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Denali's singular 92-mile (148-kilometer) road leads visitors through its majestic valleys toward the towering Denali, the crown jewel of the park.
Climbing Denali, North America’s highest peak, is a daunting task for even the most experienced mountaineers at Denali National Park in Alaska.
Other North American parks have their wildlife, but none has animals so visible or diverse as Denali. Many Denali-bound travelers use the Alaska Railroad, which drops visitors off at the entrance to the park. Grizzly bears are easily identifiable by their distinctive shoulder humps and long-clawed front paws.
Winter visitors to Denali National Park are sometimes treated to a viewing of the aurora borealis, or northern lights, seen here beaming down above the Chugach Mountains south of the park.
Nimble-footed and fearless, Dall sheep, the world's only species of wild white sheep, cling to upper ridges and steep slopes throughout Denali.
The Park Loop Road of Acadia National Park is a gently graded, two-lane blacktop winding through dense woodland and along rocky shoreline to the top of 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, with 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Maine coast.
This loop begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center near Frenchman Bay, first explored by Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Continue for 1 mile to the Champlain Mountain Overlook, offering a magnificent panorama of the Gouldsboro Hills, Frenchman Bay, and the tip of Schoodic Peninsula. A mile past the stables, stop at Jordan Pond House for a meal or the century-old tradition of tea on the lawn. Be Safe: Exploring tide pools can be great fun, but never turn your back on the ocean as large rogue waves can occur without warning. Motorcyclist Memo: Ocean breezes and occasional fog can often make temps chilly enough to require donning extra layers. Get inspired for your next epic American road trip with guides, tips, and more from National Geographic.
The summer road trip is an American rite of passage, but for Don George, a meandering adventure through the French countryside with a colorful companion left the most lasting mark. When our children were teens, we undertook a three-week trek by Greyhound bus and rental car through the national parks of the Southwest; this four-wheel adventure taught them that the forbidding–The bus? But the road trip that comes back to me most poignantly each time the weather turns warm is a journey I made though France the summer after I graduated from college. I joined him in Pontarlier, and we climbed into his luxury Peugeot and set south for Marseille. So he idled us south, stretching what today could be a 10-hour highway drive into a multiple-day moveable feast by taking the most scenic–and snail’s-paced–country lanes, stopping at great restaurants whenever the mood struck him, which was often, and discoursing lovingly and at length on everything from language to politics to women.
I recall that journey now as a collage of images—long, straight, tree-bordered roads and Van Gogh fields, Renoir afternoons of dappled sunlight and shade, rocky restaurant patios bordered with bright flowers, laughter and the clink of glasses and the music of French filling the air. I remember drinking a great deal of what seemed to my uneducated nose and mouth to be extraordinarily flavorful red wine—I even remember the full-bodied fumes rising as I tipped the glass toward me, the pungent swish of it in my mouth, and the silkiness as it caressed my throat. I can still taste the steak and frites we had on the vine-latticed terrace of a place in Avignon, where the owner greeted Mr.
And on another sunny patio, we were served the most sumptuous salad I had ever seen: an extravagant concoction of greens, plump tiny tomatoes, grated carrots, black olives, slices of hard-boiled eggs, sardines, tuna and probably a dozen other ingredients as well.
Somewhere between Lyon and Avignon he told me that all of the greatest writers were French, and the greatest painters, too; that there was something in the French blood and countryside—here he waved his hand expansively at the passing fields—that produced men of extraordinary intelligence and talent. In Travels with Charley (1962), John Steinbeck describes a journey undertaken in 1960 with his French poodle, Charley, from New York to Maine and across to California (including a stop in his salad-day stomping grounds of Monterey), then east through Texas and the Deep South before returning home, to Long Island. Delightful story, and evoking my own memories of my first road trip south, meandering from Eastern Switzerland to the South of France, albeit in my own company.

