Mount Rainier National Park

A Magical Place in the World

The Mount Rainier National Park can be found in Washington State, near Pierce County. It can be found just north east of Lewis County and was known as a national Park on the 2nd of March 1899. This was known as the fifth national park created in America and there are almost 236,381 acres of land within the park also. This land covers the high range of Mount Rainier; and the mountain has a variety of elevations from 1600 feet to around 14000 feet also.

The volcano found on the mountain range is almost covered with clouds; this means there is a huge amount of snow and rain that falls onto the peaks of the mountains every year. The Wonderland Trail circles Mount Rainier and is also covered by a lot of different glaciers and snowfields also. Over 1.8 million people go to the park each and every year and love to see Emmons Glacier and Carbon Glacier also.

The History of Mount Rainier National Park

Very high percentage of the entire park is considered to be protected and is preserved as wilderness. This is done under the National Wilderness preservation system; and these parts including Mount Rainier Wilderness and the Clearwater Wilderness. In 1997, on the 18th of February, the park was proclaimed a national historic landmark.

Mount Rainier National Park Facts
Christine falls near Mount Rainier

However, in 2012, on the 1st of January, the Park Ranger – Margaret Anderson – was shot and killed while attempting to stop a passing vehicle. The perpetrator Benjamin Colton Barnes hid in the park; and the authorities were on hand to close the park down. This resulted in manhunt throughout the entire park but the suspect’s body was found the next day. It was a sad day for the park as nothing like this had happened before.

The Native American Settlers and the History

It is thought that the earliest signs of life in the park were with Native Americans; and this was thought to be around 4000 years ago. The first signs were at the Bench Lake Trail; and for many years there have been many explorations of the park along Fryingpan Creek and Goat Island Mountain also. More and more want to know about this area and of the history of the park also. In one shelter found, there were hunting artefacts found but this shelter would not have been used during the entire year.

However, the park does have a national forest area within the park. In 1893, the Pacific Forest Reserve was created and that did include Mount Rainier also; the forest did get bigger however as the years went. There has been a lot of work gone into trying to ensure the park is preserved and is protected. Throughout the years, there has been a lot of work that has gone into making sure the forests are protected as well as the entire park. Thousands do a lot of work to protect the park and it is certainly very popular also.

The Mount Rainier National Park had to be closed down for a huge amount of time because of the flood which hit the park. In one part of the park, in late 2006, the Pineapple Express rainstorm brought down almost eighteen inches of rain water to the park. This all fell within 36 hours and a lot of the roads and camp grounds in the park were actually washed away.

The Major Attractions in the Park

The Park was named a National Historic Landmark district in 1997; and there are many amazing locations that are found within the park also. There are at least 42 different locations in the park that are found on the National Register of Historic Places and some are considered to be historical landmarks also. One of the biggest attractions is Paradise. There was no power in the Longmire and Paradise regions; however in 2007, on the 5th of May, the park was reopened for all vehicle traffic – this was only by Route 706.

Paradise covers around five thousand and four hundred feet in land; this is going to be on the south slope of Mount Rainier. This area is one of the very popular locations to visit today. Of the 1.3 million people who visit the park each year, almost 60% of all visitors are going to visit Paradise. The Paradise Guide House was founded in 1920 and in 1966; Henry M Jackson Visitor Center was built. This building was knocked down and rebuilt in 2008.

There is also Longmire. Longmire is a great visitor’s center and is located between the Tatoosh Range and the Ramparts Ridge. This is the place where western red cedar, western hemlock and Douglas fir are found. This is going to be one of the most popular areas of the park today, it’s the second most visited spots and almost 40% of visitors are found here each year.

Mount Rainier national park information
Mount Rainier National Park landscape

Sunrise is also an amazing place to visit. This is a beautiful lodge and visitor’s center found towards the north east region of the park; and to access the park, visitors will need to use a vehicle to reach there. There is however a miles and miles of trails found around Sunrise; these include the Sourdough Ridge and the Mount Fremont also.

The Mowich Lake is going to be the deepest and biggest lake throughout the park today. This is going to be found near the Carbon on highway 165. There are also a hiking trail, camp ground and a picnic area close to the lake also.

With the 2006 floods, the 2 major roads were damaged severely; this was in the North West part of the park. During the summer months, the Carbon River Ranger Station is fully staffed; however no cars or any type of motor vehicles are going to be allowed to go past this part of the park.

The park is a very popular destination for many to choose from and it certainly is going to be a location where millions visits each year. It’s amazing.


Mesa Verde National Park

An important archaeological preserve

The Mesa Verde National Park is found in the United States of America. It is found in Montezuma County in the State of Colorado; and Mesa Verde is an American National Park as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is currently the biggest archaeological preserves in America today.

President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 established the park and this was to help protect and preserve the cliff dwellings in the area and some of the very best in the world also. He called them the works of man and the President was very proud of the park also. Though, the park still remains a cultural National Park; in fact it was the first park. It currently stretches over 81.4 square miles and there are so many different ruins of villages and homes found in the Four Corners of the park. Currently there are more than 4,000 archaeological sites found at the park and at least 600 cliff dwellings also in the park.

