Grand Canyon National Park
       
     
 After a two day drive, I made it to the south rim of the Grand Canyon on a misty afternoon. Standing on the edge of this abyss is truly awe-inspiring. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 1 mile deep, and 18 miles across at its widest point. Drawing more than 6 million visitors annually, it is the second most visited national park.
       
     
 The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River, somewhere between 6 million and 70 million years ago. While it was initially protected in the late 19th century as a forest reserve and then a national monument, it was officially declared a U.S. National Park in 1919.
       
     
 While the canyon itself is breathtaking, there is also a subtler beauty in the flora and fauna that call the canyon home.
       
     
 Prickly Pear Cactus
       
     
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 Hiking down to the Colorado River along the Bright Angel Trail.
       
     
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 Sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
       
     
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Zion National Park
       
     
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 One of the most iconic, and unique, experiences at Zion is hiking The Narrows. As the name implies, this is the narrowest section of the canyon. Hikers walk up the Virgin River as the cathedral-like canyon walls tower more than 1,000 feet above.
       
     
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 Sunset over The Watchman Peak.
       
     
Bryce Canyon National Park
       
     
Canyonlands National Park
       
     
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 Desert Primrose
       
     
 These subtle brushstrokes of delicate beauty stand in contrast to the harshness that dominates much of the landscape.
       
     
 Island in the Sky is a mesa of sandstone cliffs that tower 1,000 feet about the surrounding terrain. It’s moon-like landscape was carved by tributaries of the Colorado River and serves as the dramatic centerpiece of Canyonlands National Park.
       
     
Arches National Park
       
     
 Petroglyphs along the trail to Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.
       
     
Grand Teton National Park
       
     
 Our 4-day trip took us through Granite Canyon and along the Teton Crest Trail down into Alaska Basin.
       
     
NationalPark-43.jpg
       
     
 The mirror-like Marion Lake
       
     
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 Wild chives growing in Alaska Basin
       
     
 Phelps Lake served as our exit point from the Alaska Basin / Death Canyon Trail.
       
     
Acadia National Park
       
     
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Shenandoah National Park
       
     
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 Shenandoah’s Whiteoak Canyon Trail winds through shaded woodland, following the bends in the river as it drops through a series of six waterfalls.
       
     
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 The waterfalls drop into a series of pools, creating natural waterslides.
       
     
 Milo spots a millipede
       
     
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
       
     
 Fresh snow on the path to the lookout fr Brandywine Falls
       
     
 While national parks see most visitors in the warm summer months, there is a beauty to the winter months.
       
     
Cuyahoga-8.jpg
       
     
 Most of Cuyahoga Valley’s hiking trails wind around sandstone cliffs tha make great climbing routes in warmer months.
       
     
Cuyahoga-7.jpg
       
     
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
       
     
 The steaming Kilauea Caldera sits at the center of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this park was established in 1919 and encompasses the Mauna Loa and Kilauea active volcanoes.
       
     
 The Kilauea Iki Trail circumnavigates the smaller Kilauea Iki Crater.
       
     
 Hiking across the barren Kilauea Iki Crater
       
     
 In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hikers can walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel formed by ancient lava flows.
       
     
 Not all of the park is a barren wasteland or smoldering cauldron. Many of the hiking trails are overhung with dense tropical foliage, a reminder that volcanic eruptions are the formation of earth and the start of new life.
       
     
Haleakala National Park
       
     
 Haleakala is Hawaiian for “House of the Sun,” which is appropriate given that visitors come from around the world on a daily basis to watch the sun rise from its 10,023 foot summit, Puʻu ʻUlaʻula.
       
     
 Despite the 3am start, and standing around in the wind and cold, there is a majesty to the moment when the new day’s sun peeks over the clouds and drives away the darkness.
       
     
 After sunrise, Haleakala offers miles of hiking trails. The Summit District bears the remains of ancient lava flows.
       
     
 Haleakala National Park’s coastal side looks like a completely different park, with waterfalls, pools, and lush foliage. The Pipiwai Trail, accessed from the famous Hana Highway, leads hikers through bamboo forests and past giant banyan trees to Waimoku Falls.
       
     
 Giant Banyan tree in Haleakala’s coastal region.
       
     
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
       
     
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Glacier National Park
       
     
 Morning fog still settled at Logan Pass, the top of Glacier’s Going to the Sun Road. This 6,646 foot summit is the trailhead for the Highline Trail that hugs the park’s Garden Wall.
       
     
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 Highline Trail
       
     
 Fluffy beargrass grows over much of the park.
       
     
 The Garden Wall
       
     
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 Hiking up the Highline Trail. Glacier National Park boasts 700 miles of hiking trails, many of which cross the Continental Divide.
       
     
 Towering granite peaks of the Garden Wall
       
     
 Avalanche Creek
       
     
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 Blue-green waters of Avalanche Lake.
       
