Devils Postpile National Monument
Devils Postpile National Monument is located near Mammoth Mountain in eastern California. The national monument protects Devils Postpile, a rock formation of columnar basalt. In addition, the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail merge into one trail as they pass through the monument, excluding a small developed area containing the monument headquarters, visitor center and a campground, the National Monument lies within the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The monument was once part of Yosemite National Park, but discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes prompted a change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the government to stop the demolition and, in 1911. The flora and fauna at Devils Postpile are typical of the Sierra Nevada, dark-eyed juncos and white-crowned sparrows are common in the summer. The name Devils Postpile refers to a cliff of columnar basalt.
Radiometric dating indicates the formation was created by a flow at some time less than 100,000 years ago. Estimates of the thickness range from 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass, because of its great thickness, much of the mass of pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and so symmetrical. Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of contract while cooling. A glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a surface on top of the columns with very noticeable glacial striations. The Postpiles columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet, together they look like tall posts stacked in a pile, hence the features name. If the lava had cooled perfectly evenly, all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal, but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections due to variations in cooling. A survey of 400 of the Postpiles columns found that 44. 5% were 6-sided,37. 5% 5-sided,9. 5% 4-sided,8.
0% 7-sided, compared with other examples of columnar jointing, the Postpile has more hexagonal columns. Another feature that places the Postpile in a category is the lack of horizontal jointing. Several stones from the Devils Postpile can be seen at the entrance to the United States Geological Survey headquarters lot in Reston, although the basaltic columns are impressive, they are not unique
A summit is a point on a surface that is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. Mathematically, a summit is a maximum in elevation. The topographic terms acme, apex and zenith are synonymous, the UIAA definition is that a summit is independent if it has a prominence of 30 metres or more, it is a mountain if it has a prominence of at least 300 metres. This can be summarised as follows, A pyramidal peak is an exaggerated form produced by ice erosion of a mountain top, Summit may refer to the highest point along a line, trail, or route. In many parts of the western United States, the term refers to the highest point along a road, highway. For example, the highest point along Interstate 80 in California is referred to as Donner Summit while the highest point on Interstate 5 is Siskiyou Mountain Summit, geoid Hill List of highest mountains Maxima and minima Nadir Summit accordance Peak finder
Interstate 40 is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States generally north of Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 but south of Interstate 70. The western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, its end is at a concurrency of U. S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington. It is the third longest interstate in the United States, behind Interstate 80 and Interstate 90. Much of the part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow, parallels or overlays the historic U. S. Route 66, east of Oklahoma City the route generally parallels U. S. Route 64. Interstate 40 is a major east–west route of the Interstate Highway System and its western end is in Barstow, California. Known as the Needles Freeway, it heads east from Barstow across the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County to Needles, I-40 covers 155 miles in California. A sign in California showing the distance to Wilmington, North Carolina has been several times. Interstate 40 is a route to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with the exits leading into Grand Canyon National Park in Williams.
I-40 covers 359 miles in Arizona, just west of exit 190, west of Flagstaff, is its highest elevation along I-40 in the US, as the road crosses just over 7,320 feet. I-40 passes through the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation in the US, I-40 covers 374 miles in New Mexico. Notable cities along I-40 include Albuquerque, Santa Rosa, Grants, I-40 travels through several different Indian reservations in the western half of the state. It reaches its highest point of 7,275 feet at the Continental Divide in western New Mexico between Gallup and Grants. Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are the three states where I-40 has a speed limit of 75 mph instead of 70 mph which happens in California, Arkansas, Tennessee. In the west Texas panhandle area, there are several ranch roads connected directly to the interstate, one of the marked at-grade crossings is shown to the right. The only major city in Texas that is served by I-40 is Amarillo. I-40 has only one center in the state that Is located in Amarillo at the exit for Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.
I-40 covers 331 miles in Oklahoma, Interstate 40 enters the west-central part of the state and runs for 284 miles in Arkansas. The route passes through Van Buren, where it intersects the southbound Interstate 540/US71 to Fort Smith, the route continues east to Alma to intersect Interstate 49 north to Fayetteville, Arkansas
The Mojave Desert is an arid rain-shadow desert and the driest desert in North America. It is located in the southwestern United States, primarily within southeastern California and southern Nevada, very small areas extend into Utah and Arizona. The central part of the desert is sparsely populated, while its peripheries support large communities such as Las Vegas, Palmdale, the Mojave Desert is bordered by the Great Basin Desert to its north and the Sonoran Desert to its south and east. Topographical boundaries include the Tehachapi Mountains to the west, and the San Gabriel Mountains, the mountain boundaries are distinct because they are outlined by the two largest faults in California – the San Andreas and Garlock faults. The Mojave Desert displays typical basin and range topography and it occupies less than 50,000 sq mi, making it the smallest of the North American deserts. The Mojave Desert is often referred to as the desert, in contrast to the low desert. However, the Mojave Desert is generally lower than the Great Basin Desert to the north, the spelling Mojave originates from the Spanish language while the spelling Mohave comes from modern English.