There is a complete 52,400 acres of land in the Mesa Verde National Park. This is found in south west Colorado and the many amazing canyons have all been created because of the erosion from the receding water ways, and ancient oceans also. The elevations in the park can range from 6000 to 8572 feet. The climate of the Mesa Verde National Park is fairly arid. Most of the water source is from the summer rains and winter snow falls also.

Mesa Verde National Park Facts
Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park

The History of Mesa Verde National Park

It was said that the Anasazi used to inhabit the region for many years; though evidence suggests that the people left before the 15th century. However, they made up most of farmers which grew crops; and most famers cropped corn and it was a large part of their every day diets also. Most of the men in the settlers were in fact hunters so that their diets could be expanded to meat products also.

The women of the groups spent their days basket weaving and pottery also; and the artefacts were in fact high prized. Though, there are no written records of the group through their groups. In 1190, the people started to build the cliff dwellings in which the park is famed for. These structures are found in the caves of the park and were built expertly also. Though the largest cliff dwelling is going to be the Cliff Palace and it is one of the most visited sites of today.

Key References for Mesa Verde National Park

In 1756, an expedition of the region near the park under Don Juan Maria de Rivera. During the expedition, the ancient ruins were seen however the expedition didn’t note down any notable proof of existence of these that would clearly mark these ruins out in their journals. This was the first white man expedition from New Mexico.

In 1886, a newspaper, the Denver Tribune created and published an article which suggested the creation of the area to become a national Park at the archaeological site.

In 1906, American President Theodore Roosevelt approved the parks creation.

In the 1930’s-1940’s, the civilian conservation corps started to exclave the park and create roads and rails also.

In 1966, the park was named on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1978 the Mesa Verde National Park was named a World Heritage Site.

In 1987, the Mesa Verde Administrative District was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 the park suffered from wild land fires.

Services Found In the Mesa Verde National Park

The spruce tree house – this is going to be opened throughout the year if the weather is good of course.

The Chapin mesa archaeological museum – this part of the park can be opened all throughout the year also.

The balcony house, cliff palace and long house are all amazing places to visit. However, these are ranger guided tours and visitors will need tour tickets to go on these tours also. Dwellings throughout the park can usually be seen from the road; however some of the dwellings aren’t open or available to the tourists.

Mesa Verde National Park Information
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Hiking trails – there are many great hiking trails to use.

A beautiful and comfortable camp ground

Facilities for food – this is usually only during the peak seasons.

Lodgings and fuel stations are also available during the busy seasons of the year. During the winter all of these things are not going to be available to view.

There is a federal exclusive jurisdiction over the park; this means that the federal National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers will handle every emergency in the park. All of the services such as fire for wild land and structural as well as medical and law enforcement services also.

The Ute Mountain Tribal Park and Modifications

Across from the Mesa Verde National Park lies the Ute Mountain Tribal Park which is almost 125,000 acres all along the Mancos River. This helps to bring history, culture and knowledge about the people who lived in the area years ago. In 2008, the Colorado Historical Society invested seven million dollars into a new project to culturally modify trees within the park.

The Mesa Verde National Park is certainly a lovely area in which thousands visit every year. The park is going to be one amazing park to visit and there are so many amazing sites and scenery to view today. There is a huge history when it comes to learning who lived in the area and how they managed to receive water from the rain is truly amazing. Many do love the park and it has so many things to explore also today.


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Mammoth Cave National Park

The Longest Cave System Known in the World.

In Kentucky, the Mammoth Cave National Park can be found. This is an American National Park and it brings together some of the world’s best known and most loved cave systems. The cave system is also one of the world’s longest systems also; this is the Mammoth Cave system in which is found in the National Park.

The official name is the Mammoth Flint Ridge Cave System for the park; this is because of the ride which is under the formed cave. However, the park is such a beautiful park to visit whether someone wishes to find out all of the information about the cave system or just enjoy the beauty of the caves also.

In 1941 on the 1st of July, the establishment of the park was first completed. It wasn’t until 1981 when the Mammoth Cave National Park becomes a World Heritage Site; this was on the 27th of October. In 1990 on the 26th of September, the park became an international Biosphere Reserve also.

Mammoth Cave National Park covers more than 52,800 acres – 52,830 acres to be exact; and the park can be found in Edmonson County within the State of Kentucky. There are smaller areas which lead east towards Barren County and Hart County of Kentucky also; and it is found centre at the Green River.

The Nolin River feeds into the park’s Green River also; and there are more than 400 miles of passageways to the amazing cave system also. This does help to make it the world’s biggest known cave system; this is more than twice the size of the Jewel Cave in South Dakota which is the second longest cave system. The Jewel Cave in South Dakota has 157 miles of passageways in the cave; at least, that is what is known for sure.

Mammoth cave National Park Facts and information
Rotunda Room in Mammoth Cave / Photo courtesy of USGS

The Limestone Labyrinth of Mammoth Cave National Park

The Mammoth Cave was developed by the limestone which is capped off with a layer of sandstone. This helps to ensure the cave system is incredibly strong and stable also; and there are more than 390 miles of passageway in the system also. However, each and every year so far, there have been newer discoveries and connections which always add more miles to the cave system. This is truly incredible because it could mean that there are more passageways in the cave system that are yet to be discovered so whoever know where this cave system might stop!

The Mammoth Cave National Park was first established in order to help preserve the cave system which could have been at risk if it was not protected and preserved over the years. Big Clifty Sandstone is the known name of the upper sandstone used in the cave system; these are very thin layers of limestone which are found in the sand stone. These form an epikarstic zone; these are not big enough conduits to allow the caves passages to enter.

