U.S. national parks rank among the most beautiful places on Earth. Yosemite, for example, fascinated Ansel Adams so profoundly, that the inventor of the zone system spent years hauling heavy medium format and large format cameras over difficult terrain, just to capture its breathtaking landscapes on film. However, the time of staying in close touch with nature seems to be over. Over the last years, national parks have experienced steadily declining visitor figures – no doubt a side effect of our urbanized and interconnected society.
To reverse this trend, the U.S. Department of the Interior is trying to engage young people online – where they spend most of their time – and convince them of the national parks’ beauty. Insofar it only seems weird at first glance, that recently the Department of the Interior has begun operating an Instagram account of its own and posting top-notch landscapes, captured in all 58 national parks. I’ve embedded just a few photos down below, to give you a foretaste of what awaits you on Instagram.
#Sequoia and #KingsCanyon National Parks in #California are home to some of the oldest trees in the world, and they are a sight to behold. Pictured here are the giant sequoias at the #GrantGrove. The area was first established as General Grant #NationalPark in 1890 to protect the giant sequoias. Photo courtesy of Ed Cooper (@ed_cooper_photography).
#GrandStaircase-Escalante #NationalMonument in #Utah is otherworldly, with vast landscapes of canyons, winding rugged backways and balanced rocks. Pictured here is the monument's #Toadstools — stone caps of Dakota Sandstone protecting the softer sandstone create amazing hoodoos. David Lane created this stunning multi-image panorama of the area with the #MilkyWay above and radiating bands of red and green airglow visible. While Page, #Arizona, is nearly 50 miles south of the monument (and a soft, barely discernible light to the naked eye), the long exposure of David's camera captured the light more vividly. Photo courtesy of David Lane.
With over 1,600 photos on the account, a visit is worthwhile in any case.