National Take a Hike Day is observed each year on November 17. With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take a hike.
Events are scheduled on National Take A Hike Day around the country to celebrate! But you can just spend the day exploring hiking trails in and around your town. Make sure you carry enough food and water with you and tell your family and friends where you are going. Research has shown that hiking can have many health and social benefits. Considered to be a good way to exercise, hiking can have all the benefits associated with walking in nature – it can reduce stress, increase heart activity and reduce blood pressure.
Be sure to wear good shoes, take a snack and bring a buddy! Get out there and enjoy the fresh air, scenery can get a little exercise too!
Visit Arches National Park and discover an amazing landscape of landforms, textures and contrasting colors unlike any other place in the world. The park features more than 2,000 natural stone arches, hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. Discover this red rock wonderland and be amazed by its natural formations, beautiful colors and inspiring sunsets.
Arches National Park lies north of Moab in Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.
The park lies above an underground evaporite layer or salt bed, which is the main cause of the formation of the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with debris eroded from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the northeast.
Except for isolated remnants, the major formations visible in the park today are the salmon-colored Entrada Sandstone, in which most of the arches form, and the buff-colored Navajo Sandstone. These are visible in layer cake fashion throughout most of the park. Over time, water seeped into the surface cracks, joints, and folds of these layers. Ice formed in the fissures, expanding and putting pressure on surrounding rock, breaking off bits and pieces. Winds later cleaned out the loose particles. A series of free-standing fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed. Others, with the right degree of hardness and balance, survived despite their missing sections. These became the famous arches.
Although the park’s terrain may appear rugged and durable, it is extremely fragile. More than 1 million visitors each year threaten the fragile high desert ecosystem. The problem lies within the soil’s crust which is composed of cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, and lichens that grow in the dusty parts of the park.
Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota and protects 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. Ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where, bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets (the most endangered land mammal in North America) live today. The South Unit, or Stronghold Unit, is co-managed with the Oglala Lakota tribe and includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances, a former United States Air Force bomb and gunnery range, and Red Shirt Table, the park’s highest point at 3,340 feet.
This land has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become picturesque. Badlands National Park is a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).
Authorized as Badlands National Monument on March 4, 1929, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation on January 25, 1939 that established Badlands National Monument. In the late 60’s, Congress passed legislation adding more than 130,000 acres of Oglala Sioux tribal land, used since World War II as a U.S. Air Force bombing and gunnery range, to the Badlands to be managed by the National Park Service. An agreement between the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the National Park Service governing the management of these lands was signed in 1976. The new Stronghold and Palmer Creek units added lands having significant scenic, scientific and cultural resources. Congress again focused it’s attention on the Badlands in 1978 on 10 November, it was re-designated as Badlands National Park.
Often called “the conservation president,” Theodore Roosevelt, made an impact on the National Park System well beyond his term in office. As President from 1901 to 1909, he doubled the number of sites within the National Park system and signed legislation establishing five new national parks: Crater Lake, Oregon; Wind Cave, South Dakota; Sullys Hill, North Dakota (later re-designated a game preserve); Mesa Verde, Colorado; and Platt, Oklahoma (now part of Chickasaw National Recreation Area). However, the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906 enabled President Roosevelt and succeeding Presidents to proclaim historic landmarks, historic or prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest in federal ownership as national monuments.
Some 70 miles west of Key West Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, lies one of North America’s most inaccessible national parks. Renowned for pirate legends, shipwrecks, and sheer unspoiled beauty, Dry Tortugas National Park harbors unrivaled coral reefs and marine life, an annual birding spectacle, and majestic Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry stronghold in the Western Hemisphere.
In March of 2016, I visited Dry Tortugas National Park and photographed it for one of the next National Park Posters. I took the seaplane flight from Key West to Dry Tortugas — a 25 minute flight — but I’ll get you there in 3 minutes!
Enjoy the flight!!!
I also visited Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park so there will be a full set of posters for Florida.
October 21st Marks the Anniversary for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!
Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.
Located in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service, the park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The Gunnison River drops an average of 34 feet per mile through the entire canyon, making it the 5th steepest mountain descent in North America. By comparison, the Colorado River drops an average of 7.5 feet per mile through the Grand Canyon. The greatest descent of the Gunnison River occurs within the park at Chasm View dropping 240 feet per mile. The Black Canyon is so named because its steepness makes it difficult for sunlight to penetrate into its depths. As a result, the canyon is often shrouded in shadow, causing the rocky walls to appear black. At its narrowest point the canyon is only 40 ft wide at the river.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is situated in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and preserves the rugged spirit and remote wilderness of the American West. Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet and El Capitan, were long used as a landmark by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The Guadalupe Peak Trail offers perhaps the most outstanding views in the park. Climbing over 3,000 feet to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the trail winds through pinyon pine and Douglas-fir forests and offers spectacular views of El Capitan and the vast Chihuahuan Desert.
Saguaro National Park is home to the nation’s largest cacti — the giant saguaro — the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.
In the summer of 1979 — when I was just 19 years old — I had the rare privilege of studying under Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park. As the years go by, without question, I appreciate that experience more and more.
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. But as much as the instruction, I remember some of the social time we had in the evenings with Ansel and his wife Virginia. What an amazing life to have traveled this country — and particularly to our National Parks, and how fortunate he was to see many of these places without the large crowds and restrictions that we have today.
I had been working with black and white film for a solid decade before I began working with Adams’ Zone System, and I would spend another two decades continuing to work in black and white to hone my craft.
At 19, I was pretty awestruck in his presence. I remember scraping together the last bit of cash I had — just enough to buy two of his books at the bookstore in Yosemite; “The Negative” and “The Print” — they 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 any possession more cherished.
Ansel Adams visited and photographed many of our National Parks — and many places that have become National Parks or are otherwise better protected than they were 100 years ago. And The National Park Poster Project lets me share these incredible places with people from all over the world. Creating the next generation of National Park supporters is something that’s become more and more important to me, and I hope in some small way to contribute to this effort.
One of my goals is to connect with people by producing high-quality artwork that beautifies everyday life. When you buy one of my creations, you also help the trusts, conservancies and associations that support our National Parks. I donate 10% of annual profits to these organizations who use them to raise funds for their ongoing work, and in the past year, I have made financial contributions to:
The National Park Foundation
The Yosemite Conservancy
Washington’s National Park Fund
The Glacier Conservancy
Friends of Acadia
The Western National Parks Association
Friends of the Smokies
The Rocky Mountain Conservancy
In addition, I have been able to donate posters to Yellowstone Forever, Washington’s National Park Fund, the Glacier Conservancy and other groups 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 101 years ago in 1916. Nearly 50 years would pass before my first visit — the first of many. To this day, Yosemite remains my favorite National Park, 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!
The Yosemite National Park poster I have created features what is commonly called the “Tunnel View” — an amazing panoramic view of the Yosemite Valley.
Now, in addition to the standard Yosemite National Park prints, Artist Proofs are available. These are the first 25 prints pulled from the press run once the colors and registration is dialed in. Artist Proofs display the pressman’s color bars, which he uses to ensure colors stay consistent and plates stay registered throughout the print run. Each print displays my “AP” mark signifying it as an Artist Proof and are numbered 1-25. They are also signed and dated.