There is a rather large sinkhole which has been formed at the bottom of one of the valleys – this is near the south region of the park. The park service’s call this the Cedar Sink and there is a small river that enters one of the sides of the sinkhole and disappears underground again at the other side.

This is a spectacular achievement because not many people can actually explore this area out. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the sinkhole and even the cave and its system. Many believe that there are many more passageways which haven’t been discovered yet. It could be possible and it will be something that more and more are keen to learn about because the caves could be in fact incredibly long!

However, the Mammoth Cave National Park is also the home place of the very much endangered albino shrimp. This is t Kentucky Cave Shrimp; is creature has not been seen for some time, though it is very hard to spot at times.

Mammoth Cave National Park located in Kentucky
The world’s longest cave system / Photo courtesy of National Park Service

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park Today

There are many amazing tours to choose from when it comes to visiting the caves. The cave tours are going to be some of the very best tours to choose from today and they are given by the National Park Service. There are some amazing features that will stand out when you are visiting and touring the caves including;

The Fat Man’s Misery

The Grand Avenue

The Frozen Niagara

These amazing features can be seen on the lighted tours. These tours can range from one hour all the way to six hour long tours! This is a huge amount of information to find out in this time; and there are 2 tours which are only going to be lightened up on the trail with the paraffin lamps which are carried by the visitors also! These are certainly going to offer more.

These lamps will help to give an authentic feel to the tour and it is much better than electronic lighting also! Though there are also some amazing so called wild tours which lead away from the more developed parts of the cave. Instead the tours head to the very muddy and dusty tunnel ways which are very fun to use!

There is a lot of different information given out on each tour so to learn all information, it might be best for visitors to take several tours to learn about the caves and the different faces of the cave also. It will be very fun to learn about the prehistory of the caves as well as the history of the years within the cave also. The tours are given by the National Park Service cave guides.

One of the most famous attractions of the caves is the Echo River Tour; and this is when the visitors are taken on a boat trip. The trip goes all the way along a huge underground river system which is truly amazing. During the 1990’s the Echo River tours were stopped because of the environmental reasons.


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Kings Canyon National Park

Another Green Paradise

The Kings Canyon National Park can be located the American State of California and is found South of Sierra Nevada. This is a National Park which was first established in 1940 and the area in which the park covers is 461,901 acres of land. This park is includes the General Grant National Park which was formed in 1890. The reason why the park was formed was to help protect the General Grant Grove with the large sequoias. Kings Canyon National Park is found north of the Sequoia National Park and both of these national parks are controlled by the National Park Service.

The History of Kings Canyon National Park

White settlers did move to Kings Canyon during the mid 19th century. However, until John Muir visited the park in 1873, the area was not given much attention; however after, the area started to receive more and more attention. John Muir loved how the canyon was very similar to that of the Yosemite Valley; it is thought that these mountain valleys were created by earthquakes. The Kings Canyon had Harold Ickes fighting their corner to create the national park; Harold Ickes was a US Secretary of the Interior wanted to create the area as a park.

Harold Ickes looked at Ansel Adams to help document and photograph the park; this helped to create the bill to create the Kings Canyon National Park. The bill took the General Grant Grove and combined this land with back country that lies just past the Zumwalt Meadow. For almost fifty or so years, no one was quite sure whether or not the Kings Canyon was going to still be there.

Many people wanted to actually construct a dam near the end of the valley to the west. Many however wanted to preserve the park for its beauty and natural features also. In 1965, the debate over the park was over as the Tehipite Valley was added to the park’s land.

The Geography of the Kings Canyon National Park

There are 2 areas of the Kings Canyon National Park; and there is the smaller General Grant Grove region which is detached. This area provides the land with many amazing groves of giant sequoias; these areas also have the ever famous General Grant Tree planted along with the Redwood Mountain Grove also. These are the last remaining natural groves of giant sequoias in the world today and they are also the very biggest in the world also. The area with sequoias is a good 3,100 acres with almost 15,800 sequoia trees found here.

The trees are one foot in diameter at their bases so these trees are very big; and in both the Kings Canyon and the Sequoia Nation Parks, there is a combined area of 202,430 area of land. These are found in large forests and there is a mixed forest but visitors can visit the area. Visitors are going to be able to reach this part with the paved highways.

Almost 90 % of the park is found east of the General Grant Grove and it will create the head waters of the South and Middle forks of the Kings River. The South and Middle Forks lead into the San Joaquin River and the rivers of Kings Canyon will have many amazing glacier canyons. Kings Canyon has a massive depth of almost 8,200 feet. This is one of the deepest in America alone; and the Kings Canyon was created from glaciers from granite.

Kings Canyon National Park Facts and information
Lake in Kings Canyon National Park

For visitors, the only developed area in which they can reach via vehicles will be Cedar Grove. The Kings Canyon is quite incised and there are flatter floors; though Kearsarge Pass stands at a high elevation of almost 11,000 feet also. This is a very popular part of the park to visit today.

The Sierra Nevada is still a very young mountain range and it probably cannot be any more than around 10 million years old, if that. There are some who debate these details and the argument is certainly going to be something that continues for years to come. This is thought to be associated with the Great Basin; and the power of earth that has helped to develop this area. The mountains are very high and they will continue to rise and grow towards the sky also.

