Route 66 Petrified Forest National Park

As you drive through Petrified Forest national park in Arizona, you’ll reach a highway overpass which separates the painted desert section of the park from the petrified forest area. To the north of this overpass is an unexpected displays on the side of the road which celebrates old Route 66. The old Route 66 used to travel right through Petrified Forest national park, and this small display is a recognition of this part of the park’s past. There are several … Continue reading

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20 Room Dwelling Montezuma Castle National Park

If you’re heading either way between Phoenix and Flagstaff Arizona on Highway 17, it’s well worth your time to stop to visit Montezuma Castle National Monument. It’s only a 15 minute drive from the main highway, and it’s one of the smaller national parks which I have visited meaning that it’s possible to see the entire park in about an hour. Even thought it’s not the biggest park in the system, it’s a pretty impressive sight that’s well worth the … Continue reading

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Devil’s Golf Course Death Valley National Park

One of my favorite places in Death Valley is the Devil’s Golf Course. A lot of people skip this area because they’re in a hurry to reach Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the continental US at 282 feet below sea level (and all the temporary graffiti that is unfortunately there). While Badwater certainly shouldn’t be missed, taking some time to go down the half-mile dirt road which leads to the Devil’s Golf Course is well worth the time. One … Continue reading

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Is Rock Stacking Graffiti?

I wrote recently about people feeling free to scratch their names into the salt beds at Badwater in Death Valley National Park and whether we should be ambivalent toward this “temporary” graffiti. Even if nature can eventually erase it, doesn’t it just encourage others to mark more areas of our national parks with their names where it’s not nearly as easy for nature to remove the graffiti? Here is another one of those questions that I recently began to wonder … Continue reading

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Temporary Graffiti Death Valley National Park

One of the unfortunate things and growing problem that I see much too often at national parks is graffiti. I really don’t understand why people feel it’s necessary to come to an amazingly beautiful place, and they feel the need to leave a mark so that it isn’t quite as beautiful for the next person that comes around. In fact, some national parks have resorted to putting up anti graffiti fine signs in an attempt to keep people from marking … Continue reading

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National Park Free Days 2013

At the time of me writing this post, there are 398 parks within the national parks system. While many of the most popular national parks charge an entrance fee, there are a large number of parks within the system that are free of charge year round. For the parks that charge an entrance fee, the national parks service designates certain days throughout the year when they waive this fee and offer entrance into all of the parks at no charge. … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Parks, National Conservation Area, National Forest, National Lakeshores, National Parks, National Preserves, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores | 5 Comments

Cholla Cactus Garden Joshua Tree National Park

While certainly most famous for the Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree national park has a variety of other plant life that is well worth exploring. Just like it’s worth taking the time to stop to see the Ocotillo in the southern part of the park, it’s most definitely worthwhile stopping at the Cholla (pronounced choy-ya) Cactus Garden located in the Pinto Basin (which usually only receive 4 inches of water a year) near the center of Joshua Tree national park. It’s … Continue reading

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Dry Yosemite National Park

I stopped by to visit Yosemite National Park a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time, I ran into a dry Yosemite. When you see all those spectacular photos of Yosemite Falls, you might forget that the beautiful scene isn’t constant. Depending on the amount of snowfall the region receives during the winter, it’s not uncommon for Yosemite Falls to go dry in the late summer or early autumn. While the valley is still spectacular, for anyone who … Continue reading

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Ocotillo Joshua Tree National Park

While best known for the Joshua Tree for which the national park was named after, that’s not the only plant that can be found within the Joshua Tree national park‘s boundaries. In fact, if you decide to focus exclusively on the Joshua Trees (of which there are plenty which will mesmerize you for countless hours), you will end up missing a plethora of other interesting plants which inhabit the park. With only a bit of effort, you will find that … Continue reading

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Albino Redwood Tree

The instant that I heard that there was such a thing as albino redwood trees, I knew that I was going to have to try to find one to see it for myself. The problem is that finding them isn’t an easy thing to do. Since these trees are so rare, the places where they grow are, for the most part, deeply guarded secrets. And despite the huge contrast in color from the normal redwood trees, they can be very … Continue reading

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