Arizona man rescued after getting stuck in quicksand for hours at Zion National Park
An Arizona man was rescued Sunday hours after he got his leg stuck in quicksand and forced to wait out a snowstorm at Zion National Park, officials said. The unidentified man and a female companion were hiking the Left Fork Trail in the national park in Utah on Saturday when the 34-year-old got his leg stuck in quicksand at a creek, park officials said. After several attempts to free the leg, his friend left him with “warm gear and clothing” and went to look for help. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)
© Photograph by Jacqueline Kehoe
The frozen expanse of Lake Michigan crowds against shoreline dunes at Indiana Dunes National Park.
Established: February 15, 2019
Size: 15,067 acres
After 53 years as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the southern shores of Lake Michigan were renamed the United States’ 61st national park. Fifteen miles of beaches give way not only to impressive sand dunes and blowouts, but marshes, wetlands, groves of black oak savanna and maple sugar trees, and fields of wildflowers that come and go with the seasons.
Zion National Park
One of the most photographed views in Zion National Park, and perhaps all of the parks, is the view of the Watchman from the Canyon Junction Bridge. Although it has been shot endless times, and you are sure to be shoulder to shoulder with other photographers during sunset, it is still something everyone must do when visiting the park. My favorite spot is right at the center of the bridge where the river leads the eye to the Watchman in the background.
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Yellowstone national Park
The Great Fountain Geyser is one of the most beautiful places in the park to photograph at sunset, and it is one of the few that you can drive right up to, making it an easy place to catch the late afternoon light after a busy day of viewing other landmarks in the park.
Acadia National Park
Bass Harbor Lighthouse is the quintessential view in Acadia National Park. If you are looking for iconic Acadia, this is it. To get this shot, sunset is best, and be sure to use a tripod and a wide angle lens (around 20 to 24 millimeters).
Yosemite National Park
The sun sets on Half Dome, as seen from Glacier Point. This viewpoint can be busy during sunset, so get there early to get a good seat for the incredible view.
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Sequoia National Park
Visitors walk below giant sequoia trees along the appropriately named Giant Tree Trail. Adding people to images, especially with such large objects as these trees, provides a sense of scale.
Crater Lake National Park
My favorite views of Crater Lake and Wizard Island came from the southwest rim near Discovery Point.
Grand Canyon National Park
The rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in the world. Most hikers will hike down the shorter, but steeper, South Kaibab Trail (pictured here) and then back up the longer, but less steep, Bright Angel Trail. This photo shows the point at which you start to realize there is a completely different world below the rim. The hustle and bustle of the busy rim village gives way to quiet solitude and grand views.
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Great Smoky Mountains national Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the system, and home to approximately 1,500 black bears and more than 240 species of birds.
Death Valley National Park
A favorite location within Death Valley National Park for photographers are the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, located near Stovepipe Wells in the central part of the park, which straddles the California-Nevada border. In order to get a clean image with no people in a popular destination such as this, you have to get up very early and hike much farther out than most are willing to venture. However, your initiative will be rewarded with views such as you see here.
Redwood National Park
Sunrise in the middle of the redwood forest was one of my favorite experiences this year. The trees are so tall that it feels like standing in a temple. The forest can be difficult to photograph due to the strong contrasts in sun and shade, so it is best to shoot it with a tripod and a low ISO.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will get its first female chief ranger
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}); The park, which straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, is the most visited national park in the United States. Lisa Hendy, a Tennessee native, has been selected to assume the duties of chief ranger in April. Hendy is currently the chief ranger at Big Bend National Park in Texas.
Olympic National Park
Sea stacks, which are rock outcrops exposed above the water, dot the landscape along the coast.
Grand Teton national Park
Schwabacher Landing is one of the most iconic and beautiful places to take photographs within Grand Teton National Park. The Snake River, made famous by Ansel Adams, perfectly reflects the Teton Range in the early morning light.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is the largest U.S. national park east of the Rockies and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend's topographic variety supports a remarkable diversity of life, including 1,200 plant species—some found nowhere else in the world.
Joshua Tree National Park
Did you know that the namesake of this park, the Joshua tree, is not even a tree, but a plant of the yucca family? Whether a tree, plant, or something entirely different, seeing one in the early morning sun is still an iconic and beautiful sight.
Bryce Canyon national Park
The amphitheater at Bryce Canyon is home to countless colorful hoodoos that are consistently altered by sun, wind, and erosion. Hiking through them offers visitors a window into a world changing over thousands of years.
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}); The only passenger was a life-size test dummy, named Ripley after the lead character in the "Alien" movies. SpaceX needs to nail the debut of its crew Dragon capsule before putting people on board later this year.
