Fun Fact: Lake Powell Bathtub Ring

Completed in 1966, Glen Canyon Dam was constructed as part of the Colorado River system to aid in the management of this precious resource. After the dam was built, it took 17 years for Glen Canyon to fill completely creating Lake Powell.  Lake Powell and the surrounding area are part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Lake Powell Bathtub Ring Fun Fact

One dramatic feature of Lake Powell is the distinctive line around the lake. This line is affectionately referred to as the Lake Powell bathtub ring.

Lake Powell Bathtub Ring-5 trip

The Lake Powell bathtub ring is a result of the significant drop in the water level.  The lake was considered full in 1980 and since that time the overall water level has decreased.

Lake Powell Bathtub Ring

Minerals deposited by the water created the Lake Powell bathtub ring. When the water level was up, calcium carbonate and other hard minerals in the water adhered to the rock. The line that remains provides a clear picture of the dramatic change in the lake level.

Lake Powell Bathtub Ring

To be clear, I don’t think the drop in water level is positive! However, I find the remaining Lake Powell bathtub ring fascinating. I enjoyed the bleached appearance of the rock. The color contrast is quite striking!

Lake Powell Bathtub Ring

On your next boat trip, be sure to pay extra attention to the Lake Powell bathtub ring! It is just one of many things that make this lake fascinating and such amazing place to visit!

Lake Powell bathtub ring

There is so much to see and do around Lake Powell and Page, AZ!  Check out:  Upper or Lower Antelope CanyonYou CAN Tour Antelope CanyonThe Glen Canyon Dam TourHorseshoe Bend, and Toadstools Trail.

Fun Fact: Wind Cave National Park

The main attraction at Wind Cave National Park is, of course, the cave itself.  This incredible cave system boasts the largest concentration of rare boxwork formations in the world. With all those passages, it is one colossal underground maze. In your excitement to tour the cave, don’t miss what’s on top!

Wind Cave National Park

Above Wind Cave sits a rich mixed grass prairie.  This grassland is a great place to watch wildlife. Many species of mammals reside in Wind Cave National Park. As you drive through the park, be on the lookout for bison, elk pronghorns, prairie dogs, and coyotes.

Wind Cave National Park Bison

Prairie dog towns are not hard to spot. If you see several mounds of dirt in a cluster, chances are prairie dogs will be bobbing up and down nearby. During our visit, we were fortunate enough to see a coyote stalking a prairie dog town and the prairie dogs watching intently for predators.

Wind Cave National Park CoyoteWind Cave National Park-5 trip

As you visit Wind Cave National Park allow some time to enjoy the treasures which lie above ground.  With so many wildlife viewing opportunities and 30 miles of hiking trails, the world above ground is just as incredible as what lies beneath!

Wind Cave National Park

Planning a visit to South Dakota?  Don’t miss The Needles Eye TunnelDriving to Mount RushmoreThe Custer State Park Buffalo HerdBadlands Fossil FindsBadlands Notch Trail, and Badlands Trip and Tee.

Fun Fact: Glacier National Park Lakes

Glacier National Park is often referred to as the Crown of the Continent. The jewels in this crown must be the over 700 lakes which dot mountain landscape.  Fun Fact: Only 131 of those Glacier National Park lakes are named!

Glacier National Park Lakes - Grinnell Lake
Grinnell Lake

The largest Glacier National Park lake is Lake McDonald.  This 10 mile long body of water is located on the west side of the park along side the Going to the Sun Road. (Check out this Going to the Sun Road Trip Tip.) It is easy to access the shoreline of Lake McDonald.  It is a great place to get away from the park crowds!

Glacier National Park Lakes - Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald

Overlooking Lake McDonald is the historic Lake McDonald Lodge. As with the other lodges in Glacier, be prepared to book very early if you have your heart set on this prime location! We tried to book in November for the following summer and there was no availability.  Try to book as soon as they allow reservations for the next season.

Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald Lodge

Many Glacier National Park lakes are relatively clear.  The cold water temperature prevents  the growth of plankton which can lead to greater water clarity. This beautiful clear water, however, is not necessarily safe to drink.

Glacier National Park Lakes - Swiftcurrent Lake
Swiftcurrent Lake by Many Glacier Hotel

Located in glacial carved valleys flanked by majestic mountains, Glacier Park’s lakes are a spectacular sight. With so many lakes and hundreds of miles of hiking trails in Glacier National Park, you’ll never run out of places to explore!

Fun Fact: The Custer State Park Buffalo Herd

The bison, commonly referred to the as the American buffalo, was officially designated the National Mammal of the United States in 2016. Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota is one of the best places to see these magnificent mammals.

Custer State Park Buffalo

Buffalo were introduced to Custer State Park in 1936. The small herd originally included 36 animals.  Today, Custer State Park buffalo herd includes approximately 1300 bison.  Each September, the park holds the Buffalo Roundup where animals are examined, branded, and culled to maintain the health of the population. Whether you’re fortunate enough to visit during the roundup or at another time of the year, observing this American icon is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Custer State Park.

Custer State Park Buffalo

Planning a trip to South Dakota?  Check out The Needles Eye TunnelThe Corn Palace, and The Badlands Notch Trail