Thomas Jefferson referred to Lake George, the Queen of American Lakes, as the most beautiful water he ever saw.
But for a sensor platform moored alongside the DFWI dock, the view harkens back to Thomas Jefferson’s time.
Scientists conducting research on Lake George as part of the Jefferson Project are using high-tech sensor platforms. For example, “runoff and circulation models in development will show us how road salt is transported and how it moves through the lake,” says Harry Kolar, distinguished engineer at IBM and the company’s lead on the Jefferson Project. Each winter, some 9,000 tons of road salt, or 13 tons per lane mile, are applied to Lake George watershed roads. Although road salt, or sodium chloride, is the most widely used substance to treat snowy, icy roads, alternatives are on the horizon.
Calibrated snowplow spreaders and road temperature sensors can reduce the amount of salt applied to roads, states the 2014 LGA report Lake George Winter Road Maintenance: Best Practices Initiative for Water Quality Protection.
Some Lake George-area highway departments have switched to Magic Salt, salt that’s treated with liquid magnesium chloride and an agricultural by-product.  Magic Salt works at temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a standard asphalt street, Beach Road at Lake George’s southern end has been repaved using porous materials to reduce runoff into the lake. It’s day’s end, and the first rays of sunset are crossing Beach Road.  A mile offshore, in half-sun and half-shade, a Jefferson Project sensor platform watches over a darkening bay.  Will it – along with Magic Salt, pervious pavement and whatever the queen’s subjects might proffer – be enough to keep her right as rain? Keeping watch over the health of Lake George: a Jefferson Project sensor platform as the Sun begins to set. National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices.
Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities. Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work. Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi. With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa. In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave. This previously unpublished photo was taken during a backcountry expedition through Yellowstone, which was covered in "Yellowstone at 100: A Walk Through the Wilderness," written by sister-brother team Karen and Derek Craighead for the May 1972 issue of National Geographic. This original 1872 William Henry Jackson photograph from the Hayden Survey collection of the U.S.
Night falls around what was then Ranger Gary Brown's home.—Originally published in "Yellowstone Wildlife in Winter," National Geographic magazine, November 1967Today, this structure serves as the Lamar Ranger Station, which provides housing for the Lamar ranger and emergency visitor services. Nuns are among the tourists visiting Yellowstone's famed Fountain Paint Pots in this never-before-published 1971 photo.Click here for information on the Fountain Paint Pots Nature Tour. Less adventurous visitors can look for the park's “Big Five” animals: moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. Aggressive bull moose often spar with their antlers during breeding season while fighting for females, called cows. In summer, the railroad runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks and stops daily at the Denali railroad station. Solitary creatures, the omnivorous bears usually roam by themselves—except for grizzly mothers, usually accompanied by their rambunctious young. South of Buttermilk Road in Trenton, watch for rare moose and other diverse wildlife inside the Trenton Interior, where seasonal deer hunting is permitted.

As you leave, look back to the left toward Thrumcap Island, a rookery for gulls and cormorants.
When seas run high, huge waves rush into a narrow slot in the rocks, forcing air trapped at the back of the chasm to compress and make a thundering sound. Four miles beyond, turn right off the main road to ascend the 3.5 miles to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard north of Brazil. Rockefeller, Jr., built 45 miles of gravel roads on Mount Desert Island that can now be enjoyed on foot, bike, and even by horse-drawn carriage.
This is partly because the summer road trip is one of those life-defining rites of passage, at least for Americans, and partly because it’s the season in which my most memorable road trips have taken place. I had just finished a seasonal job in Paris and was slowly making my way to Greece, where I was to live and teach for a year at Athens College. I was getting a ride to the Cote d’Azur—which danced all blue-green sea and sun-bright sand in my mind—in the air-conditioned comfort of a posh Peugeot, and receiving a first-class education in French cuisine, and all for free!
But it is not wise—in fact, it is a tragic mistake!—to fall in love with one, because she will inevitably break your heart,” he concluded and then plunged the lettuce like wanton memories into his mouth.
That was the year the world came to vibrant life for me, and riding in a luxurious car talking about Giscard and Monet, French flings and Rabelais, was as much a part of that education as being unexpectedly invited to dinner at the Tour d’Argent had been a month earlier, or as sleeping among the columns at the Temple of Poseidon would be a month later. Northeast, transportation officials realized they had to do more than just plow streets.  As roads were cleared of snow and ice, the exposed pavement retained melted snow that refroze into ice. Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016. The day is perhaps not far off when large number of visitors, bundled up in snowmobiles, will see much more of the park's winter beauty. On Thomas and Thompson Islands, explore wildlife and tidal pools while watching for boats and planes launching from Northeast Creek. A mile past Thunder Hole, near the pink granite Otter Cliff, explore the tidal pools an hour or two before low tide at Otter Point. And on my own in Japan, I managed to get thoroughly and delightfully lost on the island of Shikoku–on two separate occasions. From November through March, cars, trains and buses in cold climes are covered in a spray of white: road salt. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. When that day comes, fleets of steel-treaded half-tracks will rumble across a land that once knew only the snowshoes of Indians and trappers."This is the first time this photo has been published. Pease was an agent for the Crow Native American tribe, and his namesake, Fort Pease, constructed in 1875, was the first attempted European settlement of the Yellowstone Valley—Native Americans had already been living there for 11,000 years. Like many Frenchmen, he also fancied himself something of a philosopher, and what could be better for a philosophe manque than a young, attentive, and captive listener?
Some are still active, deep in the golden gorge."—Originally published in "Fabulous Yellowstone," National Geographic magazine, June 1940This photo was taken using Kodachrome film. Wildwood Stables, 4.5 miles past Otter Point, offers wagon rides on some of the 57 miles of wide, gravel Carriage Roads begun by John D. Jackson was a photographer for the survey from 1870 to 1878."Photographs of the miraculous—of bubbling cauldrons, clockwork geysers, and bridal-veil falls—helped convince Congress in 1872 to set aside a Wyoming wilderness larger than Delaware.

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