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

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.

The park includes portions of downtown Hot Springs, making it one of the most accessible national parks (nearly 1.5 million visitors in 2015). Bathing in spring water is available in approved facilities and the entire Bathhouse Row area is designated as a National Historic Landmark District. It contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America, including many outstanding examples of Gilded Age architecture. The row’s Fordyce Bathhouse serves as the park’s visitor center and Buckstaff and Quapaw still operate as bathhouses.

I’ll be traveling to Hot Springs National Park this month, kicking off a flurry of trips to National Parks as I begin to work on the next round of WPA-style National Park Posters!

I’ll also be heading to Washington, DC, at the end of the month — hoping to time the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms — and have been offered a chance for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum Resource Center in Landover, MD, where all the archeological collections from the National Capital Region are stored. Sounds a bit like “National Treasure” — I’m stoked!

Click here for more info: http:/www.national-park-posters.com

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Kings Canyon National Park — Giant Trees, Huge Canyons

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.

Kings Canyon National Park

Humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years. The first Native Americans in the area were Paiute peoples, who moved into the region from their ancestral home east of Mono Lake. The Paiute Nation people used deer and other small animals for food, as well as acorns. They created trade routes that extended down the eastern slope of the Sierra into the Owens Valley.

Kings Canyon had been known to white settlers since the mid-19th century, but it was not until John Muir first visited in 1873 that the canyon began receiving attention. Muir was delighted at the canyon’s similarity to Yosemite Valley, as it reinforced his theory regarding the origin of both valleys, which, though competing with Josiah Whitney’s then-accepted theory that the spectacular mountain valleys were formed by earthquake action, Muir’s theory later proved correct: that both valleys were carved by massive glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Then United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes fought to create the Kings Canyon National Park. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph and document this among other parks, in great part leading to the passage of the bill in March 1940. The bill combined the General Grant Grove with the backcountry beyond Zumwalt Meadow.

Kings Canyon’s future was in doubt for nearly fifty years. Some wanted to build a dam at the western end of the valley, while others wanted to preserve it as a park. The debate was settled in 1965, when the valley, along with Tehipite Valley, was added to the park.

Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Hot Springs National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park, celebrate their anniversaries in March.

Now you can SAVE 25% OFF the Kings Canyon National Park poster — or any National Park Poster — at www.national-park-posters.com Just use coupon code: NPS2017 when you check out!

Photographer and graphic artist, Rob Decker, studied photography with Ansel Adams in the summer of 1979 in Yosemite National Park, an experience that solidified his love of photography and our National Parks. Now he is on a journey to photograph and create iconic WPA-style posters of all 59 major national parks as we celebrate the next 100 years of the National Park Service.

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Celebrate Hot Springs National Park & Historic 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.

hot-springs-620

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.

The park includes portions of downtown Hot Springs, making it one of the most accessible national parks (more than 1.5 million visitors in 2016). Bathing in spring water is available in approved facilities and the entire Bathhouse Row area is designated as a National Historic Landmark District. It contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America, including many outstanding examples of Gilded Age architecture. The row’s Fordyce Bathhouse serves as the park’s visitor center and Buckstaff and Quapaw still operate as bathhouses.

Along with Hot Springs National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and Kings Canyon National Park also celebrate their anniversaries in March.

Now you can SAVE 25% OFF the Hot Springs National Park poster — or any National Park Poster — at http://www.national-park-posters.com Just use coupon code: NPS2017 when you check out!

Sign Up for the National Park Poster Project Newsletter and get all the latest deals and information!

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Joshua Tree National Park, U2 and The Joshua Tree Album

It’s been 30 years since the the band U2 released The Joshua Tree in March of 1987. So it seems fitting that I’m releasing the newest National Park poster — for Joshua Tree National Park — in March of 2017!

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is immense, nearly 800,000 acres, and infinitely variable. It can seem unwelcoming, even brutal during the heat of summer. Rainfall is sparse and unpredictable. Stream beds are usually dry and waterholes are few. Viewed in summer, this land may appear defeated and dead, but within this parched environment are intricate living systems waiting for the opportune moment to reproduce. The individuals, both plant and animal, that inhabit the park are not individualists. They depend on their entire ecosystem for survival.

The park encompasses some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California’s deserts. Rugged mountains of twisted rock and exposed granite monoliths testify to the tremendous earth forces that shaped and formed this land. Arroyos, playas, alluvial fans, bajadas, pediments, desert varnish, granites, aplite, and gneiss interact to form a giant mosaic of immense beauty and complexity.

Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between “high” and “low” desert. The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is home to the Joshua tree. Extensive stands occur throughout the western half of the park. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert — part of the Sonoran Desert — occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. Adding interest to this arid land are small stands of spidery ocotillo and cholla cactus.

Some of the Southwest’s earliest inhabitants — members of the Pinto Culture — lived in the now dry Pinto Basin. Later, native Americans traveled through this area in tune with harvests of pinyon nuts, mesquite beans, acorns, and cactus fruit, leaving behind rock paintings and pottery ollas as reminders of their passing.

In the late 1800s cattlemen came to the desert. They built dams to create water tanks. They were followed by miners who tunneled the earth in search of gold. They are gone now, but they left behind the Lost Horse and Desert Queen mines and the Keys Ranch. In the 1930s homesteaders came seeking free land and the chance to start new lives. Today many people come to the park’s 794,000 acres of open space seeking clear skies and clean air, and the peace and tranquility, the quietude and beauty, only deserts offer.

Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Hot Springs National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park, celebrate their anniversaries in March.

Now you can SAVE 25% OFF the Joshua Tree National Park poster — or any National Park Poster — at www.national-park-posters.com Just use coupon code: NPS2017 when you check out!

Sign Up for the National Park Poster Project Newsletter and get all the latest deals and information!

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Celebrate Mount Rainier’s Birthday, March 2nd

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.

The park encompasses 236,381 acres including all of Mount Rainier, the 14,410-foot stratovolcano. The mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 1,600 feet to over 14,000 feet. The highest point in the Cascade Range, around it are valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, old-growth forest and more than 25 glaciers. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow on the peak every year.

Mount Rainier is circled by the Wonderland Trail and is covered by several glaciers and snowfields totaling some 35 square miles. Carbon Glacier is the largest glacier by volume in the contiguous United States, while Emmons Glacier is the largest glacier by area. Mount Rainier is a popular peak for mountaineering with some 10,000 attempts per year with approximately 50% making it to the summit. The park contains outstanding subalpine meadows and 91,000 acres of old growth forests.

Along with Mount Rainier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Hot Springs National Park and Kings Canyon National Park also celebrate their anniversaries in March.

Now you can SAVE 25% OFF the Mount Rainier National Park poster — or any National Park Poster — at http://www.national-park-posters.com Just use coupon code: NPS2017 when you check out!

Sign Up for the National Park Poster Project Newsletter and get all the latest deals and information!

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Introducing the Artist Proof Series

Original Artist Proofs are the first 20 posters pulled from the print run. They feature the color bars used by the pressman to make sure colors stay registered and consistent. These Limited Editions are available for each National Park...but are in short supply. Click now to learn more!

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Celebrate the 100th Anniversary

The Worth Protecting Poster is a Limited Edition that celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (1916-2016) and America's National Parks. It's based on a WPA-era poster centered around the idea that America's Best Idea is Worth Protecting!

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