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Parks

Mount Rushmore
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Badlands National Park

The rugged beauty of the Badlands in South Dakota draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient horses and rhinos once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today. per NPS
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Trail Ridge Road

In Rocky Mountain National Park, the 48 mile Trail RidgeRoad more than lives up to its advanced billing. Eleven miles of this high highway travel above treeline, the elevation near 11,500 feet where the park's evergreen forests come to a halt. It winds across the tundra's vastness to this high point of 12,183 feet elevation.
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Brian Head

Brian Head, at 11,312 feet, looking down at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
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Long Way Home

This is an 80 mile long road out of Great Basin National Park. We saw only 3 other cars during the drive.
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Death Valley

One of my favorite National Parks.
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Virgin Flow

The Virgin river flows and slowly cuts Zion National Park deeper. It's interesting to look up the canyon walls and see the horizontal marks indicating how high up the river was. Per the National Park Service "Zion was a relatively flat basin near sea level 240 million years ago".
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Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park is a park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab. The park preserves a colorful landscape eroded into numerous canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. Legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12, 1964. Wikipedia
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Gunlock Reservoir

Gunlock Reservoir UT holds snowmelt water for future use downstream. In 2017 the water level got high enough that it overflowed like this for months. There is a large rock dam which is designed to hold back the water whereas this is the natural rock off to one side that acts as the overflow route.
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Salt Lake Utah

The Great Salt Lake is the largest saline lake in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth largest in the world. The 15,000 square miles of various water environments, remote islands and shorelines, with 400,000 acres of wetlands, provide habitat for plants, brine shrimp, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, shorebirds and waterfowl. Birds rely on the lake, a critical link in the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. Every year 10 million birds from 338 different species come to rest, eat and breed during migrations of a thousand miles or more. With the decline of other lakes, GSL is increasingly important to these species.
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The Reef

Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles. US Park Service
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Big Sky Nevada

Gold Butte National Monument. I get out here often because it's close and is full of endless rugged beauty. Wikipedia: The monument consists of 296,937 acres and fills a gap between Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, creating a continuous swath of conserved land and establishing a wildlife corridor. Significant wildlife within the borders of the park include Mojave Desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, and mountain lion, as well as quail and partridge. Important cultural and natural resources include rock art and sandstone formations. Within the park, "weather-chiseled red sandstone is incised with ancient rock art, and the remains of rock shelters and hearths, agave roasting pits and projectile points" may be found.
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Dark Valley

Entered Zion National Park 2 weeks ago just before sunrise. Shuttle bus to the end of the valley where we adjusted our stuff and zipped up our layers. The sun had just kissed the mountain tops but it was very cold on the valley floor. Ignoring the paths we headed down to the bank of the Virgin river which was moving dirty and fast. We hiked along the riverbank almost 8 miles to the lodge, stripping off layers as the sun rose, eventually warming the valley floor.
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Cedar Breaks

Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles, with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet above sea level. Iron oxides provide the reds, oranges and yellows, while manganese oxides provide shades of purple.
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Cedar Breaks National Monument

As seen from about 10,500 feet. This and Bryce Canyon National Park are unusual because the view is usually seen by looking down.
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North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon National Park
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Zion National Park

Utah - Taken at sunset
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Virgin River

Zion National Park
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Red White & Blue

Woke early and things looked unusually bright. Walking outside I realized it had snowed, a very rare event where we live. Grabbed the camera and began taking photos knowing it would melt fast. There was 6-10" on the ground but by 11am it had completely disappeared. The white/red/blue was a wonderful combination while it lasted. Here's the park's description per Utah.com: SNOW CANYON STATE PARK - This place would be a national park in any other state. Located in the red-rock country near St George, in southwestern Utah, this park enjoys mild winter weather and seldom receives snow. The park was named after early Utah leaders Lorenzo and Erastus Snow. It offers some 16 miles of hiking trails, technical rock climbing, biking and horseback riding. It features a very nice campground open year-round. People also enjoy nature studies, wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities galore. All of this is set against a stunning backdrop of towering sandstone cliffs colored red and white. A jumbled of black lava rock caps some ridges and tumbles down hillsides.
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Badlands National Park

