A huge escarpment called the Chinese Wall ripples across the landscape of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana. In a 1985 National Geographic article, senior writer Mike Edwards said: “It does not look like China’s wall, except that it crowns all and is gray rock, mostly limestone. To my eye it is a juggernaut of a tidal wave, surging out of the west, lifting its crest a thousand feet.”
Stand at the Ness of Brodgar on Scotland’s Orkney Islands and several iconic Stone Age structures are within easy view, forming the core of a World Heritage site called the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. On a heather-clad knoll half a mile away rises a giant Tolkienesque circle of stones known as the Ring of Brodgar. Discovered little more than a decade ago, the mysterious temple complex on the Ness is now believed to be the epicenter of what was once a vast ritualistic landscape. The site’s extraordinary planning, craftsmanship, and thousand-year history are helping rewrite our entire understanding of Neolithic Britain.
A flurry of pigeons rains down on Durbar Square’s human and bovine visitors in Kathmandu, Nepal. The birds are a common fixture at this UNESCO World Heritage site, located opposite the old royal palace that served as the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century. Today, the palace is operated as a museum.
A herd of cattle trods the earth with the pagoda spires of Bagan in the dusky background. The ancient capital of Myanmar (Burma)—and a sight to rival Cambodia’s Angkor Wat—Bagan once held 13,000 pagodas dating back to the second century A.D.
For many, the town of Manarola is the quintessential Cinque Terre village. The charm of the five villages remains unspoiled, as does the allure of their surrounding countryside, which is a jumble of plunging cliffs, vineyards, olive groves, and steeply terraced slopes.
“On my trip up north to Washington, we discovered a very unique location in Olympic National Park,” says Your Shot community member Justin Jung, who took this photo in the Washington State park. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when we first arrived. This was something so out of this world, and nothing I’d expect to find in the U.S.A. We only had an hour to explore before sundown. We immediately fell in love with this rain forest and the feeling we got being inside.”