The Mojave Desert receives less than 13 in of rain a year and is generally between 2,000 and 5,000 feet in elevation, zion National Park in Utah lies at the junction of the Mojave, the Great Basin Desert, and the Colorado Plateau. Despite its aridity, the Mojave has long been a center of production, fed by irrigation coming from groundwater. The Mojave is a desert of temperature extremes and two distinct seasons, winter months bring comfortable daytime temperatures, which dip precipitously to around 20 °F on valley floors, and below 0 °F at higher elevations. Storms moving from the Pacific Northwest can bring rain and in places even snow. More often, the shadow created by the Sierra Nevada as well as mountain ranges within the desert such as the Spring Mountains, bring only clouds. By early June, it is rare for another Pacific storm to have a significant impact on the regions weather, summer weather is dominated by heat. Temperatures on valley floors can soar above 120 °F and above 130 °F at the lowest elevations, low humidity, high temperatures, and low pressure, draw in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico creating thunderstorms across the desert southwest known as the North American monsoon.
Autumn is generally pleasant, with one to two Pacific storm systems creating regional rain events, october is one of the driest and sunniest months in the Mojave, and temperatures usually remain between 70 °F and 90 °F on the valley floors. After temperature, wind is the most significant weather phenomenon in the Mojave, during the June Gloom, cooler air can be pushed out into the desert from Southern California. In Santa Ana wind events, hot air from the desert blows out into the Los Angeles basin, wind farms in these areas generate power from these winds. The other major factor in the region is elevation
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U. S. National Recreation Area protecting 80,002 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of the park is land used by the United States Army. GGNRA is managed by the National Park Service and is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors a year. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, the park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from southern San Mateo County to northern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive, it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, the park was created thanks to the cooperative legislative efforts of cosponsors Congressman William S. Mailliard and Congressman Phillip Burton. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law An Act to Establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the bill allocated $120 million for land acquisition and development.
The National Park Service first purchased Alcatraz and Fort Mason from the U. S. Army, the Nature Conservancy transferred the land to the GGNRA. These properties formed the basis for the park. Throughout the next 30 years, the National Park service acquired land and historic sites from the U. S. Army, private landowners and corporations, incorporating them into the GGNRA. Many decommissioned Army bases and fortifications were incorporated into the park, including Fort Funston, four Nike missile sites, The Presidio, the latest acquisition by the National Park Service is Mori Point, a small parcel of land on the Pacifica coast. In 1988, UNESCO designated the GGNRA and 12 adjacent protected areas the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, the property, located south of Pacifica and surrounding the communities of Moss Beach and Montara, is home to many diverse plant and animal species. The bill passed in the Senate, but did not pass the House of Representatives, Fort Baker - former Army post located on the northern side of the Golden Gate Headlands Center for the Arts - an artist residency program set in renovated military buildings in the Marin Headlands.
Nike Missile Site SF-88 - a decommissioned Army surface-to-air missile site located near Fort Barry, located at the southwestern corner of the Presidio Battery Chamberlin - one of the last remaining coastal defense disappearing guns on the U. S. Trails lead across the ridge and to Sharp Park beach, the site includes recently restored wetlands and a pond, protecting endangered San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog habitat. Rancho Corral de Tierra - the GGNRAs newest park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Scenery Video, a video showing the scenery observed from the GGNRA, including footage from Lands End
Needles is a city in San Bernardino County, United States. It lies on the banks of the Colorado River in the Mohave Valley subregion of the Mojave Desert, near the borders of Arizona and Nevada. It is the easternmost city of the Greater Los Angeles area, the city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U. S. Route 95. The population was 4,844 at the 2010 census, up from 4,830 at the 2000 census. Needles was named after The Needles, a group of pinnacles, the large Mohave Native American community shares the nearby Fort Mojave Indian Reservation and the town. Needles is a gateway to the Mojave National Preserve, in the Mohave language, they call themselves the ʼAha Makhav. Their name comes from two words, ʼaha, meaning river, and makhav, meaning along or beside, the historic Mojave Road now goes through the Mojave National Preserve. Along it, in 1859, Fort Mojave was built to protect new pioneer immigrants to California, the city was founded in May 1883 as a result of the construction of the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway which originally crossed the Colorado River at this point.