The mountains have been covered or rather coated, with thick mantle ice; and the glaciers have formed over a very long and extended period of time with cold, cool and wet weather that contributes to all of the glaciers forming. The glaciers do move something like Slow Motion Rivers; they are very slow on moving when they carve the deep valleys into the mountains as well as the craggy peaks.

Over the years, waterfalls, hanging valleys, landscape of the alpine lakes, glacier canyons and craggy peaks have all been created due to glaciers and the glaciations method also. The glaciations methods have helped to create this all across the Sierra Nevada region.

Recreational Activities of the Kings Canyon National Park

The camp grounds of the Kings Canyon National Park and the Sequoia National Park are found within the oak wood lands. These wood lands are found in the drier foot hills; and these are found in the cooler and higher conifer forests also. The forests are going to range from elevations from around 2,100 feet to around 7,500 feet. The different camp grounds are;

Atwell Mill

The Lodge Pole

The Grant Grove

The Dorst

These are all very close to the giant sequoia groves and the camp grounds are going to be quite cool.

Kings Canyon National Park is a fantastic park to explore and it certainly is going to be an area in which many will visit today also. It will really be something that more and more people are going to want to know.


Kenai Fjords National Park

Best frozen landscapes

The Kenai Fjords National Park is found in Alaska and it’s an American National Park. This was first established in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park is going to cover a massive area of 669,984 acres and it can be found on the Kenai Peninsula. This is in the south of Alaska and can be found near the amazing town of Seward.

The Harding Ice Field is one of the biggest ice fields found in America; and there are many fjords found in the park. This is how the park is named and the fjords are carved from the glaciers in the mountains. The ice field is going to be a huge area and probably one of the biggest in America; and there are almost 38 different glaciers in the ice fields alone.

One of the biggest glaciers is the Bear Glacier; and this is going to be one of the most popular ports for many cruise ships also. One of the most popular glaciers is the Exit Glacier which can be reached by road.

Originally, it was in 1978 on the 1st of December when the Kenai Fjords National Monument was designated by the American President Jimmy Carter. He designated the park via the Antiquities Act. The park has been created in order to protect the ice fields that are found in the park; this is a very narrow field of land which is found between the sea and the mountains as well as the indented coastline.

There is a huge array of marine life and mammals to find in the park; and many of them are amazing to see in their natural habitats also.

Kenai Fjords National Park facts
Aialik glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

There weren’t in fact many permanent residents living at and around the park. It is thought that there was long term use of the area because of new evidence found. However, it is thought that a lot of the sites that were rich in history for archaeological studies are now under water because of the rising water levels.

There was evidence to show that there was an earthquake that hit the area in 1170 AD and that the shoreline was greatly lowered. This reduced it to about 1.8 meters and there were many gold mines that were found within the park. Most of the gold mining activities were done in Nuka Bay; and some of the mining sites were active until 1980.

The Activities Found In Kenai Fjords National Park

Most cruise ships will come into and out of the park from Seward; cruises such as the Royal Caribbean International, the Celebrity Cruises and Holland American Line has been using this. However, there are a lot of other cruise liners that have been using the port. There are more than 68,000 passengers that are thought to come here in one year but there are many more that will visit.

This is a great location to visit and there are many amazing public cabins and shelters to use. These can be found in the coastal areas which can be found at the edge of the Harding Ice field. There is however a great co operative relationship with the park and the Alaska Sea Life Centre.

The Wild Life Found In Kenai Fjords National Park

There are many different mammals that can be found in the park today, these can include;

The Moose

The Mountain Goats

The Alaskan Brown Bears

The American Black Bears

The River Otter

The Beaver

The Harbor Seals


The Steller Sea Lions

The Fin Whales

The Orcas

The Minke Whales

The Humpback Whales

The Dall’s Porpoises

The Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Bird Species Include;

The Bald Eagles

The Black Billed Magpies

The Peregrine Falcon

The Stellers Jays

The Maine Birds

Since there are harsher conditions found in the park, it does mean that the tree lines are limited. In this case, it means that the park does have an alpine ecosystem. The tree lines are going to range from 750 feet to 1000 feet.

The Oil Spill of Kenai Fjords National Park

When the oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, grounded in 1989 on the 24th of March; it caused a huge contamination of the coastline of Kenai Fjords. The National Park Service established an oil containment line across the salmon streams; this was completed by April and the head lands were the most affected in the lands also.

Kenai Fjords National Park Information
The rocks and mountains of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park

The cleanup of the spillage was a very difficult and long drawn out process. The oil soon became very much so like tar, a tarry substance which was almost impossible to be skimmed. In fact, the spillage was impossible to skim; and the water had to be instead dredged. Work had to spot during September and didn’t resume until the next year.

This work had to continue all the way up to the year of 1991. This is the year when Exxon came together with the Alaskan government to settle and almost $870 million was given by the company and put into a restoration fund.

However with the oil spill, the archeological sites were also affected by this; however this did lead to the discovery of a new beach. This beach was found near MacArthur Pass; it was found during the cleanup and it was the only good thing to come from this oil spillage. This showed that there were native people who used the area long term. It was very difficult to try to clean up the area without disturbing things.

