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World's countries : United States

Amboy Crater
photograph by Jose Matutina

Amboy Crater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amboy_Crater

Amboy Crater is an extinct North American cinder cone type of volcano that rises above a 70-square-kilometer (27 sq mi) lava field in southern California. It is a National Natural Landmark located in the Eastern Mojave Desert and within Mojave Trails National Monument, in San Bernardino County, California. [2][4]

It is equidistant and about 75 miles (120 km) between Barstow to the west and Needles to the east, and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of historic U.S. Route 66, near the town of Amboy, California in San Bernardino County, California. Amboy Crater was designated the Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in May, 1973.[2][7]

The Amboy Crater's location is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) southwest of the town of Amboy and the Route 66-National Trails Highway. The Bullion Mountains are to the west, and Bristol Mountains to the northeast.[4]

Antelope Island
photograph by Tucapel

Antelope Island

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Island

Antelope Island, with an area of 42 square miles (109 km2), is the largest of 10 islands located within the Great Salt Lake, Utah, United States. The island lies in the southeastern portion of the lake, near Salt Lake City and Davis County, and becomes a peninsula when the lake is at extremely low levels.

The first known non-natives to visit the island were John C. Fremont and Kit Carson during exploration of the Great Salt Lake in 1845, who "rode on horseback over salt from the thickness of a wafer to twelve inches" and "were informed by the Indians that there was an abundance of fresh water on it and plenty of antelope".[2] It is said they shot a pronghorn antelope on the island and in gratitude for the meat they named it Antelope Island.

Antelope Island has natural scenic beauty and holds populations of pronghorn, bighorn sheep, American bison, porcupine, badger, coyote, bobcat, and millions of waterfowl. The bison were introduced to the island in 1893, and Antelope Island Bison Herd has proven to be a valuable genetic pool for bison breeding and conservation purposes. The bison do well because much of the island is covered by dry, native grassland.

Big Sur
photograph by Elena Petersen

Big Sur

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Sur

Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. Although it has no specific boundaries, many definitions of the area include the 90 miles (140 km) of coastline from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to the San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County,[1][2] and extend about 20 miles (30 km) inland to the eastern foothills of the Santa Lucias. Other sources limit the eastern border to the coastal flanks of these mountains, only 3 to 12 miles (5 to 19 km) inland. Another practical definition of the region is the segment of California State Route 1 from Carmel south to San Simeon. The northern end of Big Sur is about 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco, and the southern end is approximately 245 miles (394 km) northwest of Los Angeles.

The name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big south", or from "el país grande del sur", "the big country of the south". This name refers to its location south of the city of Monterey.[3] The terrain offers stunning views, making Big Sur a popular tourist destination. Big Sur's Cone Peak is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states, ascending nearly a mile (5,155 feet/1571 m) above sea level, only 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean.[4]

The name Big Sur can also specifically refer to any of the small settlements in the region, including Posts, Lucia and Gorda; mail sent to most areas within the region must be addressed "Big Sur".[5]

Chihuahuan desert
photograph by William Giles

Chihuahuan Desert

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chihuahuan_Desert

The Chihuahuan Desert is a desert, and an ecoregion designation, that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border in the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau. It is bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, along with overlaying northern portions of the Sierra Madre Oriental. On the United States side, it occupies much of southwestern Texas and small parts of New Mexico and Arizona. On the Mexican side, it covers the northern half of the state of Chihuahua, along with the majority of Coahuila, north-eastern Durango, the extreme northern part of Zacatecas, and small western portions of Nuevo León. With an area of about 362,000 km2 (139,769 sq mi), it is the third largest desert of the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert.[1]

Colchuck Lake
photograph by Patrick Gowey

The Enchantments

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enchantments

The Enchantments is an area comprising an upper and a lower basin, the lakes and tarns contained within them, and the peaks of the Stuart Range bounding the basins.[1] The area is located entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Leavenworth, Washington in the United States.[2] The Enchantments is regarded as one of the most spectacular locations in the Cascade Range.[3]

The first European American to discover the area and name it was A.H. Sylvester, topographer for the US Geological Survey and first supervisor of the Wenatchee National Forest.[4] Sylvester visited the middle Enchantment basin and probably did not venture into the upper basin. Snow Creek Glacier covered more of the upper basin at the time than it does today, which may have discouraged him from exploring the higher areas.[5] He is credited with naming some of the features in the region.

