Sierra Nevada


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.


Death Valley National Park

An Interesting National Park


The Death Valley National Park is a beautiful national park found in two American States – Nevada and California. This is actually found just east of the Sierra Nevada and is near the Great Basin and Mojave deserts also. The park does have a lot of diverse desert environments of badlands, salt flats, valleys, sand dunes, mountains and canyons.

The Death Valley National Park is considered to be an international Biosphere Reserve and almost 95% of the entire park is a wilderness area. Throughout the entire country of America, this park is actually the driest and the hottest also. Though the park does play home to many different types of species of animals and plants; and most of these species have been able to adapt to the very harsh desert like environment found in the park. Some animals and plants that have adapted are the coyote, the creosote bush, bighorn Sheep and even the Death Valley Pupfish.

History of the Valley

Though, for many years thousands of years ago, there were many Native Americans that lived in groups in the park. It is said that the groups migrated from camp to camp during the winters and created camps that were especially for the winters. During the summer months, the settlers lived in the mountains on higher grounds.

However, the Death Valley received its name because of a group of people who were trying to find a short cut through to California’s gold fields. One of the party died in the Valley and since it was known as the Death Valley. Then not long after, there were many different boom towns that appeared during the 19th and 20th centuries; though these were to be short lived towns. They were set up there so that people to mine silver and gold, however there was no profit from these mining projects.

Death Valley National Park Facts
Great American road in Death Valley

Instead, borax was found and that was the only real profitable and long term ore to be found and successfully mined. However, the Valley wasn’t the most popular area of its time. Very few heard of it but it wasn’t until years later when the Valley really became popular. It was subject of many television series, radio programs, movies and even books; and that helped to create a tourism boom in the 1920s. This is when resorts were first built near the Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells.

The tourism boom did help to make the park more famous and maybe even contributed to it becoming a national monument. It was in 1933 when the Death Valley National Monument was announced. However, over the years the park expanded quite a bit and eventually it became a national park – though this wasn’t until 1994. So it is a very recent park, even though it has been known for so long.

Geology has played a huge part today when it comes to how the natural environment has shaped. The oldest of all rocks found in the Valley are metamorphosed and they are thought to be more than a billion years old which is truly amazing. It’s said that the valley is a graben; and that there is still so much unknown about every part of the Valley.

The Highlights of the Death Valley National Park

There are two major valleys; these are the Panamint Valley and the Death Valley. They are both amazing to visit and they are thought to have been formed only within a few million years or so. They are both bounded by the north south trending mountain ranges. The second lowest pint of the western hemisphere is in the park – the Badwater Basin on the Death Valley floor.

There is a lack of surface water in the park and it does contribute to the park being one of the driest locations in America. The temperatures of the Valley can reach up to 134 F. The daily temperatures can actually vary from a good 88 to 120 however it can vary and it has been known to vary throughout the years also. During the winter time, it can reach around 15 F.

Activities in the Death Valley National Park

Sightseeing is going to be one of the most popular activities in the park today. For those who wish to go sightseeing, they should use their vehicles; but they can also use bicycles, mountain bikes or go by foot. Hiking is certainly going to be a very popular activity in the park also. Though, visitors are able to use motorcycles to go through various parts of the park which can be a great option for anyone to see the various sights.

There are many good hiking trails to use and they range in length and difficulty also. Most of the back country roads and areas are going to be difficult to reach unless those going cross country hiking.

Death Valley California - Facts and information
Beautiful Sand Dune Formations in Death Valley California

There are 9 great designated campgrounds in the park; for anyone who wishes to camp out all night, they will need to obtain a camping permit which can be given at the Visitor Center. Though there are many different lodgings to choose from and one of the 3 star ranch style properties are going to be very special to visit and stay at also. There are also motels to choose from also for visitors.

Though, it is a very popular spot for star gazing also. The Death Valley National Park is going to have some of the very darkest skies during the night time. Even though, the park is a fairly remote location, the visibility at night is being threatened because of civilization.

Light pollution is a troublesome problem and it doesn’t help that Las Vegas is very close by. The north west of the park is going to have the darkest of skies. This is one of the reasons why the park is going to be one of the most popular areas to visit in America today also.


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