Neither the sky nor the landscape had much color that day so I shot it in black & white.
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Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park
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Red & White

Snow covered Navajo Sandstone at 10,700 feet in Cedar Breaks National Monument
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Last colors of the day

Gold Butte National Monument is one of my favorite places because of the remoteness, diversity, colors and quite honestly it is close to where I live. It is especially photogenic, as most things are, in morning or evening light.
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Lake Superior

This waterfall flowed into the lake about a mile downstream. It was in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
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Strange Landscape

Little Finland Nevada looks like took Play Dough, sugar and kale to make a strange hiking destination in the middle of nowhere in the desert.
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Canyonlands

The 527 square mile National park is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado—which carved two large canyons into the Colorado Plateau. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as "the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere."
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Imperial Point

North Rim of the Grand Canyon
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Capital Reef

Capital Reef National Park Utah
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Fort Ord

Fort Ord National Monument, located on the former Fort Ord military base, is currently run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). They protect and manage 44 species of rare plants and animals that call the property home. The 14,000 acre parcel has more than 86 miles of trails that can be explored on foot, bike or on horseback.
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Full Gas Tank?

Death Valley is the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska at 3,422,024 acres. Nearly 1,000 miles of paved and dirt roads provide access to locations both popular and remote. Even so, 93% of the park is protected as officially designated Wilderness. That wild country includes low valley floors crusted with barren salt flats, rugged mountains rising as much as 11,000 feet, deep and winding canyons, rolling sand dunes, and spring-fed oases.
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Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson was built to protect one of the most strategic deepwater anchorages in North America. By fortifying this spacious harbor, the United States maintained an important “advance post” for ships patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida. Nestled within the islands and shoals that make up the Dry Tortugas, the harbor offered ships the chance to resupply, refit, or seek refuge from storms. The location of the Tortugas along one the world’s busiest shipping lanes was its greatest military asset. Though passing ships could easily avoid the largest of Fort Jefferson’s guns, they could not avoid the warships that used its harbor.
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Zion National Park

If you look close you can see the road through the park at the very bottom.
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Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a massive sculpture carved into Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Completed in 1941 under the direction of Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln, the sculpture's roughly 60-ft.-high granite faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
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Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce Canyon National Park is much smaller than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet. Wikipedia
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Bahia Honda State Park

Located about 40 miles North of Key West it's geography was changed during Hurricane Irma. Prior to that it always made the top 10 list for the best beach in the USA. When I visited in December 2021 the access road to the beach was still closed because of the hurricane. The South end of the Key has been restored and is actually better because many buildings and shorelines had to be replaced.
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Sunset lit

Zion National Park
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Kolob Canyons

The Kolob Canyons truly are a unique area of Zion National Park. With soaring peaks of Navajo sandstone, canyon streams and cascading falls, and over 20 miles of hiking trails. NPS
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Virgin River

This river cut Zion National Park. I took this on the deep floor of the canyon in winter.
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Cedar Breaks

The far peak is 11,300 feet. It's accessible by preferably 4WD vehicle a few months a year.
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Zion National Park in Winter

Deep in the valley the sunlight barely made it to the bottom this time of year.
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Canyon Floor Colors

Early Spring in Zion National Park.
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Looking West

From the 10,500' rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah
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Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson is a massive coastal fortress. It is the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas and is composed of over 16 million bricks. The building covers 16 acres. Among United States forts, only Fort Monroe in Virginia and Fort Adams in Rhode Island are larger. The fort is located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, 68 miles west of the island of Key West.
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Red Rock Recreation Area

Utah park with multiple waterfalls and numerous dinosaur prints. You can maybe make out the chiseled foot holds and rope for climbing.
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Joshua Tree in Gold Butte National Monument

Joshua trees are fast growers for a desert species; new seedlings may grow at an average rate of 3 inches per year in their first 10 years, then only about 1.5 per year. The trunk consists of thousands of small fibers and lacks annual growth rings, making determining the tree's age difficult. This tree has a top-heavy branch system, but also what has been described as a "deep and extensive" root system, with roots reaching down to 36 ft. If it survives the rigors of the desert, it can live for hundreds of years; some specimens survive a thousand years. The tallest trees reach about 49 ft. New plants can grow from seed, but in some populations, new stems grow from underground rhizomes that spread out around the parent tree. The first time I "bumped" into one I thought I'd been stabbed thereafter keeping my distance.
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Grafton Settlement

