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Kings Canyon National Park — Giant Trees, Huge Canyons

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon National Park and this dramatic landscape, testifies to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity–huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees. Kings Canyon was established in 1940 and incorporated General Grant National Park, which was established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias. The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service jointly as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.

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Hot Springs National Park was established on this day in 1921.

Bathhouse Row

Actually, Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of Congress on April 20, 1832 — even before the concept of a national park existed — and was the first time that a piece of land had been set aside by the federal government as an area for recreation. For centuries, the hot spring water was believed to possess medicinal properties — and the subject of legend among several Native American tribes. Following federal protection, the city developed into a successful spa town and has been home to Major League Baseball spring training, illegal gambling, speakeasies and gangsters such as Al Capone, horse racing at Oaklawn Park, the Army and Navy Hospital, and 42nd President Bill Clinton.

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Celebrate Mount Rainier’s Birthday, March 2nd

Mount Rainier - Reflection Lake

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. Mount Rainier National Park is located in southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington state. It was established on March 2, 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States.

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Yellowstone National Park turns 146 — March 1st!

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, the first National Park in the U.S. and widely held to be the first national park in the world, was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Straddling the borders of Montana and Wyoming, according the the act, Yellowstone was established “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it “under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.” Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918 from Fort Yellowstone at Mammoth Hot Springs.

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February 26th is Grand Canyon National Park’s Birthday

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon — 277 miles long, and up to 18 miles wide reaches a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet) — exposes nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. The canyon is the result of erosion which exposes one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet and is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

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Celebrate Grand Teton National Park’s Birthday — February 26th

Grand Teton National Park

Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.

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Acadia National Park’s Birthday is February 26th!

Acadia National Park

Throughout history, people have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park, which preserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands off the Atlantic coast.

Landscape architect Charles Eliot is credited with the idea for the park. George B. Dorr, called the “father of Acadia National Park,” along with Eliot’s father Charles W. Eliot (the president of Harvard), helped the park attain federal status when President Woodrow Wilson established it as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8, 1916. On February 26, 1919, it became a national park, with the name Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, an influential French supporter of the American Revolution. The park’s name was changed to Acadia National Park on January 19, 1929, in honor of the former French colony of Acadia which once included Maine.

Acadia is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River and is home to the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Visitors come to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery. The park contains more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails, many of which were established by local village improvement societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today many of the historic features, such as stonework, are still visible. The historic carriage road system features 17 stone-faced bridges spanning streams, waterfalls, cliffs, and roadways.

Learn more here:

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February 25th is Bryce Canyon’s 90th Birthday!!!

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos! Odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion — are found on every continent, but Bryce Canyon boasts the largest collection of hoodoos in the world! Despite its name, the major feature of Bryce Canyon is a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southwest Utah featuring thousands of Hoodoos, some up to 200 feet high. Formed by frost weathering and stream erosion, the red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views. In fact, on a clear day, the visibility at Bryce Canyon National Park often exceeds 100 miles! This is due to exceptional air quality, low humidity and high elevation.

The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres but sees relatively few visitors compared to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, largely due to its remote location.

The park also has a 7.4 magnitude night sky, making it one of the darkest in North America. Stargazers can see 7,500 stars with the naked eye, while in most places fewer than 2,000 can be seen due to light pollution, and in many large cities only a few dozen can be seen.

Along with Bryce Canyon, Acadia National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Grand Canyon National Park have their anniversaries in February.

Now you can SAVE 50% OFF the Bryce Canyon National Park poster — or any National Park Poster — at Just place four or more posters in your cart and use coupon code: BUY2GET2 when you check out!

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Celebrating the Life & Times of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams ion Yosemite National Park

February 20th is Ansel Adams’ Birthday…

Many of you may know that I had the rare privilege to study under Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park when I was just 19 years old. And as the years go by, I appreciate that experience more and more. Even at 19, I had already been working with black and white film for a solid decade before Adam’s taught me his “Zone System”. And I would spend another two decades continuing to work in black and white and hone my craft.

Photographing Yosemite National Park with Ansel Adams…sure wish I had thought about taking a selfie back in 1979!