North Cascades National Park
My favorite place to photograph is from the aptly named Picture Lake, which has impressive views of Mount Shuksan. This is an easily accessed lake that is best photographed during sunset.
Arches National Park
Sunrise and sunset alike are great times to view Delicate Arch—it is very difficult to photograph this iconic scene in a bad light. However, sunset is the best time to catch alpenglow on the distant La Sal Mountains as a backdrop to this famous arch.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
It is hard to imagine that at an elevation above 8,000 feet, near the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, you can land upon a scene that could’ve easily been plucked out of the Sahara desert, where you can explore trails by horse, rugged roads by 4x4, and mesmerize yourself with the starry night skies. It’s all there—every day of the year in southern Colorado at Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas is one of the most remote national parks, accessible only by high-speed ferry, private and charter boats, and seaplane. The islands of the Dry Tortugas are constantly moving and reshaping as a result of weather and erosion.
Mammoth Cave national Park
With over 400 miles of explored cave—and countless more miles of unexplored areas—Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is the longest cave system in the world.
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Petrified Forest National Park
Storm clouds threaten the serene beauty of Blue Mesa, near the middle of Petrified Forest National Park.
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park's Maritime Heritage Trail is the only underwater archaeological trail in the National Park System. The park is home to diverse corals, manatees, crocodiles, butterflies, birds, and more than 500 species of fish.
Mount Rainer national park
To get a classic photograph of Mount Rainier, head to Reflection Lakes in the Paradise area on the southwestern edge of the park, where you can see Washington’s highest peak twice—in the water and in the sky. There is a five-mile loop trail starting at the iconic viewpoint that bands off into the lowland forests that surround the peaceful lake setting.
Virgin Islands National Park
While Virgin Islands National Park is best known for its diverse tropical rain forest and incredible waterways, there are archeological and historic sites scattered across the island dating back as early as 840 B.C.
shenandoah national park
Forty percent of Shenandoah National Park is designated as a wilderness area, representing one of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Lit by soft lighting, stalactites and stalagmites grace the entrance to the main attraction at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. This is one of the first scenes you will see when descending into the cave on foot. You can choose to take an elevator all the way down to the aptly named Big Room, but I highly recommend you walk down on foot, which allows for a greater appreciation of how grand and beautiful this cave system really is.
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Cuyahoga National Park
North of Hale Farm in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the Everett Covered Bridge, a reconstruction of an 1870s structure that was destroyed in a 1975 flood.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
A rocky outcrop provides a nice foreground to the distant Texas landscape in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I shot this photo about two-thirds of the way up Guadalupe Peak, one of the harder hikes I’ve done on this epic national parks trip.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is home to one of the most diverse forests in North America, with 22 plant communities living in the park.
Saguaro National Park
The Gilbert Ray Campground is just outside the south entrance to Saguaro National Park, and it provides some of the best camping sites in the area for both tents and RVs. Here, our Airstream, affectionately nicknamed “Wally,” looks right at home among the cacti.
Kings Canyon National Park
Hiking into Paradise Valley offers some of the best views in Kings Canyon National Park. We backpacked into the valley and spent the night along the river, and it was one of the most peaceful and beautiful camping spots of our entire trip.
Great Basin National Park
Wheeler Peak, at just over 13,000 feet high, is home to a large grove of bristlecone pine trees. These pine trees average 3,000 to 4,000 years old, with the oldest recorded at over 5,000 years old. Great Basin National Park was established in part to protect these incredibly old trees.
Isle Royale National Park
The rocky, lichen-covered coast of Isle Royale juts into Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.
Glacier Bay National Park
A giant humpback whale breaches the waters of Icy Strait. Averaging 40 to 50 feet long, and weighing over 40 tons, these animals are able to lift themselves out of the water with force.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Large icebergs float freely in the Bear Glacier lagoon.
Voyageurs National Park
Our first campsite in Voyageurs National Park had a great view of Snake Island (pictured in the distance). We were lucky enough to witness an incredible sunset that night.
Denali National Park
A rainbow appears above a small lake near the Wonder Lake area. Extreme changes in weather, including severe thunderstorms, can roll in without warning in this remote area of Alaska.
Katmai National Park
One of the park’s more famous bears, this sow (mother) bear is nicknamed “Uno” because she’s missing part of one of her ears. Uno had two cubs this spring, who follow her around everywhere, learning how to be bears and protect themselves in the wild.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park
At over 125 miles long, six miles wide, and almost a half mile thick, the Bagley Icefield is one amazingly huge piece of ice. I took a flightseeing trip over the icefield to get a sense of its scale, and it was hard to capture with my camera. Here, an avalanche has left a ring of snow and debris near the mountain from which it came.