By the 1940s climbers discovered the area and began naming the crags. Bill and Peg Stark of Leavenworth, became frequent visitors who drew upon various mythologies to name features of the landscape. When they made their first visit in the fall of 1959, they were captivated by the golden splendor of the larch trees in the fall, the numerous lakes and tarns, and jagged peaks towering above. They used fairy names such as Gnome Tarn, Troll Sink, Naiad Lake (officially Temple Lake), Sprite and King Arthur legends in the Lower Enchantment Basin because "the lower basin was not as austere as the upper basin," according to Peg. They used Norse names and mythology for features of the upper basin, for example Brynhild Lake (officially Inspiration Lake), Lake Freya (officially Tranquil Lake), and Valhalla Cirque because, Peg said, it felt "as if the Ice Age had just gone off."[6]

Crater Lake
photograph by Andrew Aldrich

Mount Mazama

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mazama

Mount Mazama is a stratovolcano in the Oregon segment of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range located in the United States. The volcano's collapsed caldera holds Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located within Crater Lake National Park. When it last erupted, the eruption was 42 times greater than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

Mazama's summit was destroyed by a volcanic eruption that occurred around 5677 (± 150) BC.[1][3] The eruption reduced Mazama's approximate 12,000-foot (3,700 m) height by about 1 mile (1,600 m). Much of the volcano fell into the volcano's partially emptied neck and magma chamber. At 8,159 feet (2,487 m), Hillman Peak is now the highest point on the rim.

French Canyon
photograph by Mariola Aga

Starved Rock State Park

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starved_Rock_State_Park

Starved Rock State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Illinois, characterized by the many canyons within its 2,630 acres (1,064 ha). Located just southeast of the village of Utica, in Deer Park Township, LaSalle County, Illinois, along the south bank of the Illinois River, the park hosts over two million visitors annually, the most for any Illinois state park.[1][2]

Before European contact, the area was home to Native Americans, particularly the Kaskaskia who lived in the Grand Village of the Illinois across the river. Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette were the first Europeans recorded as exploring the region, and by 1683, the French had established Fort St. Louis on a large sandstone butte overlooking the river, they called Le Rocher (the Rock). Later after the French had moved on, according to a local legend, a group of Native Americans of the Illinois Confederation (also called Illiniwek or Illini) pursued by the Ottawa and Potawatomi fled to the butte in the late 18th century. The Ottawa and Potawatomi besieged the butte until all of the Illiniwek had starved, and the butte became known as "Starved Rock". The area around The Rock was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The park region has been the subject of several archeological studies concerning both native and European settlements, and various other archeological sites associated with the park were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

In the late 19th century, the area was developed as a vacation resort. The resort was acquired by the State of Illinois in 1911 for a state park, which it remains today. Facilities in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, which have also gained historic designation.

Grand Canyon National Park
photograph by Niall Fritz

Grand Canyon National Park

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon_National_Park

Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in Arizona. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The park covers 1,217,262 acres (1,901.972 sq mi; 492,608 ha; 4,926.08 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.

Grand Prismatic Spring
photograph by Sébastien Grimpard

Grand Prismatic Spring

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prismatic_Spring

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world,[3] after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin.

Grand Prismatic Spring was noted by geologists working in the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, and named by them for its striking coloration. Its colors match the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.[4]

Greys river
photograph by Paul R Bolt

Greys River

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greys_River

The Greys River is a tributary of the Snake River, flowing through western Wyoming in the United States. The river is about 62 miles (100 km) long,[1] starting high up in the Wyoming Range, 45 miles (72 km) south of the town of Alpine in Lincoln County. The river eventually flows into the Snake River in the Snake River Canyon, joining it just east of Alpine.[2] The Greys River is generally a rushing mountain stream that separates the high Wyoming Range (east) from the Salt River Range (west). It joins the Snake River just above the intersection of U.S. highways 89 and 26. Just a short distance downriver from the confluence of the two rivers, the Snake widens quickly and passes through Alpine and enters the Palisades Reservoir. The largest tributary of the Greys River is the Little Greys River.

In 1997, Greys River hosted the second round of the World Fly Fishing Championships.

Haystack Rock
photograph by Badal Chhatbar

Haystack Rock

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haystack_Rock

Haystack Rock is a 235-foot (72-meter) sea stack in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It is sometimes claimed locally to be the third-tallest such "intertidal" (meaning it can be reached by land) structure in the world, but there are no official references to support this. A popular tourist destination, the monolithic rock is adjacent to the beach and accessible by foot at low tide. The Haystack Rock tide pools are home to many intertidal animals, including starfish, sea anemone, crabs, chitons, limpets, and sea slugs. The rock is also a nesting site for many sea birds, including terns and puffins.

