Natural Atlas
Explore Your Surroundings
GUIDE
Help USGS Document Glacial Retreat
The glaciers of Glacier National Park are melting at alarming rates and the USGS wants volunteers to help document their retreat. By taking geotagged photos at the exact same places as photographers in history you can help scientists and the public understand more about the rate in which the…
brandon brandon2
ARTICLE
Glacier National Park's Disappearing Namesake
When Glacier National Park was founded in 1910 it had roughly 150 glaciers – now it has 25 [1]. In the past 50 years, the remaining glaciers have shrunk in area by over a third [2]. When historic and modern photos of the glaciers are compared side-to-side the differences are striking. Repeat…
brandon brandon2
ARTICLE
Pairing Beauty on Earth with That in the Sky
The focus of a nation will be on the sky August 21 as the Great American Eclipse (NASA link) passes across the entire United States for the first time since 1918. While all of North America will witness at least a partial eclipse, only a narrow strip from Oregon to South Carolina will experience…
jstratman jstratman4
GUIDE
Hike to the Top of Colorful Badlands
The badlands of the McCullough Peaks highlight the beauty of erosion. The 6 mile round-trip hike along the McCullough Peak Divide Trail passes through very colorful badlands and culminates at the prominent, pointy summit visible from Cody, providing great views of the Bighorn Basin. The very…
brandon brandon3
GUIDE
Hike & Bike Through Bozeman's Amber Waves of Grain
Highland Glen is a beautiful grassy nature preserve in Bozeman stewarded by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. It’s open to hikers and mountain bikers. There are many neighborhood access points, but the main Highland Glen Trailhead is on Kagy Boulevard between MSU and I-90. Parking and access is also…
brian brian1
OVERVIEW
Best Places to See Yellowstone's Geysers & Hot Springs
Yellowstone’s geysers and hot springs are what make the park so unique. There are 11 major boardwalks where you can see these wonders of nature up-close. Scroll down to see a list and map of the best trails to see geysers and hot springs. Click on a trail to see a list of the thermal features along…
brandon brandon3
TRIP REPORT
Some of the youngest rock in Oregon sits on the boundaries of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests near McKenzie Pass. About 2,000 years ago, lava flowed from a vent just north of North Sister and created a black, jumbled, and barren landscape. Since then, the surrounding forest has…
chaney chaney4
TRIP REPORT
Slow Packing the PCT
The Northern Cascades is said to be one of the most beautiful sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and it did not disappoint. Craggy peaks, dense forests, and lush valleys provided mile after mile of stunning scenery on our 8 day, 89 mile journey on the northernmost portion of the PCT.  We are three,…
ccatte ccatte4
TRIP REPORT
A nice short hike that weaves it’s way between shaded forest and open fields with tall grass.  As of 7/5/17 there are numerous ticks in the area. In the three miles it took the pup and I to hike three miles I pulled about 30 ticks off the dog and about 15 off myself. If you are taking a dog ensure…
FunkyLB FunkyLB3
GUIDE
Alpine Lakes, Streams, and Mountain Views
The High Lakes area of the Beartooth Mountains is a hiker’s and backpacker’s dream: lakes and streams everywhere, rolling granite terrain, and peaks all around. Hiking the 8¾ mile loop formed from the Beauty Lake Trail and the High Lakes Trail is a great way to spend a day exploring the Beartooths…
brandon brandon3
OVERVIEW
Where to See Wildlife in Yellowstone
Yellowstone is as popular for its diverse wildlife as it is for its thermal features. It is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states [1], including elk, bears, bison, wolves, and bighorn sheep. If you want to plan a visit to the park to marvel at the wildlife, here is a…
brandon brandon3
ARTICLE
Top 5 Places Landscape Painting Grew in America
Landscape painting and natural history go hand-in-hand. It even helped establish America’s first national park. There have been five places across the United States where this marriage of art and nature especially flourished. Location: Hudson River, Catskill Mountains, Adirondack Mountains Notable…
brandon brandon2
GUIDE
Trail Through Deciduous Canyon Reaching Great Views of Bozeman
Sypes Canyon Trail is a great dog-friendly hike that slowly ascends a lush, shaded canyon – with a few short sections of rocky outcrops and sagebrush hillside. The trail isn’t too popular with mountain bikers, but they are allowed all days but Saturday (Sypes Trail is a time-share trail, as of…
brian brian5
PLACE DESC
Oregon's Third-highest Peak
Her summit reflected in the waters of the Cascade Lakes, South Sister (10,358’) looms over the forests of Central Oregon in silent grandeur. In winter, the peak is blanketed in white, but the summer sun melts much of it away to reveal a multicolored mountain dotted with snowfields and glaciers.…
chaney chaney4
GUIDE
Botanical Journey to the Top of a Geological Mystery
Heart Mountain is a unique peak for many reasons. Botanically, it is home to one of the greatest concentrations of rare plants on private property in Wyoming. Geologically, Heart Mountain exists because of what could be one of the largest landslides on earth (still debated). Historically, it was a…
brandon brandon6
TRIP REPORT
The Cascades of Central Oregon capture great quantities of snow over the course of an extended, alpine winter. Mt Bachelor, the shortest and southernmost of the group of five big peaks just west of Bend, averages nearly 40 feet of accumulation annually, but the winter of 2016–2017 was well above…
chaney chaney3
TRIP REPORT
This loop trail was great! We started at the popular Multnomah falls area which was crowded with people. It’s a steep hike over paved trail up to the top off the falls, and packed with people the whole way. But, once we got to the top of the falls we veered off to the unpaved trail and left everyone…
jmuckian jmuckian4
TRIP REPORT
We opted to do hike the old trail up as it was shorter and less popular. This is a steep hike, 4000 feet over 2.5 miles of unmaintained trail. For the most part, the trail isn’t too bad, and easy enough to follow. It’s supposed to be marked with white diamonds along the way, but these are sparsely…
jmuckian jmuckian2
GUIDE
Short Hike to Very Scenic Canyon Overlook
Beside’s the nearby Devils Canyon Overlook, the overlook on Sullivan’s Knob Trail is one of the most scenic points to view Bighorn Canyon. This easy, 1 mile loop skirts around the southern side of Sullivan’s Knob to a very humbling cliff edge. The out-and-back journey takes only 30 minutes or so.…
brandon brandon3
GUIDE
Views of Triangular Island of Limestone
The Ranger’s Delight trail in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a 1 mile long (out-and-back) hike to a rocky viewpoint of Bighorn Canyon. It is gently uphill most of the way, but it is short enough that it only takes a half hour. Long ago, the Bighorn River meandered through an area now…
brandon brandon1
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