Overall though, the park is now a great and beautiful place to explore. This is going to be a fantastic area to visit when it comes to seeing many amazing sites and it will certainly become an area in which is loved and adorned.


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Katmai National Park

Beautiful Land of Bears


In the south of Alaska, the Katmai National Park and Preserve is located. This is an American National Park and it does have so many brown bears in the park. This is one of the biggest features of the park today and another fantastic and very popular area of the park is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

The Katmai National Park and Preserve is going to cover more than 4 million acres of land – 4,093,077 acres to be exact. Most of the Katmai National Park is designated to be a wilderness area. This covers almost 3 and half million acres of the park; it is just under the half mark but most of the area is a wilderness area because it is a very delicate piece of land.

The Katmai National Park is named after Mount Katmai which is of course the main attraction of the park as it’s a beautiful volcano to admire. Found on the Alaska Peninsula, the Katmai Park is just a short distance from Kodiak Island with the headquarters of the park found at King Salmon. King Salmon is only 290 miles away from Anchorage and the land was first established as a National Monument in 1918.

The reason why this area was named as a national monument was because of the 1912 volcanic eruption; Novarupta erupted and helped to create the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. This is a huge, 40 square mile piece of land which is anything from 100 to 700 feet deep with a pyro-clastic flow. Though, in the park, there are more than 18 volcanoes across the area; and at least 7 of those volcanoes are active and have been since 1900.

For many years however, the park was just a national monument and up until the 1950’s, there were very few who visited the area. The land was also left undeveloped; and the reason why it was designated as a national monument was because of the volcanic history of the land. However, the volcanoes and the land surrounding the park were very popular and admired. There were a lot of sockeye salmon in the area and that the brown bears found in the area also use these as a good food source.

Katmai National Park Information
Grizzly Bears in Hallo Bay, Alaska

The Katmai National Park Geography

The park sits on the Alaskan Peninsula and the main features are of course its massive coast.  The Aleutian Range is also a very popular feature of the park; this is because there is a chain of 15 volcanic mountains. These volcanoes stretch all across the coastal parts of the park; however, there are also a fantastic amount of lakes which are very large in the park.

King Salmon is the closest town to the park and this is where the headquarters are found also.  This is not very far from the Naknek River – in fact it’s about eight kilometres from the entrance to the park. However, the road is not going to be connected up with the Alaskan road system which can be a little bit of problem at times.

This means that the access to the features inside the park is going to be by boat! This is going to be accessible via Naknek Lake; and there is a lovely road which connects Brooks Camp to the Three Forks – these will overlook the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. There is a huge coastline of almost 497 miles long which is amazing and this runs to Kamishak Bay from the entrance of the park. However, it can also connect up with Cape Kubugaki.

A beautiful wild river in the park is the Alagnak River and this is found at Kukaklek Lake inside the park. There is hunting and sports allowed in the park however this must be carried out by local residents.

Activities in the Katmai National Park

There are many different activities in the park today including;

  • Boat Tours
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Back Packing
  • Back Country Skiing
  • Camping

There are many more things to see and do in the park but these are some of the most popular features to view while in the park. However, in the Park, there are many salmon and brown bears to see. These are also the main and probably some of the most famed visitors of the park.

It is thought that there are more than 2,000 bears in the park; however, these are protected bears; and they can usually be found at Brooks Falls. There is a viewing platform which the bears like to spot off at and here is a location in which the bears can be snapped with endless cameras.

Katmai National Park and Preserve located in Alaska
Crater lake of Mount Katmai / Photo taken by Captain Budd Christman, NOAA

Though, numbers between 40 and 70 bears can usually be found at Brooks Falls; and the salmon does come to the area very early also. A lot of the visitors to the park go to Brooks Camp and it is certainly one of the very best developed areas inside the park today.

However, the rangers at the park are very careful, when it comes to allowing the bears to get a hold of human food. They are also very careful not to come face to face with humans also so that it lowers the risk of the chance of the bears and humans being harmed.

The bears however aren’t afraid of the humans but they are also very uninterested in them also which is very good. This lowers the chance for interaction with the humans and less risk also. This will mean the humans are going to be able to get a little close to the bears; approach them and possibly even photograph them. This is very impressive as it’s impossible to do this in many places around the world.

This is a lovely park to visit that many choose to find out about rich history.


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Joshua Tree National Park

Desert Habitat


The Joshua Tree National Park can be found in California – the south east of California. It wasn’t until 1994 when Joshua Tree was named an American National Park; this was when the California Desert Protection Act was formed. The reason why the park is named the Joshua Tree park is because of the trees by the same name which are native to the park.

There is a huge land area of almost 790, 000 – 790,640 acres which is just around the same size of the State of Rhode Island – in fact, it’s just a little bigger. Though, there is a large part of the park which is exclusively wilderness. It is thought that the rocks throughout the park, were formed around 100 million years ago; this is because of the magma beneath the surface was cooled.

Activities In the Park

There are 9 camp grounds in the park including:

The Indian Cove

The Black Rock Campground

The Cottonwood Campground

For those who are going to want to use any of the three camp grounds from above, they are going to have running water and flushable toilets. However, there might be a fee charged a night for those who are using the camping area. Most of the other camp grounds are based on a first come first service policy; and back country camping is something which is very popular today. There are some regulations when it comes to using the grounds however so visitors need to check them before using the trails. The park is in fact one of the worst areas for air quality in America today.

