complex contains the heart of this mountainous region in three park units which are all managed as one and include North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. Each area offers different experiences and contains wilderness.
The Old Faithful WebCam sends a new real-time photo of Old Faithful Geyser approximately every 30 seconds. Old Faithful is not the largest or most regular geyser in the park. It has become a popular destination because it erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers. All times mentioned on this page are Mountain Time.
Glacier capped mountains, wild Pacific coast and magnificent stands of old-growth forests, including temperate rain forests -- at Olympic National Park, you can find all three. About 95% of the park is designated wilderness, which further protects these diverse and spectacular ecosystems. Olympic is also known for its biological diversity. Isolated for eons by glacial ice, and later the waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Peninsula has developed its own distinct array of plants and animals. Eight kinds of plants and 15 kinds of animals are found on the peninsula but no where else on Earth.
Point Reyes National Seashore contains unique elements of biological and historical interest in a spectacularly scenic panorama of thunderous ocean breakers, open grasslands, bushy hillsides and forested ridges. Native land mammals number about 37 species and marine mammals augment this total by another dozen species. The biological diversity stems from a favorable location in the middle of California and the natural occurrence of many distinct habitats.
These parks are home to giants: immense mountains, deep canyons, and huge trees. Thanks to their huge elevational range, 1,500' to 14,491', they protect stunningly diverse habitats. The Generals Highway climbs over 5000 feet from chaparral and oak-studded foothills to the awe-inspiring sequoia groves. From there, trails lead to the high-alpine wilderness which makes up most of these parks. Beneath the surface lie over 200 fascinating caverns.
This view from the St. Mary Visitor Center looks southwest to Red Eagle Mountain, the largest peak in the middle of the picture. Below the mountains lies Saint Mary Lake. In the afternoon sunlight reflects off the surface of the lake, making it easier to see. Watch for elk, which are sometimes visible in the meadows near the road. If the picture looks particularly fuzzy with lines like in a television, it is due to wind. This part of the park is notoriously windy most of the year.
The colorful North Dakota badlands provides the scenic backdrop to the park which memorializes the 26th president for his enduring contributions to the conservation of our nation's resources. The park contains 70,448 acres divided among three units: South Unit, North Unit and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. In the park you will find badlands, open prairie, hard wood draws, bison, prairie dogs and other wildlife, the Little Missouri River, and a past history that includes Theodore Roosevelt.
National Capital Parks-Central (NACC) is responsible for over 1,000 acres of the most significant natural and cultural resources in the United States. The sites of NACC are cherished symbols of our nation, known worldwide and depicted on everything from currency to the nightly news. Located in the core of the nation's capital, NACC administers, interprets, maintains and preserves the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, the National Mall, East and West Potomac Parks, Constitution Gardens, 60 statues, and numerous other historic sites, memorials, and parklands. NACC is responsible for significant maintenance and preservation support for the White House as well as the U.S. Navy Memorial.
The blooming of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. has come to symbolize the natural beauty of our nation's capital city. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the world come to the Nations Capital to witness the spectacle, hoping that the trees will be at the peak of bloom for the Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.'s rite of spring.
The National Park Service operates digital cameras at many parks to help educate the public on air quality issues. These cameras often show the effects of air pollution such as visibility impairment.