Kluane National Park
What looks here like an ice road for 50-foot-tall truckers is really Kaskawulsh Glacier in Canada's Kluane National Park. This corner of the Yukon is home to the largest ice field on Earth outside of the poles, with the slow, steady flow of more than 2,000 glaciers continually carving these vast canyons amid the peaks.
Speaking of peaks, glance up and you'll see the Yukon is also paradise for mountain lovers. And Kluane is its pinnacle, literally: Located within the park is Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada (and second-highest on the continent after Alaska's Denali).
Glowworm caves in Australia
Down under the land in the Land Down Under, cave explorers may find these subterranean spaces illuminated by an unlikely light source. Fungus gnat larvae—more affectionately known as glowworms—speckle the walls and ceilings of caverns here in Australia during the warm season from December to March. To humans they're hypnotizingly harmless and add a little otherworldly charm to the caves in such places as Blue Mountains National Park, as seen in our photo. But if you're a fly or mosquito, beware! Glowworms dangle tiny, sticky silk strands that ensnare winged insects flying toward what looks like a starry night sky, but is in fact the cave ceiling, covered in glowworms, patiently waiting to reel in a deceived fly.
Petrified Forest National Park
The burliest lumberjack with the best-oiled chainsaw couldn't slice the massive 'timbers' found in Petrified Forest National Park. So why are these giant stone logs segmented in such symmetrical stumps?
Each of these smooth splits occurred in an instant as the brittle quartz cracked under geologic pressure. But each of those instants was eons in the making. First, 225 million years ago, the trees were buried by torrents of river silt. Then mineral deposits slowly seeped into the trees and replaced the decaying wood. Much later, around 60 million years ago, the entire Colorado Plateau began shifting, generating crushing forces that finally divided the petrified logs.
The fossilized trees, surrounding land, and the many plants and animals that live here have enjoyed protection since December 8, 1906, when President Theodore Roosevelt created Petrified Forest National Monument. It was designated as a national park in 1962, lending still greater protection.
A Welsh wonder turns 70
Here on the west coast of Great Britain, we're enjoying views of the windswept uplands and jagged peaks that surround the small village of Capel Curig in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. Renowned for its rugged and mountainous landscape, Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales and home to over 26,000 people—and even more sheep—the wooly farm animals outnumber people three to one in Wales. About 60% of the park's population speak Welsh, one of Europe's oldest languages, and today they will be wishing this spectacular setting a 'pen-blwydd hapus' (happy birthday) as Snowdonia celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Established on October 18, 1951 as the first national park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts nine mountain ranges that cover just over half the park's 823 square miles. Its most popular peak is Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in the local Welsh tongue), the tallest mountain in Wales and England, which you can see in the background of our photo. At 3,560 feet, Snowdon is one of 15 mountains within the park that top 3,000 feet, and they're clustered close enough together to make it possible to reach all 15 summits within 24 hours, a challenge known as the Welsh 3000s.
Vibrant colours of Fall
This majestic view of the Wapizagonke Lake encapsulates the spirit of autumn through the vibrant display of colours. Located between Québec City and Montréal, La Mauricie National Park is a site for all types of nature lovers. The park offers activities such as hiking, kayaking, paddling, bird watching, ice climbing and even star gazing. With more than 150 lakes and home to one of the oldest mountain ranges – the Laurentian Mountains - La Mauricie National Park is a destination filled with spectacular vistas all-year-round.
Between the Lakes and the Dales
Nestled between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, the smooth rounded shapes and steep gills (ravines) of the Howgill Fells capture an eye-catching pattern of light and shade. These ancient hills, formed more than 400 million years ago, have remained a largely settlement-free zone, uncrossed by roads and untouched by development. Trees are scarce on the high ground, where sheep and wild ponies graze and small streams tumble down dark, narrow gullies and the panoramic views from the fells are a sight worth climbing for. The highest point is the top of The Calf, at 2,218ft (676m), from where hikers can enjoy a 20-mile skyline of the Lakeland peaks, the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the nearer Howgill peaks.
Part of the range sits within Yorkshire Dales National Park, although they are actually in the county of Cumbria. The Howgill Fells’ striking appearance was perhaps best summed up by the famed fell walker and guide book author A. Wainwright as “sleek and smooth, looking from a distance like velvet curtains in sunlight, like silken drapes at sunset … a remarkable concentration of summits often likened to a huddle of squatting elephants”.
When Death Valley blew its top
Deep below Death Valley's charred surface, blazing hot magma once gushed up through a geologic fault until it hit groundwater. The magma quickly turned the water to steam, and like a defective subterranean pressure cooker, the Earth's crust blew its top in a ferocious explosion. The hydrovolcanic eruption sent up a mushroom cloud of steam and spewed burnt volcanic cinders for miles. It also left the giant crater seen in this photo and 12 smaller ones spread across the surface.
The Ubehebe Crater (pronounced you-bee-HEE-bee) is a half-mile across and more than 700 feet deep. Geologically speaking, Ubehebe and the other craters here are quite young. A 2016 study concluded that the craters were all formed in a relatively brief series of explosions—a period of days or weeks—about 2,100 years ago. Another eruption could happen, but visitors need not worry about the ground below their feet—seismometers in the region will alert geologists in advance of any future volcanic unrest. A trail around the rim of the crater offers views of the colorful layers of stone along the walls. Adventurous hikers can descend to the bottom, but it's a long slog back out again, especially on a sweltering summer day.
Ubehebe火山口（发音为you bee HEE bee）宽半英里，深700多英尺。从地质学的角度来说，乌贝赫比和这里的其他陨石坑都很年轻。2016年的一项研究得出结论，这些陨石坑都是在相对短暂的一系列爆炸中形成的——大约2100年前的几天或几周时间。另一次火山喷发可能会发生，但游客不必担心脚下的地面。该地区的地震仪将在未来的火山动荡之前提醒地质学家。沿着火山口边缘的小径可以看到沿着墙壁的彩色石层。喜欢冒险的徒步旅行者可以爬到水底，但要想再次爬出来还需要很长时间，尤其是在炎热的夏天。
This 'reef' is nowhere near the sea…
…nor the US Capitol building it's named for. Utah's Capitol Reef National Park—first established as a national monument this day in 1937—is named for its massive rock domes that reminded explorers of that famous rotunda back in Washington, DC. Why Capitol 'Reef,' though? Because the imposing formations were a major obstacle to travelers through the region, the same way a coral reef is an obstacle to sailors.
This section of the park, Cathedral Valley, is dotted with monoliths that differ from the namesake domes, instead featuring sheer, jagged walls. While most of the park rests on a steeply warped section of Earth's crust, Cathedral Valley is relatively flat—so rather than carving out gently sloping domes, water erosion here has tended to cut deep, narrow recesses down the rock faces.
Working for that cliffside view
Maine's Acadia National Park serves up spectacular views at most every turn. But the park's Otter Cliffs on Mount Desert Island offer the adventurous among us a chance to take in the picturesque Atlantic shoreline from the edge of a sheer granite wall. Rising some 60 feet above the crashing waves below, the cliffs are shown here at low tide—when the tide is up, that ledge at the bottom is completely submerged.
The spot's become one of New England's premier climbing destinations, with routes beloved by experts and beginners alike. Climbers begin by either rappelling down the cliff or being lowered from the top. The heart races at the bottom, as waves crash against the seawall right below the climber's shoes and ocean spray makes the first few hand- and footholds slippery. From there, the only way out is up, back to the top of this stunning crag and the cap to a thrilling ascent.