Category Archives: National Park

02-25-18 – Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness



The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Four Corners Region. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt. The weathering of the sandstone forms hoodoos – weathered rock in the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks, and other unusual forms. Fossils occur in this sedimentary landform. Translated from the Navajo language, Bisti (Bis-tie) means “a large area of shale hills.” De-Na-Zin (Deh-nah-zin) takes its name from the Navajo words for “cranes”.

08-19-17 – Rocky Mountain National Park


Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It’s known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the parks tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.

05-13-17 – Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park


According to legend, Santa Cruz Island was named for a priest’s staff accidentally left on the island during the Portola expedition of 1769. A Chumash Indian found the cross-tipped stave and returned it to the priest. The Spaniards were so impressed that they called this island of friendly people “La Isla de Santa Cruz,” the Island of the Sacred Cross. In its vastness and variety of flora, fauna, and geology, Santa Cruz Island resembles a miniature California. At over 96 square miles in size and the largest island in California, Santa Cruz contains two rugged mountain ranges; the highest peaks on the islands (rising above 2,000 feet); a large central valley/fault system; deep canyons with year-round springs and streams; and 77 miles of craggy coastline cliffs, giant sea caves, pristine tidepools, and expansive beaches. One of the largest and deepest sea caves in the world, Painted Cave, is found on the northwest coastline of Santa Cruz. Named because of its colorful rock types, lichens, and algae, Painted Cave is nearly a quarter mile long and 100 feet wide, with an entrance ceiling of 160 feet and a waterfall over the entrance in the spring.

08-07-16 – Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park


Kolob Canyons is the northwest section of Zion National Park of Utah, United States. The Kolob Canyons are part of the Colorado Plateau region of the park and are noted for their colorful beauty and diverse landscape.

08-06-16 – Bryce Canyon


Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for its crimson-colored hoodoos, or spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown.

01-16-16 – Death Valley


Death Valley National Park straddles eastern California and Nevada. It’s known for Titus Canyon, with a ghost town and colorful rocks, and Badwater Basin’s salt flats, North America’s lowest point. Above, Telescope Peak Trail weaves past pine trees. North of the spiky salt mounds known as the Devil’s Golf Course, rattlesnakes live in Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Near Nevada is the Spanish-style mansion Scotty’s Castle.

12-21-15 – Big Bend National Park


There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend.
–National Park Service​

10-25-15 – Cuyahoga Valley National Park


Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
–Quote from the National Park Service

10-25-15 – Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place,” but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name – Mammoth.

— Quote from the National Park Service

10-10-15 – Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve


I don’t typically do well with crowds, so I took a break from the bustle of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and made the beautiful scenic drive to spend the afternoon at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

“The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra.”
— Quote from the National Park Service