Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and Californias Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests and these trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast, the northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco, after many decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began.
Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the redwood trees had been logged. The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl. Modern day native groups such as the Yurok, Karok and Wiyot all have ties to the region. Archaeological study shows they arrived in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago, an 1852 census determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500. They used the abundant redwood, which with its grain was easily split into planks, as a building material for boats, houses. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping. Redwood boards were used to form a sloping roof. Previous to Jedediah Smith in 1828, no other explorer of European descent is known to have investigated the inland region away from the immediate coast. The discovery of gold along the Trinity River in 1850 led to a secondary rush in California.
This brought miners into the area and many stayed on at the coast after failing to strike it rich and this quickly led to conflicts wherein native peoples were placed under great strain, if not forcibly removed or massacred. By 1895, only one third of the Yurok in one group of villages remained, by 1919, the miners logged redwoods for building, when this minor gold rush ended, some of them turned again to logging, cutting down the giant redwood trees. Representative John E. Raker, of California, became the first politician to introduce legislation for the creation of a national park
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
Castle Rock State Park (California)
Castle Rock State Park is a state park of California, USA, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has left in its wild. Steep canyons are sprinkled with rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking trails. These trails are part of a more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. There are two campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking. The 5, 242-acre park was established in 1968, the park is located on California State Route 35 just 2.5 miles southeast of the junction with State Route 9. It is located almost entirely in Santa Cruz County, Castle Rock State Park is suitable for many activities. There are two campgrounds for overnight hikers, many trails for day-hikes, rock climbing routes. Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in the campgrounds, under Governor Browns current budget proposal this park was going to close.
This would mean that visitors couldnt enter the park, and rangers would no longer staff the park, California Assembly Bill 42 was signed into law on October 5,2011. This bill allows state parks to enter into operating agreements with non-profit organizations, the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation has been formed to help support Portola and Castle Rock State Parks. On March 14,2012 the park was removed from the park closure list for a one-year reprieve based on a $250,000 donation by the Sempervirens Fund. List of California state parks Castle Rock State Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. The park was established in 1940 and covers 461,901 acres and it incorporated General Grant National Park, established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias. The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park and they were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years, the first Native Americans in the area were Paiute peoples, who moved into the region from their ancestral home east of Mono Lake. The Paiute Nation people used deer and other animals for food. They created trade routes that extended down the slope of the Sierra into the Owens Valley. Kings Canyon had been known to white settlers since the mid-19th century, United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes fought to create the Kings Canyon National Park. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph and document this among other parks, the bill combined the General Grant Grove with the backcountry beyond Zumwalt Meadow.
Kings Canyons future was in doubt for nearly fifty years, some wanted to build a dam at the western end of the valley, while others wanted to preserve it as a park. The debate was settled in 1965, when the valley, along with Tehipite Valley, was added to the park, Kings Canyon National Park consists of two sections. The parks Giant Sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and this section of the park is mostly mixed conifer forest, and is readily accessible via paved highways. Both the South and Middle Forks of the Kings Rivers have extensive glacial canyons, one portion of the South Fork canyon, known as the Kings Canyon, gives the entire park its name. Kings Canyon, with a depth of 8,200 feet, is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The canyon was carved by glaciers out of granite, the Kings Canyon, and its developed area, Cedar Grove, is the only portion of the main part of the park that is accessible by motor vehicle. Both the Kings Canyon and its Middle Fork twin, Tehipite Valley, are deeply incised, U-shaped glacial gorges with relatively flat floors and towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high.
In addition, the canyon has several systems, one of which is Boyden Cave. To the east of the canyons are the peaks of the Sierra Crest, which attain an elevation of 14,248 feet NAVD88 at the summit of North Palisade. This is classic high Sierra country, barren ridges and glacially scoured lake-filled basins
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a state park in California, United States, located 40 miles east of San Diego in the Laguna Mountains of the Peninsular Ranges. The parks 26,000 acres feature pine and oak forests, with meadows, the park includes 6, 512-foot Cuyamaca Peak, the second-highest point in San Diego County. Wildlife in the area includes mountain lions, which have known to attack humans. Numerous other species of mammals, birds and amphibians are known to reside within the park, the park was closed for several months due to massive damage incurred in the 2003 Cedar Fire. Although much of the forest was burned, the park has since been reopened, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is located in the Peninsular Range, which extends from the San Jacinto Mountains north of the park, southward to the tip of Baja California. Metamorphosed sediments such as schist and quartzite are abundant in the Cuyamacas, most of the rocks now seen in the park are plutonic, either the granodiorite comprising Stonewall Peak, or the gabbro comprising Cuyamaca Peak.