The name was derived from the Needles, pointed mountain peaks where the holes in them. This point on the Colorado River was a site for such a bridge, lacking firm banks. Additionally, the bridge was not of the best quality, which led to criticism that it was a flimsy looking structure, the flooding and meandering of the Colorado River destroyed the bridge in 1884,1886 and 1888. Finally the railroad surrendered to nature and built a high cantilever bridge at a much narrower point with solid rock footings, ten miles downstream near modern Topock, completing it in May 1890. Originally a tent town for construction crews, the railroad company built a hotel, car sheds, shops. Within a month the town boasted a Chinese washhouse, a newsstand, a restaurant, a couple of general stores. The town became the largest port on the river above Yuma, the landmark building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is being restored. Needles was a stop on the historic U. S. Route 66 highway from the 1920s through the 1960s.
For immigrants from the Midwest Dust Bowl in the 1930s it was the first town that marked their arrival in California, the city is lined with motels and other shops from that era. The Cartys Camp which appears briefly in The Grapes of Wrath as the Joad family enters California from Arizona is now a ghost tourist court, Needles is a tourism and recreation center, a tradition going back for decades
Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31,1994 with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress, previously, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. At 1,600,000 acres, it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States. Natural features include the Kelso Dunes, the Marl Mountains and the Cima Dome, as well as volcanic formations such as Hole-in-the-Wall, the preserve encloses Providence Mountains State Recreation Area and Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve, which are both managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Impressive Joshua Tree forests cover parts of the preserve, the Cima Dome and Shadow Valley forests are the largest in the world. The defunct railroad depot and ghost town of Kelso are found there, the depot is now the visitor center.
The preserve is commonly traversed by 4 wheel drive vehicles traveling on the historic Mojave Road, summer temperatures average 90 °F, with highs exceeding 105 °F. Elevations in the Preserve range from 7,929 feet at Clark Mountain to 880 feet near Baker. Annual precipitation varies from 3.37 inches near Baker, to almost 9 inches in the mountains, at least 25% of precipitation comes from summer thunderstorms. Snow is often found in the mountains during the winter, the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 designated a wilderness area within Mojave National Preserve of approximately 695,200 acres. The National Park Service manages the wilderness in accordance with the Wilderness Act, the CDPA, the following climate data is for a higher elevation area in the preserve. See Climate of the Mojave Desert, Mojave Memorial Cross Official website Photo tour of Mojave National Preserve - from USGS
Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features. A topographic map is published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation, however, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief is popularly held to define the genre, such that even small-scale maps showing relief are commonly called topographic. The study or discipline of topography is a broader field of study. Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys, performed at large scales, these surveys are called topographical in the old sense of topography, showing a variety of elevations and landforms. This is in contrast to older cadastral surveys, which primarily show property, the first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789. Topographic surveys were prepared by the military to assist in planning for battle, as such, elevation information was of vital importance.
As they evolved, topographic map series became a resource in modern nations in planning infrastructure. Excluding borders, each sheet was 44 cm high and up to 66 cm wide, although the project eventually foundered, it left an indexing system that remains in use. TIGER was developed in the 1980s and used in the 1990, digital elevation models were compiled, initially from topographic maps and stereographic interpretation of aerial photographs and from satellite photography and radar data. Since all these were government projects funded with taxes and not classified for security reasons. Initial applications were mostly professionalized forms such as innovative surveying instruments, by the mid-1990s, increasingly user-friendly resources such as online mapping in two and three dimensions, integration of GPS with mobile phones and automotive navigation systems appeared. As of 2011, the future of standardized, centrally printed topographical maps is left somewhat in doubt, the various features shown on the map are represented by conventional signs or symbols.
For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads and these signs are usually explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Topographic maps are commonly called contour maps or topo maps. In the United States, where the national series is organized by a strict 7. 5-minute grid. Topographic maps conventionally show topography, or land contours, by means of contour lines, contour lines are curves that connect contiguous points of the same altitude. In other words, every point on the line of 100 m elevation is 100 m above mean sea level
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness. The national park is divided by the formations into East and West Divisions, connected by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls, the rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. The park features unusual talus caves that house at least thirteen species of bat, Pinnacles is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer months. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, and are a site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity. Pinnacles National Monument was established in 1908 by U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Pinnacles National Park was created from the former Pinnacles National Monument by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10,2013. Native Americans in the Pinnacles region comprised the Chalon and Mutsun groups of the Ohlone people and these native people declined with the arrival of the Spanish in the 18th century, who brought novel diseases and changes to the natives way of life.
