Tagged: National Park

Komodo National Park: Where Dragons Still Rule [35 PICS]

November 10th, 2011 Permalink

Komodo National Park in Indonesia is another of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. The park has much more than reptiles, but it was founded to protect one of the world’s largest lizards — Komodo Dragons. In time, the national park expanded its conservation goals to protect marine life as well. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and has maintained a high rank in the New Wonders of Nature competition. Komodo National Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and many smaller ones. [35 Photos]

forked tongue komodo dragon

The Komodo Dragon is the most famous reptile in the national park. These dragons can grow to be over 9 feet (3 meters) long and weigh over 150 pounds. Photo #1 by Richard Wasserman

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Caving in a Palawan Boat: Puerto Princesa Underground River [31 PICS]

August 20th, 2011 Permalink

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, Philippines, is another of the fabulous locations nominated as a finalists in the New Seven Wonders of Nature competitions. The PP Underground River features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river and is the second longest underground river in the world. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is possibly Puerto Princesa’s most popular attraction. [31 Photos]

Aerial view of Coron, Palawan

Aerial view of Palawan paradise. Photo #1 by Patrick Kranzlmüller

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Mountaineering at Denali National Park: Adventure in America’s Last Frontier

August 12th, 2011 Permalink

Only about 400,000 brave souls come to the remote and rugged last frontier of Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska each year. Many of those come to see the wildlife or scenery like the highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley. Together, the park and preserve together cover 9,492 mi² (24,585 km²). The “centerpiece” of Denali National Park and Preserve is Mount McKinley which is known as Denali, meaning “The High One.” It’s massive peak crowns the 600-mile-long Alaska Range. According to the CIA World Factbook, Denali’s summit elevation is 20,335 ft (6,198 meters). Whether you regard it as fearless or foolish, some of the most daring and adventurous souls come to Denali to climb and to taste the clean, cold air of adventure. Some move far beyond “normal” climbing to mountaineering. Not just anyone can take on the world-class mountaineering opportunities at Denali, but climbers come from all over the world to test their mountaineering and wilderness survival skills. Since many of us will never go mountaineering on Denali, here’s a look at some of the climbers, mountaineers, and rangers who are up to the high altitude challenges of Mt. McKinley and the vertical rock and ice walls that line the Ruth Gorge. While we love these pics, we got cold chills just staring at the photos. We cannot urge you strongly enough to read the NPS Mountaineering Booklet from which we snipped bits of wisdom to go with these awesome photos. [37 Photos]

Denali National Park - A mountaineering ranger at high camp performs duties

Denali National Park – A mountaineering ranger at high camp is performing his duties. According to the National Park Service (NPS), “Our goal is that you have a safe journey while climbing in the Alaska Range. All climbers attempting Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet) or Mt. Foraker (17,400 feet) must register with Denali National Park and Preserve. The strictly enforced 60-day pre-registration regulation allows mountaineering rangers to have direct contact with climbers before they arrive in Talkeetna. In doing so, rangers are able to suggest appropriate routes for different levels of expertise and offer first-hand knowledge of conditions encountered in the Alaska Range.” Photo #1 by NPS

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Erupting Volcanic Paradise: Lava Rivers & Spatter Fountains of Hawaii [48 PICS]

July 30th, 2011 Permalink

Volcanic activity is spiking in Hawaii and people are flocking there to see the spectacular show. Visitors, both regular folks and scientists, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are able to witness the active volcanic personality and the formation of new cinder cones, glowing pit craters, rivers of lava and fountains of spatter. This volcanic paradise shows off 70 million years of volcanism, but was only established as a National Park in 1916. It stretches over 333,086 acres (505.36 square miles) and has two active volcanoes. While Kīlauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been in nearly continuous eruption since 1983, Mauna Loa is the world’s most massive volcano. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has seven ecological zones, was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and became a World Heritage Site in 1987. Welcome to the Big Island and volcanic paradise! We love these pics! [48 Photos]

Lava erupting from the Pu`u `O`o vent

View at dusk of the young Pu’u ‘O’o cinder-and-spatter cone. The fantastic fountain on Kilauea, Hawaii, is shooting up about 40 m high. Photo #1 by G.E. Ulrich/USGS

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Olympic National Park: One of the wildest places left in the USA [36 PICS]

July 1st, 2011 Permalink

Olympic National Park in Washington offers a bit of everything for nature lovers, hikers and adventurers like Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a dazzling diversity of plants and animals. 95% of this park is still wilderness, making Olympic Wilderness one of the wildest places left in the lower 48 states. The National Park Service says, “This year, nearly 40,000 people will camp in the Olympic Wilderness and several hundred thousand people will take day hikes and walks. Olympic is fragile. But if we care for Olympic, we can preserve its wildness and grandeur for future generations.” In this awe-inspiring national park, visitors can go from glacier, to marvelous moss-draped wilderness, to the sea in one amazing day. [36 Photos]

Olympic National Park - Maple Glade Trail

Maple Glade Trail. It’s supposed to be a humbling experience to stand amidst such giants in the ancient forests of Olympic National Park. Photo #1 by rachel_thecat

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Lonely Yet Beautiful Death Valley Landscapes (40 PICS)

June 2nd, 2011 Permalink

Death Valley is a desert valley in California and Nevada, within the Mojave Desert which makes it one of the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. Most of Death Valley National Park is located southeast of the Sierra Nevada range in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert. All of these photos are of lonely yet exquisitely beautiful Death Valley and Death Valley National Park landscapes. [40 Photos]