Yosemite National Park is an amazing “classroom” and we spent time photographing the Valley, the Merced River, as well as up in the high country of the Sierra Nevadas. But as much as the instruction, I remember some of the social time we had in the evenings, including cocktails with Ansel and his wife Virginia. I was 19 and they were in their late 70s and it was markedly clear that they were from a different era. Over the years, I’ve read most of what Ansel published, as well as what has been written about him. What an amazing life to have traveled this country — and particularly to our National Parks — seeing many of these places in more pristine condition than we do today, with the crowds and restrictions in place now.

At 19, I was pretty awestruck in his presence. I remember scraping together the last bit of cash I had for the summer — just enough to buy two of his books at the bookstore in Yosemite — The Negative and The Print seemed like the obvious choices. And then, in a bit more brazened move, I asked him to autograph them! Honestly, to this day, I can’t think of anything more cherished.

The Negative and The Print, my autographed copies

Now, the National Park Poster Project lets me share these incredible places — many of which Ansel Adams visited and photographed — with people from all over the world, and I hope in some small way, helps to encourage the next generation of National Park supporters. It also provides me with a way to give back, and in the last year, I made financial contributions to the National Park Foundation, the Yosemite Conservancy, Washington’s National Park Fund, the Glacier Conservancy, the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, the Western National Parks Association, Eastern National, Conservancy for Cuyahoga National Park, and Yellowstone Forever. In addition, I have been able to donate posters to Washington’s National Park Fund, the Glacier Conservancy and others for their silent auctions to help with their fundraising efforts.

Ansel Adams, who in addition to being an amazing photographer — was also an environmentalist who was realistic about development and the subsequent loss of habitat. Adams advocated for balanced growth, but was pained by the ravages of “progress”. In his autobiography, he stated that, “We all know the tragedy of the dustbowls, the cruel unforgivable erosions of the soil, the depletion of fish or game, and the shrinking of the noble forests. And we know that such catastrophes shrivel the spirit of the people… The wilderness is pushed back, man is everywhere. Solitude, so vital to the individual man, is almost nowhere.”

Ansel Adams first visited Yosemite National Park in 1916…it would be another 50 years before my first visit…the first of many. Today, it remains one of my most favorite National Parks, not just for the awe-inspiring beauty that is Yosemite, but also for the memories of camping with my family, backpacking the high country with friends, and of course, the summer of 1979 studying under one of the true masters!

I’ve just re-printed the 2018 edition of the Yosemite National Park poster, and new Artist Proofs are now available as well. Artist Proofs are the first 25 prints pulled from the print run, and feature the pressman’s color bars at the bottom of the print. The pressman uses these color bars to maintain quality, color balance and registration throughout the print run. Prints are dated, signed and numbered 1-25/25. They are very popular, and many have already been sold.

You can see the Artist Proof here:

Yosemite National Park Artist Proof

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As we approach President’s Day…

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial has become an iconic symbol of the United States, and is visited by nearly three million people each year. They come to marvel at the majestic beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and learn about the birth, growth, development and preservation of the country. From the history of the first inhabitants to the diversity of America today, Mount Rushmore brings visitors face to face with the rich heritage we all share.

Mount Rushmore features 60-foot tall sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), which are carved into the face of Mount Rushmore, a granite batholith formation in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota.

South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region, ultimately settling on the Mount Rushmore location, which also had the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody, but Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum thought the sculpture should have a more national focus and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding through the enthusiastic sponsorship of “Mount Rushmore’s great political patron”, U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939.

The figure of Thomas Jefferson was originally started on Washington’s right side. After 18 months of carving the figure of Jefferson had to be blasted off the mountain and restarted on Washington’s left side. Over 90% of Mount Rushmore was carved using dynamite, removing some 450,000 tons of rock from the mountain. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941. Approximately 400 different people worked at Mount Rushmore during the carving process from October 1927 to October 1941, and although this work was dangerous, no lives were lost.

Mount Rushmore and has appeared in works of fiction, and has been discussed or depicted in other popular works. It was also famously used as the location of the climactic chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 movie North by Northwest starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.

If you haven’t had the chance to see Mount Rushmore, it’s worth the trip! And, you are in close proximity to Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park — two very different parks — but both worth visiting!

I’ve created a poster for Mount Rushmore National Memorial as part of the Centennial Collection, which you can see here:

There are also posters for my two other South Dakota favorites:

Wind Cave National Park (

Wind Cave National Park

Badlands National Park (

Badlands National Park

Click here to learn how you can win the “America the Beautiful” National Park Annual Pass for FREE!

America the Beautiful Annual Park Pass

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