Special Sub-Topic: US National Parks: Superlatives
|What is America's deepest lake? It is also and one of its cleanest lakes.|
Crater Lake & crater. Crater Lake, at around 1932 feet deep, is the deepest lake in the United States and the 7th deepest in the world. Proposed names for the lake were Deep Blue Lake and, my favorite, Hole in the Ground. I worked there in 1999.
|Established in 1968, this national park protects the world's tallest trees.|
Redwood & redwoods. Sadly, Redwood National Park was established only after 90% of all old-growth redwood forests had been logged.
|This national park protects the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 states.|
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. At 14,495 feet, Mt. Whitney in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is the tallest point in the lower 48. Established in 1890, Sequoia is also the second oldest national park.
|This Alaskan national park boasts the tallest mountain in North America.|
Denali. 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley, or Denali as American Indians call it, is the tallest point in North America.
|Death Valley National Park protects "Badwater," the lowest point in North America at:|
282 feet below sea level. Death Valley National Park is one of the hottest places on Earth, and with 1.6 inches of rain, it's the driest place in North America.
|Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks protect giant sequoias, the largest living things (in terms of mass) on the planet. Which tree is THE largest?|
General Sherman Tree. The General Sherman Tree, located in Giant Forest, is the largest living tree (thing) on the planet. It is 52,508 cubic feet in volume, 274.9 feet high, and has a base diameter of 30.3 feet. It weighs as much as 2,000 Honda Civics. I spent three summers at Sequoia-Kings.
|This national park protects the tallest volcano in the lower 48.|
Mount Rainier National Park. Mt. Rainier rises to 14,410', beating Mt. Shasta's 14,162' (which is protected by the Forest Service and not the Park Service). However, Mt. Shasta, while slightly less in elevation, is more massive. It is the most massive composite cone in the world!
|Kolob Arch, whose 310-foot span makes it possibly the largest free-standing arch in the world, is located in this national park.|
Zion National Park. Kolob Arch is located in the Kolob Section of Zion National Park, where I worked in 2000.
|This park protects the largest pre-Columbian city in the United States.|
Chaco Culture National Historic Park. If you've never been to Chaco Culture, go! Pueblo Bonito is one of the largest Anasazi ruins. It's simply amazing.
|It's the largest unit of the National Park System and has the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers.|
Wrangell - St Elias National Park and Preserve. At 13,175,901 acres, this spectacular park includes the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers and the greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet. Mount St. Elias, at 18,008 feet, is the second highest peak in the United States.
|To see the tallest waterfall in North America, you'll have to visit this national park.|
Yosemite. Yosemite Falls plunge 2,425 feet to the valley floor. The second highest falls in North America are also in Yosemite: Sentinel Falls begin 2000 feet above the valley.
|This park boasts the largest concentration of geysers on the planet.|
Yellowstone. Established in 1872, Yellowstone is also the world's oldest national park. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems on the earth today. It has some 10,000 thermal features including over 500 geysers, hot springs, fumaroles (steam vents), and mud pots.
|This national park has the most visitors of all national parks. (Note: National monuments, recreation areas, seashores, parkways, etc. are excluded.)|
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 9,316,420 people visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2002. Grand Canyon was second with 4,001,974. If you include all NPS areas, Blue Ridge Park Way is first with 21,538,760, and it is followed by Golden Gate National Recreation Area with 13,961,267 visitors.
|This national park has the longest recorded cave system in the world.|
Mammoth Cave National Park. Over 360 miles of passages have been explored and mapped, disclosing limestone formations (stalactites, stalagmites, and columns), lakes, and rivers.
|This national park boasts the greatest density of natural arches in the world.|
Arches National Park. Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
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