The last Chalon had died or departed from the area by 1810, from 1810 to 1865, when the first Anglo-American settlers arrived, the Pinnacles region was a wilderness without human use or habitation. The establishment of a Spanish mission at Soledad hastened the areas native depopulation through disease, archaeological surveys have found thirteen sites inhabited by Native Americans, twelve of which post-date the establishment of the missions. One site is believed to be about 2000 years old, by the 1880s the Pinnacles, known as the Palisades, were visited by picnickers from the surrounding communities who would explore the caves and camp. The first account of the Pinnacles region appeared in print in 1881, between 1889 and 1891, newspaper articles shifted from describing excursions to the Palisades to calling them the Pinnacles. Interest in the rose to the point that the Hollister Free Lance sent a reporter to the Pinnacles. Investors came from San Francisco to consider placing a hotel there. In 1894 a post office was established in Bear Valley, since there was at least one other Bear Valley in California, the post office was named Cook after Mrs.
Hains maiden name. In 1924 the post office was renamed Pinnacles, Schuyler Hain was a homesteader who arrived in the Pinnacles area in 1891 from Michigan, following his parents and eight siblings to Bear Valley. White, was a student at Stanford University, and White brought one of his professors to see the Pinnacles in 1893, dr. Gilbert was impressed by the scenery, and his comments inspired Hain to publicize the region. Hain led tours to Bear Valley and through the caves, advocating the preservation of the Pinnacles, Hains efforts resulted in a 1904 visit by Stanford president David Starr Jordan, who contacted Fresno Congressman James C. Jordan and Needham in turn influenced Gifford Pinchot to advocate the establishment of the Pinnacles Forest Reserve to President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt proclaimed the establishment on July 8,1906
The Mohave Mountains are a small 18-mi long mountain range of northwest Arizona. The range is a northwest trending range in southwest Mohave County that parallels a southeast-flowing stretch of the Colorado River, the Arizona-California border. The range forms the southwest border of a region to its east and north, Dutch Flat which lies east. Lake Havasu City, AZ on the Colorado, lays opposite the southwest flank of the range, Interstate 40 traverses east from Needles, California adjacent the north of the range through the flatland region, and turns north through the Sacramento Valley to Kingman, Arizona. The northwest terminus of the range merges into hills and a region on the east shore of the Colorado River called The Needles. The Mohave Mountains are mostly northwest-trending with a curve to the east at the south terminus. There is no central ridgeline, instead the northwest becomes lower elevation hills, the center and south of the range is centered around a massif which contains the range highpoint, Crossman Peak, at 5,103 feet.
Unimproved roads from Arizona 95 access the northwest and the north of the range, an unimproved road from Arizona 95 traverses northeasterly at the ranges southeast flank. The route reaches Dutch Flat, from where the eastern side of the range is met with unimproved access roads. A dirt route from Franconia Wash, accesses the northeast of Crossman Peak, the gated portion of the route is open to hikers, and the ridgeline offers a spectacular view of Dutch Flat and the Lake Havasu valley. The unimproved roads into Dutch Flat, the ranges northwest flank, i-40 lies 7-mi due-north of the ranges north terminus. Mohave Mountains Range, Arizona Mountain Ranges, Primary Table
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25,1890, the park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park, the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976, the park is 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 five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Parks General Grant Grove, the parks giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Indeed, the preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement. Many park visitors enter Sequoia National Park through its entrance near the town of Three Rivers at Ash Mountain at 1,700 ft elevation.
The last California grizzly was killed in this park in 1922, the California Black Oak is a key transition species between the chaparral and higher elevation conifer forest. At higher elevations in the front country, between 5,500 and 9,000 feet in elevation, the landscape becomes montane forest-dominated coniferous belt, found here are Ponderosa, Jeffrey and lodgepole pine trees, as well as abundant white and red fir. Found here too are the giant sequoia trees, the most massive living single-stem trees on earth, between the trees and summer snowmelts sometimes fan out to form lush, though delicate, meadows. In this region, visitors often see deer, Douglas squirrels, and American black bears. There are plans to reintroduce the bighorn sheep to this park, the vast majority of the park is roadless wilderness, no road crosses the Sierra Nevada within the parks boundaries. 84 percent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is designated wilderness and is only by foot or by horseback. Sequoias 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 the floor of canyon, at least two 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 8,000 ft to the summit of Mount Whitney, in the summertime, Native Americans would travel over the high mountain passes to trade with tribes to the East. By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had spread to the region. The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp, Tharp allowed his cattle to graze the meadow, but at the same time had a respect for the grandeur of the forest and led early battles against logging in the area