As these bedrocks weather, they become the parent material of the coarse, gabbro weathers to a darker red soil than granodiorite or other quartz-rich rock. Gold is an element that appears around granite formations because gold forms during cooling. Gold commonly occurs in association with quartz, either as pure gold or as an ore, in the Cuyamaca area, gold is associated with the metasediment called Julian Schist. At mines in this area, including the Stonewall, veins of gold were followed into the bedrock, most streams in the park have small amounts of gold, since it is constantly being removed from the quartz exposures by weathering. Cuyamacas average elevation of nearly 5,000 feet enables many conifers and broadleaf trees to exist, the conifers include the white fir, incense cedar, Coulter pine, Jeffrey pine, sugar pine and ponderosa pine. The parks smaller shrubs, ranging from 1–4 feet, include California buckwheat, Wrights buckwheat, chaparral honeysuckle, California rose, creeping sage, cougars are present but rarely seen.
About 200 species of birds have been documented in the park and summer residents include the black-headed grosbeak, Baltimore oriole, ash-throated flycatcher, western wood pewee, house wren, several warblers, and the lesser goldfinch. Generally cougars are quite elusive, but for a ten-year span Cuyamaca Rancho State Park experienced a rash of incidents between visitors and cougars, including one human fatality, Park users are warned not to hike, horseback ride or bike alone. Cuyamaca Ranchos first reported cougar incident took place in June 1988, a European couple with a small child was chased by two cougars in the parks Green Valley Campground. A game warden investigated and killed the two male cats, in September 1993 a cougar chased two horseback riders for.5 miles, prompting park officials to close Cuyamaca Rancho for two weeks and install gated barriers around the campgrounds and parking areas. 11 days after the park reopened, however, a different cougar nipped a girl playing with her family in the campground, the 41-pound juvenile female cat was located and shot. 1994 saw two separate incidents in which a cougar acted aggressively toward a party of three humans, officials located and shot both animals
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, the park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a wilderness area. It is the hottest and lowest of the parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, the park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams, the valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.
Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology, the valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean, additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes, the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, in 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years, the result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the fans there are small
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
Border Field State Park
Border Field State Park is a state park of California, United States, containing beach and coastal habitat on the Mexico–United States border. The park is within the city limits of Imperial Beach in San Diego County and it is the southernmost point in the state of California. Immediately adjacent is the monument marking the Initial Point of Boundary Between U. S. the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was concluded on February 2,1848, officially ending the war between the United States and Mexico. It provided that the new border between the two countries be established by a joint United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. The commission began its survey at Border Field, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve contains much of Border Field State Park and is an important wildlife habitat. The salt and freshwater marshes give refuge to migrating waterfowl and resident wading birds, such as black-necked stilt, American avocet, green-winged teal, American wigeon, the park offers hiking, horse trails, surf fishing and birding.
For fiscal year 2014-1561,799 people visited the Border Field State Park, small portions of the park often become flooded and are inaccessible to the public. New border fences have taken small portions of the park away, abandoned & Little-Known Airfields, California - Southern San Diego area
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a state park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep. With 600,000 acres that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, ABDSP is the largest state park in California and, after New Yorks Adirondack Park, the second largest in the contiguous United States. The park occupies eastern San Diego County and reaches into Imperial and Riverside counties, ABDSP is around a two-hour drive northeast from San Diego, southeast from Riverside or Irvine, and south from Palm Springs. The park is an anchor in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve, Park information and maps, interpretive events and displays and listening devices for the hearing impaired are all available in the Visitor Center. ABDSP has Wi-Fi access to the Internet in various sections of the park, many visitors approach ABDSP from the east-Coachella Valley side via California County Route S22 and S78.
These highways climb from the coast to 2,400 ft above sea level, the great bowl of the surrounding desert is surrounded by mountains, with the Vallecito Mountains to the south and the highest Santa Rosa Mountains to the north. They are in the wilderness area, without paved roads. In January of 2017 Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was named the best state park in California, the habitats of ABDSP are primarily within the Colorado Desert ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion. The higher extreme northern and eastern sections in the Peninsular Ranges are in the California montane chaparral, the park features and desert washes, rock formations and colorful badlands, vast arid landscapes, and dramatic mountains. The bajadas are predominantly creosote bush-bur sage with creosote bush and the palo verde-cactus shrub ecosystems with the palo verde tree, cacti, in the washes, Colorado/Sonoran microphylla woodlands can be found. These woodlands include such plants as tree, velvet mesquite. ABDSP has natural springs and oases, with the only native palm.
Seasonal wildflower displays can be stunning in any plant community association throughout the park, the high-country to the north and east has closed-cone pine forests and oak woodlands. The oases are prolific with all types of fauna, especially for bird-watching, in the reptile class, desert iguanas and the red diamond rattlesnakes can be seen — with caution. ===Desert bighorn sheep=== Some areas of ABDSP are habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep, few park visitors see them, and the sheep are justly wary. A patient few observers each year see and count this endangered species to study the population, the expanses of ABDSPs eroded badlands provide a different view into the regions long-vanished tropical past. The inland of southeastern California was not always a desert, the study of the fossilized remains of ancient life, is the key to understanding this prehistoric world
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
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