We have an Instagram account you’re going to want to start following today: the U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior). The department’s Instagram feed is filled with incredible images of America: national parks, wilderness refuges, recreation areas and more. From colorful landscapes to up-close encounters with the local wildlife, this Instagram account will give you your daily fix of nature’s bounty in the U.S. Want to see for yourself? Take a look at some of the department’s 2014 Instagram pics and snag a few insider tips from park rangers and representatives across the country.

 Acadia National Park, Maine

“Between Oct. 7 and March 6 every year, the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the first place in the United States where people can see the sun rise.”
-Wanda Moran, Park Ranger

Joshua Tree National Park, California


“We speak for the trees and all that is found here!”


-From Joshua Tree National Park


Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado


Zion National Park, Utah


“Endangered species, like this baby Mexican spotted owl, find sanctuary in the slot canyons of Zion National Park.”


-Michael Large, Zion National Park


We’re going to assume you all will enjoy a photo of a baby Mexican spotted owl to end the day from @ZionNPS. #Utah A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

“Evening views of the Watchman and the Virgin River along Zion National Park’s Pa’rus Trail have appealed to photographers and hikers alike since the trail was built in 1993.” -Michael Large, Zion National Park


Kilauea Point Natural Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii


Glacier National Park, Montana


Lake Clark National Park, Alaska


From all of us at the Department of the Interior and NPS (including this grizzly bear), we want to thank you for the kind words about the National Park Service 98th birthday today. Here is our second photo celebrating the national parks and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Wilderness act on September 3rd. This bear is in Lake Clark National Park, a land of stunning beauty where volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes, and local people and culture still depend on the land and water of their home. Solitude is found around every bend in the river and shoulder of a mountain. Venture into the park to become part of the wilderness. Photo: Kevin Dietrich ( A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

“Midway Geyser Basin is the home of Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the park’s largest hot spring. It measures approximately 370 feet in diameter and is over 121 feet deep. A description of this spring by fur trapper Osborne Russell in 1839 also makes it the earliest described thermal feature in Yellowstone that is definitely identifiable.” -Amy Bartlett, Yellowstone National Park

A visitor enjoying both rain and a sunset in Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Manish Mamtani (

A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on


Yosemite National Park, California



Pelican Island, Florida


Today marks the 111th anniversary of the establishment of America’s first national wildlife refuge, Pelican Island, and the entire USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) went from protecting one five-acre refuge (now over 5400 acres) in 1903, to currently protecting over 560 national wildlife refuges consisting of 150 million acres of the best fish and wildlife habitat in the world for visitors to enjoy. National wildlife refuges are where wildlife come first to ensure future generations have opportunities to develop a special connection with the natural world. Have you visited your refuge lately? Photo: Andrea Westmoreland. #wildlife #wildliferefuge #refuges #pelicanisland #pelicans #pelican #conservation #travel #animals #birds #birding #birdwatching #nature #naturelovers #instanature #instacool #instagood #instalike #instadaily #history #florida #travel #love #like #bestoftheday #picoftheday #photooftheday #photography   A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Snake River, Idaho

Gliding through mountains, canyons, meadows, and the vast farmlands of the Snake River plains, lined with commanding cottonwood galleries and a lush shrub understory, the Snake River Corridor is truly a beautiful and unique destination. The area offers diverse recreational opportunities with over 300,000 visits per year and sustains a broad variety of plant, fish, bird and wildlife populations. It is also home to the federally threatened Ute ladies’ tresses orchid and is a world-famous blue ribbon fishery, supporting the largest wild Yellowstone cutthroat trout population outside of Yellowstone National Park. The first World Fly Fishing Championship in North America was even hosted here in 1997. Thanks in part to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) this area will continue to be preserved and enjoyed. Photo copyright: Leland Howard. A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on


Redwood National Park, California


Mount Rainier, Washington


Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona 

“Emerald Cave is a hidden gem along Lake Mohave in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Tucked along the landscape near river mile 54 on the Arizona side of the lake, the unassuming cave becomes remarkable at certain times of the day. In the early afternoon, light reflects just right to create a green glow, making it a popular destination for paddlers.”

-Christie Vanover, Public Affairs Officer

Happy National Get Outdoors Day! Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are again teaming up to host the 7th annual National Get Outdoors Day to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. Today these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors. To learn more about events in your area today, visit Photo from Lake Mead National Recreation Area by Cheryl Hobbs ( A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia


Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in #Virginia. Photo: Tyrone Singletary A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan



Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Alabama Hills Recreation Area, California


Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona


Max Seigal took this stunning photo of “The Wave” in Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. #Arizona A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Great Basin National Park, Nevada


Arches National Park, Utah


“Many national parks, like Arches National Park, preserve dark night skies by limiting light pollution. On a clear night in the summer, a hiker beneath Delicate Arch can see as many as 8,000 stars with the naked eye.”


-Ranger Kait Thomas


The Milky Way over Arches National Park in #Utah. A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

  (Featured image: usgeologicalsurvey)

About the author

Marissa WillmanMarissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.

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