Below are links to websites that can help you enjoy nature.



American Park Ratings, Visitation, and the Best Times to Visit

Ratings of American parks by Consumer Reports and in an interactive map with photos and links


U.S. national parks ranked by annual visitation


Best times to visit popular North American national parks, according to publisher Lonely Planet



U.S. Federal Agencies That Administer Public Lands

National Park Service - This agency features many of the best and most popular American parks.


U.S. Forest Service - This agency administers national forests, which include some outstanding parks, such as Washington’s Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Colorado’s Maroon Bells Scenic Area.


Bureau of Land Management - The bureau is responsible for many public lands that typically have fewer facilities. Prime examples would be New Mexico’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and Utah’s Corona Arch, which graces the cover of Go Outside and Come Back Better.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - This agency manages wildlife refuges, like Virginia’s Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.



Native American Parks

Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation - Some of the most spectacular sights in the desert Southwest, like Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, can be found within the Navajo Nation.


Havasupai Indian Reservation - Home to Havasu Canyon and Havasu Falls, near Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.



Private Nonprofit Organizations That Open Their Lands to the Public

The Nature Conservancy - This organization preserves many special places, like Bear Rocks Preserve in West Virginia.


National Audubon Society - This organization conserves habitats for birds and other wildlife. An example is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida.



Outside the United States

Parks Canada - More great scenery can be found north of the border.





U.S. Government’s Outdoor Recreation Website - Find places to see, reserve a tour or campsite, and more.


Sun and moon - If you’re photographing the sun or the moon, you can know exactly where they’ll be and when.
U.S. Naval Observatory's Sun/Moon Altitude & Azimuth Calculator


NOAA's magnetic declination tools - If you’re going to use a compass, you’ll need to know the difference in angle between magnetic north and true north.


NOAA's tide predictions - Explore life in the intertidal zone.







Weather and Altitude

Heat-related illness



High-altitude safety



Black bears

Black and grizzly bears (Yellowstone)

Safety videos for bears, bison, and elk (Yellowstone)

Mountain lions



Spiders, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

Spiders and insects

Best ways to control mosquitoes and ticks

Best insect repellent (Consumer Reports)



Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac




Hiking trail reports from across the U.S.

Hiking information for US states, regions, or parks: - Around Las Vegas, Nevada - Arizona - Connecticut - Western North Carolina - Glacier National Park, Montana - Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - Texas - Washington

Travel and park information for the Southwest




NOAA's accumulated precipitation maps - See how much water the waterfalls have to work with - Waterfalls in Oregon, Washington, Idaho - Waterfalls in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee - Waterfalls in primarily the states and Canadian provinces around the Great Lakes - Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Mass., N.Y., Oregon, Washington, western Canada



Fall Foliage

The Weather Channel's typical peak fall foliage maps

The Foliage Network's fall foliage reports for the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest




U.S. Forest Service - Celebrating Wildflowers

DesertUSA wildflower reports from the desert Southwest



Night Sky

Dark sky map


University of Alaska Fairbanks aurora forecast

NOAA's aurora forecast