I am such a big fan of our national park system, and there is no other social media platform that allows me to visit our national parks better than Instagram. Here is the essential list of national park accounts to follow:

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is 270 miles long, about 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Its trails and views are world famous, and hiking the canyon is on the bucket list of many people. I’ve trekked the South Rim and did a day trip to the North Rim; both are spectacular.

Watch & learn from 25 #pleinair painters during #GrandCanyon Celebration Of Art September 9-16, 2017 (AMERY BOHLING "Waking Dreams" Oil 48×24 inches) go.nps.gov/COA — @grand_canyon_association "The sun rose, stunningly lighting the Grand Canyon, framed with low-hung clouds. I quickly began painting. In a moment, the clouds swallowed up the canyon and the entire view vanished. At best, my painting was a study in white clouds. However, the photos I quickly snapped have continued to provide so much inspiration. This painting is like a waking dream—it represents a brief moment that quickly passes. The beautiful thing about being an artist is we can take a landscape and make it something more, something that represents our memories and dreams." – Amery Bohling

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Most people think of bikinis and beaches when they think about Hawaii, but the Big Island is also home to vast biodiversity, big ocean waves, cultural history, and active volcanoes. Established in 1916, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest shield volcano.

Lava continues to pour into the ocean at Kamokuna in the park. If this is something you’d like to see, be Lava Safe: 1) Be Prepared and 2) Stay out of closed areas. A new lava delta is forming and is now about 3 acres large, and molten lava can be observed along its exposed edges. It’s still faster and a bit easier to enter the park from the Kalapana Lava Viewing area as long as the winds are blowing the gas plume towards the southwest. It’s about a 4.2 mile one-way hike or bike along Chain of Craters-Kalapana gravel road. From the park side, it’s about a 5.5 mile hike, which includes a section of hardened, uneven sharp lava to keep you safe and upwind of the toxic gas plume. NPS Photo taken June 5 by Janice Wei. #GreatOutdoorsMonth #Kilauea #Kamokuna #Kalapana #FindYourPark #LavaSafe

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

There is so much history in this area. In 1890, Sequoia National Park was the first national park formed to protect a living organism: the sequoiadendron giganteum. It is also the nation’s second national park (Yellowstone was the first.)

 

Arches National Park

There is so much I want to say about Arches National Park! I had a chance to visit there in 2015 and it was mind-blowing. Follow their account to see well-known and not-so-well-known areas of the park.

 

Canyonlands National Park

Just like Arches, Canyonlands National Park is located in Moab, Utah. It is a relatively young national park – formed in 1964 – and the views are stunning. It’s four unique districts make for a interesting Instagram feed.

Saturday afternoon rain clouds glide above Green River Overlook.

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National Park Service

According to the NPS site, “On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.”

The NPS Instagram feed often showcases the various parks under its protection, as well as the men and women who are NPS rangers across the country.

 

U.S. Department of the Interior

This official account of the Interior Department is a must-follow if you love our public lands and wildlife. The photos that they share on this feed are jaw-dropping.

 

Olympic National Park

This national park and UNESCO World Heritage site is located west of Seattle. Nearby Mt. Rainier National Park may get more attention, but this Instagram feed will convince you to take a trek westward if you are ever in the Seattle area.

 

Zion National Park

Zion is home to the world famous Angel’s Landing, a strenuous hike with amazing views of the canyon below. If you are a geology, biology, backapcking, or hiking buff, then you’ve found the right feed to follow.

 

National Park Foundation

Although not a national park site, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of the National Park Service. Their fundraising helps to promote and protect the 417 sites under the purview of the NPS.

 

Gracie the Bark Ranger

Why follow? Because dogs.

As the summer season heats up, #barkrangergracie asks everyone to remember to respect park wildlife by enjoying them from a distance. You may have heard that the popular Avalanche Creek Trail is temporarily closed. Over the past week, the park has received reports of up to six different grizzly bears coming close to people in the Avalanche area. The bears are showing signs of habituation, meaning they appear more comfortable around humans than is natural. On Saturday, rangers received a credible report of a group of people nearly completely surrounding a grizzly bear along Avalanche Lake, causing the bear to swim out into the lake to create distance between itself and the crowd. If you are lucky enough to see a bear in the park, please help protect it by backing away, instead of moving closer. This will help reinforce natural bear behavior and keep both people and bears safe. Remember–wildlife may not know better, but YOU do! Give them room: Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and 25 yards away from all other wildlife. #givethemroom #keepwildlifewild #spreadtheword @glaciernps @glacierconservancy #barkranger #glaciernps #glacier #glaciernationalpark #wildlifesafety #bearsafety #wildlifeworkingdog #bluemerlebordercollie #workingbordercollie #dogswithjobs #workingdogsofinstagram

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Bonus: Bureau of Land Management

A sister agency to NPS under the Department of Interior umbrella, the BLM protects 258 million acres of public land. Similar to the NPS account, this feed often features some stunning shots from their many public recreation areas.

Massive Navajo sandstone domes and fins, steep cliffs, and natural arches erupt out of the desert landscape within Utah's Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area. Sixty percent of the area, which is near Moab, is barren of vegetation with the remainder in juniper and desert shrubs. The extreme topography makes cross-country foot travel very challenging, yet possible. The highly scenic rock fins traversing the wilderness study area are popular subjects for photographers. Behind the Rocks offers amazing views of the La Sal mountains and is nearby to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. For those who prefer to catch their scenery at a little faster pace, there are plenty of nearby mountain biking trails and off-highway vehicle routes. Photo by Bob Wick #bureauoflandmanagement #utah #moab #behindtherocks #recreation #geology #mountainbiking #OHV #topography #desert #scenic #photography #getoutside #visitutah #utahrocks

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