Haystack Rock is located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of downtown Cannon Beach in Clatsop County and about 80 miles (130 km) west of Portland. The nearest major road is U.S. Route 101. Haystack Rock is part of the Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site. The area below the mean high water (MHW) level is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation. The area above the MHW level is managed by the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

There are at least six other geographic features in Oregon named Haystack Rock, including two others along the Oregon Coast — and others throughout the U.S. The tallest and probably best known Haystack Rock due to its proximity to Portland is in Tillamook County located off Pacific City and near Cape Kiwanda. It stands 327 feet (100 m) above the sea and is the fourth tallest sea stack or off-shore monolith in the world.[1] Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is accompanied by several smaller rocks known as The Needles. The other Oregon coastal Haystack Rock stands 105 feet (32 m)[2] above sea level in Coos County near Bandon.[3]

Horseshoe Bend
photograph by Bas Vermolen

Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_Bend_(Arizona)

Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona, in the United States.

Horseshoe Bend is located 5 miles (8.0 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Page.

It is accessible via hiking a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) round trip from U.S. Route 89, but an access road also reaches the geological structure, as it is part of a state park. Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above.[1]

Kaua'i
photograph by Baptiste Lavaux

Kauai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kauai

Kauaʻi or Kauai[a] (/kə.ˈw./; Hawaiʻian: [kɐˈwɐʔi]) is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of 562.3 square miles (1,456.4 km2), it is the fourth largest of these islands and the 21st largest island in the United States.[3] Known also as the "Garden Isle", Kauaʻi lies 105 miles (169 km) across the Kauaʻi Channel, northwest of Oʻahu. This island is the site of Waimea Canyon State Park.

The United States Census Bureau defines Kauaʻi as census tracts 401 through 409 of Kauaʻi County, Hawaiʻi, which comprises all of the county except for the islands of Kaʻula, Lehua and Niʻihau. The 2010 United States Census population of the island was 67,091.[4] The most populous town was Kapaʻa.

Hawaiian narrative locates the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiʻian Islands. The story relates how he named the island of Kauaʻi after a favorite son; a possible translation of Kauaʻi is "place around the neck", describing how a father would carry a favorite child. Another possible translation is "food season".[5]

Lake Siskiyou
photograph by Bijeesh P

Lake Siskiyou

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Siskiyou

Lake Siskiyou is a reservoir formed by Box Canyon Dam[1] on the Sacramento River, in far northern California, near the town of Azalea, California.[2] It is the site of local recreation, as well as being used for watershed protection and flood control.

In Late 2010 a walking bridge over the wagon creek inlet was completed, finishing a trail that wraps around the entire lake. The cost of the bridge was $2.8 Million, funding was obtained from the McConnell Foundation, The State of California and federal stimulus funds. The McConnell Foundation also provided funds for the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California.[3]

Lake Tahoe
photograph by Goodlucan

Lake Tahoe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Tahoe

191 sq mi (490 km2):[1]
Placer County (41.0%)
El Dorado County (28.6%)
Douglas County (13.2%)
Washoe County (11.0%)

Lake Tahoe (/ˈtɑːh/; Washo: dáʔaw)[3] is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.[4] Its depth is 1,645 ft (501 m), making it the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake (1,945 ft (593 m)).[1] Additionally, Lake Tahoe is the sixth largest lake by volume in the United States at 122,160,280 acre·ft (150,682,490 dam3), behind the five Great Lakes.

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.[5] The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe. More than 75% of the lake's watershed is national forest land, comprising the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the United States Forest Service.

Monument Valley
photograph by Andrew Coelho

Monument Valley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Valley

Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, pronounced [tsʰépìːʔntsɪ̀skɑ̀ìː], meaning valley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor.[1] It is located on the ArizonaUtah border (around 36°59′N 110°6′W / 36.983°N 110.100°W / 36.983; -110.100), near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.

Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known films and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, "its five square miles [13 square kilometers] have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West."[2]

The area is part of the Colorado Plateau. The elevation of the valley floor ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 feet (1,500 to 1,800 m) above sea level. The floor is largely siltstone of the Cutler Group, or sand derived from it, deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley's vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide.