Historic Mormon settlement on the south side of the Virgin River, adjoining orchards and farmland; last occupied in the 1940s. The town contains five original, partly restored buildings plus pieces of iron equipment and other relics. Zion National can be seen in the background.
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Cedar Breaks National Monument

This spot where I took the photo is about 10,500 feet. There's another peak behind me that goes up to 11,300 but the access road is only open for a couple months.
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5 foot hole

In Valley Of Fire State Park in Nevada.
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Coral Pink

While the dunes are estimated to be 10,000 to 15,000 years old, this state park was first opened to the public in 1963. A phenomenon known as the Venturi Effect created the dunes, which is when wind passes through a notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains. It increases velocity through the notch, which erodes the sandstone and carries the grains to the dunes. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is 3,730 acres of sand.
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Interesting colored formations

Nevada's Valley Of Fire State Park
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Glacier National Park

If you haven't visited this park.... bucket list it.
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Arches NP

Arches National Park is in eastern Utah adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles north of Moab. More than 2,000 sandstone arches are located in the park which is the highest density in the world.
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Mesquite Dunes

While sand exists throughout Death Valley, there are very few locations where large dune fields are created. In order to create sand dunes, there must be a source of sand (in this case, the eroding mountains to the north), wind to move that sand, and a barrier to prevent the sand from being blown farther (the mountains to the south). The conditions at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are perfect for the creation of dunes, and while individual grains move, and ripples form, the dune field remains.
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Bahia Honda State Park

The stormy skies made for strong color contrast between water, grass and sand.
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Continental Divide

Rocky Mountain National Park at 10,759 feet.
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Gunlock State Park

Just drove by this earlier today and the water levels are maybe 1/3rd of what's shown here. Water water water...it's a huge deal here in the West.
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Frosty Zion

Utah's Zion National Park is beautiful year round but winter is special with the dusting of snow and very few people.
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Paria Canyon

The Paria Movie Set: This set was located at the bottom of this towering, multi-colored sandstone canyon only a few miles up the Paria River from Paria Sage Casitas. The movie set was used to film western movies such as Sergeants 3 in 1961 and The Outlaw Josey Wales in 1976 as well as TV shows from 1963-1991. As a location, it was used for several episodes of Gunsmoke and Sergeants Three. Those willing to take the bumpy trip will be rewarded with interpretive displays and remarkable canyon views. While the movie set withstood gunfights and saloon brawls, it couldn’t withstand the ravages of nature. Flooding left a 20 foot gully running through the middle of the three-building town. Through a cooperative effort between local volunteers and the BLM, the buildings were dismantled and rebuilt on stable ground.
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Zion is one of the five

Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands: these are Utah‘s five national parks, known for their natural beauty and landscapes that see thousands of visitors each year. They are part of the Grand Circle, the route that includes some of Southwest natural wonders, which is called a circle precisely because it forms an imaginary circle over the territory.
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Sunset Gunlock

Gunlock State park near Ivins Utah
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Cedar Breaks

A National Monument in Utah with an elevation of about 10,500 feet.
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Finland

An area called Little Finland in Gold Butte National Monument is filled with interesting sandstone shapes. For scale, the centerpiece is 10-15' tall.
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Winter Bryce

The snow really adds nice color to the sandstone.
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Joshua Tree Family in Gold Butte National Monument

After a healthy climb in Gold Butte we stood on the edge of a bowl of very colorful rock formations. In the far distance you can see a sliver of (Hoover Dam) Lake Mead.
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Death Valley In Color

Death Valley's cultural history is well-known. At least from 1849 on. That was when a group of emigrants en route to California's gold fields encountered the worst of the valley that they attached the "death" name to. They had set out from Salt Lake City, determined to cross the Great Basin and reach California before winter's snows made the Sierra Nevada impassable. Leaving Salt Lake in October of 1849, they decided to skirt the Sierra Nevada to the south and avoid the snows. Unfortunately, this route took them through today's Death Valley.
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Bryce Canyon National Park

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Bryce National Park

Winter is the best time to visit as it's less crowded and it's prettier with snow.
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One of my favorite Bryce Canyon formations.

Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah
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Virgin River Valley

Zion National Park Utah
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Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks NM is located in the state of Utah near Brian Head which is the highest elevation continuously populated town in the country. Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet. The bristlecone pine, a species of tree that is known as the longest living single organism, can also be found there, with some specimens known to be more than 1600 years old. In the distance, the tall peak is summer accessible by car taking you to an altitude of over 11,000 feet.
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Beautiful Desert Landscape

This is Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. It is one of the most beautiful, accessible and remote places I've found for day trips. It covers 300,000 acres of remote and rugged desert landscape covered in a couple bad roads (by design) rocks of every imaginable color, old mines and many petroglyphs. I've been here and only saw one other person. It's because of this park I bought stronger headlights, air shocks and very tough tires for the truck.
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Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California–Nevada border. It has a diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, as well as the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States. It contains Badwater Basin, the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.
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Death Valley National Park California

If you spend a few days here, you'll think you've experienced about a dozen different planets.
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Bryce Canyon Panorama

Using an extremely wide lens (11mm) I still can't get it all in a photo.
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Death Valley National Park Crater

Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater 600 feet deep and half a mile across.
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Death Valley California

Nations largest National Park. Well worth the visit except in mid summer.
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Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point is an elevated overlook of a colorful, undulating landscape of gullies and mud hills at the edge of the Black Mountains, just a few miles east of Death Valley - from the viewpoint, the flat salt plains on the valley floor are visible in the distance.
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Sunrise White Pocket

National monument in Utah
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Colors of Bryce

Canyon National Park - Utah
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It’s difficult to visually comprehend

when you first peer over the rim of Bryce National Park
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Newspaper Rock

There are petroglyphs all over the Western states but some experts think that this one in Canyonlands National Park, may be similar to a newspaper which is telling a long story.
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Snow Canyon State Park Utah

Here is a partial list of over 130 movies made in this park: Alexander the Great, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jeremiah Johnson, Octopussy, Romancing the Stone, The Electric Horseman, The Flintstones, The FlyBoys, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, Wagon Train (1963 TV),
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Vermillion Cliffs

This is looking at the Vermillion Cliffs which is home to condors. If you followed the road into the distance it will take you to Lee's Ferry before reaching Page AZ. Continuing the journey about 40 miles behind me is the entrance road to the Grand Canyon North Rim.
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Navajo Lake Utah

High altitude lake near Cedar Breaks National Monument
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Niagara Falls

Maiden Of The Mist
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Death Valley CA

This National Park is diverse, massive and beautiful.
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Snow Canyon State Park

Located in Ivins Utah
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Fort Zachary Taylor

Construction of the fort began in 1845 as part of a mid-19th century plan to defend the southeast coast through a series of forts after the War of 1812
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Horicon Marsh Wisconsin

It is the site of both a national and a state wildlife refuge. The silted-up glacial lake is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States
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Key Deer National Wildlife Sanctuary

An endangered species on Big Pine Key FL, this deer can be recognized by its characteristic size, smaller than all other white-tailed deer. Adult males stand about 30 in tall at the shoulder. Adult females (does) have an average height of 26 in at the shoulders.
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Snow Canyon State Park Utah

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Fort Jefferson National Park

Dry Tortugas FL
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Fort Jefferson National Park

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Bahia Honda Florida

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Fort Zachary Tailor

Key West
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Fort Zachary Taylor

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Snow Canyon State Park Utah

Navajo sandstone formation in a more recent stream of lava
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Cedar Breaks National Monument – Utah

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Fort Zachary Taylor

Key West
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Bahia Honda FL

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Bahia Honda FL State Park

Considered to be one of the finest beaches in the world until hurricane Irma came to town. The amount of surf driven sand buried the roads and campgrounds so when repairs are complete it could be even better.
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