Forget Yellowstone

Yosemite and Yellowstone are beautiful… and way overcrowded. Why not go for a hike in one of America’s least-visited parks instead, where you’re more likely to see a bear, moose or ‘champion tree’ than another human?

Sockeye salmon jump in front of two adult Brown Bears standing at the top of Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

A secluded tropical sand beach and fringing reef in the Samoa National Park in Ofu Island, American Samoa. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Bald Cypress and willows on a foggy morning. Bates Old River, Congaree National Park, South Carolina. Photograph: Jeff Cypress/Alamy Stock Photo.

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, USA. Photograph: Marek Zuk/Alamy Stock Photo

See more here.

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#mypubliclandsroadtrip stops at Pine Forest Range Wilderness in Northern Nevada for solitude and stargazing.  

The area is an island in the sky rising almost 6,000 feet above the desert floor to peaks that top out at just below 10,000 feet.  The range has been glaciated, and has several cirque lakes which are very uncommon in the Great Basin.  The 4WD access route travels through huge patches of aspen interspersed with meadows. Whitebark and Limber Pine cover the peaks giving the area its name. This part of Nevada is as dark as anywhere in the continental U.S. so the Milky Way is very visible.

Photos by Bob Wick and Rita Ayers, BLM

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Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service!

As a part of NPS’s anniversary celebration, admission fees will be waived at parks across the country from August 25 to 28. Other admission-free dates in 2016 include September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

In case you need further inspiration to get outside, the NPS shared a list of ways to #FindYourPark in 2015, which includes apt advice to “take a sunrise selfie.”

If you can’t make it out to a national park soon, you can view a live stream of Old Faithful, which erupts every 35 to 120 minutes, from your desk. There’s also a live stream of sled dog puppies at Denali National Park. The Yosemite Conservancy has a live stream of Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in North America. Explore.org hosts a live stream of brown bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. And, the Statue of Liberty has a camera — the torch cam — sponsored by the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation. 

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If you’re looking for a place to escape the world, try Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area for a #mypubliclandsroadtrip.

The 32,936-acre Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area in Wyoming is located in the Sublette Mountain Range, which forms the entire WSA.  The mountains and steep terrain create a barrier of sorts with solitude all around.

The area is dominated by the Twin Creek formation, with elevations ranging from 6,250 to 9,313 feet. It serves as habitat for several big game species including elk, mule deer and moose. Huff, Raymond, Coal and Thomas Fork creeks support a healthy fish population dominated by genetically pure Bonneville cutthroat trout.

The Raymond Mountain WSA’s relatively large size, diversity and rugged terrain offer visitors opportunities for hunting, primitive camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, sightseeing and a chance to get away from it all!