America’s Public Lands Explained

National Parks

Established in 1899, Mount Rainier is the 5th national park in the U.S. Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Photo by Richard Thompson (

National Forests

White River National Forest is the most visited national forest in the nation encompassing 2.3 million acres of opportunities. With 11 ski resorts, eight Wilderness areas, 10 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet and 2,500 miles of trails, this Colorado forest is a place where you can press play on adventure and inspiration! Photo by Daniel Kokoszka (

National Wildlife Refuges

Located on the southern coast of Virginia, Back Bay provides feeding and resting habitat for migratory birds. The refuge contains over 9,250 acres, situated on a thin strip of coastline typical of barrier islands found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Photo by Tyrone Singletary (

National Conservation Areas

King Range National Conservation Area has long been recognized as a crown jewel of the Pacific Coast. Covering 68,000 acres and extending along 35 miles of coastline, King Range preserves the dramatic meeting of land and sea. Established by Congress in 1970, King Range National Conservation Area became the first location in the Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

National Monuments

Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah is best known for it’s geologic amphitheater — a brilliantly colored limestone coliseum that plunges a half-mile deep. Surrounding the canyon are lush meadows and one of the world’s oldest trees, the bristlecone pine. Sunset photo by Bud Walley (


The scenic Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area in Colorado is known for its mountains, multi-colored rock formations, diverse vegetation and vast, open vistas. The area is home to Handies Peak, which rises 14,048 feet over the area. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

National Historic Sites

From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point has stood guard over the San Francisco Bay for more than 150 years — from California’s Gold Rush through World War II and now as a National Historic Site. Although Fort Point never saw battle, the building has tremendous significance that includes military and maritime history and beautiful brick architecture. Photo by Ben Pelta-Heller (

National Memorials

Dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands in a straight line with the White House in Washington, D.C. During the spring, visitors flock to the area to see the glorious cherry blossoms surrounding the Tidal Basin. Photo by Andrew Rhodes (

National Battlefields

Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania — this is America’s battleground, where the Civil War roared to its bloody climax. No place more vividly reflects the War’s tragic cost in all its forms. Photo by Theresa Rasmussen (

National Recreation Areas

Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona and Nevada offers year-round recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and sightseeing. Paddling through the Black Canyon (the stretch of river below Hoover Dam) gives you the chance to see Emerald Cave, a stunning combination of white stone and green water. Photo by Cheryl Hobbs (

Wild and Scenic Rivers

The 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River flows through the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. The rugged, surrounding uplands are commonly called the Missouri Breaks. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

National Seashores and National Lakeshores

At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan, you can find pristine waters, perfect waves, miles of sandy beaches and incredible views! Photo by Erin Waineo (

National Trails

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is considered the “King of Trails” — more difficult than its sister long distance trails, the Appalachian and Pacific Crest. It navigates dramatically diverse ecosystems through mountain meadows, granite peaks and high-desert surroundings. Photo from the Continental Divide Wilderness Study Area by Bob Wick, BLM.

Visit to plan your trip today and share your adventures with #FindYourPark.

US Interior Department

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Protecting America’s Great Outdoors and Powering Our Future

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