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Hotels Near Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, southeast of Fresno, California in the United States of America. The park was the third National Park to be formed in the USA, in 1890 (the first being Yellowstone National Park in Wy., the second being the now-decommissioned Mackinac National Park in Mi.). The park spans 404,051 acres (1,635 km?). Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (3,962.4 meters), the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421.1 meters) above sea level. The park is adjacent to Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service as one unit, called Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The park is most famous for its Giant Sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the 10 largest trees in the world, in terms of wood volume. The Giant Forest is connected by the park's Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park's Grant Grove, home to the General Grant tree among other sequoias.
Many park visitors enter the park through its southern entrance near the town of Three Rivers at Ash Mountain at 1700 ft (518 m) elevation. The lower elevations around Ash Mountain contain the only National Park Service-protected California Foothills ecosystem, consisting of blue oak woodlands, foothills chapparal, grasslands, yucca plants, and steep, mild river valleys. The foothills region is also home to abundant wildlife: bobcats, foxes, ground squirrels, rattlesnakes, and mule deer are commonly seen in this area, and much more rarely, reclusive mountain lions are seen as well.
Moving up in the park, we reach an elevation where winter snowfalls determine which plants survive. Here we find the montane forest-dominated coniferous belt, between approx. 5,500 and 9,000 ft (1,676.4 and 2 743.2 m) in elevation. Found here are Ponderosa, Jeffrey, Sugar, and Lodgepole pine trees, as well as abundant white and red fir. Found here too are the mighty Sequoia trees, the most massive living trees on earth. Between the trees, spring and summer snowmelts sometimes fan out to form lush, though delicate, meadows. In this region, visitors often see mule deer, Douglas squirrel, and American black bears, who have been known to break into unattended cars to steal food left by careless visitors.
The vast majority of the park is roadless wilderness; in fact, to the surprise of many visitors, no road crosses the Sierra Nevada within the park's boundaries. This leaves over 84% of the park's area as designated wilderness], accessible only by foot or by horse.
Sequoia's backcountry offers a vast expanse of high-alpine wonders. Covering the highest-elevation region of the High Sierra, the backcountry includes Mount Whitney on the eastern border of the park, accessible from the Giant Forest via the High Sierra Trail. On a traveler's path along this 35 mi/56 km backcountry trail, one passes through about 10 miles/16km of montane forest before reaching the backcountry resort of Bearpaw Meadow, just short of the Great Western Divide. Bearpaw Meadow offers rustic tent cabins and gourmet meals cooked by a seasonal resident park crew.
Continuing along the High Sierra Trail over the Great Western Divide via Kaweah Gap, one passes from the Kaweah River Drainage, with its characteristic V-shaped river valleys, and into the Kern River drainage, where an ancient fault line has aided glaciers in the last ice age to create a U-shaped canyon that is almost perfectly straight for nearly 20 miles (32km). On the floor of this canyon, at least 2 days' hike from the nearest road, is the Kern Canyon hot spring, a popular resting point for weary backpackers. From the floor of Kern Canyon, the trail ascends again over 8000 ft (2 438 m) to the summit of Mount Whitney.
At Mount Whitney, the High Sierra Trail meets with the John Muir Trail and the epic Pacific Crest Trail, which continue northward along the Sierra crest and into the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park.
The area which now comprises Sequoia National Park was first home to Monachee (or Western Mono) Native Americans, who resided mainly in the Kaweah River drainage in the Foothills region of the park, though evidence of seasonal habitation exists even as high as the Giant Forest. In the summertime, Native Americans would travel over the high mountain passes to trade with tribes to the East. To this day, pictographs can be found at several sites within the park, notably at Hospital Rock and Potwisha, as well as bedrock mortars used to process acorns, a staple food for the Monachee people.
By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had already spread to the region, decimating Native American populations. The first Euro
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a U.S. national park in eastern Utah. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
The park is located near Moab, Utah, and is 119 square miles (310 km2) in size. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Since 1970, forty-three arches have toppled because of erosion. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.
The area, administered by the National Park Service, was originally designated as a national monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated a national park on November 12, 1971.
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