Last week on July 10 2015, President Obama added three new national monuments to the country under the Antiquities Act of 1906. For lovers of the backcountry, this means more places to come and admire, connect with nature, learn about history, and maybe take a hike while you’re at it, too. Where are they? Read below to find out everything you need to know about these new backpacker paradises:
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
Located in Northern California, if the name of this new monument isn’t enough to intrigue you to come and visit, then wait til you hear more. Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument was once home to four Native American tribes, and still today, the area is rich with plant and wildlife, amazing scenery, and even a 5,000 year old archaeological site. Now that it is an official monument, the rare plants and animal species here can continue to thrive, while visitors can come for hiking and other outdoor activities like horseback riding, whitewater rafting, or mountain biking.
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument can be easily reached from the Bay Area or Sacramento in northern California.
Basin and Range National Monument
Outside of Las Vegas, the Basin and Range National Monument is a great place for lovers of the backcountry as well as those who take an interest in Earth Science to come and visit. This new monument is a hot spot for those who love to check out beautiful and prehistoric rock formations. There is even a sculpture of the desert ground that has been a work in progress for over 40 years now, and is absolutely awesome to see. Basin and Range is over 700,000 acres of absolutely breathtaking scenery, from the plants and wildlife, the artistic landscapes, to the historic Native American trails, there is so much to see here. Nothing speaks American history and culture more than this spot.
The Basin and Range National Monument is located in Nevada, spreading over the Lincoln and Nye counties.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Located in none other than Waco, Texas, Waco Mammoth National Monument is a great place to not only come for a nature adventure, but to also explore the history of the 65,000 mammoth, which along other prehistoric animals, has been discovered right here. Most visitors here come to learn about the paleontological history, as the park surrounding the welcome center is still under development since a few years prior to its declaration as a national monument.
Waco Mammoth National Monument is located halfway between Dallas and Austin Texas, and lies along the Brazos River.