The Kenai Fjords National Park is located in the US state of Alaska. Every year up to 242,000 visitors come to the area of the Kenai Fjords National Park. The 2,436 square kilometer area of the park is located on the Kenai Peninsula in the southern part of Alaska. The park was established on December 2, 1980.
The park is named after the numerous fjords formed by glaciers.
The special feature of the Kenai Fjords National Park is the Harding Icefield. This is the largest ice field in the United States. Another landmark are the Kenai Mountains. The 483 square kilometer Harding Ice Field is surrounded by the mountains. The ice surfaces run into the sea.
In summer the temperatures reach up to 15 degrees. On average, they are at a value of 10 degrees. Furthermore, the area is particularly characterized by its abundance of rain.
The Kenai Fjords National Park is the smallest national park in Alaska. The fauna is made up of the typical animal species in Alaska.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
The US state of California is home to the two national parks Sequoia and Kings Canyon. With their 3,503 square kilometers they have a lot to offer. The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park is a real magnet for the more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
The amalgamation of two parks was founded on March 4, 1940 and has thrilled its fans and admirers ever since. The impassable terrain of both parks is impressive. This shows significant differences in height. Everything is represented from 412 meters to over 4,000 meters. In addition to large mountains, there are deep canyons.
History of the two national parks
Since both parks are close to each other, their history is also very closely linked. The famous Shoshone people were the first to live in the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park area. Archaeologists estimate their first presence in the 9th century. They lived in the many valleys of what is now the park area. The Shoshone were divided into three tribes. It is particularly noteworthy that the first whites came here around the 19th century and the Shoshone and the immigrants lived peacefully side by side. Often the whites even imitated the Indians and ignored certain ways of life from them.
As in the Sierra Nevada, however, the gold was discovered, and the whole country was in the gold madness, came to a turning point among the inhabitants of the park area. In 1848 the people living in the valley were simply displaced by gold prospectors, adventurers and settlers. Suddenly violence was ubiquitous. Things got worse in 1862 when a wave of European diseases like measles, scarlet fever and smallpox struck down the local population. In 1865 the last indigenous people left the area.
The sequoias were discovered and so immediately the huge trees began to be brought to Europe for exhibition purposes. When the trees that had been cut up for transport arrived in Europe, it was believed to be a hoax. It was found that the Sequoias wood was not of good quality. Even so, many trees were felled to be used as firewood. In 1880 the raw dung reached its peak. At that time the boom of the timber industry had broken out and entire parts of the forest fell victim to the felling. But there were also the cattle breeders. They needed land for their cattle and created these areas by slash and burn. This also destroyed other forests.
Plants and animals in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Due to the different regions of the two parks, the most diverse varieties of plants and animals can be found in the park. In the snow-capped mountains and the hot and dry valleys you can find many contrasts. There are over 1,200 different types of plants! This diversity is thanks to the many different habitats that both parks have to offer. In addition to sequoias, dwarf oaks can also be found. Forests and meadows are particularly characteristic for the landscape of the parks.
The most common large mammals in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are the black bears, closely followed by the mule deer, coyotes and foxes who are comfortable with the climatic differences. Marmots, raccoons and porcupines have also found their home here. There are even said to be mountain lions, but like all wild animals, these animals are extremely shy. As a visitor, you shouldn’t expect to see them.