Mount Adams
photograph by Sten Olsen

Mount Adams (Washington)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Adams_(Washington)

Mount Adams, known by some Native American tribes as Pahto or Klickitat, is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range.[3] Although Adams has not erupted in more than 1,000 years, it is not considered extinct. It is the second-highest mountain in the U.S. state of Washington, after Mount Rainier.[4]

Adams is a member of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, and is one of the arc's largest volcanoes,[5] located in a remote wilderness approximately 34 miles (55 km) east of Mount St. Helens.[6] The Mount Adams Wilderness consists of the upper and western part of the volcano's cone. The eastern side of the mountain is designated as part of the territory of the Yakama Nation.[7][8]

Adams' asymmetrical and broad body rises 1.5 miles (2.4 km) above the Cascade crest. Its nearly flat summit was formed as a result of cone-building eruptions from separated vents. Air travelers flying the busy routes above the area sometimes confuse Mount Adams with nearby Mount Rainier, which has a similar flat-topped shape.

Niagara falls
photograph by Brook Ward

Niagara Falls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_Falls

Niagara Falls (/nˈæɡrə/, Cayuga: Gahnawehtaˀ or Tgahnawęhtaˀ[1]) is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.

From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lie mostly on the Canadian side and the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.[2]

Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.[3] The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Old Mammoth
photograph by Don Graham

Old Mammoth, California

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Mammoth,_California

Old Mammoth is a former unincorporated community now incorporated in Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, California.[1] It lies at an elevation of 8015 feet (2443 m).[1]

Old Mammoth was originally Mammoth City, a mining camp that had a post office from March 21, 1879 to July 27, 1881. It later had another post office from July 2, 1896 to September 10, 1898 when it moved to Round Valley, in Inyo County.

Olmsted Point
photograph by Luca Taranta

Olmsted Point

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olmsted_Point

Olmsted Point, located in Yosemite National Park, is a viewing area off of the Tioga Road which offers a view into Tenaya Canyon. This view looks southwest into the valley, giving, in particular, a view of the northern side of Half Dome and a view of Tenaya Lake to the east.[1]

The site is named after landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.[2]


San Miguel River
photograph by Paul Tashjian

San Miguel River (Colorado)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Miguel_River_(Colorado)

The San Miguel River is a tributary of the Dolores River, approximately 81 miles (130 km) long,[2] in southwestern Colorado in the United States. It rises in the San Juan Mountains southeast of Telluride and flows northwest, along the southern slope of the Uncompahgre Plateau, past the towns of Placerville and Nucla and joins the Dolores in western Montrose County approximately 15 miles (24 km) east of the state line with Utah.

The San Miguel is more or less free flowing; however, diversion dams dot the river and alter flows. The San Miguel varies in gradient, from extremely steep in its upper reaches (forming a shallow, rocky, unnavigable stream) to more mellow in the lower sections (30–50 feet per mile (5.7–9.5 m/km) of drop, which offers the whitewater boater a variety of runs all within the class II+--III range). All told, the San Miguel drops over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from an alpine ecosystem to the desert. The average flow is about 600 cu ft/s (17 m3/s).

Whitewater kayakers and boaters enjoy many sections on the San Miguel. Minimum suggested flows for small vessels is 250 cfs, with the river near Placerville usually becoming navigable in late April or early May. Several runs of varying length are commonly undertaken from there to the confluence with the Dolores, near the site of Uravan. The San Miguel is considered a continuous class 2 run with several class three rapids which become more challenging at higher flows, where the river's speed can make it difficult to stop and scout. Additional River hazards are three diversion dams that exist between Naturita and the Hwy 145 bridge East of Norwood . All of them are relatively easy to scout and portage, however. As the river meanders through an agricultural valley just East of Naturita, several cattle fences cross the river.

Yosemite Valley
photograph by Claire Ingram

Yosemite Valley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_Valley

Yosemite Valley (/jˈsɛmɨt/ yoh-SEM-i-tee) is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California. The valley is about 8 miles (13 km) long and up to a mile deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, and densely forested with pines. The valley is drained by the Merced River and a multitude of streams and waterfalls including Tenaya, Illilouette, Yosemite and Bridalveil Creeks. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, and is a big attraction especially in the spring when the water flow is at its peak. The valley is renowned for its natural beauty, and is widely regarded as the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park, attracting visitors from around the world.

The Valley is the main attraction in the park for the majority of visitors, and a bustling hub of activity during "tourist season" in the summer months. On July 2, 2011 there was a record 20,851 visitors to the valley.

Most visitors enter the valley from roads to the west and pass through the famous Tunnel View entrance. Visitor facilities are located in the center of the valley. There are both hiking trail loops that stay within the valley and trailheads that lead to higher elevations, all of which afford glimpses of the park's many scenic wonders.