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Unusual things about US National Parks

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1. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

Thought I'd post a few unusual, lesser known facts about the USA's national parks:

(1) The most pure, clear water in the world is in Crater Lake in the southern part of the state of Oregon. It is so blue that one person wrote to their Congressman protesting it being "dyed" blue--not realizing that it happened naturally. The reason for it being so clear is that there is no water flowing into it (because it is so high) or out of it and therefore all the water came from a trillion years of rainfall.

(2) Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is actually located primarily within the center of the world's largest volcano (estimated at 48 miles in diameter). For this reason, seismic measurements are taken everyday, just in case it should decide to explode (and thus destroy most of the western US in the process).

(3) Glacier National Park (Montana) is the only national park in the US that can be reached directly by train. There is a regular amtrak stop right at the park.

(4) Volcano National Park in Hawaii has added new land (from lava flows) every day since 1983,

(5) Because it winds back and forth so much, the part of the Colorado River that runs throught the Grand Canyon (Arizona) is 2,770 river miles long.

(6) Mammoth Caves in Kentucky has a known length of over 360 miles long (and possibly is as much as 1,000 miles long). It's known length of 360 miles long is over 3 times as long as any other cave structure in the world

(7) The original Indian name for Death Valley (California) meant "Land on Fire".

(8) The location in the US considered the best place to see wildlife is Yellowstone in Wyoming; the location considered the best to see water wildlife is the Everglades in Florida.

(9) There are roads through the wilderness in Alaska that normally carve their way through 30 foot snow drifts in winter.

2. Posted by tdhunter (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Point number 2 is real scary! If i had known that I wouldnt have gone there :p

Thanks for the info though.

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 6y

Like this post
I want to add a few more that I know of.

10. Death Valley had a record high of 134F (56.7C). Although you'll find the absolute high of 136F (57.8C) in Libya, that record is actually very much questionable, as both the date (13th of september) and the fact that other places around it were much lower question this.

11. Rocky Mountain NP has the highest continuously paved road in the USA, at more than 12,000 feet above sea level.

12. Both the highest and the biggest trees in the world can be found in two Californian parks: Redwood and Sequoia respectively. The oldest, a 4,700 year old bristlecone tree is also found in California, but not in a national park.

4. Posted by Medsummer (Budding Member 18 posts) 6y

Mojave National park has a race track. There is a valley where the floor is dried mud and there are rocks on it about the size of my head (and just as hard!). when it rains and the mud becomes slick the wind will blow the rocks across the mud and they leave trails in the mud.
When it dries up the trails look like the rocks are racing across the desert.

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

Quoting Medsummer

Mojave National park has a race track. There is a valley where the floor is dried mud and there are rocks on it about the size of my head (and just as hard!). when it rains and the mud becomes slick the wind will blow the rocks across the mud and they leave trails in the mud.
When it dries up the trails look like the rocks are racing across the desert.

Actually the Racetrack Playa is in Death Valley NP. Sometimes called 'sailing stones' the exact source of movement is still being researched. The Mojave National Preserve has not obtained National Park status just yet.