Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park

Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park

by Sandra Merville Hart Sequoia National Park is the second oldest national park. It is located in the Sierra Nevada, which means “snowy mountain range” in Spanish. The California park was established in 1890. About 930,000 people visit each year to see the huge mountains, rugged foothills, canyons, caverns, and the world’s largest trees. Over 200 caves have been discovered in the parks. They are different from other caves in that these formed in marble. Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States but can’t be seen from park roads. The peaks of the Great Western Divide hide it from west side of the park. For the hearty climber, a day-long hide to the top of Alta Peak allows the hiker to see the top of Mount Whitney...

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Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

by Sandra Merville Hart Shenandoah National Park, established in 1935, is visited by over 1,000,000 each year. Just 75 miles from Washington D.C., President Herbert Hoover kept a vacation home in Rapidan Camp while in office from 1929 to 1933. Spectacular views of cascading waterfalls, the Shenandoah River, and rolling hills are found in 75 overlooks in the park. Four campgrounds, a lodge, and rustic cabins give visitors a variety of options to spend a few days enjoying the beauty of nature. The only public road in the park is Skyline Drive, a 105 mile drive along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The winding hills make this a challenging bike ride, but the rangers suggest those riding bikes starting before 10 am to avoid high volumes of traffic. If your family likes to...

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Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

by Sandra Merville Hart Crater Lake National Park, established in 1902, is a picturesque lake surrounded by two-thousand foot high cliffs in the state of Oregon. This unusual lake was formed by a volcanic eruption over 7,500 years ago. At 1,943 feet deep, it is the deepest lake in the United States. The water is almost entirely rain and melted snow, making it a beautiful blue color that fills visitors with wonder. About 533 inches of snow (44 feet) fall every year at Crater Lake. The biggest snowfall was 879 inches (73 feet) in 1932-33. The snow usually melts by August. Fish were added to the lake but only two species survived: Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Fishing is encouraged and no license is required. There is a volcano called Mt. Mazama in the park. You...

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill to preserve Yosemite Valley and a grove of sequoia trees that he had never seen on June 10, 1864. The first tourists to Yosemite Valley traveled four to five days by carriage, horse, and foot from San Francisco. Yosemite known for beautiful waterfalls and sequoias Yosemite National Park was established in 1890 and has 3,700,000 visitors every year. The park is best known for its waterfalls, but also has ancient giant sequoias, vast wilderness, meadows, and valleys.   Yosemite Falls is North America’s tallest waterfall At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America. Melting snow feeds Yosemite Falls and it usually reaches its peak in late May. Giant Staircase The Merced River drops over...

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Denali National Park

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is located in Alaska and is the home of Mount McKinley. At 20,320 feet, this is North America’s tallest peak. The park was established in 1917 and is about the size of Massachusetts. Denali Park Road The Denali Park Road, ninety-two miles long, is the only road in the park. The first fifteen miles leads to Savage River and is paved. There are many places to stop and take pictures. If it’s not cloudy, you can see the snowy Mount McKinley after driving nine miles on the park road. Tour busesĀ  Denali Park Road turns into a gravel road after the fifteen mile marker. Visitors can take shuttle buses, tour buses, or courtesy buses to go farther along the road. The tour buses include guides that share information about the park. Huskies...

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