Catalina State Park: Sky Island Gem

Catalina State Park_3282

Neighboring the Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park is located at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and offers a variety of hiking trails available for on-foot travelers, bicyclists, and horse riders alike. One of southern Arizona’s numerous Sky Islands, the Santa Catalina Mountains dominate Tucson’s northern skyline. These Sky Islands are small mountain […]

Continue reading


2015 National Park Service Visitation Tops 307 Million

Stretching outward, an army of saguaro cacti waved at me with their massive prickly arms. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Park Service recently certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the most visited national park sites. “The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the […]

Continue reading


The Winds of Organ Pipe: Diverse Sample of the Sonoran Desert

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument_2726

Located 35 miles south of Ajo on Highway 85, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument preserves a diverse and relatively undisturbed sample of the Sonoran Desert. Mountains surround the park on all sides, some near, some distant, with colors changing from one hour to the next. Ninety-five percent of the monument is designated as wilderness area, […]

Continue reading


Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains

Old Baldy Trail_2377

A world-renowned location for bird watching, Madera Canyon is a major resting place for migrating species, while the extensive trail system of the Santa Rita Mountains is easily accessed from the Canyon’s campground and picnic areas. In the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains, one of southeast Arizona’s forested Sky Islands, the cool refuge […]

Continue reading


13 Icons That Describe Arizona

Monument Valley_1907

Try and describe Arizona—its history, geography, and cultures—and a few iconic names and places likely come to mind. At some point, you’ll get around to explaining how people living in Arizona’s deserts survive the scorch of summer. But you probably won’t be able to hide your bliss about what keeps you and other snowbirds returning […]

Continue reading


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Badlands, Canyons, Mountain Peaks & More

The park’s name was derived from that of an early Spanish explorer, Juan Bautista de Anza, who came through in 1774 in search of a land route from Sonora, Mexico, to Spanish settlements along the California coast. The explorer’s name is combined with Borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep that live in the rocky […]

Continue reading


2016 Free Entrance Days at National Parks

The South Rim Drive offers the most dramatic vistas, ending at the most spectacular viewpoint, the overlook of Spider Rock. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

America’s Best Idea—the national parks—is even better when it’s free! The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and everyone is invited to join the party! Every year, the National Parks Service waives normal admission fees on certain special periods, including National Parks Week, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day. The exact number […]

Continue reading


Gulf State Park Enhances Visitor Experience

Located in the City of Gulf Shores on the coast of Alabama, white sun-kissed beaches, surging surf, seagulls, and seashells greet you at Gulf State Park. Inside Gulf State Park there is a championship golf course, new beach pavilion, rental cottages, tennis courts, camp sites, hiking trails, Zip Line, and a fishing pier that is 20-feet […]

Continue reading