Your national forests and grasslands are 193 million acres of vast, scenic beauty waiting for you to discover. Visitors who choose to recreate on these public lands find more than 150,000 miles of trails, 10,000 developed recreation sites, 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, and specially designated sites that include 9,100 miles of byways, 22 recreation areas, 11 scenic areas, 439 wilderness areas, 122 wild and scenic rivers, nine monuments, and one preserve. And remember, “It’s All Yours.”
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River.
The Giant Sequoia National Monument was designated by President William Jefferson Clinton in April 2000. The Monument now encompasses 328,315 acres. The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is the world's largest tree. It grows naturally only in a narrow 60-mile band of mixed conifer forest on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan was completed in August 2012.
Turquoise pools and steep sided sink holes await hikers on the short, scenic Sinkhole Trail through the Leon Sinks Geological Area. Follow the path of the powerful underground waterways that formed this uncommon landscape. Years of rain and groundwater dissolved the underlying limestone bedrock creating underground caves which form the unique karst terrain.
Find solitude, awe-inspiring views, a quiet haven away from the crowd and the opportunity to feel what it’s like to live in a fire lookout. Experience it all at the top of Bear Basin Butte (elevation 5,303 feet) through the rental of a historic fire lookout and a new 1930s style cabin.
Away from the glow of city lights, the vast dark skies above the Cleveland National Forest offer a perfect venue for stargazing. On clear nights, dozens of people gather at Observatory Campground on Palomar Mountain in southern California and turn their gazes skyward during monthly “Explore the Stars” events. The free star parties are offered one weekend a month from April through October.