National Park Service

The official Instagram for America's Best Idea! Tag: @nationalparkservice

Hello from the otter slide... . Video: Otter sliding into the weekend at @yellowstonenps /Dale Bohlke . #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #natureupclose #ottertastic #otters #yellowstonenationalpark
Looking for a healthy dose of "Vitamin Sea" to keep the stress at bay? . On a visit to @padreislandnps , walk the soft, white sand beach and listen to the waves. Look for shells, smell the salt air, delight in ghost crab antics, observe beautiful birds, and paddle your cares away on the Laguna Madre... the options are endless! . Image: Morning light along the beach/Kyle Christensen . #PadreIsland #FindYourPark #texas #beachlife #sunriseoftheday #nationalparkservice #seashore
“When I look at the northern lights ... I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire...” - Molly Larkin . The term aurora borealis originated in the 1600s, when Galileo combined the word “aurora,” the Latin word for “dawn,” with the term “boreal,” the Greek word for “north.” Aurora also appears in the southern hemisphere, where it is called the “aurora australis. . The #auroraborealis occurs when a coronal mass ejection (CME), a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields, interacts with elements in the #earth 's atmosphere. All of the magnetic and electrical forces react with one another in constantly shifting combinations. These shifts and flows can be seen as the auroras "dance," moving along with the atmospheric currents. . Image: Colorful night sky dances above the trees in #Denali /Jacob W. Frank . #FindYourPark #nightskies #night #starry #alaska #nationalparkservice
Slow down. Enjoy the view. Watch the road. . National parks have long provided a unique and memorable driving experience for many visitors. Whether you are enjoying the fall foliage in Blue Ridge Parkway, taking in the breathtaking scenery at Shenandoah National Park, or watching the sunrise from Summit Road in Acadia National Park, you should always be aware of your surroundings and drive safely. “Driving safely in our National Parks” means more than just driving the speed limit; it means obeying traffic regulations, wearing seat belts, watching out for wildlife, and paying attention to the road. . Image: Skyline Drive at @shenandoahnps . #FindYourPark #ParkSafety #shenandoahnationalpark #virginia #roadtrip #roadsafety
“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” -Bob Ross . From a seed no bigger than a tomato seed, California's coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) may grow to a height of 367 feet (112 m) and have a width of 22 feet (7 m) at its base. Imagine a 35-story skyscraper in your city. . Some visitors envision dinosaurs rumbling through these forests in bygone eras. It turns out that this is a perfectly natural thought. Fossil records have shown that relatives of today's coast redwoods thrived in the Jurassic Era 160 million years ago. And while the fantastic creatures of that age have long since disappeared, the redwoods continue to thrive, in the right environment. . #trees #nationalparkservice #findyourpark #redwoodsnationalpark #california #treesofinstagram @redwoodnps
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows...” - Helen Keller . Image: Bighorn sheep enjoying the sunlight at @badlandsnps . #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #southdakota #badlandsnationalpark #natureupclose
Herma A. Baggley grew up in Iowa but studied #botany in Idaho and spent her professional career in Wyoming's #Yellowstone National Park. When she joined the National Park Service in the early 1930s, she was the first full-time female #naturalist . Putting her botany knowledge to work, Baggley co-wrote a guide called "Plants of Yellowstone National Park." Though it was published in 1936, it was so comprehensive that it is still referenced today. . Image: Herma A. Baggley, ca. 1931 . #WomensHistory #nationalparkservice #findyourpark #yellowstonenationalpark #themoreyouknow #parkrangers
Poised to protect a valuable harbor off the tip of Florida was one of the largest forts ever built. Nearly thirty years in the making (1846-1875), Fort Jefferson was never finished nor fully armed. Yet it was a vital link in a chain of coastal #forts that stretched from Maine to California. Fort Jefferson, the most sophisticated of these, was a brilliant and undeniable symbol that the United States wanted to be left alone. Though never attacked, the fort fulfilled its intended role. It helped to protect the peace and prosperity of a young nation. . During the Civil War, Union warships used the harbor in their campaign to blockade Southern shipping. The fort was also used as a prison. Its most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth. . Abandoned by the Army in 1874, the fort was later used as a coaling station for warships. Though used briefly during both world wars, the #fort ’s final chapter as “Guardian of the Gulf” had long since closed. . Image: An estimated 16 million bricks were used during the construction of Fort Jefferson. . #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #fortjefferson #drytortugas #civilwar #florida #fortification #architecture
“This place reminds me of Santa's workshop … except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me." - Buddy the Elf . The scenery may be magical, but don’t forget to be on the lookout for wildlife. The moose (Alces alces) is the largest extant deer species. Easily recognized by the palmate (i.e., leaf-shaped) antlers of males while other deer species have dendritic (i.e., twig-like) antlers. Female moose, called cows, don't grow antlers. These large animals typcially inhabit boreal and mixed deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Moose are big, and like other large mammals, they can be unpredictable. It’s important to keep a safe distance between you and any wildlife you may encounter. . Image: Moose that may or may not be in the holiday spirit at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. . #FindYourPark #WildlifeSafety #moose #nationalparkservice #keepwildlifewild #alaska
What does the fox say on Mondays? Take the plunge! . This fox is diving for a snack. Tracking mice under the snow, the fox will leap up and land on its prey, taking it by surprise. Sometimes the snack eludes the fox. It’s usually an effective, and entertaining, performance. Just one of the many scenes you can see at Yellowstone National Park. . Video: Leap and plunge of a hunting fox. . #MondayMotivation #FindYourPark #natureupclose #fox #jumping #nature #yellowstonenationalpark
"Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue." - John Muir . Over the past month, we have enjoyed some beautiful evenings in Glacier National Park with snow capped mountains illuminated in rosy hues. This phenomena is called alpenglow. When the weather is clear, alpenglow occurs before sunrise and just after sunset. The rosy hues are the result of light waves working their way through the atmosphere at a low angle. . Image: Rosy hues over the #mountains at @glaciernps /Amy Vanderbilt . #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #glacier
For much of the 19th century, masonry fortifications were the United States’ main defense against overseas enemies. However, during the Civil War, new technology proved its superiority to these forts. The Union army used rifled cannon and compelled the Confederate garrison inside Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia to surrender in 1862. The siege was a landmark experiment in the history of military science and invention. Learn more about fortifications at . Image: Misty morning inside Fort Pulaski/Candice Wyatt . #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #civilwar #georgia #savannahgeorgia #fort #fortpulaski
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