     
 Thimble berries, a favorite snack of grizzly bears.
       
     
 The regionally famous huckleberry.
       
     
NationalPark-77.jpg
       
     
 Swimming below St. Mary Falls
       
     
 Much of Glacier National Park bears the scars of forest fires. These enormous blazes can damage property, but also keep the landscape healthy as they germinate seeds and clear out debris, making way for new growth.
       
     
NationalPark-73.jpg
       
     
 Swiftcurrent Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Grinnell Glacier.
       
     
 As you make the long and steep climb to Grinnell Glacier, the turquoise Lower Grinnell Lake is the first glimpse of the beauty at the top. The lake is formed by runoff water from Grinnell Glacier.
       
     
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 Grinnell Glacier
       
     
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 Lower Grinnell Lake from above.
       
     
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 Mountain goats roam much of Glacier National Park
       
     
 Hiking up to Ptarmigan Tunnel
       
     
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 Canoes on the shore of Two-Medicine Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Cobalt Lake.
       
     
Yosemite National Park
       
     
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Grand Canyon National Park
       
     
Grand Canyon National Park

In 2015 I decided to move from Oakland, CA to New York City. Before I left the west coast, I promised myself I would see the Grand Canyon. This simple promise turned into a 2-week road-trip that included six national parks and sparked a personal quest to see and photograph every U.S. national park. Three years later, I’ve seen 14/60 parks. While this is a work in progress and will clearly be a lifelong pursuit, the Trump administration’s attack on federally-protected lands brings a sense of urgency to the project.

 After a two day drive, I made it to the south rim of the Grand Canyon on a misty afternoon. Standing on the edge of this abyss is truly awe-inspiring. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 1 mile deep, and 18 miles across at its widest point. Drawing more than 6 million visitors annually, it is the second most visited national park.
       
     

After a two day drive, I made it to the south rim of the Grand Canyon on a misty afternoon. Standing on the edge of this abyss is truly awe-inspiring. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 1 mile deep, and 18 miles across at its widest point. Drawing more than 6 million visitors annually, it is the second most visited national park.

 The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River, somewhere between 6 million and 70 million years ago. While it was initially protected in the late 19th century as a forest reserve and then a national monument, it was officially declared a U.S. National Park in 1919.
       
     

The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River, somewhere between 6 million and 70 million years ago. While it was initially protected in the late 19th century as a forest reserve and then a national monument, it was officially declared a U.S. National Park in 1919.

 While the canyon itself is breathtaking, there is also a subtler beauty in the flora and fauna that call the canyon home.
       
     

While the canyon itself is breathtaking, there is also a subtler beauty in the flora and fauna that call the canyon home.

 Prickly Pear Cactus
       
     

Prickly Pear Cactus

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 Hiking down to the Colorado River along the Bright Angel Trail.
       
     

Hiking down to the Colorado River along the Bright Angel Trail.

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 Sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
       
     

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon.

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Zion National Park
       
     
Zion National Park

Declared a national park in 1919, Zion contains 229 square miles of red rock in Utah. The Virgin River is the centerpiece, winding through Zion Canyon’s dramatic red cliffs.

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 One of the most iconic, and unique, experiences at Zion is hiking The Narrows. As the name implies, this is the narrowest section of the canyon. Hikers walk up the Virgin River as the cathedral-like canyon walls tower more than 1,000 feet above.
       
     

One of the most iconic, and unique, experiences at Zion is hiking The Narrows. As the name implies, this is the narrowest section of the canyon. Hikers walk up the Virgin River as the cathedral-like canyon walls tower more than 1,000 feet above.

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 Sunset over The Watchman Peak.
       
     

Sunset over The Watchman Peak.

Bryce Canyon National Park
       
     
Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon was declared a national park in 1928 and is known for it’s Dr. Seussian rock formations called hoodoos, which are formed through erosion caused by continual freezing and thawing cycles.

Canyonlands National Park
       
     
Canyonlands National Park

There is nothing quite as stunning as watching the sun rise over the desert horizon at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. Established in 1964, this southeastern Utah park is known for its dramatic desert landscape.

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 Desert Primrose
       
     

Desert Primrose

 These subtle brushstrokes of delicate beauty stand in contrast to the harshness that dominates much of the landscape.
       
     

These subtle brushstrokes of delicate beauty stand in contrast to the harshness that dominates much of the landscape.

 Island in the Sky is a mesa of sandstone cliffs that tower 1,000 feet about the surrounding terrain. It’s moon-like landscape was carved by tributaries of the Colorado River and serves as the dramatic centerpiece of Canyonlands National Park.
       
     

Island in the Sky is a mesa of sandstone cliffs that tower 1,000 feet about the surrounding terrain. It’s moon-like landscape was carved by tributaries of the Colorado River and serves as the dramatic centerpiece of Canyonlands National Park.