Visitors can also go hiking in the park. There are many good hiking trails to choose from and there are longer and shorter trails to choose from; a trail through the Hidden Valley is short, only 1 mile. However this is going to offer visitors a great opportunity to see the amazing scenery of the park. There is a lookout point at Keys View which faces the south area of the park; here visitors can see the amazing views of Salton Sea and Coachella Valley also.

Joshua Tree National park Facts
Joshua Tree

Bird Life and Astronomy

In the park today, there are almost 250 different types of species found. This is going to include the ever popular birds including:

The Greater Roadrunner

The Mockingbirds

The Cactus Wren

The Verdin

The Gambel’s Quail

The Le Conte’s Thrasher

Some species however only spend a short amount of time in the park; some spend 2 seasons there before moving on. However, for anyone who wishes to find animals or sight them, will be able to visit the Smith Water Canyon or the fan palm oases. For those who wish to see birds, the Lost Horse Valley and the Queen Valley are both very popular areas to visit.

However, the park is very popular when it comes to astronomy and for star gazing also. Since the park is very well known for the dark skies which are usually found within the park, it is going to bring in many who want to explore the night’s sky. Though, the skies are really very much undisturbed by the air pollution found in California. The park has dry desert type air and does have a good stable atmosphere; this helps to create great astronomy conditions for observing the night skies.

The Wildlife in the Park

Most of the animals actually create a home in the Joshua Tree including the lizards and birds; and on some occasion, the grounded squirrels. Though, these animals are still going to be largely seen throughout the day. The desert animals are going to be seen at night and love to roam; these animals including:

The Bighorn Sheep


The Black Tailed Jack Rabbits


Kangaroo Rats

For the animals that live in and around the Joshua Trees, they do have ways to adapt. They have their very own special ways to adapt when it comes to having limited water supplies as well as some of the high summer temperatures. Most of the smaller mammals and the reptiles in the park usually find there is a huge heat coming from the underground but these animals do take refuge away from the heat amongst the trees.

The desert animals are going to use what body water supplies better than what a human can. Most reptiles are going to be able to adapt with little water; and birds are going to be able to fly to find water supplies. During the winter, a lot of the smaller insects and rodents can go in to hibernation; and for the birds, they can soar during the winter time.

Barker Dam is one of the best places to find the wild life; and the Barker Dam is actually a very short hike to the Hidden Valley. For visitors they will be able to see the Mule Deers and Desert Bighorn sheep passing through there to stop for water. There are tours of the area available at times for the visitors.

Joshua National Park Facts and information
Tourist in Joshua National Park

There are different types of wild life found in the park including:

The Red Spotted Toad

The California Tree Frog

The Yucca Moth

The Road Runner

The Gambel’s Quail

The Tarantula

Golden Eagles

The Wilderness Of The Park

With the park’s 789,745 acres of land, almost 430,000 acres are going to be designated as wilderness parts. The land is maintained by the NPS – the National Park Service. For any visitor who wishes to stay overnight to camp at the camp grounds, it will mean they need to register with the NPS. There cannot be any open camp fires used or stoves used other and there is a leave no trace element to the park. No bicycles are allowed in the park but horses are when there is a permit.

The park is certainly going to be a great area to visit also.


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Hot Springs National Park

The Famous Bath Houses


Hot Springs is an American National park found in Arkansas just opposite from the city of Hot Springs. Originally it was the Hot Springs Reservation however in 1921; on the 4Th of March the park became a national Park. This is actually one of the smallest, the smallest in fact, national park through its area size in America today.

It is also one of the oldest Federal Reserve in America; and in 2010, in the month of April, the park received its very own US quarter. This was because of the America the beautiful quarter’s series and it marked a huge history of the park also.

From the west of the slopes of the Hot Spring Mountain, are where the hot springs flow from; these ranges are part of the Quachita Mountain range. However, inside the park, the springs have not actually been preserved. This might sound very strange because they haven’t been preserved in their natural surface but instead have been conserved.

This means that the production of hot water which is un-contaminated is used for the public instead. This is a very strange thing for a national park to do but this is how the park service takes care of it.

However, it is the same with the mountains inside the park also. They are conserved also so that the hydrological system which feeds the springs is preserved and undisturbed. Over the years, people have actually been using the hot spring water for baths; and to help treat things such as rheumatism and a lot of other health problem.

Most of the time, the water is used in therapeutic baths and it really does help for many people today. The American Spa was once what people called the park when it was a reservation area. This helped to bring in the rich and also those who wish to improve their health; and people came from all over the world to do see the hot springs.

The national park does include a part of the downtown Hot Springs; and this does help to ensure that this is going to be one of the most visited parks in America today. It is also one of the easiest national parks to visit also; and there are so many things to see and do here also with the endless camping areas to try out as well as the hiking trails to visit. There are even opportunities for those who wish to, to bath in the spring water; though to do this, there will be a small charge for this.

The Bathhouse Row is a lovely area to visit and this is a National Historic Landmark also. Here are where the many amazing and of course, where the grandest collection of the bathhouses are available. These are some of the very popular throughout the entire North American region; and there are many amazing examples of the Gilded Age architecture also which is fantastic to view. The Fordyce Bathhouse is actually a visitor centre and the only operating bathhouses are the Quapaw and the Buck staff also.