Hot Springs National Park
Approximately 700,000 gallons of thermal waters are collected each day in the Hot Springs National Park water reservoir, reaching temperatures of 143ºF (62ºC).
Canyonlands National Park
The most photographed place in Canyonlands National Park is Mesa Arch at sunrise. It is one of the great photography locations in the U.S. When the sun rises, light bounces off of the rock beneath the arch, casting a glow onto the belly of the arch that frames a scene into the valley.
Kobuk Valley National Park
We couldn’t get enough of climbing up and down these dunes. Since it's such a remote park, we were the only people as far as our eyes could see. I’d recommend coming here with an outfitter and a guide, as this can be a harsh and foreboding place anytime of year.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sprague Lake is probably the easiest place to get to in the park, where stunning reflective landscape sceneries are ready for any photographer at sunrise. A well-beaten walking trail circumnavigates the lake, taking you to several vantage points from which you can capture a beautiful view and photograph of the mountains rising in the east.
Gates of The Arctic national park
Our bush plane flight to the interior of Gates of the Arctic gave us a preview of how remote and beautiful the land would be.
Lake Clark National Park
Alaska from the air is always mesmerizing. In order to get to Lake Clark National Park, we had to fly over some of the most strangely beautiful water we’ve ever seen.
Badlands National Park
There is no better complementary color of Badlands geology than those brought on by the sunsets in central South Dakota. The warm shades of orange, pink, red, and yellow accentuate the depth of blue, purple, ivory, and tan colors seen in the sedimentary layers that make up the landscape.
Glacier National Park
A quick stop off of the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road brings visitors to one of the most popular stops in the park—where the view from the Wild Goose Scenic Viewpoint looks onto the heart of St. Mary Lake, Goose Island, with peaks rising 8,000 feet from the landscape in the backdrop.
Wind Cave National Park
About an hour’s drive from Wind Cave National Park is its sister cave, Jewel Cave, part of the third longest cave system in the world and one of the most popular national monuments in the country.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The Painted Canyon is one of the most photographed places in the park, thanks to its ornate and artful striations that form ribbons across the canyon walls, as it is seen here.
Volcanoes National Park
The state of Hawaii is known as the land of rainbows for a reason—they pop up anywhere, at anytime in this place perpetually adorned by sun and water. This rainbow arcs into the rise of volcanic steam from the lava of Kilauea as it roars at its confluence with the icy Pacific seas.
Mesa Verde National Park
The sun sets early on the Cliff Palace dwelling, casting golden light onto the ancient city. The only way to experience the fine detail of the construction in the Cliff Palace is on a ranger-guided tour.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The Cannonball Concretions in the North Unit of the park provide one of the most unique examples of geology in the park, and in the nation. They were eroded when water and wind met sand and mineral, creating a truly unusual sight, and one that can be explored just a few minutes driving from the Juniper Campground, located across the road.
haleakala national park
Friends share the sunset at one of the many overlooks just off Crater Road on the high peaks of Haleakala.
Capitol Reef National Park
A monolith formation in the Cathedral Valley District is one of the most iconic scenes in the park. The loop drive taken to get there stretches 57 miles through a rough and rugged environment, so it takes some commitment (and an all-terrain vehicle) to explore there.
National Park of American Samoa
On the island of Ofu in the Manua islands, you will find a four-mile stretch of pristine paradise beach that has been touted by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When we visited, we were alone with the protected coral reefs, black tipped sharks, sunshine, palm trees, and wild nature.
Channel islands national park
A northern view from Anacapa Island toward its larger neighbor, Santa Cruz Island.
lassen volcanic national park
A winter sunset paints the mountains and clouds in pink. This image was shot from the eastern side of Manzanita lake on a cold and wintry December day.
pinnacles national park
The Bear Gulch area of the park is one of the most popular spots for visitors to explore—and for good reason. It's easily accessible and boasts some of the best scenery in the region. I loved hiking up the Bear Gulch Cave Trail and then down the Rim Trail. If you take this route, rest about halfway through at the reservoir to see stunning views of the rock pinnacles.
Indiana Dunes National Park
The frozen expanse of Lake Michigan crowds against shoreline dunes at Indiana Dunes National Park—which became a national park in 2019.
Designated a national park in 2018, the Gateway Arch reflects the role of St. Louis in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century.