Arches National Park
       
     
Arches National Park

Arches was declared a national park in 1971 and is known for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches and unique rock formations.

 Petroglyphs along the trail to Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.
       
     

Petroglyphs along the trail to Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.

Grand Teton National Park
       
     
Grand Teton National Park

After many short day hikes in Arizona and Utah parks, I was excited to spend several days backpacking through the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park. The park was established in 1929 and includes the Teton mountain range as well as Jackson Hole.

 Our 4-day trip took us through Granite Canyon and along the Teton Crest Trail down into Alaska Basin.
       
     

Our 4-day trip took us through Granite Canyon and along the Teton Crest Trail down into Alaska Basin.

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 The mirror-like Marion Lake
       
     

The mirror-like Marion Lake

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 Wild chives growing in Alaska Basin
       
     

Wild chives growing in Alaska Basin

 Phelps Lake served as our exit point from the Alaska Basin / Death Canyon Trail.
       
     

Phelps Lake served as our exit point from the Alaska Basin / Death Canyon Trail.

Acadia National Park
       
     
Acadia National Park

This 47,000 acre park was established in 1919 and comprises rocky shorelines, beaches, woodlands, and glaciated granite peaks. This is the first park I visited on the east coast and one afternoon was not nearly enough time here.

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Shenandoah National Park
       
     
Shenandoah National Park

Seeing Shenandoah, you realize there is something special about the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mystical mountains boast a subtler beauty that stands in contrast to the dramatic peaks of western mountain ranges, but they are no less magnificent. Shenandoah, on the northern end of the blue ridge range was declared a national park in 1926. It’s neighbor to the south, Great Smoky Mountains was established 8 years later and is the most visited U.S. National Park.

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 Shenandoah’s Whiteoak Canyon Trail winds through shaded woodland, following the bends in the river as it drops through a series of six waterfalls.
       
     

Shenandoah’s Whiteoak Canyon Trail winds through shaded woodland, following the bends in the river as it drops through a series of six waterfalls.

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 The waterfalls drop into a series of pools, creating natural waterslides.
       
     

The waterfalls drop into a series of pools, creating natural waterslides.

 Milo spots a millipede
       
     

Milo spots a millipede

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
       
     
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls in winter. One of the few national parks in the midwest, Cuyhoga Valley was established in 2000. It is located in central Ohio along the Cuyhoga River and preserves much of the original towpath of the Erie Canal.

 Fresh snow on the path to the lookout fr Brandywine Falls
       
     

Fresh snow on the path to the lookout fr Brandywine Falls

 While national parks see most visitors in the warm summer months, there is a beauty to the winter months.
       
     

While national parks see most visitors in the warm summer months, there is a beauty to the winter months.

Cuyahoga-8.jpg
       
     
 Most of Cuyahoga Valley’s hiking trails wind around sandstone cliffs tha make great climbing routes in warmer months.
       
     

Most of Cuyahoga Valley’s hiking trails wind around sandstone cliffs tha make great climbing routes in warmer months.

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
       
     
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A windy day on the drive into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

 The steaming Kilauea Caldera sits at the center of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this park was established in 1919 and encompasses the Mauna Loa and Kilauea active volcanoes.
       
     

The steaming Kilauea Caldera sits at the center of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this park was established in 1919 and encompasses the Mauna Loa and Kilauea active volcanoes.

 The Kilauea Iki Trail circumnavigates the smaller Kilauea Iki Crater.
       
     

The Kilauea Iki Trail circumnavigates the smaller Kilauea Iki Crater.

 Hiking across the barren Kilauea Iki Crater
       
     

Hiking across the barren Kilauea Iki Crater

 In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hikers can walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel formed by ancient lava flows.
       
     

In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hikers can walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel formed by ancient lava flows.

 Not all of the park is a barren wasteland or smoldering cauldron. Many of the hiking trails are overhung with dense tropical foliage, a reminder that volcanic eruptions are the formation of earth and the start of new life.
       
     

Not all of the park is a barren wasteland or smoldering cauldron. Many of the hiking trails are overhung with dense tropical foliage, a reminder that volcanic eruptions are the formation of earth and the start of new life.

Haleakala National Park
       
     
Haleakala National Park

Watching a new day begin from above the clouds at Haleakala National Park. Haleakala is the an eastern Maui volcano that makes up about 75% of the island. The volcano has been dormant for more than 400 years and the park was established in 1916.

 Haleakala is Hawaiian for “House of the Sun,” which is appropriate given that visitors come from around the world on a daily basis to watch the sun rise from its 10,023 foot summit, Puʻu ʻUlaʻula.
       
     

Haleakala is Hawaiian for “House of the Sun,” which is appropriate given that visitors come from around the world on a daily basis to watch the sun rise from its 10,023 foot summit, Puʻu ʻUlaʻula.

