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Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

The mountains of Grand Teton National Park rise above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain. The granite and gneiss composing the core of the Teton Range are some of the oldest rocks in North America, but the mountains are among the youngest in the world. The park was established in 1929, and today you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres, the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. Grand Teton National Park is only 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Along with surrounding national forests, these three protected areas constitute the almost 18,000,000-acres.

Efforts to preserve the area as a national park began in the late 19th century, and in 1929 Grand Teton National Park was established, protecting the Teton Range’s major peaks. The valley of Jackson Hole remained in private ownership until the 1930s, when conservationists led by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began purchasing land in Jackson Hole to be added to the existing national park. Against public opinion and with repeated Congressional efforts to repeal the measures, much of Jackson Hole was set aside for protection as Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The monument was abolished in 1950 and most of the monument land was added to Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The naming of the mountains is attributed to early 19th-century French-speaking trappers: les trois tétons (the three teats) was later anglicized and shortened to Tetons. At 13,775 feet, Grand Teton abruptly rises more than 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole, almost 850 feet higher than Mount Owen, the second-highest summit in the range.

Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park

The park has numerous lakes, including 15-mile-long Jackson Lake as well as streams of varying length and the upper main stem of the Snake River. Visitors can explore the Jenny Lake District on foot, by boat or bicycle while enjoying dramatic mountain scenery. Hike into Cascade Canyon past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point; ascend from sagebrush meadows to alpine lakes; or pass through forested trails into Paintbrush Canyon.

Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

Photographers, wildlife watchers and history buffs will all enjoy a stop at the Mormon Row Historic District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this tract of land was founded as a Mormon ranch settlement in the 1890s and to this day contains preserved homesteads and barns that provide a compelling foreground to the Teton Range in the backdrop. If you’re lucky, you might see some antelope or other mammals grazing.

Enter the Menors Ferry Historic District and be transported back to the Wild West when William (Bill) D. Menor settled beside the Snake River at the turn of the century and built the ferry that transported people across the river. Along with preserved 19th-century barns and cabins, the district features a working general store. Stop in at the Chapel of the Transfiguration for an awe-inspiring view of Grand Teton. This 1920s log chapel, which hosts Sunday services in the summer, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains an enormous window that overlooks Grand Teton.

Grand Teton National Park is a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking, fishing and other forms of recreation. There are more than 1,000 drive-in campsites and over 200 miles of hiking trails that provide access to backcountry camping areas. Noted for world-renowned trout fishing, the park is one of the few places to catch Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout. Grand Teton has several National Park Service-run visitor centers, and privately operated concessions for motels, lodges, gas stations and marinas.

Grand Teton National Park 90th AnniversaryThe original Grand Teton National Park poster features the Grand Teton Range as seen from the Snake River Overlook.

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Grand Teton National Park - Jenny LakeJenny Lake at Grand Teton National Park, as seen from the Cascade Canyon Overlook.
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February 25th is Bryce Canyon’s 91st 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 http://www.national-park-posters.com Just place four or more posters in your cart and use coupon code: BUY2GET2 when you check out!

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February 26th is Grand Canyon National Park’s 100th 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.

Continue reading February 26th is Grand Canyon National Park’s 100th Birthday

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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: https://www.national-park-posters.com/product/yosemite-national-park-artist-proof/

Yosemite National Park Artist Proof

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How You Can Help our National Parks

Yellowstone Shutdown

The 35 day partial government shutdown had a huge negative impact on our national parks — and that was on top of the $11.6 billion dollar backlog for repairs or maintenance on roads, buildings, utility systems, and other structures and facilities.

The shutdown reduced the National Park Service’s 25,000-strong workforce to just more than 3,000 across it’s 418 sites. Trash piled up, toilets overflowed, protected trees were cut down and vandalism was rampant.

But the shutdown also brought out the best in people who helped to remove trash, staff information tables and made financial contributions to organizations that support our national parks.

And there are still plenty of opportunities to make these amazing places even better!

The National Park Service offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups as part of the Volunteers-In-Parks program. You can work behind the scenes or on the front lines, serving alongside park employees or with one of the many partner organizations. Opportunities are available at park locations throughout the United States, including the territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Some positions are specialized and require particular talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as a background check. Other positions only require a desire and willingness to volunteer. Individuals under the age of 18 must have written consent of the parent or legal guardian before they may volunteer.

The National Park Foundation — the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service — encourages people to learn about volunteer opportunities. Many parks have independent “Friends” groups coordinating volunteer efforts locally.

In January, the National Park Foundation created a restoration fund for parks needing the most help. By supporting the Parks Restoration Fund, your donations will go to the parks that need help the most. The National Park Foundation will be able to work with the National Park Service and with park partners to assess needs and provide clean up efforts.

As we head into another busy travel season, get out and see the amazing landscapes, learn about our vibrant culture and rich history at a national park, seashore, lakeshore, recreation area, or at one of the many memorials and monuments across this great nation.

*Photo courtesy, National Park Foundation

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National Take A Hike Day — November 17th

Take A Hike Day

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!

Click here to learn more about some of the most amazing places to take a hike — our National Parks!

#NationalTakeAHikeDay

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Celebrate Arches National Park’s Anniversary, November 12th

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

A Red Rock Wonderland

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.

Arches National Park

Click here to see the Arches National Park poster.

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Celebrating Badlands National Park’s Anniversary

Badlands National 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.

> Click here to see the Badlands National Park poster!

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Celebrating Theodore Roosevelt & the National Park Service

Theodore Roosevelt

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.

Crater Lake National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Mesa Verde National Park

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Dry Tortugas National Park

Lighthouse at Garden Key

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.

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