Similar to national parks, national conservation areas are designated by Congress and feature scientific, cultural, historical and recreational features. They’re places like California’s King Range National Conservation Area, where the dominate feature is a spectacular meeting of land and sea. Mountains seem to thrust straight out of the surf. King Peak, the highest point at 4,088 feet, is only three miles from the ocean. Showing dazzling spring colors, the unique landscape and abundant wildlife make this fascinating place perfect for everything from scientific study to extreme recreation. Photo by Bob Wick. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/16/16.
Wilderness areas are places untamed by humans. They protect America’s pristine wild lands from development so they will not disappear. Of Yosemite National Park’s 1,200 square miles, nearly 95 percent of it is designated as wilderness. Pictured here is Cathedral Peak along the John Muir Trail glowing with the setting sun. Photo by Vivek Vijaykumar. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/18/16.