 Despite the 3am start, and standing around in the wind and cold, there is a majesty to the moment when the new day’s sun peeks over the clouds and drives away the darkness.
       
     

Despite the 3am start, and standing around in the wind and cold, there is a majesty to the moment when the new day’s sun peeks over the clouds and drives away the darkness.

 After sunrise, Haleakala offers miles of hiking trails. The Summit District bears the remains of ancient lava flows.
       
     

After sunrise, Haleakala offers miles of hiking trails. The Summit District bears the remains of ancient lava flows.

 Haleakala National Park’s coastal side looks like a completely different park, with waterfalls, pools, and lush foliage. The Pipiwai Trail, accessed from the famous Hana Highway, leads hikers through bamboo forests and past giant banyan trees to Waimoku Falls.
       
     

Haleakala National Park’s coastal side looks like a completely different park, with waterfalls, pools, and lush foliage. The Pipiwai Trail, accessed from the famous Hana Highway, leads hikers through bamboo forests and past giant banyan trees to Waimoku Falls.

 Giant Banyan tree in Haleakala’s coastal region.
       
     

Giant Banyan tree in Haleakala’s coastal region.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
       
     
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Established in 1978, Theodore Roosevelt National Park sits in western North Dakota, where the Great Plains meet the Badlands. The area is known for its painted canyons, is home to many bison, elk, prairie dogs, and wild horses, and was once home to the former president himself.

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Glacier National Park
       
     
Glacier National Park

The 1,583 square mile Glacier National Park was established in 1910 in Montana’s Rocky Mountain range. It is known for its majestic glacier-carved granite peaks, valleys, and turquoise glacial lakes.

 Morning fog still settled at Logan Pass, the top of Glacier’s Going to the Sun Road. This 6,646 foot summit is the trailhead for the Highline Trail that hugs the park’s Garden Wall.
       
     

Morning fog still settled at Logan Pass, the top of Glacier’s Going to the Sun Road. This 6,646 foot summit is the trailhead for the Highline Trail that hugs the park’s Garden Wall.

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 Highline Trail
       
     

Highline Trail

 Fluffy beargrass grows over much of the park.
       
     

Fluffy beargrass grows over much of the park.

 The Garden Wall
       
     

The Garden Wall

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 Hiking up the Highline Trail. Glacier National Park boasts 700 miles of hiking trails, many of which cross the Continental Divide.
       
     

Hiking up the Highline Trail. Glacier National Park boasts 700 miles of hiking trails, many of which cross the Continental Divide.

 Towering granite peaks of the Garden Wall
       
     

Towering granite peaks of the Garden Wall

 Avalanche Creek
       
     

Avalanche Creek

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 Blue-green waters of Avalanche Lake.
       
     

Blue-green waters of Avalanche Lake.

 Thimble berries, a favorite snack of grizzly bears.
       
     

Thimble berries, a favorite snack of grizzly bears.

 The regionally famous huckleberry.
       
     

The regionally famous huckleberry.

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 Swimming below St. Mary Falls
       
     

Swimming below St. Mary Falls

 Much of Glacier National Park bears the scars of forest fires. These enormous blazes can damage property, but also keep the landscape healthy as they germinate seeds and clear out debris, making way for new growth.
       
     

Much of Glacier National Park bears the scars of forest fires. These enormous blazes can damage property, but also keep the landscape healthy as they germinate seeds and clear out debris, making way for new growth.

NationalPark-73.jpg
       
     
 Swiftcurrent Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Grinnell Glacier.
       
     

Swiftcurrent Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Grinnell Glacier.

 As you make the long and steep climb to Grinnell Glacier, the turquoise Lower Grinnell Lake is the first glimpse of the beauty at the top. The lake is formed by runoff water from Grinnell Glacier.
       
     

As you make the long and steep climb to Grinnell Glacier, the turquoise Lower Grinnell Lake is the first glimpse of the beauty at the top. The lake is formed by runoff water from Grinnell Glacier.

NationalPark-81.jpg
       
     
 Grinnell Glacier
       
     

Grinnell Glacier

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 Lower Grinnell Lake from above.
       
     

Lower Grinnell Lake from above.

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 Mountain goats roam much of Glacier National Park
       
     

Mountain goats roam much of Glacier National Park

 Hiking up to Ptarmigan Tunnel
       
     

Hiking up to Ptarmigan Tunnel

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 Canoes on the shore of Two-Medicine Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Cobalt Lake.
       
     

Canoes on the shore of Two-Medicine Lake, the trailhead for the hike to Cobalt Lake.

Yosemite National Park
       
     
Yosemite National Park

Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park. Established in 1890 in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite was the second national park. The park is famous for its giant sequoias, granite peaks, and waterfalls.

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