Crater Lake Today is your central source for all the latest news, inspiration, events, photos & more from Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, with official social feeds from the National Park Service & more.
Zooming in on the Colorado Plateau:
Many of us are drawn to our National Parks for the big scenery, but sometimes the little things within each place can be equally awe-inspiring. This summer, we'll be celebrating some of the minute wonders of the Colorado Plateau, beginning with the ground beneath our feet!
It can seem like there is a dearth of life in this arid region, but in reality, life can be found hiding almost everywhere. The ground across the Southwest US is alive with a collection of thousands of bacteria, fungi, moss and more that together are known are biological soil crusts. Sometimes these crusts are almost invisible, but other times they form a textured, colored surface across atop the soil. These crusts are critical to the health of this region, helping fix carbon and nitrogen, stabilize soils, capture moisture and seeds and more! Make sure to avoid stepping on soil crusts when possible as it can take decades or even centuries for developed crusts like the one below to form. Photo in Canyonlands National Park by Amy Washuta ... See MoreSee Less
Last time we visited I scolded 2 adults for walking on it, they were clueless
Don't tread on me.
I love crypto! (cryptogamic/cryptobiotic)! aka biological soil crust. Don't step on it, please!! It's alive and does such important stuff for the desert.
A picture showing a larger area of cryptobiotic soil in Canyonlands. Note how someone's footprints have destroyed where she/he walked.