Archive for the 'National Parks' Category

Yosemite National Park

Posted in National Parks
Half Dome in Yosemite National Park NASA Photo
Half Dome – Yosemite National Park – NASA photo

Yosemite National Park embraces almost 1,200 square miles of scenic wild lands set aside in 1890 to preserve a portion of the central Sierra Nevada that stretches along California’s eastern flank. The park ranges from 2,000 feet above sea level to more than 13,000 feet and has these major attractions; alpine wilderness, three groves of Giant Sequoias and the glacially carved Yosemite Valley with impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in National Parks

Zion National Park

Posted in National Parks
Zion National Park picture by NPS
Zion National Park picture by NPS

Protected within Zion National Park’s 229 square miles (593.1 km) is a spectacular cliff-and-canyon landscape and wilderness full of the unexpected including the world’s largest arch – Kolob Arch – with a span that measures 310 feet (94.5 m). Wildlife such as mule deer, golden eagles, and mountain lions, also inhabit the Park. Mukuntuweap National Monument proclaimed July 31, 1909; incorporated in Zion National Monument March 18, 1918; established as national park Nov. 19, 1919.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in National Parks

Yellowstone National Park

Posted in National Parks
People watchin Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park photo by Ed Austin and Herb Jones, 1987 NPS
Old Faithful Geyser Yellowstone NP NPS Photo

By Act of Congress on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and “for the preservation, from injury or spoilation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders. . . and their retention in their natural condition.” Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world.

The commanding features that initially attracted interest, and led to the preservation of Yellowstone as a national park, were geological: the geothermal phenomena (there are more geysers and hot springs here than in the rest of the world combined), the colorful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, fossil forests, and the size and elevation of Yellowstone Lake.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted in National Parks
Great Smoky Mountains National Park photo by Jim Roth
Great Smoky Mountains National Park ©Jim Roth

The Great Smoky Mountains in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee encompasses 800 square miles of which 95 percent are forested. World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal resources, the beauty of its ancient mountains, the quality of its remnants of American pioneer culture, and the depth and integrity of the wilderness sanctuary within its boundaries, it is one of the largest protected areas in the east. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established June 15, 1934. The Great Smokies were named a International Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage site on December 6, 1983.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in National Parks

Bryce Canyon National Park

Posted in National Parks
View North from Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon National Park picture by USGS
Bryce Canyon National Park picture by USGS.gov

At Bryce Canyon National Park, erosion has shaped colorful Claron limestones, sandstones and mudstones into thousands of spires, fins, pinnacles, mazes and walls. Collectively called “hoodoos,” these colorful and whimsical formations stand in horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters along the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The park is located at around 8,000 feet and is just 80 miles northeast of Zion National Park by road.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in National Parks