Don’t let its small size and recently upgraded designation deceive you: Indiana Dunes National Park’s biodiversity ranks seventh out of all 400-plus National Park Service units—and the nation’s newest park sees nearly as many visitors a year as Mount Rushmore. Here’s how to make the most of your trip.
Hit the dunes
Indiana Dunes National Park sandwiches Indiana Dunes State Park, where you can find the area’s three tallest dunes: Mount Tom (192 ft), Mount Holden (184 ft), and Mount Jackson (176 ft). Trails 8, 9, and 10 are arguably the definitive trails of the area, showcasing dune blowouts, “tree graveyards,” and forests of white pine rising above Lake Michigan. Trail 8 is the shortest route to summit each dune, otherwise known as the Three Dune Challenge.
The national park, however, lays claim to the most dynamic dune: Mount Baldy. It’s slowly eroding, or “starving,” moving roughly four feet a year. The trail to its top is regularly closed; if it’s open during your visit, go. Similarly impressive is the nearby Dune Ridge Trail—a route that takes you up above Kemil Beach and the Great Marsh—and the West Beach 3-Loop Trail, a 3.4-mile loop that displays all stages of dune development, with views that often extend to the Chicago skyline.
Most trails can be tackled on snowshoes or cross-country skis come winter, and they’re usually well-marked with wildlife tracks after any recent snowfall. Bikers should note the Calumet Bike Trail, running all the way from Mineral Springs Road to Mount Baldy.
Make a splash
The majority of the park’s annual visitors come for the swimming and beachcombing. Lake View, Kemil, Dunbar, and Porter beaches are all swim at your own risk, with smaller parking lots that fill up quickly in summer. West Beach (the only lot that charges, at $6 per car) has showers and lifeguards. On any beach day, consider scoping out the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk, an impressive, eco-friendly pavilion with basic amenities and water access.
For paddlers, there’s also the 35-mile Lake Michigan Water Trail. Bring your own kayak, hug the water’s edge, and camp at designated sites as you progress along the lake. For greater nature immersion, consider the Little Calumet River or Burns Waterway.
Walk on the wild side
Over a thousand native plant species and 370 bird species make this one of the most biodiverse swaths of land in the U.S. The Great Marsh Trail and the Heron Rookery are excellent places to birdwatch for tree swallows, rusty blackbirds, kingfishers, egrets, and green herons.
In the warmer months, check out the 4.7-mile Cowles Bog Trail—plant diversity is so outstanding here the area was designated a National Natural Landmark. The Tolleston Dunes Trail, another good option, winds 2.9 miles from oak savanna and wetlands into prickly pear cactus country.
Learn the history
The Port of Indiana looms on the horizon, a reminder that this area barely escaped industrialization. In fact, the once-largest dune, the Hoosier Slide, was carried off in boxcars as early as 1916. Activists fought to preserve the dunes; their eventual success resulted in today’s landscape, a study in contrasts.
Accessible by a 3.7-mile trail system, the Chellburg Farmhouse and Bailly Homestead provide vestiges of this pre-industrial past. Here, your path follows the Little Calumet River, skirting these two pioneer remnants (and a crumbling cemetery), passing through a forested ravine, and emptying into the oak savanna.
Just east of the border between the national and state parks, you’ll find something closer to modernity: five homes from the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair. You can spot them on a beach stroll or cruising down Lakefront Drive—tours are held annually, usually in fall. The Florida Tropical House, in its bubblegum-pink grandeur, is hard to miss.
Turn with the seasons
In the warmer months, come early. It’s not uncommon for cars to line up outside the entrance gates before they’re even open. Most parking lots fill by mid-morning, though West Beach rarely fills to its 600-space capacity.
Crowds dwindle with temperatures, and winter can mean you’re alone with the birds and the beavers. Watch the ice shelf float in and out as you stroll along an empty beach. For an off-season bonus, the state park regularly lifts its $12 entrance fee.
Spend an afternoon
The 1.1-mile Trail 7 in the state park division—next to the Nature Center—is the most direct route combining dune hikes with beach access. Time permitting, it crosses the longer Trail 8, which takes you to the top of the park’s tallest dunes.
Spend the next few hours inland and explore the Paul H. Douglas Trail, the Little Calumet River Trail, or the Great Marsh Trail, watching for wildlife and scouting for rare plants, like the gaywing or the carnivorous purple pitcher plant. Catch sunset at a larger beach, like Kemil, Dunbar, or West, and get your feet wet in the giant puddle known as Lake Michigan, left behind by the long-gone Wisconsin Glacier.
Jacqueline Kehoe is a freelance writer, photographer, smoky mezzo, and Midwestern advocate. Find her on her website or on Instagram @j.kehoe.
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