Boston Lat., Lon. (42.35892° N, -71.05781° W)
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah. The park was created to protect over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Water is the major force that shapes this landscape. As water freezes in the cracks of the rock, it expands and breaks away pieces off the rock (weathering). As water runs over the weathered rock, it washes away the bits and pieces (erosion). Over time, the arches, balanced rocks, fins, and spires are formed.
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is located in southwest South Dakota. The park preserves 244,000 acres. The land is shaped by massive erosion due to infrequent but heavy rain showers and sparse vegetation. The erosion of the soft sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils has formed many canyons, ravines, and gullies. The name badlands was given since the land was hard to cross and was virtually unusable.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. The rock is weathered by rain, snow, and ice which breaks the rock into bits and pieces. Over time as the erosion continues, the softer limestone is washed away leaving behind the pinnacles and hoodoos. Small amounts of iron deposited in the limestone oxidize to form the the brilliant yellow, oranges and reds.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. One of its chambers, named the Big Room, is the 3rd largest in the Americas and 7th largest in the world. It is a natural limestone chamber which measures 4,000 feet (1,219 m) long, 625 feet (190.5 m) wide. At its highest point it measures 350 feet (107 m) high. The cavern is also home to the Mexican Free-tailed bat. Each year thousands of bats migrate and make the cavern their home from April or May to late October or early November.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is located in south-central Oregon. The lake is a caldera lake which was formed after a volcanic eruption. After the caldera cooled, water and snow accumulated to form the lake. The lake is five to six miles wide and has an average depth of 1,148 feet (350 m). Its deepest point is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep. The caldera rim ranges from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m) in elevation. Lack on inlets or tributaries to this lake make this water some of the purest in North America.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana and also borders the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. It contains two sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains which were carved into their current shape by the last ice age. The park consist of over one million acres with 300 lakes. Its vast ecosystem contains more than 1,000 species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. To this day only 27 glaciers remain. Global warming threatens and if trends continue scientists generally agree that all glaciers in the park will be gone by the year 2030.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is located in northern Arizona. The park encompasses 1,902 square miles (4927 km2). It is 277 miles (446 km) long and varies in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km), and reaches a depth of over a mile 6,000 feet (1.83 km). The Colorado River and its tributaries carved layers and layers of rock to form the canyon while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming, just south of Yellowstone National Park. The tallest mountain in the Teton Range is called Grand Teton reaching 13,770 feet (4,197 m) in elevation. The park preserves 484 square miles (1,250 km2) of land and water. The park has nearly 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is located in the southwest corner of Colorado. It features many ruins of homes and cliff dwellings built by the ancient Pueblo people known as the Anasazi. The cliff dwellings were built during the 1200s and were only populated for about a century. It is surmised that the people left due to a combination of factors such as drought and overuse of local natural resources. The cliff dwellings remained vacant for 600 years and were not discovered by the locals until the late 1800s.
Redwood National Park
The Redwood National and State Parks are located along the coast of northern California. The parks encompass a combined area of 131,983 acres (534.12 km2). 96% of the old-growth redwoods have been logged. The parks protect 45% of the remaining Costal Redwood old-growth forests. The Coast Redwood or California Redwood, as they are commonly called, are native to coastal California and southwestern Oregon. Its binomial name is Sequoia sempervirens. This evergreen, long living for up to 2,200 years, also makes up the tallest trees on Earth growing up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height and 26 feet (8 m) in diameter.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado. The park preserves 265,770 acres (1,076 km2) of land. The park has 359 miles (578km) of trails, 150 lakes, and 450 miles (720 km) of streams. The climate varies from wooded forests to mountain tundra. This mountain park features over sixty peaks rising over 12,000 feet (3,658m). The highest mountain in the park is Longs Peak which stands at 14,259 feet (4,346 m).
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is located in the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It was created in 1890 as the second U.S. park, after Yellow Stone National Park. The park consists of 404,051 acres (1,635.14 km2). Its binomial name is Sequoiadendron giganteum. In terms of volume, giant sequoias are the world's largest trees. On average they grow up to 165–280 feet (50–85 m) in height and 18–24 feet (6–8 m) in diameter.
Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
Yellowstone National Park is mainly located in northeastern Wyoming and also extends into Montana and Idaho. The park preserves 3,468 square miles (8,980 km2) of land and has over 10,000 thermal features including geysers, hot springs, and mudpots. The most popular feature is Old Faithful, a geyser which erupts boiling water over a hundred feet in the sky on roughly 90 minute intervals. The park also boasts Yellowstone Lake, one of the continent's largest high-altitude lakes which is also centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, a supervalcano.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is located in central California, on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevadas. The park encompasses 761,266 acres. The park is known for its dramatic granite cliffs, waterfalls, and Giant Sequoia groves. The park's elevation ranges from 2,000 to 13,114 feet (610 to 4,000 m). The landscape was carved by glaciers to form the spectacular cliffs, canyons and valleys. Over 3.5 million people visit the park each year.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah. Zion Canyon is 115 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep. The park is known for its shear cliffs of red and tan colored Navajo Sandstone. The plateaus rise some 2,000 feet (610m) above the valleys. Over 2.5 million people visit each year.
National Park background information source: www.wikipedia.org
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