The most popular National Parks in the United States – part 2
The most popular National Park to be found in California is the Yosemite National Park. The region has been sculptured by glaciers 3 million years ago, and the land features are made even more spectacular as a result of the granite geology of the rocks.
This has meant that the strength of the granite has maintained its sheer angles and slopes resulting in spectacular landforms. The park is located in the Western Sierra Nevada Mountains and covers an area of 1,168 square miles and receives over 4 million visitors each year of which the majority head to Yosemite Valley which covers an area of only 6 square miles. In the past the region has been occupied by the American Indians, plus the Californian Gold Rush in the 19th century saw many European prospectors enter the area. The record of the area has been preserved in the local museums which are popular destinations for today’s tourists.
The tourists today are able to see huge U shaped valleys that have been cut into the granite leaving spectacular domes and cliffs behind. The area is a popular location for rock climbers due to the sheer angles of the rock.
Glaciers, hanging valleys and waterfall are also popular sights for the tourists and the only issue is that due to its close links with San Francisco traffic has become a major problem in the park. The park is trying to overcome this with the use of a bus system as more people as ever come to visit the flora and fauna that survives in this vast wilderness.
On the opposite side of the country from Yosemite is the Acadia National Park which is located in the State of Maine in the far north-east of the country. Hugging the Atlantic coastline the region includes a number of Islands lying just off the mainland. It is one of the oldest National Parks in the country having first been created in 1916 as the Sieur de Monts, before being named as the Acadia National Park in 1929. The beauty of the park is that it gives unique views of the Eastern Coastline of the country.
People will often make their way into the park to see the sun rising over the numerous Islands, mountains and lakes the lead down to the shoreline. The natural vegetation of the region is Pine Forest which adds to the areas natural beauty.
The northerly location of the park means that it does not receive the searing temperatures that other parks in the country do. The park is a popular get away for hikers and cyclists who will camp in the park but this is done in the warmer, summer months. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park may not have the numbers of visitors that other parks attract but it comes with rather a fearsome reputation. Located in the west of Colorado its eastern entrance is only 15 miles away from Montrose.
The park consists of 12 miles of the 48 mile long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. These 12 miles are the deepest part of the canyon and within the area some parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. There are deeper gorges but few are as narrow which accounts for the little sunlight.
The gorge is made even more spectacular by the fact the river descends at an alarming rate. The sounds of the crashing water couple with jet black valley walls makes it an eerie experience.
This does not stop many people visiting the park as there are great viewing points from highways crossing close by. Some people choose to camp in the area as there are many species of flora and fauna that can only survive in these dark wet ecosystems. As well as hiking being available, fishing and boat trips are also popular. Some of the trails down the canyon sides can take almost 4 hours to get up due to the steep nature of them. Rock climbing is also popular although only the most advanced climbers are recommended to tackle the canyon.
There are many other parks in the country all special in their own unique way.