Quarter Moon - A night time HDR of an outhouse at the Shoshone Mines - Death Valley

On the eastern edge of Death Valley sits the ghost town of Rhyolite in Nevada. This where the abandoned the Shoshone Mines can be found. The photographer noted, “Quarter Moon – A night time HDR of an outhouse at the Shoshone Mines.” Photo #1 by Hunter Luisi

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Magnificent Monument Valley – 46 Fantastic Photos – Navajo Nation Part 2

May 15th, 2011 Permalink

Magnificent Monument Valley is one of the most iconic and enduring landmarks of the American “Wild West.” Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has isolated red mesas, buttes and a sprawling, sandy desert that has been photographed and filmed countless times. Crimson mesas and surreal sandstone towers rise hundreds of feet into the air, some as tall as 1,000 feet. The dramatic natural and rich red hues dominate the entire region that spans the border between Arizona and Utah. Both the beauty and the sheer size of the valley provide majestic scenery that overwhelms the senses as the play of sunlight and shadows holds a person spellbound. Monument Valley is not as much a valley as a wide flat plateau, interrupted by crumbling formations that are the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region. This is part two in an ongoing tribute to the Navajo Nation. (Canyon de Chelly National Monument was part one). We love these pics! [46 Fantastic Photos]

The Navajo name for the valley is Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii (Valley of the Rocks). Monument Valley Power

The Navajo name for the valley isTsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii (Valley of the Rocks). The photographer called this shot of Monument Valley “Power”. Photo #1 by Wolfgang Staudt

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Moon Valley & Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Beautiful Brazil (43 Pics)

May 3rd, 2011 Permalink

Chapada dos Veadeiros in Brazil is one of the oldest, most beautifully diverse and unusual tropical ecosystems in South America. The National Park has over 161,891 acres (65,515 hectares) of gorgeous landscape full of exotic flora and fauna, lots of spectacular waterfalls, bizarre rock formations, caves and grottoes. According to NASA, when observed from outer space, the Chapada’s high plateaus are the most luminous point visible on Earth; this bright glowing is caused by the reflection between the sun and the abundance of quartz crystal in the region. On private property close to Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is an amazing and ancient place much like a water park created by nature with pools, natural water slides and cascades. It’s called Vale da Lua or Valley of the Moon due to the smooth rocks formed by river and ancient lava flows. Still others call it Moon Valley. These rocks are very weird and some consider them to be like lunar rocks, but the place is a treasure. This Moon Valley is not well-known, not even among the people of Brazil. Here are 43 photos of beautiful Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park and the unique Vale da Lua or Moon Valley in the Brazilian Highlands. [43 Photos]

in harmony with nature at Chapada dos Veadeiros

In harmony with nature at beautiful Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park which is full of spectacular swimming holes like this. Photo #1 by Ana_Cotta

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Heaven aka Navajo Nation – Canyon de Chelly National Monument

April 27th, 2011 Permalink

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located on the Navajo Nation and is about 84,000 acres of gorgeous land which has more than 4,000 years of human occupation. That makes this land one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America. Canyon de Chelly has thousands of years of perserved culture like cliff dwelling architecture, artifacts, and rock art. The National Park Service and the Navajo Nation share resources and continue to work in partnership to manage this breathtakingly beautiful national monument. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is part one of Heaven aka the Navajo Nation. [50 Photos]
Magnificent Monument Valley is part two in the tribute to the Navajo Nation. Awe-inspiring Antelope Canyon (30 PICS) Navajo Nation Tribute Part 3

Canyon de Chelly, Navajo by Edward S. Curtis

Canyon de Chelly — Navajo. This awesome photo was taken in 1904. Seven riders on horseback and dog trek against background of canyon cliffs. It wasn’t until 1931 when President Hoover authorized the area as a national monument to preserve the important archeological resources that span more than 4,000 years of human occupation. The monument encompasses approximately 84,000 acres of lands located entirely on the Navajo Nation with roughly 40 families residing within the park boundaries. Photo #1 by Edward S. Curtis

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Mind-Blowing Kaleidoscope of Colors at Painted Hills [50 Fantastic Pics]

April 8th, 2011 Permalink

The Painted Hills are nature’s eye candy in a kaleidoscope of colors. This truly unique scenic marvel is within the heavily eroded volcanic deposits of Oregon at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Park. Entombed in the natural beauty are well-preserved plant and animal fossil records which span more than 40 of the 65 million years of the Cenozoic Era. Best of all is the mind-blowing and stunning beauty. Can you hear nature calling to you, adventurers? We love these pics! [50 Fantastic Photos!]

Painted Hills  - Oregon's John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a 14,000 acre National Park in Oregon that is divided into three widely separated units. The monument’s main headquarters is at the Cant Ranch Visitor Center in the Sheep Rock Unit. There is also the Clarno Unit and the Painted Hills Unit. This is a breathtaking example of Painted Hills. Photo #1 by Misserion

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12 Gorgeous Sites to See in Australia

February 11th, 2011 Permalink

Australia – Wow! It’s gorgeous. It’s also been hit with more than its share of adverse weather recently. We would still love to go visit Down Under. It’s a nature lover’s paradise. We love these pics!

Admiral's Arch - Kangaroo Island, South Australia - Flinders Chase National Park

Admiral’s Arch – Kangaroo Island, South Australia – Flinders Chase National Park. Photo #1 by `◄ccdoh1►

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