However, in recent years, the park has become more and more popular with people heading to the park more and more. There was a record 1.5 million visitors in the year of 2003 which is very impressive but numbers have gone up to the 2.5 million mark also. More and more people want to view the amazing park and its endless features and learn about the history of the hot springs and just enjoy a great day out also.

The history of the Hot Springs National Park

In 1541, it was a Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto who reached the park; he was the first European traveller to do so. He wanted to explore the Valley of Vapours as what the Native Americans called the area. However, there have been many Native American groups that lived in the area and have been for at least 8000 years. Many of the people loved to live here because of the healing properties that were found with the thermal springs.

During the 18th century, this is when groups such as Cherokee, Choctaw and Caddo settled here. These groups went to one another and made a pact to leave their weapons behind and use the healing waters in the valley without any bloodshed or violence. It was a peaceful time; and the Quapaw used to live in the area of the Arkansas River.

France tried to claim the land in 1673 which they did by Father Marquette however, during the Treaty of Paris in 1763; the land was turned over to the Spanish. However, France reclaimed the land in 1800 before three years later, when the Louisianan Purchase occurred.

It was in 1807 when the first settlers came to Hot Springs; it was Jean Emmanuel Prudhomme. He regained good health after living here for two years bathing in the eternal hot water and eating the local foods also. However, after a few years, he did return to Louisiana; and soon after, Isaac Cates and John Perciful arrived in the area.

It was in 1921 when the Hot Springs Reservation was officially named the Hot Springs National Park by the US Congress. This was almost 900 acres at the times with the North Mountain, West Mountain, Whittington Lake Park, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Hot Springs Mountain all becoming a part of the land. However, it did expand to 5000 acres later on.

At the base of the Hot Springs Mountain is where the springs are found grouped together. There is a huge flow of almost half a million gallons each day. The hot water goes to different bathhouses and this helps to put money into the American Treasury each year also. The Hot Springs National Park is opened all year around and there are many amazing trails and roads that stretch miles.


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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

With the World’s Most Active Volcanoes


First established in 1916, the Hawaii national park is an American national park. This is found on the island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii also; and it is the home to two active volcanoes including the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea volcanoes also. Kilauea is a very active volcano, one of the world’s most active ones and Mauna Loa is the biggest volcano in the world also.

The Hawaii Volcanoes national park is certainly going to be a fantastic gateway for many scientists and history buffs to find out about the history and the birth of the Hawaii Islands. Many use the park as a good study ground to find out about the volcanoes and the volcanic activity of the worlds active and biggest volcanoes also. The endless visitors are going to be able to admire the amazing volcanic landscapes as well as flora and fauna.

The park does have some amazing natural views to admire and it was named an International Biosphere Reserve also. This was done in 1980 and 7 years later, in 1987, the national park was made a World Heritage Site. The park covers almost 323, 000 acres of land; and there are more than half of the actual park that has been designated a Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness area.

However, the park does offer some amazing camping and hiking options for those who really want to try these out. Though, there is such a diverse environment in the park; this starts from the sea level and reaches to the highest volcano on earth – Mauna Loa which stands at 13,677 feet high! There is a range of climates also, from the lush tropics rain forests, the amazing arid and of course the barren Ka’u Desert.

Since the 2 volcanoes are active, there are active sites around the island also; the main eruption site is the caldera of Kilauea. There is also the Pu’u’O’o vent but this vent can be remote so this isn’t a worrying eruption site unlike Kilauea vent. One of the main entrances to the park is the Hawaii Belt Road and there is also the Chain of Craters Road; and this road will lead past many craters which have occurred from historic eruptions. Kalapana town is mostly covered by lava flow.

Hawaii volcanoes National park facts
Hawaii lava tourists

The History of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Many years ago, it was thought that the goddess Pele, which is the goddess for volcanoes, lived in the Kilauea region volcano. It was thought that the local villagers of Hawaii visited the crater in order to give gifts to Pele the goddess. However in 1790, there was a party who went to the area; there were mostly warriors but a few women and children also went to the area. The group was caught up in a very violent eruption; this was very unusual at the time and many of the group was killed. Those who survived left footprints in the lava which still can be seen today; and it is a very popular site for many visitors to view.

William Ellis was the first western visitor to head to the site, he was British and he was accompanied by the American, Asa Thurston. They went to the area in 1823 and William Ellis spoke of how amazing and spectacular the land was to see. He wrote very highly of the volcanoes and since 1840, the volcanoes have both become a major tourist attraction.

At the rim of the volcanoes, hotels were run by George Lycurgus and Benjamin Pitman; and Volcano House remains the only restaurant and hotel located at the park, within the borders of the park also. In 2010 in the month of January, the hotel was closed. This was for renovations that were scheduled to be done at the hotel.

After Lorrin A Thurston (the grandson of missionary Asa Thurston) invested in the hotel from 1891 through to 1904, and was the driving force behind getting the park established as a national park. He owned the Honolulu Newspaper and printed articles about having a park established. Then in 1907, fifty members of Congress were paid to visit Kilauea; the visit included their wives and it included a dinner that was cooked over lava steam vents. However, it wasn’t until 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson on the 1st of August signed a bill that finally passed to help create the park.

