David Muench’s Favorite Places
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David Muench’s Favorite Places

March 1, 2006 | By Ibarionex R. Perello, Photography By David Muench
The master photographer shares his personal picks of the country's national parks
Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark, California
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Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark, California

March 1, 2006 | Text And Photography By David Linnig
The out-of-this-world formations of the Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark have been used as a backdrop in a number of science-fiction films. There are about 500 towers of various shapes that reach as high as 140 feet above the base. The formations are the weathered remnants of tufa (a form of calcium carbonate) towers created under water between 10,000 and 80,000 years ago in an ancient lake that’s now dry.
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Unalaska, Alaska
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Unalaska, Alaska

January 1, 2006 | Text And Photography By Chris Linder
Start with a lush volcanic island on the edge of the Bering Sea, add a dash of red foxes, a sprinkling of bald eagles and a healthy helping of emerald hillsides, and you can begin to picture the natural beauty of the Aleutian Island of Unalaska.
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
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Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

December 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Mark Wilcox
Cedar Breaks National Monument is loosely sandwiched between two southwestern Utah national parks—Zion and Bryce Canyon. It towers 2,000 and 4,000 feet above these parks, respectively. The monument lies 22 miles west of Cedar City, Utah, about 60 miles east of Bryce Canyon, and about 80 miles north of Zion.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
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Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

November 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Donna Ikenberry
West Texas is home to one of the state’s finest national parks, where you’ll find the highest point in the Lone Star State. Located about 100 miles east of El Paso, Guadalupe Mountains National Park rests on the New Mexico border. Hike the trails at this national park, photograph its wildflowers, observe its wildlife and, in essence, you’re exploring what once was an undersea reef.
The Connecticut Highlands, Connecticut
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The Connecticut Highlands, Connecticut

October 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Jerry Monkman
Connecticut is primarily known for its seaports, exclusive New York suburbs and big insurance companies, but tucked away in the northwestern corner of the Nutmeg State is a mountainous region offering a landscape full of diverse photographic opportunities. Here, the Litchfield Hills rise up from the banks of the Housatonic River to create the Connecticut Highlands, which feature rolling farmlands, covered bridges, frothy white-water and 50-plus miles of the Appalachian Trail.
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Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Minnesota
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Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Minnesota

September 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Lance Allred
Located along the spectacular North Shore of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is one of a series of picturesque parks located between Duluth and Grand Marais in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. If you’ve never been to northern Minnesota, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the rugged landscape.
Three Capes Scenic Drive, Oregon
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Three Capes Scenic Drive, Oregon

August 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Laurie Excell
Ninety miles southwest of Portland, Ore., is the Three Capes Scenic Drive, a 40-mile drive through one of the most spectacular stretches of scenery on the Oregon coast. The three capes—Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda—are the main destinations on the loop, each with its own distinctive attractions.
Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Arizona
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Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Arizona

July 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Jim Burns
Over the broad Santa Cruz River Valley and bordered by mountain ranges to the north and west, Madera Canyon is a small, intimate chapel of textures, shapes and colors. An hour south of Tucson and east of Highway I-19, Madera Creek originates near 9,453-foot Mount Wrightson and winds through pine-oak forests and granite outcrops to the high desert far below. Part of Coronado National Forest, the canyon’s main attractions are hiking and bird-watching. The canyon is home to a host of colorful and unique species including the elegant trogon, whose breeding range is located here in Arizona’s "sky islands."
Red River Gorge, Kentucky
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Red River Gorge, Kentucky

June 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By John W. Snell
If the Kentucky Derby is the crown jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, then the Red River Gorge deserves similar accolades for pure scenic beauty. Encompassing approximately 40,000 acres of eastern Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest "the gorge" as locals call it, is itself a jewel not to be ignored.
Channel Islands, California
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Channel Islands, California

April 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Sara Lind
Sitting off Southern California’s populated coast, the Channel Islands are an inverted oasis of spectacularly natural beauty. The eight Channel Islands offer wilderness treasures ready for exploring most of the year.
Hill Country, Southern Texas
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Hill Country, Southern Texas

March 1, 2005 | Text And Photography By Alice C. Garland
Southern Texas is situated in an optimal region for wildflowers. Field after field of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and other wildflowers are found hugging the rolling hills between Fredericksburg, Lampasas and Brenham. Austin, the state capital, sits in the middle of the triangle formed by these three towns.

