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Hiking SF Bay Area National Parks

It’s summer in the San Francisco Bay Area! OK, not really. But it sure feels like it these days. The famously foggy City by the Bay and its surrounding areas can get downright chilly during the real summer months. But many of our late-autumn and early-winter days bring the kind of sunshine and clear skies that just make you want to get outdoors. Luckily, the Bay Area has thousands of acres of National Parks to help you do just that.

Walk Among Giants: 7 places to see the majestic California redwoods

There are giants in California. They jut out of soil dampened by fog rolling in from the Pacific and reach greater heights than any other living thing on the planet. They are the coast redwoods: the world’s tallest trees. Many of them grow to be over 200 feet tall and the tallest soar to over 350 feet -- higher than a 30 story skyscraper.

"Sleep For Peace" at HI-USA hostels on September 21

On September 21, 2013, individuals and organizations from around the world will participate in the annual International Day of Peace through celebrations, ceremonies, a global Peace Wave, and much more. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982, the International Day of Peace -- also known as Peace Day -- serves as a time of collaborative focus on worldwide peace, and encouragement for all of humanity to work in cooperation towards this goal. 

Tour the Pacific coast with an HI-West Coast passport -- and get a free t-shirt!

Who doesn't love passport stamps? Stamps are like little badges of honor, awarded to the adventurous wanderer, and serve as tangible reminders of the memories made while exploring new places. Hostelling International is pleased to offer 27 stamps to add to your collection, with the HI-West Coast passport. Collect a free souvenir stamp at each West Coast hostel in the U.S.

Call for Entries: "Summer Scrapbook" photo contest and sweepstakes

Entry Deadline: September 8, 2013
Calling all explorers! The National Park Foundation is diving into summer with a Summer Scrapbook contest. Share your best National Park photos, videos, and travel tips for a chance to win a "best of" prize package that includes hiking and camping gear valued at $750. You can also enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win overnight stays for four at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.

Call for Entries: “Share the Experience” photo contest

Entry Deadline: December 31, 2013
Love photography and the great outdoors? The 2013 Share the Experience photo contest could be your chance to shine! This competition invites amateur photographers to submit photos that showcase the best of America's federal lands, National Parks, and historic sites for a chance to win a $15,000 grand prize. Start uploading and you could also be one of the lucky weekly winners to recieve an Annual Federal Recreation Lands Pass.

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