At the time, Hawaii Volcanoes become the 11th National Park in America. It was the first park to be in a Territory area also. Only weeks later was the National Park Service created and they were going to run the services required in the park also.

Historical Places and Attractions to Visit

The Ainahou Ranch

The 1790 Footprints

Kilauea Crater

Ainapo Trail

Wilkes Campsite

Volcano House

Puna-Ka’u Historic District

Whitney Seismograph Vault No. 29

Hawaii National Parks Facts and information
Lava cooling

There are many amazing attractions to visit including the visitor centre. There is also the main visitor centre which offers a lot of information about the park and the endless features in the park also. The Volcano Art Centre is a great location to visit which is found in the original Volcano House hotel of 1877 and the art centre is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There is also the great Thomas A Jagger Museum which is found just west of Crater Rim Drive; and offers a great up close view of the active vent on Kilauea of Halema’uma’u. Though the American military personnel uses the Kilauea Military Camp for accommodations also.

Recent Eruptions

There was a very small explosion in the crater of Halema’uma’u; and this was on the 19th of March in 2008. This was the first eruption since 1924; and the debris covered a huge area of almost 74 acres. A very small amount of ash was seen at a local community. However, there was no lava flow from this explosion. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an unpredictable destination to visit.


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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A World Heritage Site


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO world heritage Site as well as a national park of the United States of America. The park can be found just at the ridgeline of the amazing Great Smoky Mountains which are a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. North Carolina and Tennessee borders run through the centre of the park and it is one of the most popular and most visited National Parks throughout America today.

In 1934, the U.S. Congress was chartered; and in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the park also. The land covers almost 522,420 acres which is a huge area to cover; and it is one of the biggest and most protected areas throughout the Eastern part of America. For visitors trying to get to the park, they will need to take highway 441 at Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee in North Carolina. Federal funds helped to pay for the park which is the first national park to do so. All other parks were not given money by the government but rather private or state funds.

History of the Park

The Cherokees used to live in the Great Smoky Mountains before the European settlers appeared. The region was solely the home of the Cherokees but during the 18th and the 19th centuries, the land became populated with settlers. Most of the settlers were able to live off the land and create a good home for them throughout the entire year.

All of the Native Indian tribes were removed forcefully in 1830 because of the President – Andrew Jackson. He was the one who signed the Indian Removal Act which started the forceful removal of all Indian’s and they were moved east of the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facts
Headlights emerging from a tunnel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Most of the Cherokee left their homes, however, some didn’t and hide throughout the area in which they were led by the warrior Tsali. Some of the descendants do actually live in the Qualla Boundary today! However, the logging business grew considerably as other settlers appeared on the land. There was also the Little River Railroad constructed in the 19th century which was used to specifically move all of the timber from the remote regions of the park.

However, the cut and run style of the removal of the trees helped to destroy the beauty of the land. This lead to visitors and the locals to raise money for the preservation of the land; and even though the National Park service wanted to take this into their administration, they didn’t have the money to do so.

The land however didn’t have a park around it. Though, the American government offered two million dollars as well as five million coming from J.D. Rockefeller Jr.; and citizens from North Carolina and Tennessee came together to offer funds. Slowly, the park was formed but in doing so, the homesteaders in the mountain ranges were removed – evicted from the land, along with the loggers and miners.

Timber operations and farms were solely stopped in order to create and protect the vast areas of park also. Though the park didn’t become an international Biosphere Reserve until 1976; and it wasn’t until 83 when the park was known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Various Attractions throughout the Park

The park is certainly one of the biggest tourist attractions in this part of the country and does attract over 10 million visitors each year. However, there is a lot of income from tourism from the surrounding towns of:




Pigeon Forge



Bryson City

Maggie Valley

Hiking is a very popular activity in the park and there are over 800 miles of trails to take. The Appalachian Trial is certainly one of the most popular trails to take when it comes to hiking. Fishing and sightseeing are both very popular activities in the park also; and horseback riding and cycling are amazing to choose also. Though there are many things that visitors can do when they visit the park.

Famed Areas of the Park with Historical Ties

There are 4 historical districts and 1 archaeological district within the park that the National Park Service is going to be responsible for. They will maintain these 5 areas and there are 9 different historical places that are individual listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Information
Peaceful Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The historical listings are:

The Roaring Fork Historical District

The Cades Cove Historic District

The Noah Ogle Place

The Oconaluftee Archaeological District

The Elkmont Historic District

The 9 different individual listings are:

The Walker Sisters Place

The Alex Cole Cabin

The John Messer Barn

The Little Greenbrier School

The John Ownby Cabin

The Hall Cabin Which Is Located In Hazel Creek

The Tyson McCarter Place

The Oconaluftee Baptist Church

The Mayna Treanor Avent Studio

There are many EV’s found in the park – electric vehicles – this was announced in 2001 and these were offered by the TVA – the Tennessee Valley Authority. This was supposed to be a research project to help evaluate the performance in the mountain range and terrains with these vehicles.

The air pollution in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in fact one of the most polluted parks in America.There were almost 150 days which were considered to be unhealthy because of the air pollution found in the air of the park.

This is a new record and it is terrible because it is not expected to be found in a national park but it is. Though, even still this is considered to be a small problem there are many visitors that come to the park every year. It is a great park and one of the best in America today; and it does seem that everyone is doing all they can to try to preserve the park and land.


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