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Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico
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Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

December 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Efrain M. Padró
Comprised of 45,000 acres of badlands, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in northwestern New Mexico is located about 35 miles south of Farmington. Geologically speaking, this wilderness is as remote an area as a photographer is likely to explore.
Terry Badlands, Montana
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Terry Badlands, Montana

November 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Carol Polich
The Terry Badlands look like the rest of eastern Montana from I-94: flat-topped buttes and a few erosion cracks in the sandstone cliff walls. Taking the Terry exit and proceeding north on Highway 253 for less than a mile and after crossing the bridge over the Yellowstone River, the gravel road sign heading west reads: "Scenic View." As you travel through flat, prairie lands, you see isolated buttes scattered in the distant landscape. After a few miles, the earth becomes more rugged.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
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Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

October 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Ryan Taylor
While most travelers believe the Florida Keys come to an end at Key West, 69 miles farther west you’ll find seven tiny islands that make up Dry Tortugas National Park. These islands retain an air of rich wildness and history unmatched anywhere else in the Keys. Discovered in 1513 by Ponce de León, the Tortugas were named for the sea turtles that still cruise the waters today.
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Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana
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Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana

September 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By John Boyer
In southeastern Indiana lies one of the state's most rugged and photogenic areas. Clifty Falls State Park occupies 1,416 acres west of the historic Ohio River town of Madison. The main attraction is the spectacular, three-mile-long, 300-foot-deep canyon of Clifty Creek, cut into the high bluffs towering above the Ohio River. Most of the canyon lies within the 178-acre Clifty Canyon Nature Preserve.
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
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Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

August 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Kenny Clarke
Cedar Breaks National Monument covers 6,100 acres and lies 23 miles east of Cedar City in southern Utah. At more than 2,000 feet deep, the spectacularly colored Cedar Breaks amphitheater is laced with delicately eroded spires, fins, hoodoos and natural arches, the by-product of millions of years of sedimentation and erosion. The canyon's rim soars at more than 10,000 feet in elevation and is forested with spruce, subalpine fir and quaking aspen.
Garden Of The Gods, Colorado
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Garden Of The Gods, Colorado

July 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Kenneth Wyatt
Nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, just west of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is one of the top photo destinations for travelers to this area. This free city park is an easy 60-minute drive south of Denver. To reach the park, exit from Interstate 25 onto Garden of the Gods Road, head west and turn south on 30th Street. The splendor unfolds before your eyes as you approach the golden sandstone formations, with magnificent Pikes Peak as a backdrop.
Chama River Canyon Wilderness, New Mexico
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Chama River Canyon Wilderness, New Mexico

April 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Charles Klingsporn
Established in 1978, the 50,000-acre Chama River Canyon Wilderness is located north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The terrain is typical of the high-country desert Southwest, with red sandstone cliffs and a variety of vegetation due to the mix of desert and canyon river terrain. The areas along the riverbed, at about 6,500 feet above sea level, are piñon-juniper and cedar woodland. The higher elevations on the cliffs, up to 8,100 feet, consist mostly of ponderosa pine and fir.
Muddy Mountains, Nevada
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Muddy Mountains, Nevada

March 1, 2004 | Text And Photography By Alan Martz

The Muddy Mountains are located northeast of Las Vegas and include Valley of Fire State Park, well known for its colorful vistas. But the Muddies continue south of the park to the lesser known Buffington Pockets, which feature many of the same sandstone formations. The colorful layers and surprising textures and forms are found in the outcroppings of Aztec Sandstone, some of which have been quarried for decorative rock. This slick-rock country includes white domes, and red, orange and white "rainbow"-layered rock that are in sharp contrast to the towering dark gray cliffs to the east.