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Celebrate 100 Years of National Parks With These Stunning Photos

The National Park Service turns 100 this year (the centennial is technically August 25, but we're blowing up the balloons a little early) and we've gotta say, the many parks under their care are looking pretty incredible for their age. To ring in this year of celebration, we've pored over the Instagram account for the U.S. Department of the Interior to find 21 of the most beautiful shots from National Parks all over the country. Here they are in totally random, not preferential order (we love all our national parks equally). 

1. CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH

2. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZONA

3. ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH

4. CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, OREGON

5. SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, VIRGINIA 

6. ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE

7. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

8. GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, NEVADA 

9. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO

10. MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON

11. GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, ALASKA

12. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, NORTH CAROLINA AND TENNESSEE

13. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING 

14. OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON

15. DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA

16. GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

17. BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO

18. GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING 

19. REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS, CALIFORNIA

20. DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

21. ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK, MICHIGAN

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iStock
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environment
Sequoia Sent to Idaho by John Muir Will Be Uprooted and Moved Two Blocks
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iStock

Around 1912, naturalist/explorer/national parks advocate John Muir sent four sequoia seedlings to a forester friend in Boise, Idaho. Only one of those trees still remains in the city today, and after standing in the same spot for a century, it’s about to get a change of scenery.

As the Associated Press reports, St. Luke’s Health System is spending $300,000 to move the sequoia two blocks away to make room for the expansion of a hospital. Weighing 800,000 pounds and towering 10 stories above the ground, the workers tasked with moving the tree have their work cut out for them. The relocation project will start the afternoon of Friday, June 23 with the tree company lifting the six-foot thick trunk from the ground and placing it onto a rig of inflatable, rolling tubes. The tree will begin its two-block journey at midnight Saturday and is expected to arrive at its new home on city property 12 hours later.

The company has never transported a tree this size, but they estimate their chances of success to be 95 percent. If the tree doesn’t survive the trip, the city will lose a piece of its history. St. Luke’s realized this when laying out their construction plans—hospital spokeswoman Anita Kissée told the AP that cutting it down “was never an option.”

While sequoias have evolved to withstand fire and disease, laying down roots in a new place is sure to put stress on the behemoth. The relocation crew plans to transplant the soil currently supporting the roots as well to increase the tree's likelihood of surviving for centuries to come.

[h/t AP]

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Michael Smith / Getty Images
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Spend an Hour Watching Yellowstone National Park
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Michael Smith / Getty Images

As spring roars on, vacation season seems far away. But if you've got YouTube access, you can bring a taste of Yellowstone National Park home. In the video below, we see an hour of slow, beautifully photographed shots from the park, along with sound. It's basically a combination relaxation/nature video.

Before you get to tune in, a few quick facts. Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, and was the first national park in the United States. It has been inhabited by Native Americans for about 11,000 years. And it sits atop a giant volcano.

Enjoy:

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